Vince McMahon made headlines on Wednesday afternoon when The Wall Street Journal broke the news that WWE’s Board of Directors was officially investigating his alleged actions of paying a former WWE employee $3 million as part of a deal to keep her quiet about an affair the two had while she was in the company. The investigation has since uncovered more deals McMahon has allegedly made involving nondisclosure agreements and hush money, covering up his own actions as well as those of WWE Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis. WWE told the WSJ that it was complying with the investigation and taking the accusations seriously, while McMahon and Laurinaitis declined to comment. Jerry McDevitt, McMahon’s attorney, told the paper that no money had been given when the former employee, a paralegal, left the company.
WWE sent out an internal statement after the story broke that read, “The Wall Street Journal has published a report about WWE with allegations that we and our Board of Directors take seriously. We are cooperating fully with the independent investigation initiated by our Board of Directors.” Sean Ross Sapp then dropped a report on Fightful Select after talking to people within the company.
His sources stated that McMahon’s affair with the unnamed woman was “suspected,” and that she was promoted last year (the report states her salary was doubled after the affair started). They claimed that this could be the biggest threat to McMahon’s “power” over the company since the 1990s steroid trials and that Laurinaitis is expected to resign as McMahon’s “fall guy.”
“The same sources we spoke with expected John Laurinaitis to be replaced before all is said and done, and one speculated that he’s being set up as the “latest fall guy for Vince, his turn in line was coming.” Another male wrestler who was active in the 2000s and 2010s said that there had long been rumors of John Laurinatis’ misconduct. A former writer said it was an open suspicion in the mid 2000s,” Sapp wrote.
As of March, Vince McMahon controls about 80% of WWE voting power despite owning just over one-third of the company.Shares held by Vince, Linda, and Stephanie are mostly class B shares which give each of their shares 10x voting power over class A shares held by all others. pic.twitter.com/bRwQiELP9a
As for McMahon, it’s expected that he’ll fight to maintain his position and power within the company. He currently serves as WWE’s chairman chief executive officer and head booker. On the corporate side, according to Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics, he holds a commanding 37.6% of WWE’s stock as a Class B Shareholder as of March 2022. He also maintains 80.6% of the company’s voting power. Stay tuned for more updates as they become available.