Predicting How WWE Will Change in the Post-Vince McMahon Era

Erik BeastonJuly 27, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 04: Paul 'Triple H' Levesque and Stephanie McMahon attend WWE 20th Anniversary Celebration Marking Premiere of WWE Friday Night SmackDown on FOX at Staples Center on October 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
Jerod Harris/Getty Images

To suggest there will be a massive overhaul of WWE after Vince McMahon's retirement from the company amid allegations of sexual improprieties would be to set one's self up for disappointment.

Like most great empires, things do not suddenly change in the course of a day or week. Change comes about gradually and usually not without bumps along the way. Little changes give way to bigger ones before the incoming regime can make its presence truly felt in any real noticeable way.

Brandon Ross @BrandoLightShed

A new era for WWE tonight ⁦<a href="https://twitter.com/TripleH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TripleH</a>⁩ <a href="https://t.co/ahBs0v8Syr">pic.twitter.com/ahBs0v8Syr</a>

The same will happen with WWE.

Fans paying attention closely to Monday's Raw may have noticed one of those small changes has already taken effect in the form of the pacing of the show, which was infinitely better than it had been in years.

A greater sense of urgency, with no time to grow bored of the broadcast and tune out, is hardly the only change to expect in the future.

Even if we have to wait a little while to get there.

The Immediate Changes

Vince McMahon retired from his position as CEO, chairman and head of creative on July 22, not long after a report from the Wall Street Journal alleged the 76-year-old had paid a former WWE paralegal $3 million to not disclose details of a sexual relationship between the pair.

The Wall Street Journal later reported that three further payments totalling $9 million were allegedly made to three other women who had once worked for WWE to cover up infidelity or sexual misconduct allegations against McMahon.

Of course, with McMahon leaving the company he's been at the forefront of since 1982, there are bound to be some shakeups to WWE production and storytelling.

Not only is pacing destined to change as part of the initial wave of alterations as part of EVP and Head of WWE Creative Triple H and Chairwoman Stephanie McMahon's vision for the future of WWE programming, but a recent report from WrestleVotes shined a light on just how the mentality within in the creative process will change.

WrestleVotes @WrestleVotes

With SummerSlam being his real first show in total control, source says Triple H would like to make a creative splash at the event, HOWEVER- only if it’s makes sense. Won’t just do something to do it. <br><br>How about that change of pace, already.

Too often, WWE programming has featured considerable surprises and unexpected turns simply to generate conversation and create buzz around a product that was otherwise ice cold. The Miz literally won the WWE title in February of 2021 without any real plans for him to actually do anything with it. It was evidenced in the way Bobby Lashley beat him a few short weeks later.

Characters change for no rhyme or reason, stories take sharp left turns just for the sake of swerving the audience, and the product is no better off because of it. In some cases, it is put in a worse decision by those changes.

The idea that Triple H wants to make a splash, but only if it makes sense, is incredibly refreshing.

What's also refreshing? The probability that there will be a greater emphasis on in-ring content and telling stories within the context of matches rather than ridiculous backstage segments or the overproduction of promo pieces.

We saw as much in Triple H's NXT, where talent was encouraged to wrestle their style and have the match they wanted without everything being so cookie-cutter—as has often been the case on Raw and SmackDown.

Those are instantaneous changes that can, and likely will, happen right away.

There are bigger things in store for the WWE product with Triple H and Stephanie at the helm that fans can look forward to, as well.

Institutional Changes

Premium live events will mean more.

Look at what Triple H did with those TakeOver events. He was able to create matches fans genuinely wanted to see by building to them and having a general understanding of what he wanted to do at each show long before the final broadcast prior to them.

He also turned the focus to the women's division, allowing the talent under his guidance to have matches that rivaled those that the men were having. While WWE has done a fairly decent job of booking Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Bianca Belair and others, the creative has sometimes been lazy or ineffective, something Triple H will look to fix and enhance.

The aesthetic of the show will change, maybe not from a production standpoint but most certainly in regards to what a star looks like.

Sure, Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, Bobby Lashley and other impressive athletes will always have a place on the card, but stars like Ricochet, Cedric Alexander, Tommaso Ciampa and Mustafa Ali are likely to see more television time and opportunity despite their lack of size.

Do not be surprised if Johnny Gargano, Bray Wyatt and others who either left the company willingly or were released from their contracts return as part of the new regime's creative vision.

Those Superstars, some of them underserved and undervalued, will be more eager to return to the company knowing that the bane of their creative existence is no longer there.

Creative freedom, as big as character development and as small as entrance music choice, will follow. The result will be characters who strike a chord with audiences and get them to invest emotionally rather than the one-note, undefined personae that dominate Monday and Friday nights now.

Triple H and Stephanie may not make massive changes that result in Raw going back to two hours (that's a USA Network call) or roughing up the glossy feel of the shows, but there will be obvious alterations on the tone, the in-ring action and who gets the opportunities to showcase their talents moving forward.