WWE Rumors: Vince McMahon Wanted to Regain Creative Control Before Returning to WWE

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 7, 2023

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 08:  WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon speaks at a news conference announcing the WWE Network at the 2014 International CES at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on January 8, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The network will launch on February 24, 2014 as the first-ever 24/7 streaming network, offering both scheduled programs and video on demand. The USD 9.99 per month subscription will include access to all 12 live WWE pay-per-view events each year. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 10 and is expected to feature 3,200 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 150,000 attendees.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Before settling for a spot on the board of directors upon returning to WWE this week, former WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon reportedly wanted to regain creative booking power in the company as well.

According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Nikunj Walia of Ringside News), McMahon had a desire as of a week ago to return to running WWE creatively, but the decision was instead made for him to focus on a larger business-related role with regard to shopping media rights and potentially executing a sale of the company.

McMahon retired from his positions in July after the board directors found via an investigation that he paid multiple women millions of dollars to remain silent about sexual relationships and encounters with him, as well as sexual misconduct allegations in some cases.

His daughter, Stephanie McMahon, took over as chairwoman and co-CEO along with WWE president Nick Khan. McMahon's son-in-law, Triple H, also replaced him as head of creative.

Lauren Thomas of the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that McMahon intended to rejoin the board of directors in order to have a hand in WWE's media rights negotiations, which are expected to begin this year with the deals expiring at the end of 2024. Thomas also reported that McMahon wants to shop WWE for a potential sale.

WWE officially announced McMahon's return to the board of directors on Friday in a filing to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC):

Brandon Thurston @BrandonThurston

Vince McMahon is back on WWE's board of directors. <br><br>A new filing says effective immediately Vince puts himself, Michelle Wilson, and George Barrios on the board and removes independent directors Alan Wexler, JoEllen Lyons Dillon, and Jeffrey Speed.<a href="https://t.co/HGzFZNvaXM">https://t.co/HGzFZNvaXM</a> <a href="https://t.co/Y3HIRGearx">pic.twitter.com/Y3HIRGearx</a>

McMahon explained his return in a subsequent statement and noted that he did "not intend" to impact the roles of WWE's existing management team.

Per Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Sunil Joseph of Ringside News), WWE sent a letter to its employees and talent Friday, noting that McMahon's return will not impact WWE's day-to-day operations, including Triple H's status as head of creative.

McMahon had been WWE's head of creative since purchasing the company from his father in 1982 until his retirement last year, which led many to speculate that he wanted to assume that post once again.

Meltzer's report suggests that was the case, but WWE reportedly remains insistent that McMahon's return is a big-picture move that won't affect the company at a micro level, including the creative aspect, which has received praise for its improvement since Triple H's ascension to head of creative.

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