Vince McMahon RETIRES!

And just like that, it was over. The most influential person in the history of professional wrestling, announced he was leaving the business in an active role. As I write this, he still owns most of the company, but… and I genuinely can’t believe I’m writing this, Vince McMahon is no longer in charge of WWE’s business or creative operations.

In my lifetime, I can only really compare this to the news of the retirement of long time Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Sure, Ferguson changed one club and made them THE club… Vince McMahon changed an entire industry. I genuinely didn’t think I’d ever see this day, even in the light of recent allegations, I assumed he would only leave his role when he passed away.

You could say so many things about Vince McMahon. For what he did to make the World Wrestling Federation into the global juggernaut that World Wrestling Entertainment is today cannot be understated in any way. What also cannot be understated is the vile nature of the allegations of sexual misconduct against Vince McMahon that have been out there in recent weeks. I won’t go into those, you can all do your own research into them…

I can’t help but feel he has jumped before he was pushed out. Maybe that will come out soon enough… but even after the allegations came out, he was still running creative. And for us fans, well me anyway, that was still something that stung… but now he himself has announced he is gone fully. From a couple weeks ago, when Vince apparently shouted backstage “FUCK EM” in an apparent response to the allegations hanging over him, to now him leaving… my word how things change…

Earlier in the day we had the news that Triple H was back as head of talent relations. And now we have the news, upon Vince’s announcement, that Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan are now jointly in charge. From what I’ve seen and read, I’m sure Stephanie will continue to do great things for WWE, and as for the controversial Nick Khan… well he’s been put as the guy to blame for all these mass WWE releases in recent years and months, and it does look as if he could well be preparing the company for a sale??? I don’t think that’s impossible now…

In the immediate future… well I think I’d as fans we’re most immediately concerned about the creative. What we as fans see on our tv screens. The business I don’t know the ins and outs of… an educated guess would be Stephanie and Nick Khan will continue to grow and evolve the juggernaut that WWE is. On tv… is Kevin Dunn (and his obsession with horrific camera cuts and shaking) going to be phased out? Bruce Prichard? Michael Hayes? All long-term stalwarts of the backstage going’s on in WWE… All well known as “Vince guys”… what of people like them now? Surely we won’t have Stephanie or Nick Khan constantly ripping up and changing plans last minute now as Vince often did? …

And that’s just it isn’t it… This is something wrestling fans have asked for forever. More the last 20 years or so when the general public opinion of WWE’s creative has really dropped. It seems a constant that people who moan about WWE’s creative will point the blame (rightly or wrongly) at Vince. Now he’s gone. So who we gonna blame now? I adored Black and Gold era NXT, but even I will say HHH’s booking wasn’t faultless. Same with Tony Khan and AEW nowadays. But I think it’ll be the little things we see change… it’s hard to say what (until we know exactly who is gonna be leading creative) what the tv product on Raw and SmackDown is going to look like… maybe I’ll do another post when that has been announced… but for me, as someone who watches less WWE now than I have ever done as a wrestling fan… this can only be promising surely? I’m excited by the possibilities for what the wwe product could look like going forward… and with the recent news that SummerSlam (which is Saturday 30th July btw) is going to be TV-14 rated and NOT PG (as wwe tv has been since 2008), you’d imagine a significant change to what the tv shows look like… right…? We can only hope… but the amount of missed open goals by WWE creatively in recent years has become an absolute embarrassment, I could write 10,000 words about all the missed chances and people they treated appallingly creatively… hopefully with the head of the snake now cut off, that will HOPEFULLY be dramatically less now, and WWE’s creative batting average will get far better… again, we can only hope… I’ve not watched WWE much as I’ve said, I think me and many others will now give it far more of a watch just to see what changes. I for one want to see WWE be better, I guess now we will find out if Vince really was the issue… what will this mean for storylines? For the roster? 3 years ago HHH has a vision, and everything (a roster, backstage names etc) all were in place in NXT black and gold to be the blueprint for the future WWE main roster… and then Vince blamed AEW’s “win” on HHH and fucked all that off… does at least some of that come back now? Who knows what that looks like, but again we can only hope…

As I write this… Twitter is completely full of all sorts of news, tributes and tweets about this… naturally, it’s the biggest story in wrestling history so what would you expect? But I did mention about what changes could happen now with no Vince… well looks like we have one immediate one…

Yep… it’s currently 10.26pm on Friday, and it appears Brock Lesnar (currently scheduled for tonight’s episode of SmackDown to appear, promoting his match with Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns at SummerSlam) has walked out… Penny for the thoughts of Triple H rn… ‘welcome back, our number 2 star has walked out on the eve of the main event of our second biggest pay per view event of the calendar year’… Christ… and given how Sasha and Naomi were treated ON AIR after they walked out… is Brock going to be given the same if he has indeed walked out? Hmm… and also… Sable SUED WWE, and NOW (upon Vince leaving) is when Brock apparently walks out?? Hilarious…

I’ll be staying up all night now I’m sure. And I am updating this post as I write it, as the news just keeps flooding in and things are changing all the time… but for those of you who have been living under a rock… this is the timeline of recent events…

Yeah… it’s been wild… and I don’t think we’re done at all… but this is the most excited I’ve been about WWE for some time, and I don’t think I’m the only one… so take that for what you will…

I don’t want this to become a news stream… but with news coming in and changing so much… but it now appears that Kevin Dunn and Bruce will be gone soon, that more WSJ (Wall Street Journal who broke the Vince allegations) stuff could be coming, that BILL GOLDBERG could be called to replace Lesnar if he doesn’t show for SummerSlam… there were always going to be SEISMIC changes and tidlewaves when someone who was in charge for as long and ruled with such an iron fist left… but my word… Then again… do the positives outweigh the negatives? Remains to be seen but I’d be leaning towards a yes it’s a good thing …

So now… I’m going to make my first of what I’m sure will be a couple of coffees tonight so I can stay up for the latest developments and to see how SmackDown (possibly without Brock Lesnar) plays out… the latest on Mr Lesnar is there is a replacement lined up (for SummerSlam) but they are of course wanting to get Brock back… the rumours I’ve heard are Bill Goldberg (let’s hope they get Brock back…)… but my immediate thoughts are this (if they’ve got a back-up already lined up) can only be a good sign for the long term for WWE, Vince would often book on the fly… and it’s ironic his departure has triggered events that could lead to the new team having to book one of the biggest matches possible on the fly… but a good sign of strong leadership and one that isn’t afraid to act…

I’ve just seen this… the apparent internal letter Vince sent to the WWE talent…

My goodness… Here this motherfucker is acting like he’s the all-loving happy grandad figure… hilarious… and now I have just read that Bruce is going to be running creative in the interim, with some direction from Vince… but I can’t see that remaining the case long term. Personally I would always lean towards Paul Heyman in that spot, if Triple H is to stick with talent relations and doing both would be a huge conflict of interests. But who knows… who knows anything anymore with regards to WWE…

Stephanie McMahon is now kicking off SmackDown. I can only hope she cuts the babyface promo of the decade…. I have just read the plans for SmackDown, so I think I will stay up to see what Stephanie has to say, and then call it a night, finalise this blog post and get it all out to you Saturday morning. God knows by that point what more news could break before then… and to confirm Brock Lesnar is NOT on the apparently re-written SmackDown show…

Stephanie McMahon did indeed open SmackDown…

I thought this speech, and the thank it was just a thanks to Vince, rather than ‘this is a new era’ etc. was nauseating to say the least…

I tweeted as much in reply to Sean Ross Sapp… Looks like I wasn’t the only one with that opinion…

The rest of SmackDown played out as just another SmackDown really… until the very end…

Yep, it appears he came back… Wrestling hey? …

So… what now? Who knows really, but the future of WWE really starts right now… For better or worse? We shall see…

Josh.

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