Update on Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis heading into Friday’s WWE Smackdown
As previously reported via wsj.com, WWE board members are “investigating a secret $3 million settlement that longtime chief executive Vince McMahon agreed to pay to a departing employee with whom he allegedly had an affair, according to documents and people familiar with the board inquiry.”
According to Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline.com, the latest word is that McMahon and John Laurinaitis are going to be in attendance at Smackdown on Friday despite the news. The current belief is that it will be “business as usual” in WWE for the time being.
Meltzer discussed the speculation about who leaked the information…
“Obviously, there’s the big question of, ‘Who on the board of directors leaked it?’ You know, whatever. I mean, it’s a question, but I think it was probably somebody on the board. It may have been, the person who leaked it to the board and then leaking it and The Wall Street Journal finding out the dates and everything and then being told that from the outside. The fact of the investigation and everything seems to indicate that somebody on the board did [leak the news]. And, so, you’ve got twelve people there. Obviously, Vince didn’t, so you’ve got eleven people there that you can look at and, whatever, it could be one of those but we don’t have that answer, obviously.”
Meltzer also talked about the potential fallout…
“Major CEOs, far more powerful than Vince McMahon, have been brought down for less than this, but the defense is, and I know people in the company who do believe Vince will survive this, I’m not so sure about John Laurinaitis, but do believe Vince will survive this, you know, with the idea that as long as there’s no company funds used to pay this off, it’s just, you know… That would be OK.”
“Another aspect of this is the board has power, but Vince… Even though Vince does not own a majority of the stock, Vince owns, the way that the stock is set up, Vince owns a huge majority of the voting power, so it’s not like Vince can be voted out. He would have to resign or there would have to be outside pressure that would make Vince quit, which is one of the reasons why, like I said, he’s going like, ‘It’s just business as usual.’” (quotes courtesy of RingsideNews.com)