Today, WWE Corporate issued a press release stating that Stephanie McMahon has been appointed Chairwoman of the Board of WWE and that her and Nick Khan had been named co-CEO’s of WWE. It also released the preliminary second quarter financial findings. But nestled right in there in between those two things, WWE announced, “Additionally, WWE executive Paul Levesque will assume all responsibilities related to WWE’s creative, in addition to his regular duties.” Triple H now has complete and total control of WWE Talent and Creative. This is a big relief for everyone since it was previously reported Bruce Prichard would still be in charge of creative. But this flips this completely on its head.
I am about to say words that WWE fans 15/20 years ago would never even think of saying in their wildest dreams: let the reign of The Game begin!
The quick turnaround from hearing “Bruce Prichard will stay in charge of creative and things won’t change out the gate to show stability and it will as business as usual going forward” to now formally announcing “Triple H, the man who gave birth to the beloved black and gold NXT with all its great stars that Vince screwed up and let go and saw it ripped away from him, now has complete creative control over WWE as well as being in charge of talent relations and signings” in a matter of a weekend is absolutely telling to where the mindset of WWE upper management is right now, and not just creatively.
With Variety publishing an article that WWE has revealed that their internal investigation proved that Vince spent $14.6 million dollars of unreported company money from 2006 till the beginning of this year on NDA’s for his sexual escapades with former female employees, there was no possible way Vince could stay. Either he had to leave on his own or he would legally have to be forced out for the sake of the company.
“Business as usual” with Bruce Prichard as Head of Creative could not be allowed to remain with what WWE knew they were releasing today. As a sponsor, would you still want to sponsor a show being written by a status quo yes man to the guy who spent millions of company money that he kept hidden to pay for his own sexual misconduct
And the Networks are likely just as on board with this development, with USA reported to have said, “this is an exciting change” as reported by Sean Ross Sapp. USA and Fox have both been after WWE on its creative in recent months and years. They have been demanding better but still getting the same old same old from Vince and his writing staff. In addition to that, Sean Ross Sapp also reported on Twitter that WWE stock has been increasing since this morning’s announcements were made. And now that Vince is gone and Stephanie and Triple H are in charge, the networks are happy, and stocks are booming. That, I would say, is the most damning nail in the coffin of Vince McMahon’s influence in WWE.
So, what happens now? That remains to be seen. But, by all accounts, this seems like a fresh start. Louis Dangoor of Give Me Sport reporting, “the general feeling amongst everyone is universal excitement” among the talent concerning Triple H taking control of creative away from Bruce Prichard is definitely a good sign. If I was Tony Khan, I would be absolutely terrified, though. Many of the people Vince had let go were stars Triple H had grown in NXT that Vince had no clue what to do with and many of them are also struggling because Tony Khan doesn’t know what to do with them. I can easily see Triple H enacting a massive talent raid from former WWE/NXT stars who are unhappy in AEW. I can also see Johnny Gargano returning as early as next week. He was very much loyal to Triple H and is why he let his contract run out rather than be forced to go to the main roster where he would’ve suffered from Vince what his former tag team partner Ciampa has been suffering (please Triple H, give me that Usos vs. DIY match please). I can absolutely see renewed pushes for Finn Balor and A.J. Styles. Making championships mean something again, especially the Intercontinental Championship, will also likely be on his list considering Hunter’s history with the title. I would also say that there is a far greater chance that Sasha Banks and Naomi return now than there would’ve been if Vince was still there.
Personally, as someone who loved the black and gold NXT, especially the Takeover events, I’m very much looking forward to seeing what Triple H is going to do in charge of creative. It sucks that Vince got rid of so many of Triple H’s allies and those who worked closely with him, so it might take a little bit for the current team to align with Triple H’s vision and for Triple H to bring in his guys. As fans, we hated the reign of terror from the late 90s till 2005 that Triple H went on as a performer. But we also love and appreciate what he has done for the fans since becoming a writer and an executive and connecting with what the fans really want with his reign as king of NXT. So, with Vince finally out and Stephanie and Triple H firmly in control of WWE with universal support from talent and fans, to this I say: welcome to the queendom of Stephanie McMahon and the era of The Game. Long may they reign!