More Backstage Notes on Changes in WWE; Positive Reaction to Stephanie McMahon as Interim CEO

— WWE made a massive announcement today indicating that Vince McMahon is temporarily stepping down from his position as CEO while under investigation with Stephanie McMahon appointed as the interim leader in his absence. has an update on the backstage reaction to Stephanie coming back so soon after having announced that she would be going on a leave of absence herself to focus on her family. The main points are highlighted below:

  • The immediate reaction backstage from officials was one of frustration as many felt Vince stepping aside temporarily and Stephanie coming back was largely a superficial move as Vince’s personal responsibilities in running the company have “dwindled” in recent times with more of the business lead falling to President Nick Khan.
  • One wrestler didn’t expect anything to change, at least in culture and production for the viewers watching at home since Vince is still in charge of the creative direction of both Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown.
  • Multiple staff across various departments are said to be trying to convince Vince that it isn’t a good idea to appear “in character” on tonight’s broadcast of Smackdown and one person felt it was a “cheap ratings ploy in the middle of something serious.” Another person feared that that McMahon would use tonight’s opportunity to turn the saga into a “Vince McMahon vs. The World” type narrative that was pushed following the steroid scandal.
  • CNBC reported that the script for tonight’s Friday Night Smackdown was ripped up amid the allegations and Vince stepping back.
  • There is a general sense of optimism and happiness that Stephanie McMahon was named interim CEO as she is for the most part well-liked backstage by wrestlers. Most believed that she was always being groomed for this role sooner or later anyway. There was also hope from a female talent that Stephanie leading the company would lead to women getting treated better from an equality perspective.
  • Most people believe John Laurinaitis will be gone from the company and he generally has received a negative response from talent whom he oversees as the SVP of that department.

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