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South Lakes Sentinel

The news site of South Lakes High School.

South Lakes Sentinel

The news site of South Lakes High School.

South Lakes Sentinel

WWE distances itself from former Co-Founder Vince McMahon

“A Wrestling Titan or Fallen Icon?”
Former World Wrestling Co-Founder, Vincent Kennedy McMahon (Image via Getty Images; New York News Archive)

Article Disclaimer: This article is an opinion piece. It is not made to defame, libel, or slander any party. The views expressed are solely the author’s opinions.

Former World Wrestling Entertainment Co-Founder, Vincent Kennedy McMahon, has terminated his affiliation with WWE in response to sexual harassment allegations. According to The Wall Street Journal, a spokesman for McMahon stated: “This lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up instances that never occurred, and a vindictive distortion of the truth. He will vigorously defend himself.”

Recently, Janel Grant filed a lawsuit against TKO, alleging that McMahon coerced her into a relationship, committing sexual assault. She also alleges professional wrestler Brock Lesnar was part of the harassment. In June 2022, Grant signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for $3,000,000, agreeing not to discuss the relationship or speak ill of McMahon. Immediately after the allegations were made public, McMahon resigned from his position at TKO. These allegations against McMahon created a ripple effect that quickly spread, affecting the entire organization.

In July 2022, he stepped down as WWE’s chairman and CEO, yielding the reins to his daughter, Stephanie McMahon. Meanwhile, Nick Khan assumed the role of co-CEO. Shawn Michaels ascended to being Vice President, and Paul Levesque took on the mantle of Chief Content Officer. In 2023, McMahon returned as executive chairman, with Khan now serving as sole CEO.

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WWE was founded as Capitol Wrestling Corporation in 1953. McMahon and his estranged wife, Linda, co-founded the modern WWE. He purchased the company from his father, Vincent James in 1982. Outside of the ring, McMahon owns the World Bodybuilding Federation and the football minor league XFL. Compared to the NFL, the XFL is a fast-paced, rougher alternative to the sport, playing under a different set of rules. The XFL has now merged with the USFL to create the UFL.

World Wrestling Federation Logo / Jul, 13, 2012 (Image via @B1ueChr1s on DeviantArt)

In 1993, Vince McMahon spearheaded the “New Generation Era,” catapulting the WWF back into the limelight. The US government brought a criminal case against McMahon in 1994 for providing his wrestlers with illegal anabolic steroids. The jury found him not guilty. However, Dr. George Zahorian III, was suspended from the WWF, after being convicted of these charges and serving a 3-year sentence. During this time, McMahon immersed himself in films geared toward adult-themed content. By 1999, he orchestrated the company’s initial public offering (IPO), during which he boldly infused WWE programming with elements like profanity, graphic violence, and provocative material. In 2000, the World Wide Fund for Nature sued WWF Entertainment over trademark issues. Since then, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) logo is only used in archival footage.

Originally a commentator on WWE, McMahon purchased the company in 1982 and “monopolized” the industry. He is a businessman and a former professional wrestling promoter. It was McMahon’s first appearance on-screen for WWE as a play-by-play commentator in 1969. As the indomitable Mr. McMahon in 1997, he portrayed the ruthless and domineering character of a swaggering tyrant. His unyielding grip on the wrestling empire reverberated through the arena as he barked his throaty catchphrase, “You’re fired!” Beyond the scripted drama, McMahon’s ‘power walk’ became a memorable display— sashaying towards the ring, arms swinging, head bobbing, exuding an air of confidence.

McMahon’s Entrance (Image via World Wrestling Federation Archive)

McMahonism, his self-proclaimed religion, was a theatrical ruse established before one of his wrestling performances. He announced forming his own “religion,” raising eyebrows and sparking debate. While it was part of WWE’s manufactured entertainment, some saw it as an outrageous and blasphemous gesture. Ultimately, McMahon’s ‘McMahonism’ was an unforgettable part of WWE’s legacy.

However, as of recently, Vince McMahon’s face was censored from the WWE 2K24 (ESRB-RATED T) video-game which was released on March 8. WWE 2K24 is available to play on the Playstation 4 and 5, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, and the Xbox Series X|S. The game was developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K; players, as expected, can play as their favorite wrestlers and can play either single-player or multiplayer. 2K24  and was made to commemorate the 40th anniversary of WrestleMania and has received positive reviews online.

WWE grapples with the challenge of disentangling itself from its former owner amidst sexual harassment allegations; creating enormous challenges since his influence is deeply entrenched in the company’s culture. For instance, the brand censored former wrestling star, Chris Benoit, cutting him from programming. Benoit, a star turned criminal, is left visible in archival footage. His tragedy exhibits the dark side of wrestling and has appalled many worldwide. In recognizing its past, WWE must avoid glorifying its flaws.

Aside from McMahon, several figures play important roles. Wrestlers, executives, and outside influences all collide in this high-stakes drama. Their activities, whether planned or unintended, determine the course of the scandal. Legal fights arise, and occupations are at risk. The company’s financial stability is deteriorating, sponsors are reconsidering their affiliations, and investors are preparing for potential legal proceedings. Vince McMahon established WWE, yet his name has since become forbidden since the WWE has been trying to distance itself from him for years. The wrestling world awaits McMahon’s legacy, which will either be one of salvation or catastrophe.

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About the Contributor
Dania Vanessa Hernandez
Dania Vanessa Hernandez, International Editor
Dania is the International Editor, and she's a Junior. She translates articles bilingually to the website, adding a touch of creativity with a cherry on top. It's her 2nd year editing, and 3rd year writing for The Sentinel.

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