Originally published at The Hollywood Reporter outlines the leadup to Vince McMahon's resignation
Vince McMahon’s resignation from TKO and WWE came at the urging of members from the top of the organization.
The Hollywood Reporter has an extensive rundown of one of the most tumultuous weeks in WWE’s history.
The civil suit filed by Janel Grant against McMahon, John Laurinaitis & WWE contained graphic descriptions of sexual assault, rape, trauma, coercion, and alleged she was trafficked at the company.
The first major hit to TKO came when Slim Jim announced it was placing its partnership with WWE on “pause” after the contents of the suit were made public. According to THR, this was a tipping point and led to the urging that McMahon step down:
Those concerns culminated the evening of Jan. 26, when Emanuel and TKO president and COO Mark Shapiro called McMahon and told him it would be in the best interest of the company for him to resign. He agreed, and submitted his resignation.
One day after announcing its pause, Slim Jim jumped back on board and was among the sponsors of the Royal Rumble held on January 27.
While removed from his position as executive chairman, McMahon remains the largest individual shareholder in TKO with approximately 11.6% of company stock. McMahon has denied the allegations and states he will vigorously defend himself to clear his name.
The article also described TKO’s handling of its broadcaster relationships and keeping them informed of the behind-the-scenes handling of the scandal:
The long-term TV deals with Netflix, NBCUniversal and The CW were not considered to be at risk, but with NBCUniversal’s rights for the WWE’s premium events coming up in 2026, and with UFC rights talks upcoming in 2025, keeping McMahon as executive chairman of TKO while the lawsuit unfolded could have been problematic. Sources say that TKO executives reached out to all of the company’s rights partners after the news broke, well aware of the need to keep them in the loop on what was happening.
Days before Grant’s lawsuit was reported, TKO announced a ten-year deal with Netflix worth $5 billion for the U.S. domestic rights to Monday Night Raw and a sizable portion of WWE’s worldwide rights going to the streamer.