WWE - uncharted territory / the future (random speculation thread).

So, this thread is purely speculative - but hey, that’s what forums are for, no?

I’ve been thinking about this, and have seen a lot of comments about how the future of a Vince McMahon-less WWE looks.

Although not truly gone (as he has majority voting shares… So essentially still controls the direction of the company), this is the first two towards his eventual final exit.

So, I thought some discussion about how the next few years will look like is in order.

Feel free to add, disagree, argue whatever I am putting out there…

Sale of the company
I think the general consensus is that this is definitely coming. I guess the question is when, and to who? Does it happen soon now that Vince isn’t in “charge”? Or is it still a while? Does Disney or NBC Universal go for it? A group headed by the likes of Nick Khan and The Rock? Do the Saudis make a bid (I mean look at LIV Golf for example)?
I’ve said it for the last few years, WWE has evolved into what WCW was, minus the ownership by a corporate conglomerate. With this possible move, they fully fit the comparison.

No more “Lifers”
I think the notion of talents remaining within the WWE eco-system for their entire careers is something most have come to expect over the last couple of decades. Obviously since the creation of AEW, this notion has begun to change. But, take a Jericho for example - many have believed that one day he’d return to WWE to retire, and he has often spoken of having a great relationship with Vince. Now that Vince is gone, what does that relationship mean?

Do people like Rock, Batista, Cena, Austin, who’s loyalty to Vince and the company that made them mega stars, still feel that way? Does for example Cena see more importance in a relationship with Warner Bros/ Discovery and the obvious wrestling relationships they have? The idea of Shane popping up on a different company’s TV seems entirely reasonable at this point in time, no?

What about the potential for new leadership not valuing historic contributions?

Which leads to the next question…

New leadership
So it seems like Stephanie/ Nick Khan as co-CEOs is the current reality. However, I don’t see how this could be a lasting situation. And with all the ways Stephanie has been publicly thrown under the bus over the last few months, I can’t see she’s all to happy to work with those responsible.

Does a Bruce Prichard really have any chance at long last job security? Kevin Dunn?

Do people like Heyman or Bischoff have any shots of being considered for roles? (Not that I see creative value in either in 2022, but the amount of positive press they generated by being publicly announced and associated with a pseudo creative role a few years ago leads me to believe they’d be corporate friendly and welcomed).

Does Triple H have any real power? Head of Talent Relations is hardly a creative role. John Laurinaitis, Jim Ross, and Canyon Ceman all essentially seemed like middle men.

I’ve never been convinced Triple H is some creative genius, but there are those holding out hope that he’ll suddenly turn main roster WWE into NXT 2018. I feel WWE is far more interested in NIL and bringing established stars into the fold than indie and international stars. Nick Khan has stated multiple times that they’re not interested in “wrestlers” in that sense of the word.

What about Jeff Jarrett?? Does Cody Rhodes have new ambitions?

At the end of the day, I think this is something that will be in constant flux. The more corporate they continue to evolve into, the less chances of a “single voice” ever dominating the company again.

Anyway, just thought this would be an interesting discussion. Would love to hear other’s thoughts.

On Jun 15th I said Vince was the last piece to fall, and now he has fallen.

Bring back Steph to give the appearance that it’s still a family business when in reality she already left in May and was smeared on the way out.

Hunter was also brought back to smooth things over with talent as the “good cop”; he has those relationships so makes sense to bring him back to close a gap for the time being.

The reactionary moves that were not even in play a month ago, now are gonna be the new norm? Sure, maybe. Or it’s all a fresh cost of paint on the used car they are about to sell

Nick Kahn doesn’t grow more powerful being a TV rights sellers he does grow much more important in that world as the guy who engineers the sale of one of the biggest content brands on the board. That’s the kinda thing he parlays into a power position in entertainment.

This is now in like the 5th or 6th inning. While wrestling focused media tries to figure out what changes or who takes over creative, the company already probably knows it’s selling price. Of course this is the same speculation I’ve been saying since June 15th.

Also, there’s the chance if you remove the carny barker from the carnival that it may become the amusement park it was always meant to be. Metaphorically speaking.

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You don’t take decisions on your own anyways if you are a good leader/CEO. I don’t know how much Vince was a team player. You have a team around you that you should listen to. The job of a leader is to decide after having analyzed situations and listened to your team. So Stephanie and Nick are not left alone.

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You are 100% right with this. You may have ultimate say, and you can’t be a pushover, but a good boss listens to its staff, and a good boss surrounds themselves with a good staff.

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This is the best news I have heard all day. The one thing we know about Triple H, is guys like Ciampa, Finn, ricochet etc will not be treated like crap. He is not Vince.

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I hope you’re right.
But, to act like Triple H hasn’t been one of Vince’s right hand men for the last two decades, and he has a radically different vision for the company’s main output going forward feels a little disingenuous.

I don’t see WWE main roster spontaneously turning into NXT 2016-2018. They’ve publicly trashed that direction. (Although they also publicly dumped on Steph, and look where she is now).

I don’t think it would take much to see an immediate improvement in the creative process. All they need to do is plan out a few months in advance and not follow the whims of a 77 year sex pest.
So while I don’t think there will be anything revolutionary about Triple H overseeing 7 hours of TV a week, I am sure there will be some improvements based around logic.

Not something I see on CNBC dot com every day:

I’d be incredibly curious by those who read this article what their takeaways are.

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“The company said it expects to conclude that its “internal control over financial reporting was not effective as a result of one or more material weaknesses.” WWE said it would reflect the unrecorded expenses in updated reports for 2019, 2020 and 2021, as well as this year’s first quarter, when it reports second quarter earnings. The company was set to report Aug. 9, but the revisions could delay that, WWE said.”

So… Vince embezzled LOTS of money to pay these women. The entire corporate structure and players need to be investigated closely.

I can’t imagine a WWE in one year from now that looks ANYTHING like it does today or has in the past. If you’re a McMahon or close to their family, you probably have a skeleton in the closet or two in regards to what was going on.

@MJfromNJ - am I reading this correctly, that they basically said records were hidden / destroyed, and that they couldn’t get a true picture? Legally… this is really bad for a publicly traded company, no?

John just posted this, which outlines some of the nearly 15M “unrecorded” expenses…

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Embezzled is a really strong word and can’t be used related to what is being reported right now. What it is saying is due to company failures their reporting was shit. Basically, they ran a sloppy shop, except this time it impacted financial reporting. Pretty not good. Determines the extent and where auditors would want to go but usually if there is smoke, there is fire. I continue to be in disbelief that Vince did certain other things, which will start to be head scratching when the story settles down.

Okay - legally speaking - you can’t say embezzled 15M dollars. BUT…reports of nearly that amount in payouts to women he had inappropriate relationships with, and that those numbers are reasonably close unreported amounts - feels like that one could draw a certain conclusion.

Anyway… yeah. This is a mess, and it’s going to continue to have a massive impact on the future of this company, and the sale.

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I’m not saying main roster turns into NXT, but I also don’t hold the booking of Vince on the people underneath him.

I’ve worked in a place with a boss who was like vince, and I know what’s it’s like to be frustrated with the be all end all decision maker when they make bad decision after bad decision. Sometimes you have to play the role that they want you to play, so while Hunter could be a part of the problem, my money is against it.

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The company’s only vision is to make money for shareholders so that will continue. I don’t see much changing. The company will be sold in a years time


Tony Khan should be thankful that none of their shows run head-to-head, Stephanie & HHH as the main creatives know long-term booking and over time it may really help renew viewer interest.

The biggest concern for AEW now should be retaining high-value talent. HHH has a really good reputation and is so well respected that it could lure a lot of AEW’s young talent to WWE. Especially an MJF, Wardlaw, or former NXT and WWE talent back to the product.

I do have to say, with Stephanie and HHH running the shows, I’m much more curious about what the main roster products will be like going forward. I hope Brian James, Shawn Michaels, and other former key NXT creatives are brought back in to help right the main roster ship.

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There’s still too many Vince cronies left to make me think we’ll see any significant changes.

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Not to turn this into an AEW thing…

AEW ran against a Triple H booked show head to head for nearly two years and handily defeated them in every metric. And that’s an AEW wihout tons of big named talent that has been added over time.

Triple H’s NXT, frankly, failed. Within the company he was demoted.

NXT was successful at entertaining a fanbase that was disenchanted by main roster WWE. So, they wisely, created their own alternative. When that was no longer needed and AEW took off - they quickly abandoned it.

Look… I hope he improves the show, but Triple H isn’t some untapped resource. He has been involved with booking for the last twenty years to one degree or another. I don’t believe for a second that WWE suddenly switches gears to a tremendous degree.

WWE is invested in being WWE. The NIL Program. Gable Stevenson. The Paul Bother they signed and I can’t name. Celebrity.

No doubt they will target some of AEW’s bigger names. And vice versa. That’s why competition is healthy. But I cannot see a world on which there is a massive shift in WWE programming.

I do believe there will be an improvement, that said.

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I guess it’s possible HHH has some revolutionary booking ideas and Vince held him back but I’m not counting on it.

They’ve made a shit ton of money doing things the same way for the last 20-25 years. It’s gonna take a while and some new blood to make any big changes.

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Did you watch NXT? NXT was a great, great product, especially if we are talking pre USA. Once NXT went to USA and Vince and co. began to be involved, it was never the same as it was when it aired for 1 hour on the network.

I dont really care if AEW beats WWE or WWE beats AEW, doesnt effect me how much money they get in advertising dollars which is what the ratings are all about anyways. All I want is two good products and with Hunter running the show creatively, I can say with 99.9% confidence that the main roster product will be better. No more Vince coming in on a Monday afternoon and randomly cutting the knees off of an angle because he and he alone lost interest. No more presenting guys like Ciampa like they dont matter because they are “too small”. Maybe Raw/SD won’t be as good as AEW moving forward, but it will be better.

“Cronies” only matter if they are on top, if they are underneath and don’t play ball, they wont last long. With Hunter in charge of creative and Steph the co-CEO, what the hell are guys like Pritchard or Dunn going to do.

I get the skepticism, but finally we are probably going to see change.