In a move that stunned the wrestling world, WWE announced back on April 3 that the company would merge with UFC to form a new publicly traded entity by the end of the year. As part of the deal, WWE chairman Vince McMahon said he would be involved in creative at a high level, but would no longer be “in the weeds.”
However, according to reports, McMahon was heavily involved in making changes to the WWE RAW after WrestleMania and was present in Gorilla position during the night. This led to speculation about McMahon’s continued involvement in WWE creative, despite his stated intention to step back.
In a recent interview on LightShed Live, WWE’s president and chief revenue officer Nick Khan clarified the situation regarding McMahon’s creative involvement. He noted that McMahon had sent out a company-wide email stating that Paul Levesque, aka Triple H, remained the sole Chief Creative Officer, and that McMahon himself would not be seeking input on creative decisions.
However, Khan also acknowledged that McMahon’s experience and expertise could still be valuable to WWE, and that he and Levesque had a long-standing working relationship. He stated that if Levesque wanted input from McMahon or if McMahon had ideas to communicate, that would always be an option.
Khan also praised McMahon for creating a company structure that allowed WWE to continue functioning even during his five-month absence in 2020. He emphasized that WWE was lucky to have both McMahon and Levesque involved in the company’s creative process.
On Monday [April 3], when this deal was officially announced, Vince sent out a company-wide email to our thousand or so employees, including myself, and in the email he laid out the structure of the NewCo. Specifically, he articulated that Paul Levesque remains the sole Chief Creative Officer. Sole. How does that work? Does that mean that technically because I’m in charge of the business side of the business that I don’t seek input from other people. I wouldn’t seek input from Vince McMahon, who created this entire empire? That would be a mistake on my behalf. Paul and Vince, a family relationship, a relationship that spans back to the mid-90s. Paul is in charge of creative. If he wants input from Vince or Vince has ideas that he and Paul are going to communicate, that’s always going to be the case. We’re lucky to have Vince. We’re lucky to have Paul in control of creative. We’re lucky that the set up that Vince created, that the company could continue to exist, even when Vince stepped out for that five month period, the company kept flowing. We think the best organizations are set up that way and that’s the way Vince set up WWE
Despite the merger announcement and McMahon’s apparent stepping back from creative, Triple H made it clear on the April 3 episode of WWE RAW that WWE wasn’t going anywhere. With a new publicly traded entity on the horizon, it remains to be seen how WWE’s creative direction will evolve and what role McMahon will play going forward.
What do you think the future holds for WWE’s creative direction with the upcoming merger with UFC and Vince McMahon’s stated intention to step back? Do you believe that McMahon will continue to have input in creative decisions? Leave a comment.