A seismic shift is underway in WWE, as evidenced by the tone set at WWE WrestleMania 40.

The messaging behind the event underscored a pivotal moment: Vince McMahon, the longtime face of the company, is no longer in the picture due to allegations of sex trafficking, harassment, and sexual assault. Importantly, there’s a resounding acknowledgment that McMahon’s return is not on the horizon.

Recent reports, including one from Fightful Select, have highlighted the optimism surrounding WWE’s first WrestleMania without the influence of Vince McMahon. Although there was a brief period from August to mid-December 2022 when McMahon stepped away, his remote contributions resumed for much of 2023. With his departure, many of the entrenched standards and rules associated with his leadership have been cast aside.

Reflecting this departure from the past, there’s a noticeable shift in WWE’s language and approach. Ibou from WrestlePurists noted after WrestleMania that WWE sources have indicated deliberate move away from the term “Sports Entertainment.” While no official decree has been issued, sources have suggest that “Pro wrestling” is no longer taboo, and even directives against certain language seem to fall on deaf ears.


Perhaps the most significant shift is the treatment of Vince McMahon himself. WWE is actively working to distance itself from him, with strict instructions against mentioning his name on WWE programming or featuring him in archived footage whenever possible. This concerted effort to disassociate from McMahon extends to the very fabric of WWE’s identity.

However, while Vince McMahon is persona non grata, his daughter Stephanie McMahon remains intertwined with the company. Despite her hiatus following Vince’s return to power, Stephanie made a discreet return at Survivor Series 2023 and was warmly welcomed backstage at WrestleMania. Her recent appearance, kept under wraps until the event, sparked questions about her role in light of allegations made in Janel Grant’s lawsuit against WWE. Sources indicate there’s support for Stephanie within WWE, viewing her return as a public stance amid a complex situation.

Although Stephanie’s return hasn’t been confirmed in a full-time capacity, multiple sources express openness to her reinstatement. Notably, the spontaneity of WrestleMania’s backstage dynamics—where Bruce Prichard and Triple H found themselves unexpectedly called to the ring—underscored a departure from McMahon’s modus operandi.

Addressing concerns about individuals associated with Vince McMahon remaining within WWE, sources stress a philosophy of accountability and replaceability. Talent has been assured that no one is indispensable, citing past instances where key figures like McMahon, John Laurinaitis, and Kevin Dunn were absent, yet WWE flourished. This stance, endorsed by Endeavor, underscores a belief that even influential figures can be replaced if necessary.

Last year’s WWE Raw after WrestleMania, characterized by McMahon’s tumultuous presence, stands in stark contrast to the anticipated post-WrestleMania atmosphere this year. Sources suggest that last year’s show would have fared better without McMahon’s involvement, foreshadowing a more enjoyable and transformative era ahead.

Notably, praise has been lavished upon WWE’s in-truck production, hailed as instrumental in shaping the new era. Further insights into this aspect are expected to emerge in the coming days, further underscoring WWE’s evolving landscape.

What are your thoughts on the significant shift in WWE’s approach and messaging following Vince McMahon’s departure? How do you believe this departure will impact WWE’s identity and operations moving forward? Additionally, how do you think Stephanie McMahon’s potential reinstatement and the broader changes within WWE will shape the future of the company? Let us know in the comments below.

Steve Carrier

Steve is the Founder of RingsideNews. He has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He first got into website development at the time and has been focusing on bringing his readers the best professional wrestling news at it's highest quality.

Disqus Comments Loading...