Vince McMahon’s retirement didn’t last long. Less than a year after the former WWE CEO ostensibly rode into the sunset amid allegations of sexual misconduct, McMahon appears set to return to the company to explore the possibility of a sale.
The Wall Street Journal reports that McMahon informed the WWE’s board of his intention to elect himself to the post of executive chairman. He would be joined by Michelle Wilson and George Barrios, who previously served as WWE co-presidents and directors.
McMahon retains majority voting power through his shares in the company, though the post would be subject to board approval.
McMahon is said to be interested in conducting a strategic review with an eye toward a potential sale before the WWE re-negotiates its existing media rights, including Raw and Smackdown. He reportedly communicated to the board that he won’t accept any media-rights deal or sale unless he has direct involvement from the outset.
If McMahon does return alongside Wilson and Barrios, three directors will have to leave to make room for them.
— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) July 22, 2022
McMahon abruptly retired from the WWE last summer following allegations that he had paid millions of dollars in secret settlements to secret accusers dating back to 2006. McMahon reportedly decided to reverse course after deciding that he had received bad advice, ultimately sending his letter to the WWE’s board in late December. McMahon hasn’t tweeted since his retirement in July.
The WWE board reportedly told McMahon that it would welcome his help on a potential review process, but that his return wouldn’t be in the shareholder’s best interest. The WWE board also asked McMahon to repay expenses incurred by the company, and that he not return during government investigations into the matter. McMahon said he would continue to work to reimburse the company, but wouldn’t agree to not returning to the company.
The WWE’s Royal Rumble — traditionally one of the company’s most popular events — is set to take place later this month. Elsewhere, AEW wrestler Kenny Omega recently made headlines by dressing up as Sephiroth for Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom event, providing more evidence of the general vibrance of the WWE’s competition.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.