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4:57 PM ET An important person within the historical past {of professional} wrestling is handing...

4:57 PM ET

An important person within the historical past {of professional} wrestling is handing over the reins.

Vince McMahon is retiring as World Wrestling Leisure chairman and CEO, he introduced Friday. In a WWE information launch, the 76-year-old McMahon additional introduced that his daughter, Stephanie, and present WWE president Nick Khan might be taking up as co-CEOs. Stephanie, who has been appearing as interim CEO, can even take over as chairwoman, per the McMahon assertion.

“All through the years, it has been a privilege to assist WWE deliver you pleasure, encourage you, thrill you, shock you, and all the time entertain you,” McMahon’s assertion learn. “I want to thank my household for mightily contributing to our success, and I’d additionally wish to thank all of our previous and current Superstars and staff for his or her dedication and keenness for our model. Most significantly, I want to thank our followers for permitting us into your properties each week and being your selection of leisure.”

The announcement comes as a serious shock — and McMahon’s retirement represents an enormous shift on the earth {of professional} wrestling, the place he has been a fixture since shopping for WWE from his father within the 1980s. McMahon constructed WWE right into a billion-dollar model with a worldwide attain, a promotion that stood tall over the many years towards its competitors. Nonetheless, on June 17, McMahon stepped down from his position as chairman and CEO within the wake of a Wall Avenue Journal report that exposed a WWE board investigation right into a secret $three million settlement given by McMahon to a former WWE paralegal. Stephanie took over as interim CEO.

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However on the time, McMahon nonetheless stored his position as the pinnacle of WWE artistic, and sources advised ESPN that McMahon’s stepping down was accomplished for optics. The assertion launched Friday to WWE buyers has way more finality.

“I’m extraordinarily assured within the continued success of WWE, and I depart our firm within the succesful palms of a rare group of Superstars, staff, and executives — specifically, each Chairwoman and Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon and Co-CEO Nick Khan,” McMahon’s assertion learn. “As the bulk shareholder, I’ll proceed to assist WWE in any approach I can. My private due to our group and enterprise companions, shareholders, and Board of Administrators for his or her steering and assist via the years.”

It was additionally introduced by WWE on Friday that McMahon’s son-in-law and Stephanie’s husband, Paul “Triple H” Levesque, was returning to the corporate as head of expertise relations, although it was instantly unclear if that’s associated to McMahon retiring. The Wall Avenue Journal adopted up with one other report about alleged McMahon improprieties on July 8. The newspaper reported that the board was investigating $12 million given to 4 former WWE staff or contractors to silence allegations about McMahon’s sexual misconduct.

The $12 million included an alleged $7.5 million to a former lady WWE wrestler who mentioned that McMahon coerced her into having oral intercourse, demoted her after which did not renew her contract in 2005 after she resisted additional sexual encounters with him.

McMahon will depart a sophisticated legacy, one rife with scandals, together with prices that he supplied his wrestlers with steroids levied towards him by america authorities in 1994. A jury discovered McMahon not responsible.

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Late within the 1990s, McMahon, who additionally labored in entrance of the digicam as a play-by-play announcer for years, grew to become a key on-screen character throughout one of many hottest time durations for WWE. His evil boss character, Mr. McMahon, going up towards blue-collar anti-hero “Stone Chilly” Steve Austin, is likely one of the most memorable storylines in WWE historical past. The feud helped WWE overtake WCW, the rival promotion that WWE later bought.

WWE grew to become a publicly traded firm in 1999. Its high two tv reveals, Uncooked and SmackDown, have been among the many top-rated reveals on cable because the 1990s.