It’s the end of an era.
WWE CEO and chairman Vincent Kennedy McMahon announced his retirement from the company on Friday (July 22) after 40 years and turning the brand into a multi-billion dollar leader in sports entertainment. McMahon confirmed the retirement in a surprising tweet to the WWE Universe on Friday afternoon: “At 77, time for me to retire. Thank you, WWE Universe. Then. Now. Forever. Together. #WWE #thankful.”
The WWE announced the changing of the reins via a press release that shared that the 76-year-old architect’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon, will be replacing her father in a co-CEO position along with WWE president Nick Khan. Stephanie — who will also take over as chairwoman, has been interim CEO since last month after her father originally stepped down, but would remain with the company as head of WWE creative.
“Throughout the years, it’s been a privilege to help WWE bring you joy, inspire you, thrill you, surprise you, and always entertain you,” stated Vince in the WWE News release. “I would like to thank my family for mightily contributing to our success, and I would also like to thank all of our past and present Superstars and employees for their dedication and passion for our brand. Most importantly, I would like to thank our fans for allowing us into your homes every week and being your choice of entertainment.”
Hip Hop joins the rest of the world shocked by the breaking news that will change sports entertainment forever and immediately head to social media to deliver their reactions. “Sure have & I’m going to SmackDown this week bc boy ol boy I left for 1 day and Vince stepped down lol,” tweets Westside Gunn, who is a known wrestling superfan and contributed theme music to the brand. “And then SummerSlam Ofcourse.. this the point NOBODY in the history been a bigger fan and invest in pro wrestling more than WSG I put whatever on that this 4THROPE is lifestyle.”
Gunn was in Japan supporting New Japan wrestling when news broke of McMahon’s retirement. The Griselda member has been seen front row at multiple WWE events in the past few years.
Vince McMahon brought the promotion — which was known as WWWF at the time — from his father in 1982. Over a span of 50 years, he would transform the regional wrestling company into a publicly traded company — currently valued at 4.43 billion dollars — that gave us some of the most influential public figures of all time in icons like Hulk Hogan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ric Flair, Macho Man Randy Savage, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, The Undertaker, The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin and so many more. Vince at the helm, WWE’s flagship show, WWE’s RAW, broke the record as the longest-running weekly episodic television show of all time in 2019.
Throughout his tenure, McMahon blended sports entertainment and pop culture with annual extravagant events like Wrestlemania, where some of the biggest names in the world would participate in various ways for the record-breaking sold-out stadium of fans. WWE will be hosting their 39th annual Wrestlemania inside the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California on April 1-2 2023.
WWE became a publicly traded company on the NYSE in 1999.
This article will be updated soon to provide more information and analysis.