Last week, Vince McMahon released the bombshell news that he was retiring as WWE’s CEO. However, he remains the majority shareholder of the company. This comes during an investigation into McMahon’s alleged misconduct and large payments of hush money.
As a result, McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie, and Nick Khan take over the vacant CEO role together at the top of the federation. Most interestingly, Paul “Triple H” Levesque has stepped up as the lead of WWE creative following Vince’s retirement.
Industry insiders think that this change of culture at the top will also lead to adjustments to the creative style that WWE goes for.
Dave Meltzer warns of stars making WWE switch from AEW
Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer thinks that Triple H’s philosophy for the WWE will cause concern for AEW. He aired his thoughts on Wrestling Observer Radio (via YouTube).
“It’s funny because you would think that something like this would be really beneficial to AEW,” said Meltzer. “But I think this is the worst thing for AEW.
“Because, you know, far more people will look and think, ‘I can make it there, and it’s bigger’. Just like MJF, right? People were saying, “what about his size?” – it’s out the window.
“He could go there,” continued the journalist. “I mean, there are no guarantees for anyone, and there will still be scripted promos to a degree – that’s not going to change. But the nature of who is allowed to be a star, that is going to be a lot more open.”
So, who may benefit from the change in the creative?
What may change in the WWE?
As Dave Meltzer said above, a regular stumbling block when it came to making it in the WWE under Vince McMahon was size. He preferred big, muscular, almost superhuman-type performers. In addition, he preferred to lean into the sports-entertainment style, so McMahon mostly chose big-name stars over talented rookies.
In contrast, many expect that Triple H will value wrestlers’ enhanced skill sets, regardless of their size. Therefore, a star such as MJF may become more viable to the WWE, regardless of the AEW man’s stature (which is not exactly small, either).
Maxwell Jacob Friedman is already the subject of rumours linking him to a move to the rival federation, and this creative change has only added fuel to the speculation. However, he may not be alone.
PW Torch VIP (via Wrestling News) reports that numerous AEW wrestlers view Vince McMahon’s hasty exit as a “positive development”. Additionally, many of those with expiring deals or unhappy situations now see WWE as a viable option.
Previously, with McMahon in charge, this was not the case. Because of the large roster at AEW, some may try and jump ship to WWE for more frequent bookings.
Tony Khan may have to act quickly in order to avoid a mass exodus from his federation.
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