When word got out last Friday that Triple H assured the WWE roster that he still had final say on all creative after his father-in-law Vince McMahon’s return to the company, a lot of people expressed skepticism.
Many of us have first hand experience with an employer telling us “not to believe the rumors” after management or ownership changes such as the ones we’ve seen at WWE over the past couple weeks — only to have the rumors come true shortly thereafter. Heck, by the time Trips held his meeting, his wife Stephanie McMahon had already resigned just days after assuring employees the leadership structure wouldn’t change after Vince’s return from a brief, scandal-forced retirement. We’d heard rumors that Vince wanted to reclaim creative, and were about to get word he was offering (negative, natch) feedback to several departments despite assurances he was solely focused on a potential sale of the company.
So, you probably won’t be too surprised to hear that people backstage at WWE expect McMahon to start showing up at Raw and SmackDown before too long. At least, that’s what Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer’s heard:
“He hasn’t gotten into creative yet as far as I know, but... of all of the things that were said between what Vince said when he came back, and what the company said and everything — it’s only been a little over a week, and everything has changed probably even more rapidly than I expected it, with Stephanie leaving and Vince is at the office — he hasn’t been to TV yet, but I say probably yet. Is he going to go on TV? I don’t know. There’s certainly rumors running around that he will.
“I’ve asked people, and they wouldn’t be surprised, but it’s not like there’s a date, like is he gonna be on a week from Monday? Is he going to be at the Rumble, or whatever? Who knows, but there’s that feeling that Vince is gonna want to go out on TV, and he’ll get the big reaction when he does. But he is in the office, he is talking about things other than the sale, and I think there’ll probably be more and more Vince fingerprints as time goes on. As far as creative goes, it just depends on — who knows? If Vince wants it, he’ll work to get it.”
In the Observer’s Daily Update for Sun., Jan. 15, Meltzer also confirms reporting from Ringside News about the elder McMahon’s return to the office, which included “a tenured member of the WWE team” telling the controversial site that:
”[Vince] brought back Brad Blum, his Chief of Staff, too, who had just been let go about a month and a half ago.”
It’s true that almost all of what we’re reading about the inner workings of WWE these days is essentially gossip. But it’s also true that everything that’s been confirmed since Vince’s official return was announced on Jan. 6 has involved his amassing more power (not that he ever truly lost it with 81% of voting stock in his possession).
Will that end where the doomsayers think it will? Or will the folks telling the wrestling community to relax be proven right?
Time will tell. Expect these kind of reports to keep coming out fairly regularly until we know for sure.