Vince McMahon stepped away from the business he purchased from his father and helped grow exponentially into one of the biggest enterprises in the world; this was a number of weeks ago, he making the announcement on Twitter.
It has been since then that the product has progressed in quality with the creative department passed onto his son-in-law, Triple H. As I’ve stated in a previous piece, the product is now night and day from where it was.
McMahon claimed that it was time to step away, of course not addressing the allegations. Since the Wall Street Journal first broke the news about hush money paid out to a variety of women that were employed by the company for sexual favors and/or continued services.
John Laurinaitis, who was also accused of being passed a female like an object or rather as reports had claimed: ‘like a toy,’ was reportedly quietly let go earlier this week as reports also have shown.
But McMahon’s retirement wasn’t all about stepping away because it was time. That is very clear now. The allegations have gotten more serious and now two more women have come forward…these employees from 2007, 2009.
The amount discovered by the SEC is now reportedly $5 million in that instance and in total the numbers for these pay-offs has increased to a total of 19.6 million, according to Variety.
WWE stated early in this ordeal that they would conduct an investigation by a special committee of the board to look into the allegations, disclosing financial records, as they are doing, and all to get to the bottom of what transpired. They have followed through on that front.
The SEC filing reads as follows:
On June 17, 2022, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (the “Company”) and its Board of Directors announced that a special committee of independent members of the Board of Directors (the “Special Committee”) was conducting an investigation into alleged misconduct by the Company’s former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Vincent K. McMahon, who resigned from all positions held with the Company on July 22, 2022 but remains a stockholder with a controlling interest, and another executive, who is also no longer with the Company. On July 25, 2022, the Company announced that it has made a preliminary determination that certain payments that Vince McMahon agreed to make during the period from 2006 through 2022 (including amounts paid and payable in the future totaling $14.6 million) were not appropriately recorded as expenses in the Company’s consolidated financial statements. Since that time, the Company has determined that two additional payments totaling $5.0 million, unrelated to the allegations that led to the Special Committee investigation, that Mr. McMahon made in 2007 and 2009 should have been recorded in the Company’s consolidated financial statements. Together, these unrecorded expenses total $19.6 million (the “Unrecorded Expenses”). The Company has evaluated the Unrecorded Expenses and has determined that such amounts should have been recorded as expenses in each of the periods in which they became probable and estimable. All payments underlying the Unrecorded Expenses were or will be paid by Mr. McMahon personally. The Special Committee investigation remains ongoing.
Although the Company continues to evaluate the impact of the Unrecorded Expenses on previously issued financial statements, the Company has preliminarily determined that the amount of Unrecorded Expenses was not material in any individual period in which the Unrecorded Expenses arose, but that the aggregate amount of Unrecorded Expenses would be material if recorded entirely in the second quarter of 2022. Accordingly, the Company currently anticipates that it will revise its previously issued financial statements to record the Unrecorded Expenses in the applicable periods for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021, as well as the first quarter of 2022, when it issues its financial statements for the second quarter of 2022. In light of the Unrecorded Expenses and related facts thereto, the Company also expects to conclude that its disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting were not effective as a result of one or more material weaknesses. The Company continues to evaluate the appropriate accounting treatment for the Unrecorded Expenses, as well as its disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting, and its ultimate conclusions on these topics may differ from what the Company currently anticipates.
The Company has also received, and may receive in the future, regulatory, investigative and enforcement inquiries, subpoenas or demands arising from, related to, or in connection with these matters.
As a result of the circumstances described above, the Company is unable to file, without unreasonable effort and expense, its Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2022 (the “Report”). The Company currently anticipates that it will file the Report within the five day extension period provided under Rule 12b-25 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, but there can be no assurance that it will be able to do so. The Company provided preliminary estimates of certain financial results that it expects to report for the quarter ended June 30, 2022 in a Current Report on Form 8-K filed on July 25, 2022 (SEC File No. 001-16131).
As far as being forced to retire, the question was brought up to The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer as he spoke to Pix 11 News, Dave said the following:
“He was forced to retire, yeah…these allegations were already out by that point and he was very defiant…too many things started popping up and the SEC investigation, the federal probe…it was just felt that he had to be out….he would not have left if it did not have to happen.”via Dave Meltzer on Pix 11 News (Transcribed by D. Marinelli for Pro Wrestling News Hub)