It’s been one wild ride after another in pro wrestling over the last month, with Sasha Banks and Naomi walking out of WWE, MJF working everything into a shoot or shooting everything into a work, and of course, Stephanie McMahon’s leave of absence from WWE. And if the rumors of McMahon now being buried on her way out of WWE weren’t enough for you, hold onto your seats for this twist.
Dave Meltzer in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter provided some more information on McMahon’s departure, noting she had been looking at leaving WWE for months before she announced a leave of absence. Once she decided to depart, McMahon approached her father, WWE chairman Vince McMahon, who then got the ball rolling on potential corporate changes, though he was apparently shocked by his daughter’s decision.
The real twist came immediately after however, with Meltzer reporting that more and more sources had brought up to him the possible influence WWE’s ongoing antitrust lawsuit with MLW may have had on McMahon’s departure. Fans will note that WWE was sued by MLW in January of 2022, alleging WWE persuaded FOX to nix a streaming deal with streaming service Tubi TV (owned by FOX). Updates on the case have continued to pour in ever since.
What does Stephanie McMahon have to do with that lawsuit? Many who have read it will recall that McMahon was singled out as the individual who reached out to FOX to try and end the agreement between MLW and Tubi TV. The lawsuit alleged that McMahon threatened FOX with the possibility of losing WWE if the MLW/Tubi deal wasn’t ended; MLW further alleged the agreement was then terminated the night before it was to be announced.
Whether the ongoing lawsuit was the major influence on McMahon stepping away or is just Meltzer’s sources speculating is unknown. Meltzer, as he has in the past week, noted again that something had changed regarding McMahon’s relationship with WWE, as she had been voted to WWE’s Board of Directors just before her leave of absence. She remains on the board to date.
Despite the less than flattering reports of McMahon that have emerged in the past week, Stephanie still appears to be loyal to the promotion. Earlier on Friday, she tweeted at her husband Triple H, who still works in the WWE office, regarding potential talent recruits for WWE.