McGuire’s Mondays: We can’t stop talking about Vince McMahon


By Colin McGuire, Staffer

“We can’t stop talking about it.”

I wrote that three weeks ago. Three weeks ago. That’s all. Three weeks. It was in regard to AEW, Chris Jericho and allegations of sexual misconduct that were swirling around one of the company’s biggest names. The premise was simple: We can’t stop talking about the dark underbelly of pro wrestling because if we stop talking about it, the normalization of the disgusting way women are treated in the industry will be just that: Normalized. Accepted. Unchanged. Here’s what I said:

“It’s irresponsible if we stop talking about it. I’m not saying we demand anything from anyone who has ever suffered from abuse. I’m not saying victims should feel pressured to share their stories. I’m not saying survivors should be subjected to any comment from anybody who has anything to say about situations like these – disgusting alleged situations that call into question the morals of men in power and the atmospheres that subliminally enable them. I’m just saying we can’t stop talking about it. Because if we stop talking about it, these types of stories, rumors, accusations and everything else in between will become even more normalized than they are now. And that’s unacceptable.”

Enter Vince McMahon.

Or, more accurately, re-enter Vince McMahon. We knew about his misdeeds, we knew about his abhorrent behavior, we knew about the accusations, the hush money, all of it. What we didn’t know was what came out in a Wall Street Journal article published last week. No, I’m not going to get into the details here and yes, if you haven’t read it or heard about it by now, but you want to see what the fuss is about, here is your warning to proceed at your own risk. It’s gruesome, uncomfortable and a thousand other words that can be easily associated with “evil.”

Just as evil? Paul Levesque, WWE’s Chief Content Officer. After Saturday’s Royal Rumble, he claimed he hadn’t read the latest sex trafficking lawsuit filed against his father-in-law. He also made sure everyone stayed positive – because, you know, a sold out baseball stadium is far more important than a life’s worth of trauma bestowed upon a woman. There’s no way Levesque didn’t know about the things McMahon did. There’s no way he didn’t know the Wall Street journal article was coming down the pike. There’s no way the rest of the company didn’t know these things were going to be made public one way or another by the time they were made public. Cue the announcement of the Netflix deal. Cue The Rock joining TKO’s board. Flood the airwaves with the good knowing the bad is looming.

It’s hard to find words anymore. The WSJ piece ran four days ago. McMahon quietly stepped down from his post Friday night, in the middle of a SmackDown episode. Cody and Bayley won their respective Royal Rumble matches. It’s Monday. Wrestling fans are more concerned with when The Rock vs. Roman Reigns is going to happen than they are with the allegation that McMahon groomed a young woman to ostensibly be his sex slave for the last four years. I don’t know what to say. I don’t even know that anyone’s reading, anyone cares, anyone is bothered by any of this anymore.

It’s not like I’m saying anything profound and it’s not like I have anything intelligent to add to the conversation. It’s pretty cut-and-dry. This is shameful. Unforgivable. Wretched. Some of the absolute worst of the human kind. I could go on and on and on. I could rant like I ranted three weeks ago, feeling even more like the old man yelling at the clouds as they refuse to either acknowledge or listen. At this point, the system is so broken, it feels hopeless. Years – decades – of this nonsense and as the details trickle out now, we are left having to believe that we don’t even know the half of it. Shoot, we don’t know a quarter of it. We hardly know anything. If we think this is the worst of the details, we’re wrong. There are secrets that will be taken to graves, cover-ups that will never be illuminated.

So, I don’t know. I said we can’t stop talking about it, so I’m not going to stop talking about it. A difference might not be made and it’s the tiniest of tiny gestures to try and hold an entire industry accountable, but brushing it away on account of it being WrestleMania season goes beyond the pale of irresponsibility. It’s getting harder and harder to feel OK sitting down to watch some wrestling these days, knowing these shadows are there, knowing there has been an ugly level of acceptance that stains the entire operation, no matter the company.

Levesque is a liar.

McMahon is a monster.

WWE is too big to fail.

None of those sentences felt good to write.

But we can’t turn a blind eye to this. Because for the second time in the span of a month, I’m typing these words on a pro wrestling website: Even if you’re ready to just move on from yet another abuse rumor because you’ve become immune to accusations. Even if you’re tired of reading about it and even if I’m tired of writing about it. Let’s please agree on one thing …

We cannot. And I repeat. We cannot. Stop talking about it. Not until tangible changes are seen. Not until full – and I mean full – accountability is had. At this point, it’s the least we can do.


Readers Comments (5)

  1. McMahon, Dana White, Ari Emanuel: three of a kind.

    Those corporate officers who enabled the abuse need to be held accountable, wherever their golden parachute has landed them.

    I applaud the defedant for suing. Money is all these people understand.

  2. There’s no way HHH didn’t know? Absolutely no way? It is very possible that he didn’t know everything that happened. Was he aware of something. I can’t see how he wouldn’t know at least something was happening. But to judge and condemn him so blatantly, guaranteeing that your opinion is absolute fact, I just have no words for that.

    I’m not defending him. Or anyone else involved. But my opinion is just that. It’s my opinion. There’s no guarantee that”m right about anything ever. But it’s still my opinion. HHH responded in the way he was probably instructed to respond (which wouldn’t be any better, but again, that’s just my opinion).

    Also, keep in mind that the WWE is comprised of far more people who are innocent in this whole situation than the people who are guilty. What affects the COMPANY affects the lives of thousands of employees and their families.

    Vince McMahon and those involved in this ordeal are evil to the core. Their despicable actions should not be forgotten. It’s should be big news everywhere. They deserve to go through hell over this for the rest of their lives. But don’t condemn the innocent for something that MANY of them had no freaking clue.

    • I took that line as Colin feeling that Levesque had to learn about what was going on at some point, not that he was aware and turning a blind eye all along. The company conducted its own investigation. Levesque and the others voted against Vince returning. Levesque’s wife left the company when her father returned. I think it’s safe to assume that Levesque became aware of what was going on, even if he didn’t know the specifics that came out in the lawsuit.

  3. I won’t ever get tired of reading about it. When I read this kind of stuff, the first thought that goes through my mind is “how can someone do this to someone else’s daughter?” 🙁 that’s a human right there.

    The only thing I don’t agree on is HHH is a liar, I don’t fully believe that one bit.

    • I mean, a guy who approved a storyline about his daughter getting drugged, abducted, manipulated into being married, and then making that storyline perp a major player in his biz, being involved in real life abuse? Say it ain’t so…

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