It’s officially October and that means things are supposed to get scary. You can make all the Roman Reigns jokes you want and talk about everything else that might bother you at the moment about wrestling, but if you want to get really scary, you go to the unknown. What might happen when something happens? Since you don’t know for sure, things can be a little bit scary. That’s what we’re going to be doing today, and it’s about as big of a change as you can get in wrestling.

Back in 1982, Vince McMahon bought control of the Capitol Wrestling Corporation from his father Vince McMahon Sr. The younger McMahon quickly turned into the biggest and most influential force in wrestling history, completely revolutionizing the wrestling business and taking it national and then global. The WWE has gone from a regional promotion to a worldwide juggernaut and the biggest, most powerful wrestling company ever.

He did things like this.

Mr. McMahon ushers in the Attitude Era

During the entire time, McMahon has been in charge of everything and, while some people might not agree with some of the things he does (myself certainly included), there is no doubt that he’s also had incredible success, the likes of which no one else in wrestling history has approached, let alone surpassed. McMahon is still in charge of WWE to this day and that’s not likely to change until the day he dies.

So what happens when he does die?

As you probably know, McMahon is 73 years old. That’s pretty far beyond when any normal person would have retired and there’s a very good chance that he’s not going to be around in ten to fifteen years (I know it’s rather morbid, but that’s just being realistic). When that happens, a lot of things are going to change in the wrestling business and the question is where things are going to go from here.

The thing is, there’s almost no way of knowing. McMahon has been the force behind the WWE for over thirty five years now and since he’s been the boss, no one else has ever really been in charge. He’s the one who has the final say and flat out owns the company, so where do things go after him? Of course the company is going to stay in the McMahon Family…right?

Are we sure about that? I know it will at first with people like Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and Linda McMahon still owning most of the stock, but will they always want to keep it in the family? If there’s one thing you can almost guarantee about Vince McMahon, it’s that he’s going to hang on to WWE until it’s pried from his cold, dead fingers. But will his successors feel the same way?

And he can win himself some matches.

5 Superstars Mr. McMahon defeated: 5 Things

As I’m writing this (which is actually in August due to needing some of these for when I’m on vacation), WWE stock is selling at about $80 a share. According to (, as of December 2016, Linda McMahon owned .7% of the shares in the company, or 566,070 shares. Stephanie McMahon owns 2.5%, which would equate to about 1,981,000 shares (using some rather loose math and rounding). At the current price, that would equate to just shy of $160 MILLION in stock.

How many people are going to be willing to turn down a nine figure payoff to get out of the business? When Vince McMahon dies, there’s a good reason to believe that his wife and children will inherit his stock. Are they going to want to stick around? Or are they going to want to cash in and get what is quite likely billions of dollars? That’s a very tempting offer and if the right offer comes along, the company could very easily leave the McMahon Family.

But for the sake of argument, let’s say the family keeps it for the foreseeable future. How well is the company going to do? We know that Vince McMahon can push a company up the corporate ladder and knows how to keep it at the top but will his successor? The main person who seems to be following in Vince McMahons footsteps is Triple H. How is he going to do as a boss though?

They work well together.

Triple H and the McMahons attack Legacy: Raw, March 30, 2009

There’s a very big difference between being a great wrestler and being a great businessman. Look at some of the wrestling geniuses who have founded their own companies and gone under because of not being able to overcome bad business (Jim Cornette) or just not been good at business in the first place (Paul Heyman). Triple H has far greater resources at his disposal, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to succeed with them.

Will the stock holders and Board of Directors allow Triple H, who has no experience running an international business like WWE, stick around as the top man? Highly unlikely, as they’re going to want a businessman in charge of things. As Cornette once said, “How do you ruin wrestling? Just add suits.” Do you think a corporate CEO who has probably never watched wrestling a day in their life is going to run a wrestling company like a wrestler? Is that new boss going to let things run the way Vince McMahon did? Well just look at WCW’s history with corporate bosses and see how the results came out.

Then there’s the question that most fans probably care about: how are things going to look on TV? While WWE is going to have a television home for decades to come merely due to the rabid fanbase being willing to follow them anywhere, the question becomes what they’ll be seeing. At the end of the day, Vince McMahon has the final say on everything you see on Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live and every other show. In other words, WWE is his vision of what professional wrestling is supposed to look like. What happens when you have a different vision?

There’s a lot more to it than that too. You have the booking, the training, the look of the shows (sets, graphics, presentation etc.) and what the big ideas are for the company. I’m sure there will be a transitional period of a few years (at least) where it’s basically the same thing, but what happens when Vince McMahon’s ideas start to die off and someone replaces them? Of course it depends on who will be in charge behind and in front of the scenes, but it could be drastically different.

Hopefully it ends better than this.

Mr. McMahon's stages his own demise in a limousine explosion

And what if the fans don’t like it? Love it or hate it, the Vince McMahon style of booking has been a great success over the years and the masses have flocked to it. If you have a style catering to the more hardcore fans, will WWE still be able to maintain this level of dominance? Or do they find something completely different that somehow exceeds even what Vince McMahon has done so well already? It’s a huge can of worms to open, and that could go multiple ways.

I could go into all kinds of details and down different paths but this has to stop somewhere. There’s a whole new wrestling world out there to explore and Vince McMahon won’t be a part of it. You can’t even begin to accurately predict what things mean, and while it may be a good thing, it could also be a very scary time for wrestling and wrestling fans. Or it’ll be fine.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2003 Smackdown Reviews.

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