The Vince McMahon, John Laurinaitis situations are not going away any time soon.
In addition to lawsuits, Federal investigations were revealed for the former WWE owner and his longtime crony Laurinaitis. Fightful Select was told earlier this week by longtime employees that they personally expected McMahon to be eventually charged, because "if the feds raided Vince and got his phone, they'll almost surely find something."
Fightful has spoken with a number of people within the industry, at least one of which claims they know more people involved. They've been contacted by reporters, attorneys and the like already, and have indicated that if the additional names involved aren't identified, they'll do it themselves.
Fightful has spoken with multiple mainstream outlets that are looking to navigate the wrestling landscape and collect info, and we've provided some of that to them upon request.
A longtime employee of WWE says that they don't even believe that this lawsuit is "the worst of it," pointing to higher settlements. Fightful can confirm that other potential victims have been identified and contacted by attorneys and media outlets to see if they want to take action.
Laurinaitis himself has turned on Vince McMahon, in what one person who referred to themselves as a longtime former friend of Laurinaitis called "rats jumping off of the sinking ship." Laurinaitis attorney has reached out to several in the industry in what many believe is his team trying to find allies, or find out who has talked to who to help gauge his best options moving forward.
There's still heavy speculation over the source of the original Wall Street Journal leaks, with some thinking it could have been Grant, and others believing it was high up in WWE. It was also noted that WSJ was able to contact names that many would not have even been publicly aware worked for WWE. It is believed that TKO became very aware of the mess on their hands after the merger, and one source believes they would have handled the rollout much differently had they been aware something like this was imminent. However, they were very aware as of last week when McMahon was present at the NYSE regarding the Netflix deal.
No talent that we've spoken to have had a wide talent meeting, or claimed they've been briefed on the situation at hand. Instead, the reactions that we're hearing is that it appears higher ups want to move on past Vince McMahon and put him in the rearview. There are talent we've heard from that believe Vince McMahon is delusional enough to try to work his way back into some kind of role. However, it has been reiterated to several talent that Vince McMahon was done, and has no path to returning to the company. WWE is largely attempting to disassociate.
Though Brock Lesnar was not identified in the suit, he was referenced. Since then, his creative has been halted, he was not brought into Tampa, did not work the Royal Rumble, is not working Elimination Chamber against Dominik Mysterio as planned, or working with Gunther at WrestleMania as planned. There are no creative plans at play for Brock Lesnar at this moment. It was relayed to Fightful that this doesn't mean we'll never see him again, as that situation isn't as cut and dry as others.
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