The 2024 WWE Royal Rumble was capped off by Cody Rhodes winning the big match for the second year in a row. It was a momentous accomplishment that was overshadowed by a dark cloud hanging over the weekend. Late this past week, the Wall Street Journal wrote a report detailing many of the depraved allegations former WWE employee Janel Grant has lobbed at Vince McMahon. In light of those allegations, McMahon has resigned from all his WWE positions and is no longer directly associated with the company.
At the WWE Royal Rumble press conference, I asked Rhodes, as a former pro wrestling executive, what his reaction to the allegations against McMahon was and what changes could be made within the industry to prevent these sorts of things from happening again.
“It’s a great question,” he began. “I know, as far as the news is concerned, we were finding it out and reading the same things that you guys were reading. You said a dark cloud, certainly. As far as TKO, Nick Khan and the Board clearly took it very seriously and acted immediately. Looking at the future, you know, I don’t know the answer to that, and I think somewhere is probably a very basic tenet of just: this crew, more than ever from a roster standpoint, is very family. Never seen anything like this. Most of the time, wrestling locker rooms are fighting, talking trash about each other, making fun of each other, sandbagging each other in the ring, all that nonsense.
“This crew is very team-based, and perhaps that’s the ingredient: everyone is looking out for everyone. Being accountable. For me as a performer and competitor, I’ve been through dark periods in our industry before, and it might sound cheesy, but it’s very reinforcing, if you’re in my position, that it’s [now] a time when ‘Hey, we got 50,000 people out here, I want to give them something else from this weekend that isn’t a terrible situation and terrible news.’ I think we were able to do that, and obviously, as more news comes out, we’ll be seeing it just like you do.”
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