Ari Emanuel Reportedly Pressured Vince McMahon To Resign Personally

Just days after being accused of sexual abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and more by former WWE employee Janel Grant, Vince McMahon resigned from his position as Executive Chairman of TKO Group Holdings. While McMahon continues to deny any wrongdoing, it has since been reported that he is under investigation by federal authorities relating not just to the accusations made by Grant, but by several women accusing him of misconduct who have been in touch over the last few months.

Now a new report has provided some insight into what led to McMahon’s resignation behind the scenes. The Hollywood Reporter reports that the day after the lawsuit was filed, the 78-year-old was called by TKO CEO Ari Emanuel as well as President and COO Mark Shapiro. During that call, it’s said Emanuel and Shapiro pushed that it was in the best interests of TKO as a company that he resign from his position. McMahon is reported to have agreed which led to his official resignation later that night.

As to what led Emanuel and Shapiro to pressure McMahon to distance himself from TKO, Slim Jim pausing their WWE promotional activities in the wake of the lawsuit is said to have been the catalyst. The report notes that Endeavor’s aim with WWE is to grow its sponsorships, a move that has found them great success with UFC, and that McMahon being a part of the company was counter-productive to that strategy. Specifically, he was seen as a deterrent to potential future sponsorships, an idea that Slim Jim proved when they reversed their decision after McMahon’s resignation was announced.

In addition, the report also notes that both senior leadership within TKO and company talent were taken by surprise by the graphic details and accusations that featured in the lawsuit against McMahon. It went on to reference Cody Rhodes’ response to allegations when Haus of Wrestling‘s own Nick Hausman questioned him about them at the WWE Royal Rumble post-show press conference.