The WWE is a company with a storied past, one that has captivated millions of people over the past five decades. Sure there have been some missteps during that time, but fans have always hung with Vince McMahon and company through thick and thin. Now that McMahon is in his 70s, many have questioned his ability to efficiently run the billion dollar company. While outside opinions will never dictate the inner workings of the WWE board room, a real conversation must be brewing internally about who should be running the show in Stamford, Connecticut.
Currently there are only three heirs to the WWE kingdom; Vince's son Shane McMahon, Vince's daughter Stephanie McMahon, and Vince's son in-law Paul "Triple H" Levesque. Oh, and let's not forget that Vince McMahon is still alive and well, and will most likely die before relinquishing power. While a case could be made for any of these four running the WWE, in the end there can only be on boss of the company. Today we will look at four arguments why each of the previously mentioned candidates should assume power of the WWE.
As always feel free to let us know your opinion in the comments section.
16 Vince McMahon: For Every Miss, He Gets A Hit
Vince McMahon has made a ton of mistakes, like having a match with God, or making Hornswoggle the anonymous RAW General Manager. But for every one one of those terrible ideas, we get great things like WrestleMania, or the Attitude Era. Sure in his older age, Vince has lost some touch with the current wave of pop culture and technology, but this is still the guy whose idea it was to create the WWE Network - a service that has revolutionized premium streaming content. Some may argue that Vince has always had help in creating many of the ideas that we have come to love, but keep in mind that prior to the Ruthless Aggression Era, the Chairman of WWE wrote every storyline himself. Additionally Vince has served as the filter for a writers room, in which countless bad ideas have been snuffed before they started.
15 Shane McMahon: Natural Babyface
Serving as the opposite of his sister, Shane McMahon is a natural fan favorite. Even when Shane was running heel during the Attitude Era, most fans couldn’t help but love the fourth generation McMahon. His antics in the ring during his sporadic matches, led to respect outside of it from wrestlers and the WWE Universe alike. When Shane returned to the family business in 2016, things hadn’t changed, with Shane receiving a five minute long ovation from the crowd, and one of the biggest pops in years. The celebration was for good reason too, as Shane was speaking as a surrogate for the bored WWE audience. Since then Shane O’Mac has been on a hot streak with the crowd, and if he took over the company, chances are they would give him more slack than any other person on this list.
14 Stephanie McMahon: Natural Heel
Stephanie McMahon is arguably the most hated heel in the WWE of the past 15 years, and it makes sense, as her father is her main competition for that title. In fact, it’s safe to say that on this list, Stephanie might play the best heel on camera. That heel boss persona is a necessary evil for the WWE moving forward, especially to work as a foil against the “good guy” bosses in the WWE. The Billion Dollar Princess is currently the only heel authority figure in the WWE, with Shane McMahon being loved by the SmackDown crowd, and Triple H sitting as a “tweener”, and Vince being gone from television for long periods of time.
In case you doubt the effectiveness of a dominant heel authority figure, just think to your fondness of Eric Bischoff running WCW, and Mr. McMahon running WWE during the Attitude Era.
13 Triple H: Relates To Workers
Triple H was a wrestling fan, who became a wrestler, who became a creative advisor, who became a WWE corporate employee. Triple H’s resume isn’t just impressive, but critical to the role of leader of the WWE. Not only can The Game relate to executives in the board room, but he can also put himself into the shoes of wrestlers. While Vince McMahon grew up in the business, and wrestled in his fair share of matches, one thing he has never been, is a wrestler. By understanding the needs and frustrations of the in-ring talent, Triple H can effectively make changes on the corporate side of things, which should in turn benefit the wrestlers. This new mindset could set the company up to finally have a synergy between both groups, which should benefit the company and fans.
12 Vince McMahon: He Created It
Imagine creating something from the ground up, cultivating it from an idea, to a multi-billion dollar empire; would you be willing just to give that up? Be honest, could you really see yourself willfully handing over the reigns to another person while you still felt that you were capable of running things? Chances are if you are being true to yourself the answer is no, and you have fallen into the same category as Vince McMahon in regards to the WWE. Now is his reluctance to relinquish power in the company he started right? Of course not, but that doesn’t mean the feeling isn’t warranted. Vince McMahon’s life is wrestling, and if didn’t have a death grip on the product, chances are he wouldn’t know what to do with himself in the real world.
11 Shane McMahon: Keeps McMahon Patriarch Alive
This may be a trivial entry, but Shane McMahon is a fourth generation McMahon in wrestling. His three sons, who were prominently displayed during Shane’s WrestleMania entrance, make up the fifth generation of men who are named McMahon. Besides the obvious historical value of keeping WWE run by a McMahon, having Shane run the show opens up a new generational power struggle. We often see storylines rehashed, and this idea is no different, as the three new McMahons could easily team up against their father claiming that his ways are outdated in a few years.
As a side note, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have three daughters, and while they could also fit into this idea, they do not keep the McMahon name alive, all having Levesque as a surname.
10 Stephanie McMahon: Keeps Women In Forefront
In the beginning of WWE’s Women’s Revolution, fans were skeptical at best that the WWE would actually put an increased focus on the floundering Women’s Division. But true to their word, WWE not only increased the number of women wrestlers, but has also multiplied the amount of screen time women are getting by leaps and bounds. It can be argued that fans were the crux of the movement, but a real argument can be made that Stephanie McMahon deserves just as much credit.
The role of women has continued to evolve in the WWE, not only on a performer side, but on the corporate side as well. By being one of the main cogs that keeps the WWE machine running, Stephanie leads the women by example, and ensures that a female voice will always be present to represent the women of the company.
9 Triple H: He Can Spot Talent
Paul “Triple H’” Levesque's legitimate role as the Executive Vice President of Talent for WWE has brought fans the best showing of wrestling talent since Jim Ross held the position in the mid 90s. Since he took on talent relations, Triple H has brought independent talents like Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Sasha Banks, Paige, Apollo Crews, Sami Zayn, Samoa Joe, and the list goes on and on.
Besides Crews, most of the people just listed don’t have the traditional “WWE look”, but Triple H has helped to not only feature these stars, but give them prominent roles on WWE programming. Triple H has actively started the culture change in WWE, where talent overrides looks, and in the process won over the WWE Universe with this new way of thinking.
8 Vince McMahon: He Is The Greatest Heel In The History Of Wrestling
Mr. McMahon may be the greatest heel in the history of wrestling, if not the greatest thing ever done in the industry. Although he doesn’t power walk to the ring as much as he used to back in the late 90s, Mr. McMahon’s legacy as a ruthless heel is now iconic in the WWE. Fans have been conditioned to boo McMahon, even if they weren’t alive during the era in which he was running rough shod over. Recently we saw that McMahon re-appeared on WWE programming during the WWE power struggle between his children. His wit was still on display, as the 71-year-old billionaire still knows how to work a crowd to his advantage while delivering a promo. Sure he’s old, but when he is good, he is the greatest.
7 Shane McMahon: Brings Back Old Viewers
Ironically enough, when Shane McMahon left the WWE in October of 2009, he was just one of many people to depart from the WWE. Sure his leave of absence was more of a practical quitting of the company, but many fans had given up on WWE’s tired storylines and vanilla product at that point in time. When Shane McMahon came back in 2016, he brought with him fans who were eager to relive the nostalgia of the WWE in the early 2000s. Making headline news in major publications, Shane’s return was one of the sparks that has lit the flame of the New Era. Now running SmackDown, Shane’s reemergence in the company has brought an increase of ratings, with the Tuesday night show actually competing with RAW in viewership. The battle in the ratings is one that hasn’t been this close since Shane was previously with the company… hmm, starting to see a pattern?
6 Stephanie McMahon: She Has More Flexibility
This may be a cheap entry, as Shane McMahon also possesses this trait, but Stephanie McMahon is so deeply rooted in this business that it’s almost destined for her to take over. Besides working for the WWE all of her life, the current Commissioner of RAW is married to a wrestler, and the daughter of a wrestling promoter. Unlike Shane McMahon who is basically creating relationships with new Superstars as he goes, Stephanie has history with many of the people on the roster, especially the women. Because of her pre-built onscreen relationships, the WWE has more room to build onto storylines for Stephanie, more so than anyone else on this list. And before you start saying “what about Triple H?”, remember that The Game works primarily in the main event scene, whereas Stephanie can work anywhere on the card.
5 Triple H: No More Scripts
During his interview with Steve Austin on the Stone Cold Podcast, Triple H admitted that he wasn’t a fan of scripted promos. In fact, he discourages his NXT talents from using full scripts, so that they can learn from their own mistakes. It’s this trial by fire that actually cultivates creativity and charisma in new talent, and a Triple H run WWE would ensure more spontaneity in promos. Scripted promos have proven to be the downfall for many new superstars in WWE, as those without a great memory often flub the lines given to them. Wouldn’t it be great for Roman Reigns not to ever use the phrase “Sufferin Succotash” again? Now obviously this small change is one that any of the McMahons could make, but Triple H has actually made strides in making it happen.
4 Vince McMahon: He Creates Balance
There is no denying that each person on this list has their own intentions and agendas for the future of the WWE, with Vince having ultimate say over what will happen for the company. The one benefit of this, is that McMahon gets to hear opinions from three of his most trusted family members, and use it as a tool to balance out his decisions. Instead of going on rated mature, he listens to Stephanie, and increases WWE’s community presence. Instead of ignoring the IWC, he listens to Shane and acknowledges the problems that the internet has with his company. And instead of hiring all bodybuilder wrestlers, he listens to Triple H and adds experienced globetrotting technicians to the WWE roster.
Conversely, allowing Vince to have final say over everything stops the WWE from pulling in each of the previously mentioned directions too much, creating an ultimate balance for the company.
3 Shane McMahon: He’s found success outside of wrestling
It’s easy to succeed in a business that has already been built to do well, as the wrestling industry has always maintained a solid fan base. When someone from the industry steps outside of the world of professional wrestling (in this case let’s say to start a new football league to compete with the NFL), things don’t always turn out as well. That is why when Shane McMahon left the WWE to pursue other ventures, many fans were skeptical of his probability of success. Shane proved many wrong by successfully starting a video on-demand service in China, which was the first of its kind in the region.
Additionally, Shane O’Mac represented golfer Rory McIlroy during his U.S. Open win in 2011, shortly after joining the Board of Directors for International Sports Management. Not only has Shane not failed outside the world of wrestling, he has thrived in every position he has taken on. This leads many to believe that his role as the head honcho in the WWE would lead to fantastic results for all.
2 Stephanie McMahon: Her Business Acumen (Social Media Too)
As the Chief Brand Officer for the WWE, Stephanie McMahon is the living embodiment of brand awareness. Besides being born into the business, and quite literally married to the business, her development of strategic partnerships have helped WWE become one of the leading forces in all of media. Besides being one of the top viewed YouTube channels in the world, WWE also boasts over half a billion social media followers thanks to the efforts of McMahon. Stephanie has solidified partnerships with the United States Armed Forces, children hospitals around the country, the Boys and Girls Club of America, KaBOOM, and various other philanthropic organizations. By securing these partnerships in the community, Stephanie is helping WWE integrate into the daily life of young people, thus ensuring the WWE lives on forever through the youth’s fandom.
This is quite a departure from a company that at one time was featuring women stripping live on television, but a change that has benefited the company greatly.
1 Triple H: NXT
The same way that you give a kid a beater car before giving them to the keys to yours, is what Vince McMahon did for Triple H in regards to NXT. Not only did Triple H sustain the performance center, but he has made NXT one of the best wrestling promotions in the world. The greatest part about NXT is its independence from WWE, refusing to use its parent company as a crutch to establish stars. Triple H doesn’t forsake WWE however, using NXT as the literal training ground for stars of the future. NXT Alumni have gone on record as stating that the Full Sail University arena is a mini version of WWE RAW, from the way the ramp is set up, to the placement of the hard camera. These are all features that Triple H developed from the ground up, so imagine what would happen if he had the entire WWE to play with.