Nick Khan was a recent guest of the Bill Simmons podcast and he discussed Vince McMahon’s return to WWE, among other things. Khan also spoke about a potential sale of the company. You can read highlights of his comments below:
Vince returning to WWE: “From the inside, it’s not that insane to me. But it’s also, you know, the word ‘insider.’ When you’re on the inside, you see things that may be coming. My thought was that there’s only one boss in the company, and that ain’t me. Vince is obviously the founder, creator of the company. He’s also the controlling shareholder. So I think it was always my point of view, always Stephanie’s point of view, at some point, he would come back.
“I think the way he played it, to me was smart in that he went away for five, six months. Which people, meaning the audience, seems to like when somebody does that. And he came back and took control back of his company as the controlling shareholder. So it is the public’s company, it’s a publicly traded company. But with that controlling share, [it] gave him a lot of authority. And he used it, and I applaud him for doing so.”
Was he surprised Vince returned: “No, no. That’s Vince. Anyone who knows him who thought with a tweet — because I think he tweeted, ‘Hey, I’m 77 now, time for me to call it a day’ or something to that effect. Anyone who believed that was permanent didn’t know him. That was never going to happen. But I’m appreciative of the fact that he gave it the five, six months, let the dust settle a little bit. And then coming back in the way that he’s come back.”
The notion that the Board ‘forced’ Vince to step down: “I didn’t see it as a force. I think Vince saw sort of the tonnage of things that were coming at him and us. And he thought — one thing he’s always said, and you know this as a long time fan, he’ll do whatever is best for business. And I think at that moment… he saw what was best for business was for him to step away for a while, so he did.
“And he really did step away. So there was no, ‘Hey, why are you doing this?’ or ‘I wouldn’t do it that way.’ It was in my opinion, total freedom to Stephanie, myself, and Triple H on the creative side. It’s only been a week [since he returned], but he really — I believe what he said publicly about ‘Hey, I’m here to engage in strategic alternatives and the media rights.’ So far the engagement has been that, and other board issues. And zero [on creative or the like]. None.”
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