Twitter Is Abuzz About The Suspicious Timing Of Vince McMahon's Retirement

Vince McMahon is retiring as the chairman and CEO of WWE — and people have a whole lot to say about it. "I am extremely confident in the continued success of WWE, and I leave our company in the capable hands of an extraordinary group of Superstars, employees, and executives — in particular, both Chairwoman and Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon and Co-CEO Nick Khan," Vince said in a statement on July 22, per WWE, confirming that his daughter and the WWE president would be taking over his role. He added in the statement that he would remain the majority stakeholder and continue to support the franchise despite stepping back from his current roles. He also tweeted, "At 77, time for me to retire. Thank you, WWE Universe. Then. Now. Forever. Together."

Vince suggested his age may have had something to do with his decision to cut back his responsibilities, though his statement came after Vince initially stepped back from his roles as chairman and CEO following a bombshell July report from The Wall Street Journal. That time though, he retained his job as the head of the creative side of WWE, per CNBC, while investigations were made into allegations he'd allegedly paid out millions to former employees for them to keep quiet about a supposed inappropriate sexual behavior. ESPN claimed that step back was apparently "done for optics."

And now Vince has announced a more impactful step down, social media was ablaze with speculation.

Why did Vince McMahon really step down?

Vince McMahon's statement sent Twitter into full on sleuthing mode, with plenty of social media users noting the obvious timing of his decision to step down — mere days after The Wall Street Journal's exposé on the wrestling legend was published. "Retire good way of putting more like at 77 and countless allegations of sexual misconduct and hush money," one person tweeted, while another speculated, "That shows you how serious the allegations are. This is clearly a forced retirement."

Others pointed out the difficulties some WWE fans had expressing their gratitude for Vince's many years of work amid the shocking allegations made against him. "Vince McMahon made pro wrestling what it is today. It's a shame that thanking him feels so inappropriate. Not only because he remains the WWE's majority shareholder, but also because his creative legacy is tainted by sexual assault allegations and mass exploitation of employees," tweeted wrestling journalist Reece Kelley Graham.

It's not known exactly how much the allegations really influenced Vince's decision to leave his roles behind, though his daughter and replacement, Stephanie McMahon, had nothing but praise for her dad while appearing at WWE's Friday Night SmackDown on July 22, mere hours after Vince announced his departure. "Vince had the opportunity to thank us. I think this is the moment that we take to thank him," she told the audience from the ring, before leading them in a chant of "Thank you, Vince."