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By Mike Johnson on 2022-01-06 10:00:00


All these releases yesterday...this has to be a Triple H revenge thing right?   Why would WWE just take a chainsaw to the entire WWE PC process and everything they've built?

You used the word "they" and you said "revenge."  I can't say with 100% certainty that it was done with revenge in mind but if you look at mostly everyone who was let go, it was important members of the team Triple H built during his regime in the company.  Now, whether you want to call it revenge for failing against AEW or revenge for not delivering talents who were "ready-made" to be dropped into the main roster or not, it's impossible not to look at what happened yesterday and not believe that Paul Levesque has lost a great deal of power within the company. 

As I was traveling to AEW last night, I became more and more stunned at how many staffers were being cut and in speaking to a lot (and a mean a lot) of current and former NXT talents and staff last night, it became more and more heartbreaking as they all knew it was the end of the place and the era that helped build their careers.  As far as why WWE would take that chainsaw and run it through the place, a lot of the decisions made in the company over the last several years have been directly related to cutting things down from a financial standpoint. 

My belief is that WWE saw a lot of staffers who had a lot of time invested there - like Ryan Katz, William Regal, etc. and who were making a good salary and decided, like a lot of corporations do, that they could expunge that from their financial ledgers and pay others less to do the same job.  With Paul Levesque out of power, he couldn't protect (or could no longer protect) the bubble he built in his vision.

It was a sad day.  I can tell you firsthand there were people in the company who rarely have empathy for others as they are out for themselves who were greatly shaken by what went down.

How do you let William Regal go?

I, like a lot of others, love William Regal, but who hasn't WWE let go at some point despite everything they've brought to the company?  With all due respect to how great Regal is, the second you start there, there is a countdown clock ticking for your departure.  He had an amazing run there and gifted so many with opportunities.  I liken him to Jim Ross in that regard in that he opened the door for so many to have the chance to get onto the WWE stage, but we saw how the company treated Jim Ross over the years - and THAT'S the guy that signed The Rock, Steve Austin, Mick Foley, etc. to WWE.  Regal's departure, perhaps more than anyone, told the tale to everyone across the board that no one is truly safe and should assume they will have a job for life.  The basic reaction, across many people I spoke with yesterday and told is that if Regal could be dismissed, what hope did they have of a long career there?  WWE put a lot of fear in the hearts of talents and staffers yesterday.

Triple H had a heart attack or a cardiac event or whatever they want to call it, so how is any of this supposed to be helping him get back to work?

I don't know.  I have said countless times on audio that if I am Paul Levesque and I see that they've destroyed my vision and my path to power as head of the company one day is obviously muddied, at the least, perhaps it's time I just go enjoy my family and sit on a lake in New Hampshire.  No matter how much he loves the business, some things are just not worth the stress if it's going to ruin your health, because that's all you've got at the end of the day.  Health and family are what's important.  There were a few in the company who theorized to me that eventually Levesque might just disappear, but I wouldn't state unequivocally that I believe that will happen.  His entire life is wrapped up in the DNA of the company and the grandfather to his children IS the walking embodiment of the company.  I don't know how he can disconnect that to go back to work but if it was me, I don't know I'd want to go back to that grind ever again given I gave the vision I believed was the right path and then it was shattered.

I saw Lenny Leonard's account of what happened to Cathy Corino.  What are your thoughts?

Anyone who has dealt with Lenny knows he isn't the type to try and start issues or make waves.  He's a good person who just wants to do the best job he can.  He was 100% correct in his words.  What happened to Corino was 100%, absolutely incorrigible and disgusting in my opinion.  We should all have a friend like Lenny who stands up for us when we need it.  He put his friendship with Corino above any chance of going to WWE and did it without hesitation.  I cannot state how much I respect him for doing it.  As for Corino, WWE owes her a huge apology and a huge check should be written to her to make good for the massive upheaval she put her family through for no good reason.

What has been the reaction within WWE by those who aren't in danger of being fired?

I spoke to a few people who work within Titan Tower last night and this morning and many of them are befuddled, to say the least.  Some admitted are angry.  Some pointed out that once again, it's not the company it was a few years ago.  One even joked that it's Nick Khan's WWE, not Vince McMahon's company at this point and wondered what happens if Khan ever does falls out of favor, given that the company has been so gutted under Khan's vision and should his vision ever end, what happens next and there would be some really awful growing pains in order to shift it to whatever the next gear might be.  A lot of the long-time employees are gone and a lot of people who have migrated over are Nick Khan knights.   No one I spoke to yesterday and today were happy.  Many were sad.  Many were frustrated.  Some don't even know how to guess what might be next.


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