Going Ringside Ep. 24: Vince McMahon federal subpoena plus WWE & AEW start a media war

There have been numerous headlines in the world of pro wrestling in the past couple weeks. The most notable of which is the news that WWE’s Vince McMahon was served with a Federal subpoena and search warrant in July. This was made known from a quarterly report that WWE filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It showed McMahon was served with the Federal documents in July. It’s believed they are related to the investigation into him allegedly paying “hush money” to former employees to cover up a sex scandal. McMahon stepped away from WWE around a year ago following that scandal but eventually came back to help facilitate the company’s merger with UFC parent company Endeavor. It’s unclear at this point what the specific details of Grand Jury investigation are. McMahon has denied any criminal wrongdoing.

The other big story in the wrestling world surrounds a war of words between WWE Chief Operating Officer Triple H (real name Paul Levesque, McMahon’s son-in-law) and AEW Owner Tony Khan. It started when a WWE-produced documentary was released on their star Cody Rhodes. Rhodes was formerly in AEW and left for WWE. This was the statement Triple H made in the video: “To then take that gamble again and to say this is not what I wanted to be, I didn’t grow up dreaming of being the champion or the face of a secondary promotion. I wanted to be WWE Champion.”

The primary issue for Jacksonville-based All Elite Wrestling (AEW) was the phrase “secondary promotion”. Khan did not take kindly to that overt dig by WWE in a pre-produced video. He responded in the Orlando Sentinel: “We certainly won’t be the secondary promotion at All In. We’re No. 1 in the UK, on TV and with a record gate. I have a lot of respect for Cody. I know these weren’t his words, to be fair, but we’re not secondary in a lot of markets — for the first time in a long time, WWE has been secondary in a lot of markets. … I’m proud of where we’re at and we’re not taking a back seat to anybody.”

Khan was pointing to the upcoming Pay-Per-View “All In” at Wembley Stadium in London where AEW has sold an estimated 70,000 tickets. That would make it the largest non-WWE event in ticket sales of all time.

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