Vince McMahon unexpectedly announced his departure from WWE

Vince McMahon at CES 2014 at the Encore Theater in Wynn Las Vegas.

A photo: Ethan Miller (Getty Images)

Today, scandal-ridden former WWE CEO Vince McMahon announced his departure from the wrestling dynasty he has led for more than four decades.

McMahon unexpectedly announced his retirement on Twitter, stating that at the age of 77 it was time for him to retire from WWE. After thanking the World Wrestling Entertainment universe, McMahon captioned his tweet with the WWE slogan, “Then. Currently. Forever and ever. Together” with the hashtag “#thankful”.

Read more: Everything we know about the WWE investigation into Vince McMahon [Updated]

McMahon’s retirement announcement comes at an auspicious time considering he is currently under WWE investigation for alleged ties to several former WWE employees. Back in June McMahon”voluntarily retreatedfrom their positions at the company amid an ongoing investigation into one of the alleged cases, which, according to Wall Street Magazineinvolved a $3 million secret settlement between McMahon and a former employee.

The $3 million settlement barred the plaintiff, a former WWE paralegal, from discussing her relationship with McMahon or otherwise demeaning him. An internal investigation by a WWE select committee reportedly found that McMahon entered into similar non-disclosure agreements with three other former female WWE employees. The staff filed misconduct allegations against both McMahon and WWE head of talent relations John Laurinaitis. later WSJ report.

In total, McMahon paid four women. $12 million to keep quiet about his alleged relationship with them. McMahon and WWE have previously stated that the case revealed in the first report was consensual.

Read more: Vince McMahon’s 1986 rape allegation resurfaces as former wrestler confirms story

Although his daughter Stephanie McMahon succeeded McMahon as interim CEO and chairman of the company, McMahon still retained creative control over WWE storylines.

Since the investigation began, McMahon has made several bizarre live appearances on WWE programming. During the performance at the first Friday evening after WSJIn the initial report, McMahon echoed the WWE motto, “Then. Currently. Forever and ever. Together” before dropping his mic and leaving the ring. (Subsequently a WWE employee reportedly witnessed McMahon yelling “fuck ’em” presumably about the accusations.) In the next episode monday night rawMcMahon teased the return of John Cena, which fans already knew about from WWE commercials.

The big question is what is happening now. Fallout seems to have already begun, with Wrestling Watcher writer brian alvarez on twitter that former world champion Brock Lesnar retired from bring down. AT follow-up tweetAlvarez added: “Brock’s line was sort of a derivative of ‘If he’s gone, I’m gone.’

Earlier today Paul “Triple H” Levesque tweeted that he would officially return to his role as the wrestling organization’s executive vice president of talent relations. Time will tell if Levesque returns to his former role as head of WWE’s development program, NXT, or even expands into creative control over current WWE storylines.

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