A major sponsor that was going to be a key part of the Royal Rumble has chosen not to sponsor the event following some big WWE-related news.
For the past two years, WWE’s Executive Chairman Vince McMahon has been facing legal issues. In the summer of 2022, the discovery of nearly $20 million worth of “hush money payments” to various women was discovered. That led to Vince’s “retirement” in July 2022, but that only lasted until Vince decided to come back in early 2023.
The WWE Board of Directors – which included WWE President Nick Khan, Paul Levesque (aka Triple H) and Vince’s daughter Stephanie McMahon – unanimously voted to keep McMahon out of the company. However, they acquiesced in a vote when it became clear he would do anything to regain his role.
It was announced on the day after WrestleMania 39 in April 2023 that Endeavor had acquired WWE and merged it with UFC to form TKO Group. The acquisition was official by September and Endeavor made it clear to Vince that they wanted Nick Khan as President and Triple H as Chief Content Officer as the two men running the company.
On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal dropped another bombshell by revealing that a former WWE employee named Janel Grant is suing Vince McMahon for millions of dollars after not paying as part of an NDA agreement. Grant claims that Vince sexually assaulted her numerous times and also used her for sex trafficking while implicating others within WWE.
There were many disgusting details shared by Grant in the lawsuit while also sharing text messages that she claims came from McMahon.
All of this news came just two days before one of WWE’s biggest events of the year, the 2024 Royal Rumble from Tropicana Field this Saturday, January 27th in Tampa.
Following the lawsuit, a spokesperson for Vince McMahon issued this statement.
“This lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up instances that never occurred, and a vindictive distortion of the truth. He will vigorously defend himself.”
As for WWE owners TKO Group, they also issued a statement that is a case of distancing themselves from Vince McMahon.
“Mr. McMahon does not control TKO nor does he oversee the day-to-day operations of WWE. While this matter predates our TKO executive team’s tenure at the company, we take Ms. Grant’s horrific allegations very seriously and are addressing this matter internally.”
Slim Jim Changes Sponsorship Plans For WWE Royal Rumble
In news that is likely related to the Vince McMahon story, Wrestlevotes has reported that Slim Jim is pulling their sponsorship of the WWE Royal Rumble.
“Hearing rumblings that Slim Jim has notified WWE they are pulling their sponsorships from tomorrow’s Royal Rumble event. It is yet to be determined if they will remain partners in the future.”
Hours after this post went up, Slim Jim issued a statement about pulling advertising from the WWE Royal Rumble while citing Vince McMahon as the reason (via PWInsider)
“Slim Jim values integrity and respect in all of our partnerships. Given the recent disturbing allegations against Vince McMahon, at this time we’ve decided to pause our promotional activities with WWE. This decision reflects our commitment to our brand values and responsibility to our community.
We will continue to monitor the situation and base our future engagements on our values and what’s best for our brand.”
World Wrestling Entertainment has yet to comment on the matter.