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Royal Rumble winner agrees: McMahon lawsuit casts ‘dark cloud’ over WWE

Even though WWE kicked off its road to WrestleMania on Saturday with the 2024 Royal Rumble, there was still a ‘dark cloud’ hanging over the company in the wake of the lawsuit filed this week against Vince McMahon.

Two days before the Royal Rumble took place, a lawsuit was filed against McMahon, which alleges the wrestling company’s founder took part in the sex trafficking and assault of a former employee. McMahon has denied the allegations, but on Friday he resigned as executive chairman and board member of TKO Group Holdings, the parent company of WWE.

After the Royal Rumble, reporters asked WWE chief content officer Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque and men’s Royal Rumble winner Cody Rhodes about the lawsuit. Their comments marked the first time anyone from WWE had publicly spoken about it.

What did Cody Rhodes say about Vince McMahon lawsuit?

Rhodes was the first person to be asked about the lawsuit at the press conference. He was open answering questions about it, beginning his answer by saying he and other WWE stars found out about the news as it broke Thursday. He agreed with a reporter that the situation casts a ‘dark cloud’ over the company, but he isn’t sure what’s next for McMahon and WWE.

‘As far as TKO, Nick Khan and the board, clearly (they) took it very seriously (and) acted immediately,’ Rhodes said. ‘Looking at the future, I don’t know the answer to that.’

Rhodes then spoke about the comradery throughout the roster and said it’s led to holding everyone accountable. He also said he hopes the talent on every show is able to help people still enjoy wrestling

‘I’ve been through dark periods in our industry before,’ Rhodes said. ‘If you’re in my position, that’s a time when ‘Hey, we got 50,000 people out here. I want to give them something else from this weekend that isn’t a terrible situation and terrible news.’

‘Obviously, as more news comes out, we’ll be seeing it just like you do.’

What did Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque say about Vince McMahon lawsuit?

Levesque mostly deflected when asked questions about the lawsuit multiple times by reporters, saying he wanted to focus on the ‘amazing week’ WWE had in the Florida area, which included the company signing a $5 billion deal with Netflix.

‘I choose to focus on the positive and yes, there’s a negative but I want to focus on that and just keep it to that,’ Levesque said.

He was then asked about how WWE is making sure employees feel safe in the company, and he responded by saying it’s a ‘very important’ topic and that WWE is doing ‘everything possible’ to ensure that. Levesque was then asked about his reaction to the lawsuit. He said he didn’t read the lawsuit, but said like Rhodes, he found out about all of it on Thursday.

‘I’ll go back to what I said before. This is an amazing week for us, and just at this point, I don’t even want to get bogged down in the negatives of it,’ Levesque said. ‘I just want to focus on the positives and where we’re going and we’re at the most exciting time of the year for us.’

Levesque added this is the best positioning of the company since the ‘Attitude Era’ from the late 1990s to early 2000s.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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