When news broke that Vince McMahon was going to step down as the CEO and Chairman of the Board of WWE following accusations of paying out hush money to a former employee whom he was in a consensual relationship with, it left many a fan curious about what would come next for their favorite wrestling promotion.
Now granted, on a corporate level, a lot has changed, as Stephanie McMahon has taken over for her father on an interim basis on the corporate side of the company, but you’d never know it by watching the company’s televised products, as Mr. McMahon has appeared on RAW and SmackDown on three separate occasions and remains in place as the head booker of the promotion.
But what if the Board’s independent investigation finds something truly horrible and McMahon is forced to step down completely from all of his duties both on the screen and behind it? Who will take the company into the future as the new face of the promotion and, potentially more importantly, who will take over as the head booker of their three weekly shows plus Main Event, NXT Level Up, and their various house shows? Fortunately, Stephanie McMahon, or whoever holds the CEO title long-term, won’t have to look hard to find a new head booker, as there are already three incredibly capable minds who already work for the company.
3 potential in-house replacements for Vince McMahon as WWE’s head booker.
3. Triple H
If Vince McMahon retired tomorrow and Stephanie McMahon got first dibs at naming his replacement, her first call likely wouldn’t be with a phone but down the hall of her house, as her husband, Triple H, would likely be her top pick.
A 14-time world champion who just officially retired from the ring earlier this year due to a heart condition, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, or as his friends know him, Paul Levesque, was the chief creative force behind NXT during its golden years and was awarded the 2015 Best Booker Award from the Wrestling Observer alongside Ryan Ward, the Vice President of Creative Writing for the company. Levesque poached many of the top indie stars from promotions like Ring of Honor, Evolve, New Japan, and WWE, and while only a few of those performers, notably Sami Zayn and Kevin Ownes, have become legit WWE Main Eventers, that has more to do with who his father-in-law thinks is a believable star than with his own talent evaluations.
Though his style may not be for everyone, it would be incredible to see how his NXT style translates to the WWE main roster.
2. Paul Heyman
If Vince McMahon is forced out of his job and the company wants to spin that off into a storyline, why not give the booking duties over to Paul Heyman, both outside of the ring and, most importantly of all, in Kayfabe?
Think about it, Heyman is a booking legend who was the creative force behind one of the greatest wrestling promotions of all time in ECW. Though he hasn’t held that role in some time, maybe he works his managerial magic and executes a corporate takeover to become the new authority figure of WWE, with Roman Reigns still in place as his champion. He could try to book the shows to keep his Bloodline buddies out of the ring, or at least in choice matchups like he’s been doing on both RAW and SmackDown via stipulation matches for Riddle, Drew McIntyre, and Sheamus, and he could continue that sort of storytelling on the screen while simultaneously taking on a more expansive role with the creative behind-the-scenes team.
1. Bruce Prichard
Though he may not be a household name, the most obvious replacement for Vince McMahon as WWE’s head booker, at least behind the scenes, is Bruce Prichard, who fans know from his role as Brother Love back in the day and for leading both the RAW and SmackDown writing teams while also serving as the executive director of both shows.
Since returning to WWE in 2018 following runs in TNA and MLW, Prichard has become one of the most important creative voices in Vince McMahon’s company, where he has good relationships with many of the company’s current and future talents, including MJF, who gave him a shoutout to both on an episode of AEW Dynamite and on and the Ariel Helwani show.
“I think right now everything that Vince and Bruce Prichard are putting out there is absolutely incredible. I love it. I love NXT 2.0. I love Raw, I love SmackDown, I love what Roman’s doing. I think Roman’s putting out some great work”
-MJF via the Ariel Helwani show pic.twitter.com/LP8vQlUdcX
— ChanMan (@ChandranTheMan) March 24, 2022
Would his elevation help to settle the stock prices? No, probably not. Would it draw the same sort of SportsCenter headlines as Triple H or Paul Heyman? Nope, but hey, it’s not always the flashiest name who deserves a shot but the best person for the job; Bruce Prichard is probably the best internal option in WWE and should be looked at as the heir apparent for Mr. McMahon one way or another.