There is an excellent article that gives an unprecedented inside look at WWE's business. The article, written by Ian Frisch, has quotes from several key members from WWE's management team and several former top-level employees including Sally Presutto, Brian Gerwitz and Donna Goldsmith. Paul "Triple H" Levesque and George Barrios are also quoted in the article although I doubt that WWE would be happy with much of what was written. Typically, mainstream media articles covering the behind-the-scenes part of WWE tend to have many inaccuracies but this one pretty much hit the nail on the head on several items and it is well researched.
Also, the article reveals that Shane McMahon made an attempt to take over creative in 2012. It also talks about the tension between Shane and sister Stephanie and Levesque. It's something we've known about for some time but it's interesting to hear people with inside knowledge talk about it publicly for the first time.
There's tons of backstage stuff in the article and I would highly recommend for everyone to read it. Click here to check it out.
Here's an excerpt:
A few years ago, as Levesque was gearing up to launch NXT, ratings were down and Vince was on edge. The writing room became a battlefield, and even people outside of the company took notice, including Shane McMahon. In March 2012, Vince, according to a source familiar with the exchange, called a surprise meeting at the WWE production office, a separate facility from the main headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. Shane had returned with a friend: James Frey, the author of the critically acclaimed and, later, highly controversial A Million Little Pieces and by that time the CEO of Full Fathom Five, a content creation company he founded in 2010.
(A spokesperson for WWE originally denied that Shane had approached WWE in any capacity between 2009 and 2016, but later confirmed that this meeting took place when asked about this exchange specifically.)
"When Stephanie found out Shane was going to be there, she went white in the face," the source told me. "And Paul freaked out." Shane had set up the meeting through Kevin Dunn, WWE's executive vice-president of production and Vince's right-hand man for nearly three decades; he is the second-highest-paid employee at the company behind Vince (according to SEC documents, Dunn's 2016 base salary is $909,560). Shane had a simple proposal: that he take over all of creative, including the writer's room, with Frey and his team at Full Fathom Five as consultants.
"Kevin Dunn is very close to Shane," the source said. "And there's tremendous tension between Kevin, and Paul and Stephanie. They feel like the company is theirs, but they don't have power to control Kevin." Presumably, if Dunn could figure out a way to get Shane back in the company in a high-ranking position, he would have even more influence with Vince. And Shane, too, could regain control over at least a portion of his family's legacy. It was a win-win for the pair.
In the end, however, Vince declined his son's offer. It would be four more years before Shane found himself on the inside of the company again. In the meantime, WWE would go through major changes internally as it continued its transformation from a TV-only wrestling outfit to a digital-forward entertainment super-corporation.