With Vince McMahon now 72-years-old and preparing to run both WWE and the returning XFL, the question of who will run WWE once McMahon leaves continues to pop up.
Jim Ross, who has worked with McMahon off and on since 1993, thinks he knows the answer — McMahon's son-in-law Triple H.
"I have an opinion on where the company will go," Ross said in an interview with Business Insider. "I will say this — you know, Vince is very healthy. He still works out like a crazy man. He really takes care of himself. So, he ain't going anywhere soon. We don't want him to go anywhere soon. He's the rock that built that thing. He's the rudder in the water. It's an amazing company.
"I think that, if I'm guessing, and it's gonna strictly be a guess — that the money would be on, probably, Paul Levesque (Triple H's real name) to be Vince's successor," Ross said.
Since he retired from full-time in-ring work in 2010, Tripe H has worked as the company's executive vice president of Talent, Live Events and Creative along with running the WWE's developmental system NXT.
Ross believes all of these roles have been McMahon's way of grooming the former WWE Champion to run the company.
"I think Vince is kind of preparing him for that in a lot of ways," Ross said. "You always knew that he was different from the other guys because he was very studious, and very – under control. He didn’t drink. No drugs. He looked to be a lifer early on, and he got a lot of that from being a fan all his life growing up in the northeast — New Hampshire. Then, getting trained by Killer Kowalski who was a great, old-school guy. So, I think he's probably the heir apparent."
Triple H joined the WWE back in 1995 as blue blood character Hunter Hearst Helmsley. He went on to be a staple of the Attitude Era as the leader of the D-Generation X stable, then became a mainstay of the main event scene from 2000-10.
In 2003 he married McMahon's daughter Stephanie and the pair have since had three daughters.
Ross expects Stephanie to be working side-by-side with Hunter in running the company. He also said he's unsure where Shane McMahon, Vince's son, will end up.
"I think Shane seems to be, apparently, content with being a TV character," Ross said. "I don't know where his role's gonna be going forward or what he wants it to be. But, I think that Paul Levesque is the one that seems to be earmarked to be the next guy, if and when Vince is not in that role."
WWE holds their next event, Royal Rumble, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Sunday.
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