For decades, Vince McMahon ruled the pro wrestling world. The promoter who inherited his father’s bustling Northeast wrestling promotion and turned it into a global entertainment brand, has always used a combination of innovative thinking and cutthroat business tactics to remain one step ahead of his business rivals, and, through it all, survived numerous scandals that would have torpedoed the careers of executives in more reputable industries.

Careers of business executives continue to be demolished by sexual misconduct claims, most recently NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell, who resigned on Sunday following an investigation into a relationship he was having with a female employee; McMahon remains unphased. NBCUniversal is WWE’s biggest business partner, with media rights deals that contributed 35% of WWE’s total revenue for 2022. Yet, the same standards that other executives have to play by are not held when it comes to McMahon.

Those include accusations that McMahon helped deter a potential domestic violence investigation into one of his top wrestling stars, Jimmy Snuka, in 1983; attempts to cover up the sexual assault of minors in the early 1990s; a federal investigation and trial over McMahon’s role in distributing illegal steroids to his wrestlers; an out-of-court settlement with the widow of Owen Hart, a wrestler who died in 1999 during a WWF event; and numerous additional accusations.

The scandals were not mysterious secrets. They were covered at the time and were revisited in Vice’s “Dark Sidhe of the Ring” television series, and Abraham Josephine Riesman’s recently published biography, “Ringmaster: Vince McMahon and the Unmaking of America.” Despite this, McMahon has managed to survive it all.

That was until last year when a series of stories broke in the Wall Street Journal about non-disclosure agreements regarding sexual relationships McMahon had with employees. The story brought additional allegations to light, including claims from former referee Rita Chatterton, who said McMahon raped her in a limousine in 1986.

Less than a month after the report broke, McMahon announced he was retiring from his position as WWE CEO and chairman of the board of the now publicly-traded company. At that moment, it appeared finally justice had caught up to Vince McMahon. The same type of scandals that had destroyed the careers and images of other titans in entertainment, from Harvey Weinstein to Les Moonves, had finally reached the most powerful man in pro wrestling.

That sense of justice was ultimately short-lived.

In early January, McMahon, who, unlike a player like Moonves who was merely an executive at CBS when he was forced to resign, still held a majority of the voting power within WWE,  muscled his way back into the company. He replaced members of the executive board with friendly allies and resumed his position as board chair, telling investors he was only doing so to “explore strategic alternatives” and to consider selling the company.

McMahon did just that, announcing on April 2 that WWE would merge with UFC parent company Endeavor. Under the new merger, McMahon would arguably be more powerful than ever, serving as executive chairman of the new company, working under Endeavor CEO Ari Emanual.

The allegations against McMahon are now yesterday’s news.

McMahon appeared alongside Emanuel on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street on April 3, blandly saying that he “owned up to every single one of his mistakes and moved on.” Emanuel appeared undisturbed by the allegations, which have so far led to millions in settlements with women, claiming he demanded McMahon be a part of the new company and continue to lead WWE.

McMahon’s return to power has had no negative impact on his company’s business. Not only did he finagle a merger with Endeavor, but his most recent major event, WrestleMania 39, drew more than 120,000 fans over two nights, and sponsorship dollars for the event eclipsed $20 million, a company record.

McMahon and other wolves in the industry have always managed to coast thanks to the public reputation of pro wrestling: a carnival business filled with ’roided-up men who pretend to hurt each other in fake combat. The inherent phoniness of the wrestling industry has led to many mainstream media outlets and the general public to overlook the very real crimes that have been perpetuated throughout the industry’s history, with no bigger example than McMahon himself.

When CNN originally covered the reports of sexual misconduct by McMahon last year, the network chose to show footage of McMahon’s villainous on-screen character as B-roll during the report, giving off the impression that the real allegations McMahon was being charged with were all part of the show, just as McMahon getting his head shaved by Donald Trump in 2007 was.

McMahon continues his reign over the world of pro wrestling, richer and more powerful than ever. Accusations and scandals that have destroyed more powerful men have failed to fell the king of pro wrestling, who remains on top of the industry, unrepentant and unapologetic for any of his past misdeeds. Fans who merely want to see a version of 21st-century ethics come to the pro wrestling industry will have to wait.