Despite being under investigation and temporarily standing down as WWE Chairman & CEO, Vince McMahon made a surprise appearance on “SmackDown” this past Friday night.
McMahon kicked off the show at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Though fans were not entirely sure how the segment would pan out leading into the broadcast, McMahon entered the ring and simply quoted WWE’s signature tagline “Then. Now. Forever. Together. ” He then welcomed everybody to the show. It was a brief segment, with no mention of the ongoing inquiry taking place behind the scenes.
As per Fightful Select, there was no producer for the segment, and it wasn’t listed on internal rundowns or scripts. Earlier in the day, McMahon stepped down as WWE Chairman & CEO following an investigation into a $ 3 million dollar payment made to a former employee, whom he is alleged to have had an affair with. There is also an investigation into a number of non-disclosure agreements uncovered by the WWE Board, which are also said to relate to former employees. Not long after the news broke about McMahon stepping down from his position, WWE announced that “Mr. McMahon ”would appear on“ SmackDown ”later that night, without explaining the nature behind his appearance.
While the investigation takes place, McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon, will be stepping up as Chairwoman and CEO in the interim. Stephanie had been taking a sabbatical from the company since May 19 but has now been called back into action during this turbulent time for the company. Head of WWE Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis, is also included in the damning allegations, with no word yet on the future of his position within the organization. Further investigations are also taking place into WWE’s Board of Directors and senior management for fiduciary duties breach, as disclosed by Business Wire at the tail end of last week.
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