Vince McMahon Takes ‘Smackdown’ Stage After Misconduct Allegations Emerge

Vince McMahon Takes ‘Smackdown’ Stage After Misconduct Allegations Emerge

“Mr. McMahon,” the in-ring executive character, kept things short.

“It’s a privilege, as always, to be in front of you here tonight,” McMahon told the crowd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

McMahon told the audience that he was there simply to remind the crowd of the four words that make up the “WWE signature.”

“Those four words are ‘then’, ‘now’, ‘forever’, and the most important word is ‘together’,” he said. “Welcome to SmackDown!”

McMahon then left the ring as his theme song, “No Chance in Hell”, played.

The longtime head of the wrestling company is being investigated by the company’s board of directors for agreeing to pay a secret $3 million settlement to a former employee with whom he allegedly had an affair. liaison, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
On Friday morning, the company announced that McMahon had agreed to step down from his role as chairman and CEO while the investigation continues.

His daughter Stephanie McMahon will serve as interim CEO and president, the company said in a statement Friday.

As for McMahon’s in-ring character, he’s not going anywhere just yet. McMahon will retain his role regarding WWE Creative Content and will appear as his character during matches as the investigation unfolds.

The separation agreement was reportedly reached in January between McMahon and the anonymous former employee. This prevented the employee, who was hired as a paralegal, “from discussing her relationship with Mr. McMahon or disparaging him,” according to the Journal.

Vince McMahon steps down as WWE CEO over silent money allegations

The investigation, which began in April, “uncovered other, older nondisclosure agreements involving allegations of former WWE employees of misconduct on the part of Mr. McMahon,” the Journal said. Other allegations of misconduct were reportedly found against John Laurinaitis, the company’s head of talent relations.

“I have pledged my full cooperation with the special committee’s investigation, and I will do my best to support the investigation,” McMahon said in a statement Friday. “I am also committed to accepting the findings and results of the investigation, whatever they may be.”

McMahon added in the statement that he loves the WWE (WWE) and is committed to working with independent directors to strengthen our culture.

“It’s extremely important to me that we have a safe and collaborative workplace,” he said. “I am committed to doing everything in my power to help the special committee complete its work, including enlisting the cooperation of the entire company to help complete the investigation and bring implement its findings.”

As Friday’s appearance on “Smackdown” shows, McMahon has been an integral part of WWE for decades, both as an executive and as a wrestler himself.

He transformed the company into a global media powerhouse, which currently has major broadcast and streaming deals with Fox and NBCUniversal. McMahon also helped create many famous wrestlers, including The Rock, John Cena, and Stone Cold Steve Austin, all of whom crossed over into pop culture.

– Jordan Valinsky of CNN Business contributed to this report.

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