Despite being under investigation and temporarily stepping down as WWE Chairman and CEO, Vince McMahon made a surprise appearance on “SmackDown” last Friday night.
McMahon kicked off the show at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Although fans weren’t sure exactly how the segment would play out before the broadcast, McMahon entered the ring and simply quoted WWE’s catchphrase “Then. Now. Still. Together.” He then welcomed everyone to the show. It was a brief segment, with no mention of the ongoing investigation going on behind the scenes.
According to Fightful Select, there was no producer for the segment, and it was not listed in recaps or internal scripts. Earlier today, McMahon resigned as WWE Chairman and CEO following an investigation into a $3 million payout to a former employee, with whom he allegedly had an affair. There is also an investigation into a number of non-disclosure agreements uncovered by the WWE Board, which also allegedly involve former employees. Shortly after McMahon’s resignation was announced, WWE announced that “Mr. McMahon” would appear on “SmackDown” later that night, without explaining the nature of his appearance.
While the investigation unfolds, McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon, will serve as interim president and CEO. Stephanie had been on a sabbatical from the company since May 19 but has now been called back to action during this turbulent time for the company. Also included in the damning allegations is WWE Talent Relations Manager John Laurinaitis, with no word yet on his future position with the organization. Other investigations are also underway into WWE’s Board of Directors and senior management for breach of fiduciary duties, as Business Wire revealed late last week.
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