Vince McMahon appears on WWE SmackDown amid investigation


Vince McMahon appeared on WWE SmackDown, and neglected to address the ongoing tempest involving himself and the company.

McMahon’s theme music — “No chance in hell!” — hit at the beginning of the show, and he strutted down to the ring to a mix of cheers and boos, which felt like more applause than negativity from the audience.

“It is a privilege as always to stand here tonight with the WWE universe, especially in Minnesota,” McMahon told the audience.

He referenced the four words in the opening montage from the show — Then, Now, Forever and, most importantly, he said, Together.

“Welcome to Smackdown!” McMahon exclaimed, and exited the ring.

He did not make any reference to the bombshell surrounding himself and WWE this week.

Vince McMahon speaks at SmackDown.
Vince McMahon speaks at SmackDown
Vince McMahon said little at SmackDown.

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal first reported that McMahon was being investigated by WWE’s board.

McMahon allegedly had an affair with an employee, a 41-year-old paralegal, and signed a nondisclosure agreement for $3 million with her in January of this year after she left the company.

John Laurinaitis, WWE’s head of talent relations and a longtime direct report to McMahon, also allegedly had an affair with the woman. According to the report, McMahon paid the NDA out of personal funds, not the company’s.

In the process of their investigation, the board reportedly learned of other NDAs attributable to Laurinaitis and McMahon.

Friday morning, WWE announced that McMahon “voluntarily stepped back” from the role of CEO and chairman pending the results of the investigation. McMahon, who remains in charge of WWE’s creative, is succeeded by his daughter Stephanie on an interim basis.

Stephanie McMahon had recently taken a leave of absence from her role as Chief Brand Officer for the company, citing a desire to spend more time with her family.

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