It’s been quite the week for Vince McMahon as he stepped down as Chairman and CEO of WWE after it was revealed that the WWE board is investigating a secret settlement Vince paid to a former employee he allegedly had an affair with. Vince kicked off SmackDown this week with a brief segment where he simply said, “I’m here to simply remind you about the four words that we just saw in what we like to call the WWE signature. Those four words are then, now, forever, and the most important one, together. Welcome to SmackDown!”
Fightful Select reports that the Vince McMahon segment wasn’t on the internal script as of 5:30 EST, or the rundown for the show as of 7:50 PM EST. One person suggested that the segment did not happen as it was originally planned to.
Vince McMahon was said to have been in a good mood and wasn’t reacting outwardly to the investigation. The term “business as usual” was reiterated backstage constantly. It’s also being reported that few people knew what Vince was going to say on SmackDown.
According to Fightful one top talent called the segment “tone deaf and embarrassing,” and noted that they believed Vince appearing on the show was a power move to lessen the impact of the investigation.
A former talent who left WWE reportedly said, “I’m happy it didn’t last long, so I didn’t have to sit through whatever bullshit he was going to say. But it shows that he has no accountability, especially when something is directly his fault.”
A person who had worked with Vince said that they were “enraged” by the appearance and they were hopeful that Vince would be taking the situation more seriously. The person was reportedly backstage at the show and noted that they were incredulous as it unfolded.
Stay tuned for more updates on the Vince McMahon investigation as they become available.