Vince McMahon made an appearance on this week’s Friday Night SmackDown on Fox, just hours after stepping down as CEO of WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) in the wake of misconduct allegations.
“It is a privilege as always to stand before you, the WWE Universe, especially to stand before you in this ring in Minnesota,” McMahon said from the ring, at the top of this Friday’s event (watch video below). “I’m here simply to remind you of the four words we just saw in what we call the WWE Signature. Those four words are Then, Now, Forever, and the most important word is Together. Welcome to SmackDown!”
McMahon has stepped away from the business side of the WWE while an investigation is conducted into a secret payment — of $3 million, to a departing employee with whom he allegedly had an affair — made to cover up sexual misconduct, it was announced Friday morning.
McMahon, who has led the company for 40 years after taking over for his father, will still be in charge of the WWE’s creative output, ergo his inscrutable SmackDown appearance.
In a statement released Friday morning, McMahon said, “I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are.”
Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon is taking over as CEO during her father’s absence.
— WWE (@WWE) June 18, 2022