Vince McMahon opened tonight’s WWE SmackDown from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but did not mention how he’s stepped down as Chairman & CEO while the WWE Board of Directors investigates he and WWE Talent Relations Senior Vice President John Laurinaitis over alleged misconduct, or how Stephanie McMahon has returned from her leave of absence to work as the Interim CEO & Chairwoman.
SmackDown opened with Michael Cole and Pat McAfee welcoming us. Vince came right to the ring as the “No Chance” theme hit, and as fans cheered him on. The following comes from our live SmackDown coverage:
“Vince heads to the ring to a pop from the crowd. Vince says it’s a privilege to stand in front of the WWE Universe and a privilege to stand in Minnesota. He mentions the ‘Then, Now, Forever, Together’ line, which he calls the WWE signature, and says most importantly is the ‘together’ part. He then welcomes everyone to SmackDown. Vince tosses the mic and leaves the ring as the music starts back up, slapping hands with some fans at ringside. We cut to the SmackDown opening video.”
Full video can be seen below.
As we’ve noted, it was revealed on Wednesday that WWE’s Board of Directors are investigating Vince over a “secret $3 million settlement” he made to a former WWE paralegal that was hired in 2019. John Laurinaitis is also being investigated for his involvement, and the Board is looking into other instances with former female employees as well. It was then announced today that Stephanie is returning from her leave of absence to act as the Interim CEO & Interim Chairwoman as Vince voluntarily steps away from his Chairman & CEO corporate duties, but still continues his creative responsibilities. It was also announced that Vince will be on tonight’s SmackDown episode. You can find full details at the links below, including statements from Vince and Stephanie, full details on the anonymous e-mails that led to the announcements, and more.
Stay tuned to WrestlingHeadlines.com for more and be sure to join us for live SmackDown coverage at 8pm ET. You can find links to our various updates on the McMahon – Laurinaitis situation below, along with full video of the SmackDown segment:
Vince McMahon’s opening segment on SmackDownpic.twitter.com/TM9lK6Qads
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FULL COVERAGE OF THE VINCE MCMAHON – JOHN LAURINAITIS ALLEGATIONS: