Despite Vince McMahon voluntarily stepping down as Chairman & CEO while the WWE Board of Directors investigates allegations of misconduct, he was seen “joking around” earlier today during the production meeting held before WWE SmackDown.
It was noted by PWInsider that McMahon wasn’t “selling” anything at all, and was described as being in a “great mood.”
As noted, Vince is scheduled to appear on tonight’s SmackDown broadcast. It’s believed that he will give an in-character promo as “Mr. McMahon,” but nothing has been confirmed.
WWE Talent Relations Senior Vice President John Laurinaitis has not been spotted at the Target Center in Minneapolis for tonight’s SmackDown. It was reported earlier in the week that both McMahon and Laurinaitis would be at SmackDown and that it would be “business as usual” for the taping, but that was still early on after the matter was made public, and before today’s announcement on Stephanie McMahon returning to work as the Interim CEO & Chairwoman while Vince steps away during the investigation.
There had been some talk of Vince addressing the employees today, but as of 4pm ET that has not happened. The pre-SmackDown meetings were described as “weird” by multiple sources, given the obvious “elephant int he room,” especially since no one in the company knows when more will surface about the situation. There are people within WWE privately wondering how many NDAs were discovered during the investigation, and how many others could be out there. It was noted that no one is asking Vince directly about the situation.
Regarding tonight’s segment with Vince on SmackDown, word is that nothing was discussed about the segment during pre-show meetings as it was treated almost like the segment wasn’t a part of the show. There was absolutely no hint at what might be said during the segment based on production-related meetings, but that may be by design to prevent potential leaks.
Two topics of discussion have to do with McMahon Family relationships. It’s been reported by Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio that while Vince and Linda McMahon are still legally married, they haven’t been together in a “long, long time.” Furthermore, PWInsider points to how today’s press release on Stephanie referred to her as Ms. McMahon instead of Mrs. McMahon. PWInsider added that this led to a lot of eyebrows raised within WWE today. However, this is apparently a non-issue as Stephanie has been referred to as Ms. McMahon in corporate SEC filings for several years now. It’s likely that WWE used “Ms.” and that’s all as it’s not unusual for that title to be used in business circles.
As we’ve noted, it was revealed on Wednesday that WWE’s Board of Directors are investigating McMahon over a “secret $3 million settlement” he made to a former WWE paralegal that was hired in 2019. 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:
FULL COVERAGE OF THE VINCE MCMAHON – JOHN LAURINAITIS ALLEGATIONS: