Despite Friday being another bad media day for WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon, he reportedly ran last night’s SmackDown on FOX taping and word is that the show was 100% his vision and edicts.
A new report from PWInsider adds that McMahon did arrive to the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, TX later than usual, but he did not address “or sell” the latest allegations reported by The Wall Street Journal on Friday. It was described, once again, as “the elephant in the room” that was being ignored.
WWE Senior Vice President and RAW/SmackDown Executive Producer Bruce Prichard was back to work at last night’s SmackDown after taking some time off the road to undergo shoulder surgery. Prichard is also currently working as the Interim Senior Vice President of Talent Relations while John Laurinaitis is being investigated by the Board of Directors.
Interim WWE CEO & Chairwoman Stephanie McMahon and EVP of Global Talent Strategy & Development Paul “Triple H” Levesque were not at SmackDown last night. There had been some speculation on their SmackDown status due to potential fallout from Friday’s WSJ article, but they were not there.
WWE Producer Jason Jordan, who oversees the other producers, was also not in attendance last night. Jordan had the night off as he and his wife are expecting a new baby any time now. With Jordan absent for the night, there was a lot more work spread out among the other producers, with Adam Pearce picking up Jordan’s duties for the night.
WWE recently instituted some budget cuts, why is why they’re no longer bringing in Joe Hennig (Curtis Axel) and Ariya Daivari to work as producers. They had been working as producers on a probationary basis, and their absence made everyone’s night even harder from a production standpoint.
WWE made a big push for more producers to be added right after WrestleMania 38, due to the heavy workload and the time the company expects the producers to put in, which is why some new producers were added on a probationary basis. Now the cutbacks have caused these newer producers to be dropped, at least for the short-term, so the producers still there are back to being what was described as “extremely overworked.”
As we’ve noted, it was initially revealed on Wednesday, June 15 that WWE’s Board of Directors has been investigating Vince over the “secret $3 million settlement” he made to the former paralegal that was hired in 2019. Laurinaitis was also being investigated for his involvement, and it was revealed that the Board has been looking into other instances with former female employees as well. It was then announced on Friday, June 17 that Stephanie returned from her leave of absence to act as the Interim CEO & Interim Chairwoman after Vince voluntarily stepped away from his Chairman & CEO corporate duties, while still continuing his creative responsibilities. It was then revealed on Monday, June 20 that Prichard, WWE’s Senior Vice President and RAW/SmackDown Executive Producer, is also now working as the Interim Senior Vice President of Talent Relations, filling in for Laurinaitis during the investigation. It was then revealed yesterday, Friday, July 8, that McMahon agreed to pay more than $12 million in “hush money” to four women, including a former wrestler. 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 on the WWE investigation and the fallout. Below are links to our various reports on the McMahon – Laurinaitis situation.
FULL COVERAGE OF THE VINCE MCMAHON – JOHN LAURINAITIS ALLEGATIONS: