What Vince McMahon Said On WWE Smackdown Amid Ongoing Investigation

McMahon's statement came and went


June 17, 2022

Amid an ongoing investigation involving a former employee, and after stepping down as WWE chairman and CEO, Vince McMahon appeared on Smackdown on Friday night.

The WWE board of directors are reportedly investigating a $3 million “hush money” payment made to a former paralegal, who had worked with the company in 2019 and is alleged to have engaged in a relationship with McMahon, 76. According to an email from a friend, the paralegal’s salary increased from $100,000 to $200,000 after this sexual relationship began. The investigation seeks to determine whether company funds were used during this time period.

McMahon’s lawyer, Jerry McDevitt claims the relationship was “consensual.” WWE released a statement Friday saying Vince will temporarily step down as chairman and CEO and his daughter Stephanie (Chief Brand Officer) will take on the interim role of chairman and CEO. Vince will remain in control of creative at WWE.

McMahon appeared in the opening segment of Smackdown and made a short statement in front of the live audience at Target Center in Minneapolis.

“I’m here to simply remind you of the four words we just saw in what we call, the WWE signature,” McMahon said referencing the opening video that appears before WWE shows, per WWE Twitter video. “Those four words are ‘then, now, forever’ and the most important word is ‘together.’ Welcome to Smackdown.”

While WWE’s announcement early Friday did not indicate what McMahon would say on Smackdown, other than McMahon appearing as the “Mr. McMahon” character, it’s safe to say no one was expecting a simple “welcome to the show” kind of outing.

What most tuned-in fans understood about the announcement was the stunt was nothing more than a ratings grab. McMahon knew how controversial his investigation was and how big it grew outside of pro wrestling circles. However, the interest, seemingly, is solely on popping a rating.

Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images
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