A major bombshell dropped in the wrestling world on Friday with news that longtime WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon has temporarily stepped down from his position amid an investigation into alleged misconduct by himself and head of talent relations John Laurinaitis. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the company’s board of directors is an investigating McMahon for a secret $3 million settlement that he agreed to pay to a former employee following an alleged affair. As a result, Stephanie McMahon has returned to assume the role as interim CEO until the conclusion of the investigation.
Even with a serious investigation like this, there is a carny, pro wrestling element that we’ll bear witness to this evening.
While McMahon has temporarily stepped down from the CEO chair, he is still heading up the creative for WWE programming and the company itself announced that he will appear at the opening of tonight’s episode of Friday Night Smackdown from the Target Center in Minneapolis to address the situation. And that’s not the craziest thing about this. CNBC went on to report that he will do so while in character as Mr. McMahon, the maniacal, on-screen boss caricature of himself.
While this would be complete lunacy in any other situation, this isn’t a surprise considering the lunatic things McMahon has done as a character on tv while running a publicly traded corporation worth billions of dollars. So is he going to seriously address the matter? Is he going to make a farce of it like he’s done with previous controversies? Is he going to fire himself? If the ship is going down, might as well pop a huge rating on national television and it appears that’s their strategy for tonight.