Vince McMahon made a brief appearance during SmackDown Live on Friday after announcing that he’d be stepping down as the CEO and chairman of the WWE amid misconduct allegations. An ongoing investigation is determining the validity of a former company employee’s claim that McMahon agreed to pay them a $3 million settlement to keep quiet about an affair.
“It’s a privilege as always to stand before you here tonight,” McMahon told the crowd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
He went on to bring up the four words of the “WWE signature,” explaining: “Those four words are ‘then,’ ‘now,’ ‘forever,’ and the most important word is ‘together,'” he said. “Welcome to Smackdown!”
Ethan Miller / Getty Images
After the short comments, he left the ring to his theme song, “No Chance in Hell.”
McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie, will serve as the interim CEO and chairwoman.
“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are,” McMahon said in a statement.
McMahon served as the face of the WWE for decades, helping carry the organization to the pillar of professional wrestling it is today. He helped commercialize and launch the careers of numerous iconic wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, The Rock, and more.
Check out McMahon’s appearance on SmackDown Live tomorrow.