Vince McMahon is in the middle of a corporate firestorm, but he still opened the company’s wrestling telecast “Smackdown” on Friday.
“Mr. McMahon,” the executive’s in-ring persona, kept things short.
“It’s a privilege as always to stand before you here tonight,” McMahon said to the crowd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
McMahon told the audience that he was there to simply remind the crowd of the four words that make up the “WWE signature.”
“Those four words are ‘then,’ ‘now,’ ‘forever,’ and the most important word is ‘together,’” he said. “Welcome to Smackdown!”
McMahon then left the ring as his theme song, “No Chance in Hell,” played.
The longtime chief of the wrestling company is being investigated by the company’s board for agreeing to pay a secret $3 million settlement to a former employee he allegedly had an affair with, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
On Friday morning, the company announced that McMahon has agreed to step away from his role as chairman and CEO while the investigation is ongoing.
His daughter Stephanie McMahon will serve as interim CEO and chairwoman, the company said in a statement on Friday.
As for McMahon’s in-ring