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Vince McMahon opens WWE SmackDown, does not address hush money allegations

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Vince McMahon appeared briefly at the start of tonight’s SmackDown and did not comment on the WWE Board of Directors investigation regarding a secret hush money pact.

At the start of tonight’s show, Vince McMahon appeared in front of the crowd, introduced by the ring announcer as his character Mr. McMahon, and entered the ring. He said he was there to remind the crowd of four words that open every WWE broadcast: then, now, forever, together. He then welcomed everyone to SmackDown and ended the promo.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Vince McMahon, along with head of talent relations John Laurinaitis, were under investigation by WWE’s Board of Directors over a $3 million dollar hush money settlement to a former employee that allegedly had sexual relations with both men. The Wall Street Journal also reported there were other non disclosure agreements involving McMahon and Laurinaitis that were being investigated.

It was announced Friday morning that Vince McMahon would be stepping aside as CEO and Chairman of WWE, with Stephanie McMahon taking his place as interim CEO and Chairwoman. Despite stepping aside, Vince McMahon will continue his work in WWE’s creative process.