Just hours after stepping down as chairman and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, Vince McMahon made an appearance during WWE SmackDown in Minneapolis Friday night.
Facing allegations of paying a former employee $3 million in hush money amid an alleged sexual affair, it was unknown what kind of reception McMahon would receive. When he came out to open the show, however, the crowd welcomed him with open arms, singing his theme song and bowing down in the front row.
McMahon went on to recite the company's "Then. Now. Forever." tagline and welcomed fans to SmackDown. The crowd cheered as McMahon threw his microphone out of the ring and walked to the back, his appearance lasting less than two minutes.
McMahon's appearance was bizarre but not as interesting as the crowd's reaction. While some believed it would be a "goodbye" of sorts after McMahon managed the company for the past 40 years, his appearance felt like a rating pop and didn't give any explanations to his current allegations.
This left social media condemning not only McMahon's appearance but the Minneapolis crowd for their reaction.
According to the Wall Street Journal, McMahon, 76, allegedly doubled the salary of the 41-year-old paralegal when they started an affair. On Friday it was announced that McMahon would be stepping back from his CEO role during an investigation, with his daughter Stephanie McMahon stepping in on an interim basis.
WWE said McMahon will continue his role in charge of WWE's creative content while he stands down as CEO.