At the WWE Raw after WrestleMania 39, Vince McMahon made his less-than-triumphant return to WWE’s backstage area. Earlier that same day, news broke that McMahon’s WWE empire was being sold to Ari Emmanuel’s Endeavor, and along with that, the bombastic billionaire would become Executive Chairman for a new company that also included Dana White and the UFC. With renewed power, McMahon went about making several last-minute changes to the Raw script, reportedly causing headaches and leveling a blow to backstage morale.
Following that night, McMahon has not been seen much, if at all, backstage at WWE events. It was noted to Haus of Wrestling by Rick Bassman, who was backstage at WWE Backlash, that the long-hung “Vince’s Office” placard in the backstage area has been replaced by one reading “Paul Levesque’s Office,” a true sign of the times when it comes to WWE creative control.
Despite the proverbial changing of the guard on the walls of the locker room, Fightful is reporting that Vince McMahon still has his fingerprints on the WWE product. Following the chaos that ensued on the Raw after Mania, McMahon decided it would be best for him to work remotely. So, now, McMahon sends his notes to the creative team, and they are then integrated into the product. This process is said to be well-received by the talent, with some saying they are being given more freedom with their promos.
PWInsider.com is reporting that last night’s Raw featured one of those remotely decided creative decisions by McMahon. The opening segment of the show saw Smackdown star AJ Styles confront new WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, and offer him his congratulations. The two were interrupted by The Judgment Day, who they went on to defeat in the main event.
Styles’ addition to the show was said to be a McMahon decision, and while it made sense in that the two men had just had a match, many fans rolled their eyes at the Smackdown star’s inclusion on the show, considering the WWE Draft is only weeks old, and a hard brand split has been teased. The rest of the show was said to go as planned, with no apparent changes.