Amidst a tumultuous time in the world of professional wrestling, Vince McMahon made numerous changes to last night’s WWE Raw, even while the show was on the air.
Yesterday marked a huge day for the sports entertainment giant as it was announced that WWE would be acquired by Endeavor and merged with UFC to form a new $21+ billion entity. Talk of a WWE sale has been in the air for months, ever since Vince McMahon elected himself back to the board of directors back in January after retiring in July amidst allegations of sexual misconduct and hush money payments.
McMahon will serve as Executive Chairman of the Board of the new corporation. Dana White remains UFC President while former WWE CEO Nick Khan now serves as WWE President.
While the company has continued to insist that McMahon was only back to help facilitate business negotiations, he has reportedly had influence in top storylines, and talent have been concerned about “red flags” that indicated he was gaining more control.
Despite being told it would be “business as usual” during a talent meeting prior to the show, it was reported that McMahon was fully back in charge last night at WWE Raw, dealing a huge blow to morale.
Vince McMahon Made Numerous Changes To WWE Raw
Now, a new report from Fightful Select details some of the changes made as well as talent’s reactions.
Despite talent being told that Triple H would still have the final say in terms of creative operations, McMahon stepped in and made multiple changes right before the show was set to go on the air. He had his own office all weekend and was reportedly in Gorilla position all night.
Several on the roster were left frustrated, and while some of the creative changes weren’t necessarily bad, talent expressed that the dishonestly surrounding the situation was a “blow,” especially as many members of the roster were fired during McMahon’s previous regime.
As far as changes to the show, Fightful notes that there were originally meant to be two women’s triple threat matches to serve as a tournament to determine the next number one contender for Bianca Belair’s Raw Women’s Championship. However, those matches were cut, and a tag team title contender’s match was made instead.
Furthermore, Bayley was set to be ringside with her fellow Damage CTRL members, but she was cut from the show. Fightful notes that many women on the roster were frustrated by the changes. In fact, it was said to be the “biggest hit to morale” since McMahon retired last July.
The match between Omos and Elias was also reportedly a last minute change as Omos was in catering and not expecting to wrestle on the show. Those backstage had to scramble to find gear for him to wrestle in.
Talent were also scrambling to do last minute shoots during the program due to all the late changes.
Fightful Select also reports that a segment involving Cody Rhodes talking on the phone was cut, as was a planned interaction between Bad Bunny and the lWo, though it’s unclear whether these changes were Vince McMahon’s decision. The decision for Cody Rhodes and Brock Lesnar to team up at the beginning of the show were set by Monday morning.
According to Fightful, there are those high up in the company who didn’t know McMahon was planning to make so many changes on Monday, and they’re unaware of his plans for Friday’s episode of SmackDown. If he travels to Portland for SmackDown, it will be seen as a negative sign backstage, whether or not he’s in Gorilla position.
The main event of WWE Raw was set up at the beginning of the show when Brock Lesnar aligned himself with Cody Rhodes to take on Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa later in the night. However, before the match could begin, Lesnar attacked Cody, delivering a brutal minutes-long beatdown that lasted until the show went off the air.
Fans weren’t happy with the episode, even rating it the worst Raw ever on Cagematch.