Triple H Absent From May 12th WWE SmackDown, Report Reveals Who Led The Taping

WWE Chief Content Officer Triple H

In the wake of Vince McMahon’s retirement last July amidst an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct and hush money payments, Triple H took over both talent relations and creative operations, upgrading his title to Chief Content Officer.

McMahon returned to the Board of Directors last January in order to facilitate a sale of the company, and in April it was announced that WWE would be merging with UFC under parent company Endeavor to form a new $21+ billion entity. Endeavor head Ari Emmanuel will serve as CEO of the new corporation while Vince McMahon has been named Executive Chairman of the Board. Dana White and former WWE CEO Nick Khan will serve as UFC and WWE Presidents respectively.

Despite McMahon’s return and reports that he’s influencing some creative decisions, Triple H is said to still be the one in charge as Chief Content Officer. McMahon was recently in attendance at the Raw following WrestleMania, but he is not regularly backstage, and his son-in-law is usually found in Gorilla position running the show.

Who Led WWE SmackDown In Triple H’s Absence?

According to a new report from PWInsider Elite, Triple H was not present during the May 12th episode of SmackDown in Knoxville, TN. PWInsider did not learn of a reason for his absence, but did note that Bruce Prichard was the one stepping in the lead the taping.

The May 12th episode saw AJ Styles go head to head with Bobby Lashley in the main event. Earlier in the night, both men were victorious in triple threat matches to help earn a chance at the new World Heavyweight Championship. In the end, Styles was victorious, and he will face Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions on May 27th.