Vince McMahon was backstage at WWE Raw in Boston, which caused a stir online.
It seemed like based on those we heard back from that it caused more of a stir online than in person, as most of the talent thought it was a matter of time before they'd see him back in general. Specifically, the initial talent that caused the report multiple weeks ago doubled down on their feelings, after Vince McMahon popped up.
More than anything, it was Vince's physical appearance that turned heads. Vince McMahon arrived with dyed hair and a small mustache, that numerous talent described as resembling that of Gomez Addams from The Addams Family. More than even what Vince McMahon was doing or what it meant for the future, his appearance was heavily discussed. One person in WWE who has known Vince for 20 years said that it was "more drastic and a shock than him getting his head shaved." There have been numerous fake photos on social media circulating of Vince's new look. Thus far no real ones have emerged.
McMahon was at Gorilla position throughout the night and was not shy about saying hello and greeting talent. However, none of the talent or staff that we spoke to said that he was providing instructions, feedback, or orders to anyone that they saw. The wide discussion in the locker room and among talent was that Vince McMahon was there to visit John Cena and to enjoy the show, with them believing that he came there specifically because Cena was booked.
This was a stark contrast to when Vince McMahon forced himself back into power in December, and there seemed to be panic, or when he appeared on TV after the WSJ stories emerged and were met with disgust. There didn't seem to be a lot of panic, at least based on those we heard from. One talent said "the big tell will be if he's at Smackdown."
Talent and staff were not prepared for McMahon to be around, and were not briefed about the situation before and after. There were several higher ups in the company that also were not made aware until he was there, with one noting that they wish they would have been clued in considering the nature of the last nine months in WWE.
There were a few talent that said they intentionally avoided associating with him, despite them believing they'll likely have to deal with him in the future. Speaking of the future, one WWE higher up felt personally as if this was also a case of McMahon testing the waters of showing his face at WWE events and how the talent and staff would react. Now that he's been back, many expect him to be seen at other upcoming events.
Fightful reached out to WWE in an official capacity, but did not get a statement on Vince's appearance at the show.
McMahon did not appear at Smackdown, and those that we heard from said that he was in a "jovial mood" backstage in Boston for Raw.
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