The backstage WWE morale has taken it’s biggest hit in over a year, with Vince McMahon running the show for last night’s WWE Raw after WrestleMania.
The show saw multiple late changes made to the script, including two run sheets being handed to production during the first hour of the show, and Seth Rollins seemingly being informed of changes to his segment while he was in the ring.
The reaction to McMahon’s return has been largely negative as you can expect, per Fightful Select (subscription required).
Following WWE assuring talent for months that Vince would not be involved in creative, several talents were frustrated when, on the day of an announced WWE sale, many Vince McMahon-esque changes were made.
McMahon came along right before the show started, shortly following a WWE led meeting stating that nothing would change, and quite literally changed most of the show.
McMahon was also in the Gorilla Position for the entire show after the company had told numerous sources that Triple H would be the one leading the charge in that position. There were also changes being made well into the show, with new run sheets being passed along, as well as McMahon having his own office all weekend.
Vince McMahon said on CNBC that he would not be ‘in the weeds’ with creative earlier in the day, but he instead came in and made last minute, sweeping changes that frustrated several on his roster.
Several said that they didn’t even think the changes he made were creatively poor, but the dishonesty of the situation, considering that many of the talent had previously been fired by McMahon, was a depressing blow.
In addition to the ‘red flags’ of his involvement last week, there were big changes on short notice between the 6PM EST talent meeting and the show itself, which had been largely absent since Triple H took over creative in July.
There were originally set to be two triple threat women’s matches on the show that would serve as a tournament to crown a number one contender for Bianca Belair’s Raw Women’s Championship, which ended up being cut and replaced with the Tag Team Championship Contender’s match between Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez and Damage CTRL, as well as Elias vs Omos.
Fightful notes that several of the women on the WWE roster grew frustrated by the adjustment, with many staff and talent saying that after a successful WrestleMania and several months without Vince that showed the company could be successful, smooth and happy without him, it was demoralizing to have that happen.
Several of the women on the roster were very disappointed, including multiple that were not even at the show. In all, this was said to be the biggest hit to morale since McMahon left his spot last year, with it probably being the lowest point of morale in the company since pre-WrestleMania 38 where it reached near all-time lows.
Numerous WWE talent were disappointed, believing this weekend was a way for Vince McMahon to wedge himself back into the fold.
Earlier in the day, WWE claimed that Triple H would be the person leading Gorilla Position, but Vince ended up being present and many talent felt like they were sold a bill of goods.
One WWE higher up said that Friday’s SmackDown will be a big test, and an important day for the company, as Vince was already in Los Angeles for the weekend when Raw happened, but if he travels to Portland for SmackDown, whether he’s in Gorilla or not, it will be a huge negative sign to talent and staff.
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