WWE Chairman and CEO Vince "Mr." McMahon will return to Raw this Monday for a rare appearance in which he's set to "shake up" the company. In most entertainment companies, executives are content to make their decisions from the privacy of their own offices, but in professional wrestling - or as WWE calls it "sports entertainment" - that's never really been the case. For example, despite being in charge of the then-WWF since the early 1980s, Vince McMahon has always played an on-air role as well.
Those who watched wrestling in the 1980s and 1990s likely remember Vince's tenure as a play-by-play commentator on WWF programming, during which he became famous for both his enthusiasm for the job and tendency to refer to any move he didn't recognize as "what a maneuver!" Vince's trajectory changed suddenly in the late 1990s, when the adult-oriented "Attitude Era" took off in popularity, and Vince McMahon the humble announcer character became "Mr. McMahon," an arrogant, cruel, and sadistic boss that served as the nemesis to blue-collar hero "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
While most of his current and past employees would say that Vince is nothing like Mr. McMahon in real life, he sure did prove to be a capable onscreen bad guy. At age 73 though, Vince's TV appearances have become a rarity in recent years, with his adult children Shane and Stephanie McMahon and son-in-law Triple H now serving as the primary authority figures on WWE programming. As a byproduct of his limited appearances though, fans have come to expect that when Mr. McMahon struts out to his iconic "No Chance in Hell" theme song, something big is about to happen concerning WWE. To that end, WWE.com has confirmed that Mr. McMahon will be appearing on Monday's Raw, his first time on the show since a backstage segment in March, and will "shake up" WWE somehow.
While it remains to be seen why Vince - or more accurately, the Mr. McMahon character - will be returning to Raw after such a long absence, one can bet it won't be to announce something small. If the boss shows up, a big bombshell is probably about to be dropped, or a big storyline about to be kicked off. According to most fans, Raw is in desperate need of shaking up too, as the long-running 3-hour program has become predictable, boring, and stale. This downward trend is evident looking at the recent ratings for Raw, which are hitting the lowest levels in the 25-year history of the show.
With WWE holding its annual TLC (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs) pay-per-view this Sunday, one wonders if whatever Mr. McMahon ends up involved with on Raw will be connected to something notable that occurs at TLC. With hated heel Raw GM Baron Corbin set to battle Braun Strowman at TLC with the stipulation that if he loses he's out of the job, perhaps Corbin will cheat to win, and Vince will override his victory on Raw and shout "YOU'RE FIRED!" at him in his own inimitable way. Or perhaps Corbin will lose, and Mr. McMahon will announce his replacement. Then again, what happens could be entirely out of left field, and truly shake WWE up going forward. Whatever the aging billionaire ultimately has to say, it'll surely lead to a memorable moment.