Top WWE Executive To Kick Off 7/22 SmackDown

Amidst all the commotion today surrounding Vince McMahon's retirement, WWE took to Twitter earlier this evening and announced that the new Chairwoman and Co-CEO of WWE, Stephanie McMahon, will open tonight's "SmackDown."

Stephanie McMahon took over as the Chairwoman of WWE after her father, Vince, stepped down a few weeks ago amid news that the WWE Board of Directors had begun investigating him for allegedly having an affair with a former WWE employee a few years ago, and using money to buy their silence. Since then, more has come out. A follow-up report uncovered more allegations of Vince paying even more former WWE employees to sign non-disclosure agreements over the years.

Now-former former Executive Vice-President of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis was removed from his position after also being allegedly involved in the non-disclosure agreements which are now under investigation.

The last time we saw Stephanie McMahon on "SmackDown" was back in 2019, where she appeared on "SmackDown's" 1,000th episode, on R-Truth's talk show, Truth-TV. Though Stephanie is no stranger to the blue brand, as in the early 2000s, she served as the on-air "Smackdown" General Manager opposing Eric Bischoff and "Monday Night Raw." She has also made sporadic appearances on "SmackDown" over the years, usually alongside husband and EVP of WWE, Triple H, and other authority figures within the WWE.

Stephanie's appearance on "SmackDown" follows weeks of Vince McMahon showing up on "Raw" and "SmackDown". However, unlike Vince, Stephanie is on her way in, rather than on her way out so we may see something different from what Vince McMahon has been giving us these last few weeks, which has been brief appearances to hype up the show.

Stephanie found herself in hot water this year, as MLW's lawsuit against WWE's apparent contract tampering, with rumors speculating she was at the head of it all. Though obviously, she didn't stay gone for long.