Warning! The following contains spoilers for the WWE’s Monday Night Raw episode that aired on Monday, June 27, 2022. Read at your own risk!
John Cena celebrated the 20th anniversary of his main roster debut during the latest Monday Night Raw, and there was no shortage of fanfare for the legend’s appearance. The night featured a lot of surprises, including an unexpected appearance from Vince McMahon.
Yes, despite the active investigation involving him, Vince McMahon appeared on Monday Night Raw to be a part of John Cena’s celebration. For me personally, the moment tainted a perfect tribute night for Cena and his past accolades in the WWE. For those that missed it all, here’s what went down, and how McMahon’s presence left a smudge on an otherwise great night in my mind.
How Monday Night Raw Celebrated John Cena's 20th Anniversary
The WWE pulled out all the stops on Monday Night Raw to let John Cena know that he’s appreciated. Many wrestlers gave Cena props, including some that currently work in the rival company AEW. Paul Wight, Bryan Danielson, and Chris Jericho all sent videotaped well wishes, all in celebration of Cena’s big night.
Cena also appeared in small skits with various WWE superstars, including Austin Theory. It seems like there was definitely some work put in towards building justifications for a potential future match between the two, whenever that might be.
Later on, the entire WWE roster in attendance lined the ramp to honor John Cena on his way to the ring. Vince McMahon then stood in the ring and delivered a short speech before Cena came to deliver a speech of his own. Cena’s speech, surprisingly, didn’t set the stage for a guaranteed future match or appearance, though he did assure the excited crowd that he’d come back at some point for more matches. Cena thanked everyone for their support, and exited the ring to thunderous cheers.
Why Vince McMahon's Appearance Tainted It For Me
On June 15, news first surfaced that WWE’s board was in the process of investigating CEO and Chairman Vince McMahon for alleged payments of $3 million to a former WWE paralegal he allegedly had an affair with. That investigation, paired with other reveals from the report, led McMahon to step aside as CEO and Chairman of the WWE, and the committee in charge of the investigation put his daughter, Stephanie McMahon, in as interim CEO.
There’s no word that the WWE board concluded its investigation, and while Vince McMahon announced that he’s stepping aside, he was in the ring to personally address the crowd at Monday Night Raw and welcome John Cena. McMahon received cheers from the crowd, though it’s debatable if it was a crowd eager to see the CEO or the man celebrating his 20th anniversary: John Cena.
It almost felt like enjoying John Cena’s celebration meant I had to accept, as a longtime fan of the WWE, that I was only seeing him because of Vince McMahon. It’s true in some regard given McMahon's leadership of WWE for decades, and the realization in light of the investigation made it hard for me to appreciate or even properly absorb the Cena celebration.
Perhaps the part of Vince McMahon's appearance that bothered me the most was that it added nothing beneficial to the festivities of John Cena’s 20th anniversary celebration. Obviously, it added negative feelings for me and perhaps a number of other wrestling fans watching Monday Night Raw, which makes me wonder why it happened.
Peacock Premium subscribers can tune into the Money in the Bank pay-per-view on Saturday, July 2. It’ll be interesting to see how the matches turn out and how these victories will impact other upcoming WWE events in the future.
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Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.