June 11, 2007
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon slowly walked from the service entrance of the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre Twp., toward a waiting limousine. McMahon paused for moment before opening the door to the vehicle. Was McMahon feeling that something wasn’t right? He entered the limo and moments later there was a massive explosion. The limo was in flames and McMahon was inside, or so fans thought.
Prior to this explosive finale, fans in the arena and at home were treated to evening of Superstars during WWE’s draft. Wrestlers such as John Cena, Batista, Randy Orton, Edge and The Miz fought to earn draft picks for their shows. All WWE wrestlers from the three shows — “Raw,” “Smackdown Live!” and “Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW)” were eligible for the draft. The wrestlers could end up being drafted from their current show to a new one.
Fans watching from home began calling the City of Wilkes-Barre Police Department and the Wilkes-Barre Twp. Police Department asking questions about the explosion that they just witnessed on the USA Network. Was McMahon alive?
If you asked WWE that question, they said he was dead and the there was investigation into his explosive death. The following day, WWE’s website stated the organization was in mourning.
But all of this was just a part of the show. According to an article written by the Citizens’ Voice on June 13, the explosion was filmed on Sunday, June 10, on the arena’s property. Wilkes-Barre Police Twp. Police Chief Robert Brozowski said the death of Vince McMahon was a hoax.
Weeks later on another episode of “Raw” from Buffalo, New York, McMahon returned. He addressed the crowd and said that he staged his death to see if he was really loved by his fans.
Today, in addition to chairman, McMahon is CEO and majority holder of the company, and continues his on-screen roles along with children, Stephanie and Shane. Wife, Linda, who served as CEO of WWE, heads the Small Business Administration under the Trump Administration.
Brian Fulton has been the librarian at The Times-Tribune for the past 14 years. On his blog, Historically Hip, he writes about the great concerts, plays/musicals and celebrity happenings that have taken place throughout NEPA. He is also the co-host of the local history podcast, Historically Hip. He competed and was crowned grand champion on an episode of NPR quiz show “Ask Me Another.” Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9140; or @TTPagesPast