Ruminating on Mr. McMahon's return

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January 16, 2009

The past week has seen some shocking news reverberate throughout the WWE Universe: Mr. McMahon is coming back to Monday Night Raw. As Chris Jericho told a stunned Stephanie McMahon on the Jan. 5 edition of Raw, in just two short weeks the Chairman of WWE will be making his return after more than six months away.

Jericho strongly implied that Mr. McMahon's return could have something to do with the way his daughter has been running Raw, but given the sly, cagey nature of the first-ever Undisputed World Champion, it's uncertain whether this can be taken at face-value. With this week's Raw fast approaching, WWE.com took the opportunity to compile a list of some possible reasons behind Mr. McMahon's return.

Starting McMahon's Million Dollar Mania back up
The tragic accident that injured Mr. McMahon took place on June 23, 2008, which was not only the night of the 2008 WWE Draft, but was also smack-dab in the middle of McMahon's Million Dollar Mania. With the Chairman incapacitated for an undetermined amount of time, the giveaway (which saw McMahon give away $1 million on each episode of Raw), was suspended indefinitely. Now, with economies tanking and businesses going under worldwide, a McMahon-funded economics stimulus package could be just what the doctor ordered.

WrestleMania 25 announcement
This March will see the WWE Universe celebrating a quarter-century of the Grandest Stage of Them All, WrestleMania. For such an auspicious event, it'd be a surprise not to see Mr. McMahon himself front and center. But what type of role can we expect him to play? We might see another billionaire give the Chairman a haircut; perhaps a Mohawk from Sir Richard Branson, or Bill Gates crafted dreadlocks? Or, after the success of WrestleMania XXIV's historic bout between Big Show and Floyd Mayweather, maybe it's Mr. McMahon's turn to box The World's Largest Athlete …

Formal retirement
The opposite, however, could also be possible. After years spent building up and promoting WWE, Mr. McMahon's latest injury could be the nail in the coffin of a decades-spanning career in the entertainment industry. The Chairman is no stranger to injury, having competed in his share of brutal matches (even capturing the WWE and ECW titles), but the accident at the 2008 WWE Draft was something else entirely, seeing the set collapse on McMahon and putting him out of commission for more than six months. During that time, the McMahon family kept their private business closely guarded, but the extent of Mr. McMahon's injuries may well have been more severe than the WWE Universe suspected, possibly resulting in his retirement.

New championship introduction
Mr. McMahon's return could be much less dire in nature, however, as the Chairman's propensity to "shake things up" is well-documented. In particular, it has been years since a new championship was brought into the picture. With WWE's two tag team titles currently held by members of SmackDown and ECW, now could be the perfect time to introduce a third tag title to be defended on Raw. Or, perhaps even more exciting, Mr. McMahon could reintroduce the fan-favorite Cruiserweight Championship, but this time making the title exclusive to the Raw brand.

Rubbing salt in Shawn Michaels' wounds
It's also possible that recent events on Raw have acted to draw Mr. McMahon back into the spotlight. The past weeks have seen Shawn Michaels lower himself to working for JBL due to some financial dire straights. Given the Chairman's history with HBK and his diabolical nature, it wouldn't be surprising to find out that Mr. McMahon is nursing a serious cause of schadenfreude. And if the Chairman is hoping to rub The Showstopper's face in his current situation, what better place to do it than in Chicago, where Michaels beat McMahon in a No Holds Barred Match at WrestleMania 22?

Meeting Dolph Ziggler
Or, in spite of all of our earth-shattering predictions, Mr. McMahon could be returning to Monday nights for something relatively simple. Ever since appearing on the program, Dolph Ziggler has stalked the locker room area, introducing himself to Superstars and Divas in a typically smarmy manner. With the Chairman away for more than six months, perhaps he's a little miffed that he's near the only person in WWE who hasn't been subjected to the young Superstar's relentless repetition of "Hi, I'm Dolph Ziggler."

Joining Randy Orton's new group
Young third-generation Superstar Randy Orton has been hard at work lately putting together a group of similarly minded Superstars with similarly impressive lineages, associating with Cody Rhodes, Manu and Sim Snuka. Over the past two weeks, however, he ejected both Manu and Snuka from the group, leaving only Rhodes and himself. As is well-known to the WWE Universe, Mr. McMahon is a multi-generational Superstar himself, the son of legendary promoter Vince McMahon Sr. The Raw roster would do well to watch out, because the Chairman has the credentials to join Orton's group, and could make the already-dangerous association even more powerful.

Any of these could be the reason for Mr. McMahon's return, but to find out his actual motivations, you'll need to tune into Monday Night Raw at 9/8 CT only on USA Network.

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