Stephanie McMahon Addresses Vince's WWE Retirement to Kick off SmackDown

There have been some big shake-ups in WWE ahead of tonight's episode of SmackDown, with Vince McMahon revealing his retirement and then reports surfacing that as a result, Brock Lesnar decided to leave the arena ahead of tonight's SmackDown. In another surprise, it was new WWE Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon who would kick off tonight's episode, heading to the ring and delivering a promo that looked to kick off a new chapter in the company while also thanking her father for his work to this point, and you can watch the full promo below.

"This is the WWE Universe and we are eternally grateful for all of you, but since Vince had the opportunity to thank us, I think this is the moment we take to thank him. Let's do it together," Stephanie said. Then she said "Thank you Vince", and the crowd picked up the chant several more times before The Street Profits' music hit.

Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins were both in the crowd and celebrated as they made their way to the ring. They would eventually end up in a segment with The Usos and Austin Theory, which is of course linked to their match at SummerSlam.

Regarding Vince, he announced his retirement from WWE on Twitter, but then issued a full statement in a post later in the day, and you can find his full statement below.

"As I approach 77 years old, I feel it's time for me to retire as Chairman and CEO of WWE. Throughout the years, it's been a privilege to help WWE bring you joy, inspire you, thrill you, surprise you, and always entertain you. I would like to thank my family for mightily contributing to our success, and I would also like to thank all of our past and present Superstars and employees for their dedication and passion for our brand. Most importantly, I would like to thank our fans for allowing us into your homes every week and being your choice of entertainment. I hold the deepest appreciation and admiration for our generations of fans all over the world who have liked, currently like, and sometimes even love our form of Sports Entertainment," McMahon said.

"Our global audience can take comfort in knowing WWE will continue to entertain you with the same fervor, dedication, and passion as always. I am extremely confident in the continued success of WWE, and I leave our company in the capable hands of an extraordinary group of Superstars, employees, and executives – in particular, both Chairwoman and Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon and Co-CEO Nick Khan. As the majority shareholder, I will continue to support WWE in any way I can. My personal thanks to our community and business partners, shareholders, and Board of Directors for their guidance and support through the years. Then. Now. Forever. Together," McMahon said.

What did you think of Stephanie's comments? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things wrestling with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!