While Vince McMahon used to be a staple of WWE television as an on-screen character, things have noticeably changed over the past few years. He still takes part in the occasional storyline, whether it be Roman Reigns' initial babyface push, Becky Lynch's build-up to WrestleMania or the Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan storyline, but he doesn't have same dominating presence as he did in his Mr. McMahon days. He's appeared on WWE television three times this year — during Triple H's 25th-anniversary celebration, in a cameo during the Money in the Bank Ladder at WWE Headquarters and when WWE unveiled the WWE ThunderDome back in August.
During a recent episode of the 83 Weeks Podcast, Eric Bischoff recapped his involvement in the 2019 Draft last year, and how McMahon was initially opposed to making an onscreen appearance. It was only after some convincing from Stephanie McMahon that he relented.
"I think there was some awareness from Vince's part that his time on television as a character was in his rearview mirror," Bischoff said (h/t Wrestling Inc.). "Especially when you're as powerful of a character as Vince McMahon was and is. It's so easy to dominate/overshadow everything else that was on the show. Once you go out there and you establish yourself on camera when you're a character like Vince McMahon has been for so long, it's easy to fall into the trap of doing it too often and going back to that well."
Stephanie was the only member of the McMahon family to appear at this year's Draft, even though Vince is still heavily involved in each show's production backstage.
Bischoff was removed from his position as executive director of SmackDown shortly after last year's Draft. Paul Heyman lasted in the position up until this past June before being fired as well. In a new interview with Ariel Helwani, Heyman explained this week why he was fired.
"When I took the role of Executive Director, I made an agreement with Vince McMahon," Heyman said. "I want this job as long as every morning Vince McMahon woke up, he said thank God or whatever deity he subscribes to [that] Paul Heyman is looking after the store on Raw. And the day that Vince McMahon didn't wake up and feel that way, I didn't want the job anymore. I've been in a similar role when Vince was not happy with me and it's a miserable existence. I didn't want it and apparently on that day on that given time and given moment, Vince didn't wake up that morning thanking whatever deity he subscribes to that Paul Heyman was in charge of Raw. We left with a smile, a handshake, and a hug. Absolutely no harsh feelings and actually better feelings about each other because of the way that it ended because it's ended miserably before."