Vince McMahon's limousine exploded on Monday Night Raw 12 years ago today

Vince McMahon's exploded limousine

Wrestling fans watching Monday Night Raw on June 11, 2007 could scarcely believe what they were witnessing come the end of the show.

On the night dubbed 'Mr McMahon Appreciation Night', WWE fans witnessed the presumed storyline killing of the owner of the company.

12 years ago, WWE was a lot different to it's mild-mannered formula of 2019. The PG Era hadn't come into play yet and we were still firmly in the Ruthless Aggression Era.

That meant riskier storylines could be produced and there was a lot more violence in the mid-2000's than there is now.

Earlier in 2007, McMahon began a feud with businessman Donald Trump, which concluded at WrestleMania 23 with Trump and Bobby Lashley shaving the head of McMahon in the middle of the ring.

McMahon rivalled with Lashley following 'Mania and became ECW Champion for a short period of time, but the storyline saw Vince have a 'breakdown'.

It led to the aforementioned 'appreciation night' to try and lift his spirits, but after thanking the crowd and everyone for their support, he made his way backstage and to his departure vehicle in a solemn state.

Vince McMahon's fake death in 2007 was one of the most shocking storylines WWE has ever produced

What happened next was simply unbelievable.

As McMahon shut the door to his limousine, it went up in flames - literally.

WWE literally broadcasted the 'death' of their chairman and it blurred the lines between fiction and reality so much that some fans believed McMahon was actually dead.

Even Trump himself didn't know what was going on and rang WWE to ask if Vince was okay.

WWE actually put out a press release stating that McMahon was 'presumed dead' but promoted Raw as in to tune in next week for the fallout, which made it pretty clear a storyline was in the works.

We would never actually know where the story was heading, as a three-hour Raw dedicated to the memory of McMahon two weeks later was replaced by a show dedicated instead to Chris Benoit, the former world champion who was found dead that weekend.

McMahon's friend Donald Trump called the WWE and asked if Vince was okay after the Raw limo explosion

Of course we all know what happened there, and the McMahon storyline was abandoned and he appeared out of character that night to announce the death of Benoit, and the following night to state that WWE would never mention Benoit's name again after his horrific actions.

McMahon returned to WWE television in August, stating that he faked his own death to see who would actually mourn for him.

It's the kind of storyline we will never see in WWE again - absolute car-crash television that made an instant impact, but the full effects of it could never be materialised.

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