A lot has been said about Vincent Kennedy McMahon over the years. He is the creator of sports entertainment, the man who made superstars like The Rock and Stone Cold and the largest innovator in his field of work. What else is there to say about Vince McMahon that hasn’t already been said? Well, we’re hoping we have 10 facts about him that you never would’ve expected.
Now we’re not going to highlight some of the more known aspects of his life, like the fact that he was an announcer for a long time, that he created the XFL or that he was even the WWE champion at some point. We’re going to look at a few more unknown elements of his life. If you know some of these, give yourself a pat on the back. If you don’t, enjoy having some interesting facts to dole out the next time you watch WrestleMania with your friends.
10. No Longer Worth a Billion
Vince McMahon has been through hard times before. When WCW came roaring through and stole top wrestlers like Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart, McMahon and the WWE started losing money. He found a way to beat them, buy them out and become the undisputed number one in the wrestling world. Things were going so well that in March of 2014, that the company stock rose by 89% and McMahon was valued at $1.6 billion. This wasn’t the first time McMahon had been valued at over a billion dollars in his life, but it had fluctuated a few times before. So, as could be expected, it fluctuated again. When WWE Network hit the market and underachieved, the shares dropped 29% and saw McMahon’s net value drop by $325 million. Then in May, the stock dropped another 40% and McMahon’s net value dropped by $350 million, bringing him to a net worth of $750 million.
It’s still an incredible amount of money, but a sign that times are rough for the WWE right now.
9. Created World Bodybuilding Federation
Everyone knows about Vince’s failed business venture with the XFL, but most forget about one of his other huge business failures, the WBF or World Bodybuilding Federation. It was created in 1990 with the idea of competing against the IFBB (International Federation of BodyBuilders). He hired famed bodybuilder Tom Platz as director of talent organization and promised the largest amount of prize money in bodybuilding history. He signed 13 competitors and even had them compete against WWE superstars on Family Feud to promote their first PPV. The first PPV in 1991 did okay, but the second one in 1992 did horribly, so the company disbanded in 1992. We might all forget about this failure, but it was as large a failure as the XFL.
8. He Nearly Went To Jail
Many forget about the steroid scandal that took place in the WWE in the early 90s, but it nearly cost Vince McMahon everything. McMahon was charged with selling and distributing steroids to his wrestlers, a drug that was made illegal in 1988. Nailz, a wrestler with the WWE in 1992, testified against McMahon saying that he forced wrestlers to take steroids, but he also stated that he hated Vince’s guts in his testimony, so his testimony was thrown out.
The man who saved the day was none other than Hulk Hogan, who testified on McMahon’s behalf. He stated that McMahon never distributed or forced steroids on his wrestlers. McMahon was later acquitted of all charges. The case could’ve gone either way and was deemed to be a tight one. If Nailz wouldn’t have shown his hatred of McMahon so obviously, perhaps his testimony would’ve been the difference.
7. Has a Degree in Business Administration
It’s obvious that he’s an intelligent business man, but Vince came from humble beginnings, earning a Business Administration degree from East Carolina University in 1968. It’s safe to say that he’s likely the most successful person to earn that degree from the University.
Three years after earning his degree he went into the family business with Vince Sr., who put him in charge of a wrestling territory in Maine.
6. He Was The ECW Champion
Many deem this the final nail in the coffin of the ECW brand. After the WWE acquired ECW, they attempted to keep their brand and give them their own weekly show and PPVs. The only problem is that the WWE element made ECW lose their flavor. The show was watered down in comparison to how it used to be and the ECW champion was always just a WWE star who had no storyline at the time. Guys like Christian, Mark Henry and Big Show held the title, and though they were very good wrestlers, they weren’t ECW wrestlers.
The largest lowlight of ECW’s unholy union with the WWE was when Vince McMahon beat Bobby Lashley for the title at Backlash in 2007. He won the title in a 3 vs 1 match, where McMahon also had his son Shane and Umaga by his side. Lashley won the belt back at the next PPV, but the damage was already done.
5. He Tore Both His Quads at the 2005 Royal Rumble
This is one of the strangest and saddest moments in WWE history. It was the Royal Rumble match with John Cena and Batista as the last two combatants. They both went over the rope and hit the ground at the same time. The refs looked confused and Vince McMahon came to the ring to sort out the mess. Except that on his way into the ring, he planted his foot wrong and tore both his quad muscles. Everyone look confused as McMahon barked instructions from his butt. Medics came and helped him out of the ring and the match restarted as per McMahon’s instructions. Batista ended up winning the match.
4. He Opened a WWE Restaurant in New York
It was initially called WWE New York before being renamed The World, but regardless of the name this was a WWE themed restaurant/nightclub in Times Square. The idea seems like a decent one, but like the XFL and WBF, it inevitably failed, thought it had a longer life span. Opened in 1999, the top floor sold merchandise and the bottom floor was a nightclub where WWE Fans could go to watch Raw, SmackDown! or any WWE PPV. For two years, Sunday Night Heat was even taped at the location. However, in 2003 they sold their lease to the Hard Rock Cafe to focus on global efforts, whatever that means.
3. His Son Left to China
In the late 90s, the world became familiar not only with Vince and his wife Linda, but their two children, Shane and Stephanie. While Stephanie has fully embraced the business and even married WWE Superstar Triple H, Shane has always been a little more hesitant. He first left the company when he was 15, fed up with horrible wages given to him by his father. He went out and got a job at triple the pay, which made Vince incredibly proud. He came back and worked his way up the ladder, eventually becoming Executive Vice President of Global Media, and a part time wrestler. Then, in 2009, he left the company because he wanted to see if he could make it on his own, without the help of dear ol’ dad.
He became chairman of a Chinese company by the name of YOU on Demand, which is known as the Netflix of China. The company hasn’t boomed of yet, but Shane is confident that it will. Shane maintains that he and his father are still very close, despite him leaving the family business.
2. He’s Dyslexic
Now this is more of a rumor than a certain fact, but many of different publications have reported it. Apparently Vince was dyslexic as a young man but as he got older managed to overcome the issue.
1. Only Met His Father at Age 12
Now, everyone knows that Vince Jr., was given (or took, depending who you speak with) the WWE from his father Vince Sr., but a less known fact is that he didn’t know his dad well growing up. In fact, he only met his dad when he was 12 years old, having lived with his mother his entire childhood by the name of Vincent Lupton. In an interview with E:60, he said that he lived with his mom and step-father in an 8-foot-wide trailer. He also, sadly, said he had been abused, physically and emotionally, by his step-father and says “it was unfortunate my step-father died before I had a chance to kill him.”
After meeting his father at the age of 12, he quickly changed his last name to McMahon in high school and started working for his father once he finished college. After about 10 years of hard work, his father gave the company to his son, and the rest is history.