Vince McMahon is one of the most polarizing names in all forms of entertainment. The vision of McMahon allowed WWE to take wrestling into the mainstream. You can’t knock his hustle as Vince is the biggest name responsible for wrestling becoming the popular art form it is today. However, many people despise him for his savage business skills and various things about him as a human being in general. The shocking thing is that it is hard to get a good grasp of McMahon as a person due to how private he keeps his life away from the WWE product.
There are very few interviews out there getting into what he thinks or who he is. Wrestlers discussing their relationships with him have been the best insight into how Vince lives. A few surprising details about his childhood, the road to taking WWE to the top of the sports entertainment industry and personal life outside of the ring have been revealed throughout the years. We will take a look at the most interesting aspects to McMahon as a person. WWE may not be here today if not for Vince and this list looks at some of the things that helped make him the person he is. These are fifteen shocking revelations about wrestling’s most powerful man, Vince McMahon.
15. Turned Down Chance To Buy UFC At Cheap Price
Vince McMahon is regarded as a brilliant businessman, but he has his fair share of regrettable decisions. Everyone knows how badly the XFL and the World Bodybuilding Federation each failed under his vision. However, one of the biggest mistakes made by Vince was saying no to an idea from his son Shane McMahon. Mixed martial arts did not take off until within the past ten-to-fifteen years but Shane saw the boom coming.
On multiple occasions, Shane tried to talk Vince into purchasing UFC multiple times when the price was quite affordable. Vince didn’t think much of MMA and felt it was a horrible investment. UFC went on to become the next big thing and arguably passed WWE in the pecking order of sports entertainment. McMahon missed out on a tremendous asset by turning down the forward thinking idea of his son. Today, Vince definitely wishes he listened to Shane as his fortune would likely be even bigger.
14. Doesn’t Eat With Hands
One of the recent bizarre stories to be discovered about Vince McMahon focuses on his eating habits. It has been rumored that he has a steak for dinner every single night before a show but it goes way deeper than that. Former WWE producer Bruce Prichard revealed on his podcast that McMahon refuses to eat with his hands and makes it a personal rule to avoid having any meals without using utensils.
The one food McMahon will use his hands for is sandwiches and he claims it doesn’t count. Pizza enthusiasts would be ashamed that Vince even uses a knife and fork to eat pizza. The refusal of McMahon to get his hands dirty is just one of the odd quirks about him. If you are lucky enough to share a meal with the billionaire, you will have to watch what you eat and how you eat it. McMahon reportedly expects his peers to follow suit in their eating habits when sharing a meal together.
13. Alleged Drug Addiction
The history of WWE is riddled with many drug controversies going back decades ago. WWE has made a strong effort to clean up the company today and their drug testing prevents wrestlers from using drugs. However, Vince McMahon may have been one of the many people in the company to have an issue with drug abuse. The book titled Ring of Hell: The Story of Chris Benoit and the Fall of the Pro Wrestling Industry claimed that Vince had a “love affair” with cocaine.
According to the writer and his sources, McMahon used to brag that he could indulge in more cocaine than anyone else that partook in the act with him. There’s an urban legend out there that McMahon and Hulk Hogan would use the drug together in the 1980s after every show to celebrate their success together. No close friend of Vince has ever confirmed it but a few wrestlers in shoot interviews stated they wouldn’t be surprised due to how he acts.
12. Loves Gross And Inappropriate Humor
One of the most ridiculous things about Vince McMahon is his love of gross humor. The juvenile form of comedy is what apparently makes McMahon laugh more than anything else. Jim Ross shared a story about Vince “sharting” himself backstage. The reaction of McMahon was to take his pants off and chase Gerald Brisco around in hopes of making him throw up due to having a weak stomach. Vince may be the only billionaire that would ever consider doing this.
There have been many segments on Raw related to bathroom humor that often crossed the line. It has become obvious that these were things that Vince found funny and that is why it made television. This is definitely one positive to the PG-era in that McMahon can no longer write a vulgar sense of physical comedy. Vince reportedly hates the public knowing this about him as Ross was rumored to be in hot water with WWE for sharing the aforementioned story.
11. Came Up With PPV Name Great Balls of Fire
The recent WWE PPV titled Great Balls of Fire is still hard to process being a real thing. Fans were shocked at the news of the PPV being announced and it seemed like a prank leading all the way into the show. It was another standard WWE PPV no different from any other aside from the odd name. The title was inspired by the Jerry Lee Lewis song and was an idea directly from the mind of Vince McMahon.
During a media tour before the show, Kurt Angle was asked about the ridiculous name and revealed McMahon made it up. McMahon apparently thought the idea was hilarious and that was his rational for going through with it. A fan theory believes that Vince is trying to enjoy the final few years of his life running WWE and is starting to throw out silly ideas that he always held back on. Great Balls of Fire being the name of a show definitely appears to be something meant for his own amusement.
10. Donated Large Amount Of Money To Donald Trump’s Campaign
WWE has tried to refrain from discussing anything political following the campaign of Vince McMahon’s friend Donald Trump. Linda McMahon even received a spot on the cabinet after Trump became the President of the United States. Despite the clear love between the McMahons and Trump, WWE badly wants to keep attention away from the relationship. WWE has doubled down on their efforts in supporting diversity, the LGBTQ community, and others that are opposed Trump’s idea of what America should be.
Vince and Linda McMahon donated over $7 million to Trump’s campaign. Considering WWE refuses to publicly acknowledge one of their celebrity wing Hall of Famers is the President, this was definitely a controversial move that doesn’t coincide with their approach to things. The political beliefs of McMahon are kept out of the product or it could lead to a bigger issue for WWE. Still, the huge donation is a bit of a surprise for someone trying to remain publicly neutral and a company speaking against many things Trump stands for.
9. Struggled To Tell Black Wrestlers Apart
One story that paints Vince McMahon in a poor light featured an exchange with Michael Tarver of all people. The former Nexus member reportedly asked a question to McMahon during a backstage meeting in front of everyone. Curt Hawkins shares the story with the punch line of Vince responding to Tarver by saying “great question, Shelton.” It wasn’t a bad joke as McMahon actually thought Tarver was Shelton Benjamin.
Tarver did not have much television time up to that point making it plausible that Vince didn’t know who he was and threw out the name of Shelton in hopes of getting it right. Tarver apparently didn’t even correct McMahon at the meeting. We have no way of knowing if Vince continued to call him Shelton for the rest of his tenure. Tarver may have been better off getting a chance to team with Charlie Haas than anything he did in WWE following that time period.
8. Once Owned A Hockey Team
Many believe the XFL was Vince McMahon’s only big sports project outside of WWE but he also tried his luck in hockey. The Cape Cod Buccaneers was the Atlantic Coast Hockey League team owned by McMahon when he wanted a franchise to play in his Cape Cod Coliseum investment back in 1981. Vince’s hockey team only lasted one season due to disagreements with the league that would eventually flop.
The hockey project of McMahon actually took place before he took WWE into the mainstream for the wrestling boom. It is likely that Vince learned some things from the hockey failure and avoided similar mistakes as he made WWE a household name. A return to hockey may have been a better move in 2001 than launching the XFL. The record for the Buccaneers in their sole season of existence was a disappointing 17-21-1 to make McMahon’s hockey acumen look rather weak compared to his wrestling genius.
7. Pressured Daniel Bryan Into Retiring Too Early
The retirement of Daniel Bryan in early 2016 was among the most heartbreaking stories in wrestling at the time. Bryan fought WWE’s doctors’ words that he was not fit to compete after they continuously refused to clear him. Following months of going back and forth, Bryan agreed he was no longer going to try to return to WWE and chose to retire. Vince McMahon talked him into making it official days after his decision by making him show up to Raw in his hometown of Seattle.
Bryan delivered an emotional retirement speech that is still talked about today. The problem is Bryan has since changed his mind and wants to return to the ring after talking to other doctors. Bryan is teasing leaving WWE after his contract expires next year in hopes of returning to the independent circuit. In interviews since, Bryan has admitted that McMahon talked him into retiring sooner than he should have announced it.
6. Has Boat Named “Sexy B*tch”
The spoils that come with being a billionaire means you can afford basically anything you want. Vince McMahon clearly enjoys that aspect of life. Some of the things he spends on are his mansion in Connecticut, expensive cars and pricy suits. McMahon has some more extravagant things with one standing out specifically once you hear about it. Vince purchased a very expensive yacht much like many people in his income bracket. The shocking aspect of this is the name.
McMahon named his yacht the “Sexy Bitch” as it remains in Boca Raton, Florida. The yacht is a massive 47 feet in size and appears to be one of many items summarizing Vince’s ego. No one would name a boat such a ridiculous name if they didn’t want the attention from it. McMahon is both showing off his wealth to the common folks and insulting the fellow wealthy yacht owners by having that name on it.
5. Had To Share Ownership Of WWE At First
The entire landscape of the wrestling business changed when the Vince McMahon we know purchased WWE from his father Vince McMahon Sr. One lesser known fact about the agreement was that Vince Jr. wasn’t the only owner and he only owned 50% of the company. Gorilla Monsoon, Phil Zacko, and Arnold Skaaland owned the other half of the company as the close friends of Vince Sr. and the rest of the McMahon family.
Vince Jr. struck a deal by taking a loan from the bank to pay each man $100,000 along with the guarantee of lifelong jobs in the company. Arnold’s wife Betty Skaaland is still taken care of by the company proving McMahon lived up to his word. The decision to put it all on the line came because Vince knew he needed full control to make the changes that would take WWE to the mainstream. Everyone benefited from the selling of WWE.
4. Open About Cheating On Linda
One of the rare things Vince McMahon has revealed about his personal life is the fact that he cheats on his wife Linda McMahon. The on-screen WWE product has seen Vince make out with many of the women on the roster. This however carried over off screen as McMahon did not remain faithful to his wife. Vince revealed on the Howard Stern Show that he openly cheated on her with other women at various points.
The reason they are still together according to McMahon is due to his honesty. Linda is apparently fine with it or they have some sort of arrangement that allows them to stay together. You have to wonder about the women that he paired himself with on camera and if he had any affairs with the women on the roster of many decades ago. Regardless, Vince and Linda are still together today and never once had a divorce or separation.
3. Multiple Wrestlers Have Attacked Him Backstage
The wrestling business is a very personal one with personalities clashing quite often. There have been numerous fights backstage between the wrestlers due to issues getting serious. Vince McMahon should be the one person exempt as the owner of WWE, but he found his way on the negative side of punches being thrown multiple times in the 90s.
Lower card act Nailz reportedly felt he was owed money and McMahon refused to pay him leading to Nailz beating up the owner until someone entered the office to break it up. Nailz obviously never worked for WWE again and was unofficially blacklisted from wrestling.
The other scenario was more well-known with Bret Hart punching McMahon’s lights out following the Montreal Screwjob in 1997. Vince likely knew it was coming when going into the locker room to explain to Bret why he “screwed” him on his final night in WWE. Many wrestlers believe McMahon took the punch to make things right knowing he did something wrong that night. Still, getting a black eye from an athlete is a bold move.
2. Had A Tough Childhood
Vince McMahon’s wealth and the McMahon family reputation make you assume they’ve been wealthy for generations. The childhood of Vince, however, saw him grow up poor in a North Carolina trailer with his mother and step fathers at different points. McMahon claims one of the step fathers would beat both his mother and him. Vince didn’t actually meet his father Vince Sr. until he was 12 years old and the two actually formed a close relationship despite the early life of abandonment.
The billionaire’s childhood was spent living in fear with little money and dealing with life without a father until he was nearly a teenager. McMahon Sr.’s role in the wrestling business, however, helped the father and son develop a shared interest. Obviously, the rest is history with McMahon Jr. becoming the successor to his father and taking the business into the future. Very few know of Vince’s beginnings of a very difficult life before wrestling.
1. Loves Mentally Breaking Down Wrestlers
A very sadistic revelation about Vince McMahon is how he views wrestlers. Chris Jericho’s Talk is Jericho podcast episode with the Big Show featured the two veterans sharing their stories of coming to WWE after years in WCW. McMahon gave them each huge pushes to start their WWE careers before completely burying them. The rational of Vince is to break down the wrestlers so they can lose their egos and he can reshape them into what he wants for their WWE perception.
Jericho claimed he has seen it many times and at least one current top star is experiencing the process. Apparently, all top stars deal with it to some extent. McMahon likes knowing a character is his own creation and talent will suffer a long process in getting through their WWE career. The mental stress for wrestlers definitely makes this a negative but McMahon truly believes his way leads to the most success for all involved.
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