Born on August 24th, 1945, Vincent Kennedy McMahon is undoubtedly a revolutionary and true icon of the wrestling business. Sure, Vinny Mac may now be intent on ramming “sports entertainment” down our throats as he sits embarrassed about any ties to the rasslin’ business while counting his reported $1.24 billion worth, but there’s no arguing the influence and effect of Vince on the wrestling landscape since he first got into the industry in the late 1960s and early ‘70s.
Many will herald McMahon as the savior of a business often looked at as a carny trade, while others will highlight how Vince has had just as much (if not more) of a negative influence on the wrestling industry as the years have gone on, with him killing the territories and eventually monopolizing the business.
Whether you’re a fan or not, there’s no disputing that Vince is a huge part of wrestling history, and he now effectively runs the industry as a whole… even if it is under the “sports entertainment” guise. But regardless of what you think of him, Vincent Kennedy McMahon has had a truly unique and often disturbed life during his 71 years and counting, and here are 20 of the most chilling facts about VKM.
20 Ignoring His Roots
There’s no question that Vince McMahon had a horrible childhood, and you could certainly understand why he’d maybe not like to talk about his younger days all that much. That said, when it comes to his roots, Vince absolutely hates for people to know that he grew up in a trailer park.
In Vince’s mind, growing up in such humble surroundings is a sign of weakness and a way for his competition (of which there really isn’t any these days!) to take a dig at him. So instead of embracing and championing his true rags-to-riches story, McMahon chooses to ignore his trailer park homestead where he was raised by his single mother.
Instead, Vince wants to be thought of as nothing less than a high-class billionaire who has always been in the powerful position that he’s been in for the past several decades.
19 Exploiting Death
When anyone involved with the wrestling business dies, the age-old adage is that they’d have loved to have been involved in a storyline or angle even in death. While that may prove true for some performers, at times, it can feel nothing short of disrespectful when a company exploits someone’s recent passing.
Disrespectful? Pah! That would never stop Vince McMahon. In fact, bad taste and disrespect have often been Vince’s forte -- from having Randy Orton tell Rey Mysterio that Eddie Guerrero’s in hell following Eddie’s passing, to the then-recently-deceased Paul Bearer being mocked in the buildup to CM Punk vs The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXIX, to even going as far back as when they aired a brutal beatdown of Rick McGraw by Roddy Piper just a day after McGraw had died of a heart attack.
For whatever reason, when Vinny Mac hears “death,” he instantly sees dollar signs.
18 Didn’t Meet His Real Father Until He Was 12
Adding some further sense of tragedy to a childhood full of abuse, torment, and a revolving door of father figures, Vince McMahon -- then just known as Vinnie Lupton -- didn’t actually meet his real father until he was 12 years of age. Vince Sr. had divorced Vince’s mother Vickie when the future WWE boss was still just a small infant. From there, Vince Sr. left the family behind and focussed on his ventures in the wrestling business.
Despite the period of absence, the 12-year-old Vince was instantly drawn in by his father’s world of men in tights and good guys versus bad guys. And even though Vince Sr. spent the next decade or so trying to talk his son out of becoming a wrestler, Vince Jr. would take on his father’s name and soon start on his path to becoming an icon of the industry.
17 Strung Dr. D Out To Dry
When "Dr. D" David Schultz turned up in the then-WWF in 1984, it didn’t take long for the brutish brawler to become one of the top bad guys in the company. And then it all went wrong for Dr. D when 20/20’s John Stossel was backstage for a Madison Square Garden show.
With Stossel probing performers on whether the industry was ‘fake’ or not, several of the superstars and higher-ups took exception to some of these comments, so much so, Vince McMahon reportedly told Schulz to rough up Stossel a little in order to protect the business.
As Stossel outright told Dr. D how he thought pro wrestling was phony, Schultz did as told and heavily slapped the reporter twice, putting him on his ass both times.
The incident made national news; Stossel sued the WWF and was paid off with $425,000 for an out-of-court settlement, and Dr. D was fired in a move that showed how clinical and callous Vince can be when trying to save face.
16 The Macho Man Issue
Whether you remember him as Macho Man or Macho King, Randy Savage is easily one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. Regardless of his stature as a true icon of the industry, though, Savage was never considered for a WWF/E return by Vince McMahon -- and the reason for that is surrounded by infamy and rumors.
Savage left the then-WWF in 1994, but it was only in the years following that when the rumors started over the former 2-time WWF Champion having had a sexual relationship with Stephanie McMahon, who in ’94 was just 18 years of age.
Considering that Vince has brought back so many people who’ve burnt their WWF/E bridges over the years -- such as Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Bret Hart, and even Eric Bischoff -- the fact that the idea of Savage returning was always shot down is mightily odd. Add to that the fact that even WWE staff believe Savage did indeed have a relationship with Stephanie, and you can understand why things were frosty on this front.
15 Was Court-Martialed In Military School
As a bit of a bad boy during his teenage years, Vince McMahon actually became the first cadet in the history of Fishburne Military School to be court-martialed. According to pro wrestler Johnny Valiant, who was also at the same school and was court-martialed along with McMahon, this all came about due to Vince's slack attitude and his eagerness for fooling around. As McMahon himself explains it, the final straws that led to him being court-martialed were his stealing his commandant’s car and his giving the same commandant’s dog a laxative-laced hamburger. These and his self-confessed lack of respect for the military at that time saw Vinny Mac given the boot, although he somehow managed to avoid any jail time.
14 Vince McMahon, Churchgoer
Considering how Vince has played the Devil of the wrestling world for so long, not to mention how he openly mocked God during his feud with Shawn Michaels, it’s a little strange to find out that Vince was a regular churchgoer back in his younger years and that he even met his future wife there.
Back in the 1960s, a then 16-year-old Vince met a 13-year-old by the name of Linda Edwards during a Sunday church visit. After dating during their teenage years, Vinny Mac proposed as soon as he graduated high school, and the pair got married in 1966 when Linda was just 17.
And now, over 50 years later, Vince and Linda McMahon are still an item.
13 Cocaine Use
During the years when Wall Street was awash with magic powder and Hollywood was similarly following suit, the wrestling business was also rife with cocaine and various other illegal substances throughout the 1980s. And as per various reports over the years, one of the biggest users under the WWF umbrella was none other than the company’s figurehead, Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
Always renowned for his energy levels and the fact that he literally gets by on 2 hours of sleep per night, it comes as no surprise to hear all of the stories of how Vince was regularly consuming cocaine to get him through the day. In fact, he reportedly used to boast about how there was never such a thing as too much cocaine and that he could snort as much of the stuff as was put in front of him.
12 His First Promiscuous Encounter
Ever wanted to know about Vince McMahon’s first sexual experience? Nah, me neither. Regardless, Vinny Mac was happy to share the details of his first sexual encounter during his 2001 chat with Playboy.
When in first grade, young Vince would hang out with his stepbrother and some girls. Said ‘first time’ was during just such a gathering in which a trip to the movies was the order of the day… an outing where the girls would start “playing with" him. Continuing, Vince elaborated, “That was my initiation into sex. At that age, you don’t necessarily achieve an erection, but it was cool.”
And there we have it -- more details than you’d ever care to know about Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
11 Officially Fired CM Punk On His Wedding Day
Yes, yes, I know; I still miss him, too.
For many wrestling fans, the pro wrestling business has a Straight Edge Superstar-shaped hole that seemingly will never be filled. That, of course, came to be after CM Punk left the WWE, and subsequently, the industry, back in 2014.
While Punk and WWE higher-ups clearly butted heads at several points over the Chicago native’s tenure with the company, the WWE couldn’t resist one last kick in the balls to Phil Brooks as they had his termination papers arrive at his door on the very day of his wedding to AJ Lee.
Vince himself has denied any knowledge of this poorly timed letter arriving at Straight Edge HQ on the day of Punk and AJ’s wedding, but ultimately this is McMahon’s company and all responsibility redounds to him. Plus, y’know, it’s not like Vince has a reputation for being petty or anything…
You stay classy, WWE.
10 Covering Up The Sexual Assault Of His Staff
To many, the names Tom Cole, Murray Hodgson, and Barry Orton will mean nothing. What all 3 have in common, though, is that they were at the center of a huge sexual assault issue that came to a head in 1992. Back then, ring assistant Cole, ring announcer Hodgson, and enhancement talent Orton all accused WWF officials Terry Garvin and Pat Patterson of sexual harassment and of offering advancement in their careers if they performed sexual favors. In addition to this, Cole also claimed that ring announcer Mel Phillips sexually assaulted him as part of some bizarre foot fetish.
For Vince’s part in things, he was believed to have done everything he could to cover all of this up. However, by the time these accusations became public knowledge, McMahon had to do something, and so Garvin, Patterson, and Phillips would soon leave the company -- although Patterson would be re-hired soon after.
9 Stopped Himself From Being Drug Tested
Obviously, these days, the WWE regularly champions how great its Wellness Policy is in terms of protecting its talent and picking up on any banned substances that they’re taking. However, the Wellness Policy hasn’t always been as strongly enforced as it is these days, but it was still around in some form for the past few decades. And so concerned about failing a test himself, Vince McMahon actually removed himself from being classified as a performer so that he wouldn’t be expected to carry out a test at all.
This was in the early 2000s and was McMahon’s way of avoiding a potentially embarrassing situation. This, of course, came several years after Vince himself openly admitted to having taken steroids.
8 Vince’s Close Relationship With His "Cousin"
Bizarrely, this isn’t the only time the taboo subject of incest is covered in this article as it pertains to Vince McMahon, although this one is at least a tad hazy due to the convenient use of the words “in essence.”
In a strange tale, Vince admitted to Playboy that one of his first and more frequent sexual encounters was with a girl who was, “in essence,” his cousin. McMahon added, “the two of us being so curious about each other’s bodies, but not knowing what the hell to do. We would go into the woods and get naked together. It felt good.”
Adding a further layer of bizarre to all of this, Vinny Mac also discussed how he used to like to put crushed leaves inside his ‘cousin’ and that down the line, his hated stepfather, Leo Lupton, would end up marrying the girl.
7 His Horrible Motorcycle Wreck
Back in 1999, at the age of 55, Vince McMahon was involved in a pretty major incident involving his beloved motorcycle. It took place while a car was backing out of its driveway, and it collided with McMahon and his motorbike, the WWE head honcho sent spiraling up into the air. Ever the wrestling mind, Vince claims he actually used his wrestling knowledge to lessen the impact of his landing.
While McMahon managed to avoid any serious head injuries, he was still left with a broken tailbone and a separated pelvis! Still, that didn’t stop Vinny Mac from making it to work -- once again proving he’s likely more Terminator than mere man!
6 Was Abused As A Child
To say Vince McMahon’s childhood was tough is a huge understatement. Young Vince regularly suffered horrendous abuse throughout his younger years.
Varying reports claim that Vince was abused by several of his stepfathers, but the consistent element in these various stories is that Vince's prime abuser was Leo Lupton -- a stepfather whose surname Vince actually carried during his childhood.
Vince himself has confirmed that Lupton used to beat his mother and that the attention was then turned to him as Lupton would physically and emotionally abuse Vince on a regular basis. In fact, in a famous interview, Vince openly expressed how he was disappointed that Lupton passed away before he had the chance to kill him himself -- such was the hatred he had for this supposed father figure.
5 On-Screen Incest
While the Attitude Era clearly pushed the boundaries of good taste at times, things could have gotten a whole lot more controversial had one of Vince McMahon’s more bizarre and disturbing story suggestions come to be.
Around 1999, McMahon had the idea that Stephanie McMahon would become pregnant. From there, a mystery would arise over who the father was… until it would be revealed that the child’s pops was none other than... you guessed it: Vincent Kennedy McMahon!
When Stephanie immediately shot down this ludicrous idea, Vince turned to his backup plan -- which was to have Shane McMahon be the father of the bun in his sister’s oven.
Suffice to say, that idea was similarly shot down, and incest has thankfully yet to be seen on WWE programming.
4 Vince’s Womanizing Ways
While Vince and wife Linda have been married for over 50 years now, the Genetic Jackhammer known as Vince McMahon hasn’t always been faithful to his other half. In fact, it seems as if Vince has actually spent more time sleeping with other women than he has his own wife!
In a frank and odd interview with Howard Stern, McMahon revealed that he regularly cheated on Linda during his time on the road, off the road, at the side of the road, or just about at any possible chance he could get.
How did Vince justify all of this? Well, as per said interview with Stern, he never once lied to Linda about any of his affairs… which makes you question exactly why Linda would stay with him for 5 decades of infidelity -- well, except for his ridiculously large bank balance, of course. After all, a gal’s gotta pay for a Senate campaign somehow.
3 The Steroid Scandal
One of the biggest blots on Vince McMahon’s copybook is the 1993/94 steroid scandal. As per charges from the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, McMahon was accused of using a slightly ropey Pennsylvania doctor by the name of George Zaharian to ply his wrestlers with a bunch of steroids over the years.
It genuinely seemed at the time that it was curtains for McMahon, a hefty jail stint looking likely. Then came two key moments: the testimonies of Kevin “Nailz” Wacholz and Hulk Hogan.
Ever the all-encompassing babyface, The Hulkster took the stand and defended Vince from these accusations. But still, the testimony of Nailz looked like it could do some real damage to Vinny Mac, with him revealing how McMahon openly encouraged and outright supplied his performers with steroids… and then Nailz shot himself in the foot.
He made angry mention of how he hated McMahon’s guts, and thus, Wacholz’s testimony was essentially rendered unreliable -- which was key to Vince somehow avoiding an 8-year jail stay.
2 His Role In The Death Of Jimmy Snuka’s Girlfriend
Back in May of 1983, Nancy Argentino tragically died. Argentino was the girlfriend of Jimmy Snuka -- at that point a huge star in the WWF-- and it was ruled that she had died due to traumatic brain injuries caused by repeated blows to the head. Snuka was the only person present when Nancy died, and her battered, bruised, and cut body caused the wrestler to be arrested by the police. From there, things went a little murky. Playing up to his gimmick, Snuka pretended that he couldn’t speak English when in police custody. Coming to his assistance was Vince McMahon.
While we’ll never know for sure, the common story is that Vince went to the police station with a briefcase -- believed to be full of cash -- and left with Superfly Snuka.
Snuka had to pay the Argentino family $500,000 in 1985 but never paid a penny as the case remained open until 2015, when murder charges were brought against Superfly. With his health failing him, Snuka's case was ultimately dismissed in January 2017, just a mere fortnight before he himself died.
1 Abused By His Mother?
While Vince McMahon’s birth father, Vince McMahon Sr., is often discussed in wrestling circles, Vince Jr.’s mother, Victoria, is a figure largely kept out of the spotlight. Now in her 90s, Victoria is someone who is barely referenced by Vince or the WWE, and seemingly for good reason.
As per Vince’s famous Playboy interview, he discussed how he suffered sexual abuse from a female during his childhood. When asked whether this abuse was from his estranged mother, Vince nodded and said, “Without saying that, I’d say that’s pretty close.”
Sexual abuse of any sort is obviously a horrible, heinous crime, but for a parent to be involved only adds further disgust to the situation. And while Vince refuses to comment any further on these vile actions, this seemingly explains why he and his mother haven’t had a relationship of any sort for a long, long time.
Sources: WWE.com, F4WOnline.com, Wikipedia