Workplace relations between males and females have come a long way since the days of Mad Men, when Roger Sterling could flirt with, ogle, or even marry whichever secretary he wanted. Nowadays, if a male business executive does that to a female employee, it’s pretty much grounds for a lawsuit, followed by heavy amounts of public scrutiny over such actions -- except, it seems, in the pro wrestling industry, where Vince McMahon managed to keep getting away with this sort of stuff up until just a few years ago.
Granted, the things that happen in the WWE Universe aren’t exactly reality, and most of Vince’s most overtly predatory behavior has all been in character as part of his programming. That said, it’s still worth noting that Vince has forced a significant number of the women he’s hired to make out with him on camera, something absolutely no other CEO on the planet could do and get away with. Given these dicey gender relations, retired female wrestlers obviously have mixed feelings when it comes to their most memorable ex-boss.
Before anyone goes assuming this means every single female to leave the WWE Universe hates the man, think again. Surprisingly, most women to have worked for Vince McMahon walked out of the experience grateful for the opportunities he offered them, including those he made kiss him on camera. On the other hand, a select few have indeed walked away from WWE feeling the company had a serious problem with the way it treated women, with the man in charge responsible for the situation. Keep reading to learn about 8 women who loved working with Vince McMahon and 7 who walked away from WWE hating his guts.
15 LOVED HIM: Molly Holly
Especially considering her high talent level, it could be argued no woman in recent memory has had it worse in the WWE Universe than Molly Holly. Though she twice won the Women’s Championship, Molly was also forced through a number of embarrassing angles, one where she was constantly bullied for being a virgin with a “big butt” and another that ended with her head getting shaved. With this sort of treatment, it’s no wonder Molly decided to walk away from WWE and fully retire at the young age of 27. Despite all this, in retrospect, she’s had nothing but great things to say about her former boss, who she said was always completely understanding about her decision to leave the business. Technically, Vince could've forced her to keep wrestling, as her contract still had time on it, but his kindness in letting her go when she was done forever kept him in Molly’s good graces.
14 HATED HIM: AJ Lee
Husbands and wives don’t always necessarily agree on every last detail, and married former WWE superstars CM Punk and AJ Lee are like any other couple in this regard. At this point, Punk’s animosity toward the wrestling industry is as well known as his former success within it, while Lee is far more kind in her remembrances of their time in sports entertainment. That said, it can’t be ignored that she left amongst a pretty big scandal that saw her publicly call out Stephanie McMahon for discrepancies in the screen time and pay rate that female wrestlers in WWE were given in comparison to similarly booked male talent. Granted, Lee’s problem here was more with Stephanie than Vince, but it’s not like Stephanie alone was responsible for the things she was complaining about. In fact, Stephanie didn’t really have anything to do with it at all, and AJ was furious with policies and industry standards that Vince created. Whether she intended it or not, AJ’s statements were more damning to Vince’s reputation as an employer than anything her husband had to say about him.
13 LOVED HIM: Alundra Blayze
By throwing the WWE Women’s Championship into a garbage can on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro, it looked like Madusa, or "Alundra Blayze," as WWE likes to call her, was making a pretty strong statement about her former employers. In short, she was throwing away the entire WWE women’s division, albeit on Vince McMahon’s behalf for daring to fire her while she was the champion. Apparently, that’s all in the past, though, as Alundra was finally welcomed back to the WWE Universe as an inductee to the Hall of Fame in 2015. Since then, Alundra has resumed a working relationship with the McMahon family and has been overwhelmingly positive about Vince, in particular, during out-of-character interviews. Not only is she grateful about his capacity for forgiveness, but there’s also the fact that way back at the start of her WWE career, Vince generously paid Alundra’s debt with the IRS, a kindness she never forgot even in their worst moments.
12 LOVED HIM: Trish Stratus
Nothing Vince McMahon has ever done to any of his female employees comes close to the horror Trish Stratus experienced when he made her strip to her underwear and bark like a dog live on television in front of thousands of rabid wrestling fans. Put most women in that role, and it’ll make them hate the man who forced them through that for life, and that’s if it doesn’t just traumatize them so badly, they wind up institutionalized. Trish apparently isn’t like most women, though, as she looks back at this time in her career as a pivotal moment that soon allowed her character to shoot into the, ahem, Stratusphere. For this reason, she’s been overwhelmingly positive about the controversial angle since it happened and has had the same stance toward all other interactions her character had with Vince McMahon as well. This means all the weird makeout sessions in front of Linda were fine with her, too, simply because they all fit the character and the situations they were in.
11 HATED HIM: Dawn Marie
Of all the women on this list, it could be argued Dawn Marie has perhaps the best reason to totally hate Vince McMahon and WWE in general. Dawn made her wrestling debut for ECW, where she was presented as a ditzy-yet-hilarious valet for wrestlers like Lance Storm and Justin Credible. Once ECW went out of business, WWE swooped in and offered Dawn a contract, hiring her only for her to suffer through some ridiculously embarrassing angles that saw her flirt with Vince and then make out with another senior citizen in Torrie Wilson’s father, Al. After three years of the company misusing her and ignoring her ideas, WWE made the highly misogynistic and illegal decision to fire Dawn while she was pregnant. Naturally, Dawn filed a lawsuit that was later settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. When asked if she would ever consider a WWE return, Dawn did cite wrestling’s long-stated maxim to never say never but added fans could “pretty much say never.”
10 HATED HIM: Gail Kim
In recent years, WWE has made a concerted effort to increase the reputation of women’s wrestling in America, something they’ve largely succeeded at doing. However, they were hardly alone in this effort, as TNA/GFW was similarly giving an increased spotlight in the Knockouts division to women -- specifically, Gail Kim, who spent a few cups of coffee in WWE only to leave when she decided Vince McMahon didn’t care about women’s wrestling, then went on to become a legend of the industry through her consistently great matches. For this reason, Kim takes offense when Stephanie McMahon or Triple H tries to take credit for the women’s revolution, always making sure to remind them that it was Vince McMahon’s treatment of women in WWE that made the movement necessary in the first place. According to Kim, when she was in WWE, Vince would get mad at the idea of women actually wrestling good matches, feeling that wasn’t why they were on the show.
9 LOVED HIM: The Fabulous Moolah
76-year-old women don’t suddenly come out of retirement for just anybody, so the mere fact The Fabulous Moolah was getting in the ring at that age was a clear-cut sign she truly loved working for the McMahon family. Of course, the long, positive relationship between Moolah and the McMahons started way before she was a septuagenarian, and in fact, Vince, Jr. wasn’t even the first McMahon she worked for. It was actually Vince, Sr. who first bestowed Moolah with her “Fabulous” moniker and pushed her as a wrestler. Before signing with what was then the Capitol Wrestling Corporation, Moolah was primarily a valet known as “Slave Girl Moolah,” so it should go without saying she felt endeared to the McMahons for the huge promotion. To show her gratitude, Moolah continued working for WWE on and off for the next five decades, from 1956 until her death in 2007.
8 HATED HIM: Ivory
The reputation of women’s wrestling has had a few ups and downs over the years, to say the least, and as with everything in sports entertainment, this is all because of Vince McMahon. Sure, the women he hires have a little bit of a say in the matter, but ultimately, if Vince doesn’t want the women to look competent in the ring, they won’t. This is what former three-time Women’s Champion Ivory believes is the case, anyway, as she’s spoken out against Vince hiring actresses who have no idea how to wrestle on multiple occasions. While Ivory is quick to point out she mostly wrestled during an era of bikini contests and bra-&-panties matches, she’s also very proud of the fact she and at least some of her contemporaries actually knew how to apply a headlock. Shortly after Ivory’s retirement, WWE started holding Diva Searches to find the newest female talent, and in her mind, it looked like the company was replacing actual wrestlers with women who just looked “sexy and stupid.” This was offensive to Ivory as a wrestler and a woman, and though she admits WWE is finally doing better with females today, we bet there’s still some bitterness over the matter somewhere in her mind.
7 LOVED HIM: Eva Marie
The exact sort of woman Ivory was complaining about, Eva Marie was hired first to appear in the reality show Total Divas, and the idea of her becoming a wrestler was virtually an afterthought. Fans were quick to acknowledge this fact with loud chants of “You Can’t Wrestle” every time Marie stepped into the ring, which, to her credit, apparently made her desperately attempt to improve her skills in NXT. It didn’t quite work, though, so Marie left WWE in August of 2017, without ever accomplishing much of note inside the squared circle. Despite this quick turnover, Marie has since been overwhelmingly positive about her feelings toward the McMahon family and Vince, specifically. Speaking with Rolling Stone shortly after it was announced she had left WWE, Marie thanked Vince, Stephanie, and Triple H for the opportunities she had received and was especially grateful they had allowed her time off to film movies. Eva was also quick to say she may one day make a return, although we doubt fans will chant anything new for her if she does.
6 HATED HIM: Shelly Martinez
Quite frankly, a good portion of people reading this list may have no idea who Shelly Martinez is. Even those who are familiar with her heavily maligned time in TNA might've forgotten that Martinez spent a few months in WWE’s ECW revival under the name "Ariel," a tarot-card-reading vampire associated with Kevin Thorn. Believe it or not, this vanguard gimmick didn’t exactly get her anywhere in the company, and she was released less than a year after her debut. While Martinez blames Batista for her immediate release, she’s also been highly critical of Vince McMahon’s business practices, in general. Shortly after her retirement in 2017, Martinez Tweeted a strange message accusing McMahon of forcing female talent to sleep with him for pushes. It should be pointed out that Martinez is literally the first woman to ever accuse McMahon of this, and no other female wrestlers have even dignified it with a response. Regardless, it's pretty clear Martinez doesn’t much care for Vince if she’s willing to make such an outrageous claim to damage him.
5 LOVED HIM: Kelly Kelly
So nice they named her twice, Kelly Kelly’s reputation is an unlikely source of controversy amongst some WWE fans. While the company clearly treats Kelly like any other former employee in that she’s given a hero’s welcome whenever making a rare comeback appearance, few in the audience saw her as anywhere near a big a deal as the company thought she was. Although Kelly is a former Divas Champion, she really wasn’t all that great a wrestler, hired solely for her looks and her winning smile. On the plus side, she had at least been a WWE fan all of her young life and thus took great joy in watching Vince McMahon explain her earliest angles to her. For those who don’t remember, Kelly’s debut vignettes promise an “Extreme Exposé,” where she would dance around seductively in a pseudo-striptease. According to Kelly, McMahon comically performed a similar dance for her to make it clear what they were looking for, a memory she still looks back on fondly and laughs about. Presumably, their relationship was similarly comical and fun as it went on.
4 HATED HIM: Rita Chatterton
Nine times out of ten, the best thing a pro wrestling referee can do is blend in so well that fans barely notice they’re even in the ring. In that sense, Rita Chatterton, aka Rita Marie, was right up there with the all-time greats, as few fans probably even remember she was the first female zebra in WWE history. Of course, part of this has to do with Vince McMahon basically erasing her from history, albeit for an understandable reason. Chatterton only spent a few months with WWE, and the company line is that she just wasn’t that good at being a ref, something that’s definitely possible. Less likely is her story, which was that McMahon made constant sexual advances toward her that she declined, leading to her dismissal. Were there any truth to that, more people might take her side, but courts rejected her claims, and later accusations made on the Geraldo Rivera Show were seen as equally sensationalist and completely unproven. Regardless of the questionable reality behind her claims, one thing that’s definitely true is she clearly doesn’t like the McMahons.
3 LOVED HIM: Mike McGuirk
Long before the day of Lilian Garcia, WWE had its first female ring announcer in Mike McGuirk, the daughter of Canadian promoter Leroy McGuirk. Though McGuirk didn’t spend much time in the WWE Universe, she nonetheless made her mark with a winning smile and flashy outfits, plus a funny rapport with legendary manager Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, who naturally teased her about her male-sounding name. For example, Heenan liked asking if she had a brother named "Sally." Make no mistakes about the reason McGuirk left WWE so early, though – in her words, she could’ve stayed there forever were it not for the terribly strenuous travel schedule. Some reports inaccurately claim McGuirk was upset about sexual advances from Vince, but she's steadfastly refuted such claims, noting he was more like a father-figure to her, deserving nothing but respect.
2 HATED HIM: Sable
Considering this article is being written at a point in time when Brock Lesnar is reigning as the WWE Universal Champion, it’s probably a stretch to say the Beast Incarnate’s wife, Sable, necessarily “hates” his boss. That said, there’s probably a reason she hasn’t appeared on WWE television a single time since her husband’s return, and the fact she once sued WWE for $110 million isn’t the sort of thing that gets forgotten over time. Whether or not Sable necessarily hates Vince is therefore somewhat up for debate, but it’s still pretty obvious that she absolutely hated her time working for him. Aside from whatever personal issues the two may have had, it’s well known that the male wrestler absolutely terrorized Sable with backstage pranks, including an incident when X-Pac relieved himself in her belongings. Vince didn’t exactly tell X-Pac to do this, yet he didn’t punish the former European Champion afterward either, almost making it understandable that Sable would try suing him for letting it all happen.
1 LOVED HIM: Stephanie McMahon
It should almost be obvious that the Billion Dollar Princess loves working for her father, considering how much he’s given her throughout her career. Stephanie McMahon got her start in WWE at the young age of 13, when she appeared in magazines advertising various superstar merchandising. Immediately after college, her father hired her full time as an Account Executive, and from there, Stephanie gradually received promotion after promotion until attaining her current position as the company’s Chief Brand Officer. Throughout it all, the one man she’s had to thank for all this success has been Vince McMahon, who always stood behind daddy’s little girl with a big smile, proud of everything she’s done. Vince has also been incredibly kind to Stephanie’s husband, Triple H, continually promoting him in the ring far beyond what most insiders believe he deserves. It’s all been enough that although Stephanie is all grown up now, she and HHH still choose to live close to Vince and Linda for both business and personal reasons.