If you thought Bret Hart was the only wrestling superstar to ever hold a grudge against WWE’s chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, then you should think again. Throughout his long run as the boss of WWE, Vince has had a lot of success but has also received a ton of criticisms from former employees. The Bret vs. Vince story is an obvious one, thus will not be included in this article. This article will take a look at 11 other wrestlers that have hated on Vince McMahon in the past. One thing is for sure, when you’ve accomplished all that you have, its inevitable you’re going to run into some bitterness eventually. Although, despite the bitterness some past wrestlers have on Vince, somehow (as you will see in this article) Vince finds a way to work things out, no matter how bad or how long the bitterness has been there for. Now let’s begin; here’s a list of 11 former WWE superstars that have all hated on the one and only Vince McMahon in past, enjoy.
11) Josh Mathews
While appearing as a guest on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast, Josh Mathews discussed his time in the WWE, and described Vince as simply being “out of touch” today when it comes to the wrestling business. Matthews described Vince as someone who just doesn’t understand the business anymore, and claims Vince doesn’t even know what his own product is anymore. Josh even went on to say that Vince lives in his own world, hence the term the “WWE Universe”, which Josh claims is the perfect description for what the WWE is today. Matthews also references CM Punk and how Punk also felt that Vince didn’t get it anymore. Finally, Matthews was also critical on how Vince refers to wrestlers as superstars, saying that it’s “lame” to call them that and they should be regarded as athletes, not superstars.
10) The Road Warriors
The Road Warriors were very critical about their time spent in the WWE, so much so that in a shoot interview, Hawk referenced Vince as “the most evil person I have ever met in my life”. Hawk claims their second run in the WWE was done as a vendetta Vince had on them, thus making their return one to forget. Hawk claimed Vince’s problem was that the tag team was too “vocal” backstage with the other talent, especially when things weren’t to their liking. Hawk also went on to discuss how Shawn Michaels, for some reason, was never reprimanded and how Bret Hart was, despite being a work horse and the best talent the WWE had at the time. Hawk described Shawn and Vince as being involved in a “secret love affair”. Despite all these issues in the past, everything was put aside when the duo was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011. The speech was very emotional with Animal talking about his partner Hawk, who sadly passed away in 2003. As you will see in other entries, it’s not the first time, nor will it be the last time, that Vince patches things up with a long time foe.
9) The Headbangers
Yet another bitter tag team coming out of the attitude era; in a shoot interview, Mosh talked about the difficulties in dealing with Vince once you’re out the door. Mosh discussed Vince as being tremendous when you’re a part of his company and always having time for his talent, but once you’re gone, the door is slammed shut in your face. Once it was established that both Headbangers would not be re-signed, Vince wouldn’t give them the time of day and was apparently always too “busy” for them. Mosh describes Vince as being a ruthless human, one that one day will be your best friend and the next day, just disregard you; a very bitter ending for a Mosh and Thrasher. I’ll have more on this tag team very shortly in my “where are the now” part 2 article, stay tuned.
As most of you already know, the two are back on good terms today, but once upon a time, according to Goldust, this was certainly not the case. Goldust had a very difficult relationship with Vince, quitting the company twice and being fired once. During a shoot interview while being a part of the TNA roster, Goldust finally let go sounding off on his relationship with Vince. Dustin remembers a particular event which saw his father get inducted into the Hall of Fame; during the event, Goldust was introduced as Dustin Runnells, while his brother was introduced as Cody Rhodes. Goldust claims Vince took a jab at him by not referring to him as a part of the Rhodes family. Goldust was none too pleased when talking about this situation. Goldust also commented on how badly the Owen Hart death was played off, calling it an absolute embarrassment to have continued the show after his death. He then concluded the shoot describing Vince as being someone that doesn’t care about talent and only cares about money. Listening to this interview, you probably would have thought that it would have impossible for the two to patch things up but as you know with Vince, nothing is impossible, it’s just business.
7) Rob Van Dam
During a shoot interview, Rob Van Dam recalls the brutal travel wrestlers take part in during the year. Van Dam recalls a specific situation in where he couldn’t wait to finally take a break from wrestling, when the WWE had scheduled a 10 day break during Christmas time. Rob was ecstatic about the break and finally getting some time to relax. Just before the break, Vince held a meeting telling the superstars they would be going to Iraq during Christmas to put on a show for the troops, Vince claimed it was optional, but let everyone know it was important that they went. Van Dam raised his hand during the meeting and simply said, “no thank you”. After the meeting, McMahon would speak to Rob asking why he did not want to go; Rob replied that he was spent and needed the time off. Vince would tell Rob that this would be the best experience of his life. Following their encounter, Van Dam was so upset that he claimed to have wanted to “fight” McMahon. Van Dam later spoke to the head of talent relation John Laurinaitis, and explained to him that he was not going no matter what. Van Dam ended up getting his wish and did not take the trip. RVD has said that if the problem would have furthered, he would have fought Vince and left the company. The two are said to have a very “rocky” relationship till this day.
6) Jeff Jarrett
For people that are open to watching other wrestling promotions, it’s no secret that Jeff Jarrett probably isn’t too fond of Vince McMahon, being a major player in other rival companies to Vince for the last 15 years or so. It is said that Jarrett created TNA as a way to get back at Vince for shutting down WCW. The hatred stems deeper than this, though, as the real bad blood really began in 1999. Jarrett pretty much blackmailed Vince into paying him a large fee in order to perform. This came about when Jeff was still the Intercontinental champion after his contract expired, in which he would then leave to WCW. Vince wanted Jeff to drop his title against Chyna at No Mercy, but the only problem was that Jarrett’s contract had expired the day before. With McMahon not wanting another wrestler bringing the title over to WCW, Vince was willing to give Jarrett whatever he wanted. The two have never done business since that heated exchange.
5) Ultimate Warrior
Thankfully before the Warrior’s passing the two were able to work previous issues out after not speaking for an extended amount of time. In 1991, things got heated between the two after the Warrior wrote a hand written letter to Vince, demanding more money for what he was doing for the company. It is believed Warrior asked for $500,000 or else he would not wrestle at Summerslam. The Ultimate Warrior believed he was owed a lot of money that was never given to him. Believe it or not, Vince accepted the Warrior’s demands, and went as far as calling the Warrior “a member of the family, as a man and as a friend”. Although, only 2 months later things all broke down; Vince suspended the Warrior and also refused to meet his past demands because of a “breach in contract”. The Ultimate Warrior would end up quitting WWE the very next night.
Warrior would return 2 more times to the WWE in 1992 and 1996, before finally leaving for good.
4) Bruno Sammartino
Another situation in where cooler heads finally prevailed years and years later, Sammartino had a very old school mind set when it came to wrestling. As you can imagine, he didn’t like the direction Vince was taking the company in after Vince took over the business from his father. In addition, Sammartino was none too pleased with Vince’s emphasis when it came to a wrestler’s physique. In fact, Bruno blames Vince for the heavy drug abuse which began to take place amongst wrestlers when Vince took over. Bruno stressed health and well being as opposed to image, and this was a huge reason the two did not talk all the way till 2013, when Bruno was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame (it was well overdue). Sammartino agreed to be inducted because he felt the product is much more family friendly today than it ever was in the past.
3) Bill Goldberg
The bitterness between the two is still there to this day. One can’t help but to think that cooler heads will finally prevail and Goldberg will return to the WWE in a minor or major role one day. Goldberg was very bitter with the way his character was used in his time with the WWE, and believes his past turmoil with Triple H was a contributing factor to his poor run with the WWE. Goldberg also believes the fact that he wasn’t a “home grown” talent really hurt him and Vince was ego driven when dealing with character. Goldberg claims Vince could have made a lot of money if not for his ego when dealing with Goldberg’s character. Goldberg has stated that he is open to returning to the WWE at some point, despite all of his differences in the past with Triple H and Vince McMahon.
The bitterness from Chyna is still present till this day, after a tough ending to a great career which changed the role of women in wrestling forever. The situation blew over after Chyna found out about Hunter and Stephanie’s secret affair. After finding out, Chyna contacted Vince McMahon immediately to tell him about the situation, which Vince would respond with, “well I guess the jig is up”. Chyna would show up to work on Monday in tears from the situation, and Vince would go on to tell her to go home and that they would work on a new contract. When Chyna got home, she received a fax indicating they did not need her anymore. In 2012, Chyna responded to Vince with a series of Tweets, posting things like, “you are a loser”, “an abuser”. Chyna also went as far as challenging Vince to a fight through Twitter. It’s obvious Chyna has still not let go of her departure from the WWE more than a decade ago. With Chyna obviously in a really bad place right now, it will be interesting to see if the two will ever work together again.
1) Randy Savage
It’s really sad to see the Macho Man pass away without resolving his situation with the WWE. Although, at least the fans will get a chance to remember his tremendous legacy at this year’s Hall of Fame ceremony, as he will be inducted by Hulk Hogan. Rumor has it that the bad blood between Vince and Randy Savage began after a rumor that surfaced which indicated that Stephanie McMahon slept with Randy Savage when she was a minor. Others believe that the bitterness was because of a promise Macho Man had made to Vince which stated that he would never join WCW (evidently, a promise that was broken).
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