Vince McMahon is one of the richest and most powerful men in the world. It's easy to see why when you take a look at the empire that Vince has been able to create out of the WWE. As you're about to read, with that comes a life that's full of interesting facts. After all he named his yacht Sexy B**ch!
Many of the things you'll learn will alter your perception of the man. Some of them may be positive, like when you learn about who his favorite superstar is. Others are shocking, like how/why he got disciplined at school (laxative + dog, who knew?), but many are definitely going to be negative, like his numerous affairs, a sexual assault charge and a past that has left many scorned wrestlers. There have even been some death threats thrown in there for good measure. Numerous interviews from over the years from Vince and those close to him will also help paint a clearer picture of the future of the company and what elements matter the most to him.
Even if you're not a fan of the WWE, it is still one of the most successful and recognizable brands in the world, and by the time you get to the end of this list, you'll get a much clearer picture of the man behind it all.
Finished the list and want to learn more about one of the most influential superstars of all time that McMahon had a huge hand in developing? Feel free to check out our list on 16 Stone Cold Facts You Didn't Know About Stone Cold Steve Austin.
16 He Wanted To Kill His Stepfather
Vince McMahon grew up with his mother Vickie and a slew of her random men. They spent a portion of his childhood in Havelock, North Carolina where they lived in a trailer.
Vickie divorced her Vince’s biological father when Vince was still a baby. As a result, Vince Sr. took Vince’s elder son (Rod) with him. Vickie then slept around, but the most prominent of her lovers was Leo Lupton who Vince admitted used to beat him. Elaborating further on the relationship during an interview, Vince said “It's unfortunate that he died before I could kill him. I would have enjoyed that.”
Lupton was an electrician, meaning that Vince often took the brunt of the punishment via a pipe wrench or other tools at his disposal. Vince said he first spoke up against his father when he was beating his mother at the age of 6. Vince also admitted that he was the only one that would speak up to try and defend her, even though he knew he would get beaten. If you’re looking for a positive here, Vince did say “I learned how not to be. One thing I loathe is a man who will strike a woman. There's never an excuse for that."
McMahon left home by the time he was 14, and also indicated in the interview that he suffered sexual abuse in his childhood. The interviewer asked if that was the reason he was estranged from his mother. Without confirming, McMahon responded, “Without saying that, I'd say that's pretty close."
15 He Was A Rebellious Teenager
Vince McMahon was no stranger to getting into trouble when he was growing up. The smallest infraction he got caught for often was skipping school, but he would also often steal cars (borrowing them, he said) and then return them before getting caught. The highlight was a 1952 Ford V8, which McMahon exclaimed was one of his favourite cars.
McMahon also admitted to running moonshine and perhaps even more intriguingly, would often go to the local Marine Base at Cherry Point and purposefully get in fights with the Marines with his friends. McMahon said he never killed anyone, but that the goal was as follows: “You want to incapacitate the guy. Once you get someone down you don't want him getting back up. You don't want him moving, so you make sure he doesn't. It's not pretty, but it was challenging and fun.”
Unfortunately, his fighting and rebellious nature caught up with him and authorities informed McMahon he would either go to reform school or military school. McMahon chose the latter and enrolled in Fishburne Military School, where he played sports, as indicated by his football gear in the above photo.
McMahon said he fought a lot less, but that doesn’t mean he still played within the rules. In fact, he was actually the first cadet in the history of the school to be courtmartialed. While the main reason was for insubordination, he admitted that his Colonel Zinneker's dog was the target, explaining "I love animals, but one day I couldn't resist giving that dog a laxative. I put the laxative in some hamburger and the dog did his business all over the commandant's apartment, which thrilled me greatly."
Let's hope the dog was okay!
14 His Life Right Before Wrestling
Vince met Linda when he was still in University and by the time he graduated (him in 5 years, her in 3), Linda was pregnant with the soon to be, Shane McMahon. As a fun fact, he graduated with a 2.001 (you need a 2.0 to graduate) and needed to beg his teachers to change some of his grades.
Newly graduated, Vince needed to get a job, so first he got one selling adding machines which he said he hated because adding machines had no personalities.
If that wasn’t boring enough, he then sold Sweetheart ice cream cones, saying “They want you to talk about the characteristics of the ****ing cup. It's a paper cup with a plastic coating, and it has a certain lip-type thing. They cook it at such and such a temperature.” One day it just became very evident he could no longer give a damn.
Vince then took a job crushing rocks, claiming he worked 90 hours a week. Along with the crushing, Vince would drive a dump truck to the pug mill, where they combine levels of rock, and dirt. You can understand why Vince was always pestering his biological dad to let him work with him (doing what you ask? You'll see right now). But eventually, as you’re about to read, the phone call came that changed Vince’s life.
13 How He Got His Start In Wrestling
Vince McMahon may be a big name in wrestling, but so was his father who was running Capitol Wrestling Corporation. When Vince met his biological father at the age of 12, he started going to occasional wrestling shows and wanted to be a wrestler himself, but his father always refused, saying that promoters should not appear on shows.
But fortune changed one night when a promoter for a show in Bangor, Maine was caught stealing over 20% of the revenues from the show and as a result was fired. Vince’s father called up Vince, saying “You can't ever say I didn't give you an opportunity, but this is the first and last opportunity you'll have in this company."
Vince made his debut as an in-ring announcer in 1969, and within 2 years was able to start promoting his own cards. From 1971 until 1997, Vince could be heard as the play-by-play announcer.
12 He Received Death Threats
When Vince first started helping out his dad with the wrestling business, there was a very strict gentleman’s agreement that wrestling promotions do not open up their product and brand to competing territories. Vince said to hell with that and started invading others' turf with the intention of making wrestling a national business. As well as this, Vince was pushing his father to re-name the company World Wrestling Federation.
Vince said that he had received death threats both on the phone and in person, but the funniest story according to Vince comes from a conference that was happening in Memphis. 90% of the wrestling promoters had gathered there (so lots of bad blood) and Jim Ross of all people, who was working for Vince, was literally in the middle of taking a #2 when this happened.
According to Vince, “A few of the elder guys come in, and they're saying, ‘How are we going to stop this kid?’ Meaning me. They're plotting to do me in. Of course, Jim doesn't want them to know he's there, because he heard them. They were going to take me out. So Jim, God bless him, in the middle of his defecation he picks up his feet so they can't see him. Here's Jim with his feet up on the throne, thinking, Please don't let them know I'm in here.”
Thankfully for Jim, the men walked out. Talk about one awkward situation!
11 He Has Cheated On Linda Several Times
Vince McMahon has always been pretty open about his wild lifestyle, but when he got married to Linda he promised that life would never be boring and that he would always love her. Nothing in there about not cheating on her, which is great, because Linda has asked on several occasions (at least 5) about different affairs that Vince has admitted to.
When Vince was asked for more detail, he said some were at different times. "Some were concurrent," he continued, "but I didn't think she had to know that. She didn't ask that question or I'd have to say yes to that, too. It's not something I'm proud of. I just didn't realize the impact of messing with other people's lives.”
At the time of the interview (2001), Vince said that he had been loyal to Linda for at least the last 6 years, but added “I'm not saying I don't look. I'm not saying I won't fall off the wagon one day. I hope not, because of all the complications and because I would have to tell her if she asked me. But other than for the innate id, I don't have a desire to go outside our relationship.”
10 The Steroid Scandal In 1993
In 1993 Vince McMahon was indicted in federal court and charged with six charges of conspiring to distribute steroids. The main testimony came from Nailz, a former wrestler (seen above) with the company who alleged that McMahon encouraged he go on steroids to help his career.
Nailz’s testimony became a lot less valid when it became clear that he had a personal vendetta against McMahon. Nailz was fired after getting in an argument and choking Vince, after which Nailz also filed a police report saying a sexual assault had taken place during the attack (a charge which went nowhere).
Hulk Hogan was also called on to testify but spoke out in favor of Vince, saying that he had never been sold or encouraged to take steroids.
When asked about the experience, McMahon expressed how he was flabbergasted. “They were the one who had been coming to me with a plea bargain! It's supposed to work the other way--the accused goes to the government. But they came to me, and I said, '**** you.' Those were my exact words.”
He was eventually acquitted of all charges.
9 The Sexual Harassment Charges In 1992 and 2006
Oof, 1992-1993 must have been a tough stretch for Vince! One of the lowlights has to be when Rita Chatterton, who was actually the first ever female WWF referee, appeared on the Geraldo Rivera show and accused Vince McMahon of raping her.
Chatterton claimed that she and Vince were in a limo and when she refused to perform oral sex, Vince took his actions to the next level. The charges never seemed to go anywhere, at least not until 2010 when Vince and Linda filed a lawsuit against Rita (to the tune of $1 million) for the false claims that she made public.
You can imagine that because Vince and Linda are going to such extreme lengths to go after Rita, at the very least they are trying to make it clear to the public that it was a false story.
A worker at a tanning bed in Florida also accused Vince of sexual harassment in 2006. The employee claimed that Vince showed her nude photos of himself on his phone, and then followed her into a room where he groped and kissed her. Definitely not a good look for Vince, but after police investigated no charges were filed against him.
8 His Has No Regrets On How He Handled Owen Hart's Death
One of the most tragic moments in wrestling history was the death of Owen Hart, who tragically passed away during a wrestling match after falling from the rafters. McMahon has been questioned on his decision to continue on with the show, a decision he said Owen would have wanted. McMahon also opened up about how Owen was a humorous individual and how earlier in the night, he and his son Shane saw Owen descending to the ring (via the rafters) hooting and hollering, giving no indication that anything was amiss or that he was uncomfortable. Vince said he was backstage when it happened and while he does not know if it was the right decision to continue with the show, he admitted that he would have done everything the same way.
The moment devastated the Hart family, and in 2014 Bret opened up about the experience, saying "It was really difficult to get my head around [my brother's death], and it obviously had a very devastating affect on my whole family at home. My dad never was the same after that. But I also know that the reality of what happened with my brother Owen was that it was just an accident. And it took a whole to realize that, for me, but knowing that it was an accident I could live with it a little easier."
7 The Impact Of The Montreal Screwjob
If you're a longtime wrestling fan, you aren’t going to be able to think about Vince McMahon for too long and not have your mind drift to the infamous Montreal Screwjob. The incident occurred in 1997 and involved Bret Hart losing the championship to Shawn Michaels. Not a big deal, at least until you realize that Hart was not informed prior to the match that he was to lose the belt; something he had refused to do because they were in his home country of Canada. Immediately following the match Hart punched McMahon in the face, administering a black eye. McMahon also suffered a sprained ankle and a concussion during the altercation.
It was a black mark both on Vince's face and on the company, with many wrestlers saying they were going to boycott Raw. This included Mick Foley who did not show up the next night, but then returned to work as opposed to trying to leave for WCW.
This incident was also one of the catalysts behind the infamous evil Mr. McMahon character and his feud with SCSA.
6 He Wants People To Fear Him
When you take a look at the physical stature of Vince McMahon, it is clear that he's going to be able to physically intimidate at least a normal person, but he hangs around wrestlers on a regular basis. That means he's still probably one of the smaller guys in the room. But that doesn't mean he still doesn't have his ways of intimidating people, such as, you know, being the boss.
Vince Russo has openly talked about how McMahon needs to feel like people are afraid of him and how it contrasted Shane's view, saying "Vince wants people to fear him. He gets off on that. Shane was never that guy. It was never a power trip, and ego. You’d never know he was the boss’ kid. He was more of one of the boys than the boss’ son. The things that were important to Vince– money, power ego, were not important to Shane McMahon.”
5 What His Idea For The XFL Was
Vince McMahon has had many successes in his day, but one of the biggest flops has to be his idea for his own football league, the XFL. When Vince was first asked about his reasoning for the league by Playboy, he responded that the league was supposed to be much more brutal than the NFL. “We're not going to protect the investment (Quarterbacks) like NFL owners have: one hand on the quarterback and the whistle blows…. Knock the quarterback out of the game.”
Definitely a far cry from how the NFL does it, McMahon went on to say “The XFL will give you reality… Now we can turn the camera on charismatic individuals and let them be themselves. One thing I'll insist on is that they not be politically correct. I can't stand politically correct."
Given the high level of effort the NFL puts into making sure their players' personalities are contained, you can imagine there are at least some fans out there that wish the XFL had caught on.
4 He Doesn’t Feel His Age
There is a lot to be said about Vince McMahon’s age, as he turned 71 years old on August 24th, 2016. When you start getting up there in age, people definitely start asking how you’re feeling, but have no fear because when asked, McMahon said “I don’t know if I feel like I’m 40. Actually, some would say I’m still a teenager as far as certain aspects of my brain. It’s like I refuse to grow up. I don’t want to grow up. Now I’m old enough to say I’m not going to grow up. So what are you going to do about that?”
When he was asked in 2001 how he would like to die, he joked “I would like to be devoured by the biggest, baddest, carnivore that ever walked the face of the earth. And then I'd like that son of a bitch to get indigestion and vomit my remains back up.”
So while that may be a lot less likely than McMahon just passing away from complications as he gets older, at least it’s documented how he’d like to die.
3 Who His Favorite Superstar Is
Vince has seen many superstars come and go in his day, but we are sure that his favorite wrestler is probably one of your favorites too: The Undertaker. When asked about it in Muscle & Fitness magazine, Vince said it had to be Taker because of “His loyalty, his longevity, and his extraordinary commitment to his character." He went on to say "We have lots of fun creating fun. [Superstars] try to crack each other up from time to time, and we all have tried to get Undertaker to break character, and we can’t do it. He is such a professional and an extraordinary human being behind the character. He’s committed to his craft and has worked through his injuries.”
When you consider how many hot heads Vince has had to deal with during his career, you can imagine having the constant force of the Deadman must have brought him a lot of comfort.
2 He Likes To Surprise His Roster
The fans aren’t the only ones who get surprised by some of the twists and turns of the WWE. While you’ve got obvious examples like the Montreal Screwjob where people didn’t see things coming, there are also fun examples like how the vast majority of wrestlers didn’t know that Shane McMahon was coming back (as he did this past year).
When talking about how he likes to run things, McMahon said “That’s what I try to do: totally surprise our talent. They like to be surprised just like the audience. They like to be entertained so I like to entertain our talent as well.”
McMahon went on to further explain how happy he was to have Shane McMahon back in the mix after he had taken a significant absence from the company. When Vince Russo was asked about why Shane left the company the first time, he expressed the following.
"I know the final showdown was a clash. Vince brought a couple of guys in his office, and told them that Shane was no longer with the company, and Shane was ready to be in charge, and even though it was his son, he wasn’t ready to step down and that’s the reason (Shane) stepped down."
1 Just How Much Money Vince Is Worth
Vince McMahon has often boasted in the past about the fact that he’s a billionaire, something that Forbes would back up as they have placed his net worth at an astonishing $1.21 Billion. Money is an ever changing thing though, and Vince may be seeing a lot more of it in the very near future.
It was reported on August 18, 2016 that Vince had sold 1,547,372 shares of WWE stock with the intention of estate planning. The shares were valued at $19.32 each, meaning McMahon brought in a cool $29,895,227.04. With all those recent wrestlers getting suspended, now may be a good time to ask the boss for a raise if you’re in his good graces!
Earlier this year, McMahon sold 2.19 million shares and netted $36.2 million.