Vince didn't screw TV Tropes. TV Tropes screwed TV Tropes.
Vincent Kennedy McMahon, Jr. is a third generation wrestling promoter, chairman and CEO of WWE and patriarch of the McMahon Wrestling Family. He is also the man who revolutionized professional wrestling forever by taking the World Wrestling Federation and turning it from a regional territory into a mainstream national promotion in the mid-1980s, where it enjoyed massive success and eventually turned into the multi-billion dollar empire we now know as World Wrestling Entertainment. McMahon also has decades of on-camera experience in the promotion; first as a play-by-play announcer, and, after 1997, as the evil boss character "Mr. McMahon".That Other Wiki has an extensive article on his life and career.
Abusive Parents: Vince grew up in a trailer park in North Carolina with his mother and a series of stepfathers; one was an alcoholic who regularly beat Vince with "anything he could get his hands on." Vince would later lament in a Playboy interview that he thought it was "unfortunate that he died before I could kill him. I would have enjoyed that."
In the same article, he talked about the fact that he was sexually abused by his mother. His upbringing seems to go a long way towards explaining his more erratic behavior (like the inceststorylines he kept trying to do).
Meanwhile, Vince's on-screen character is himself both mentally and physically abusive towards his kids when he's really being nasty. He's even wrestled them - his son Shane numerous times, and his daughter Stephanie a few days before her Real Life wedding to Triple H.
Alas, Poor Villain: Upon being relieved of duty he gets a 'THANK YOU VINCE!' chant from the crowd as the show closed, especially notable as not five minutes earlier the crowd was cheering at the news of him being replaced. Likely because the promo started off like any other in such a situation - someone (HHH in this case) coming out to interrupt a promo). But once the crowd figured out that this was basically Vince's retirement speech from active involvement and the symbolic handing of the reins to HHH, they started changing the chant. You can tell that Vince himself was a little taken aback by the emotion.
CM Punk earned his candidacy by making Vince apologize to him. Plus, his running off the title facilitated Vince's eventual removal from COO of the WWE and being replaced by his son-in-law Triple H.
Author Appeal: It's historically known that Vince loves big, muscular men, and he will push them, regardless of talent.
I would say technical wrestlers are his more personal appeal, as the big men usually only get titles when they are over, and the practice pre-dates the current Vince. Solid wrestlers, though, will usually get pushed to the upper midcard. Either way, high-flyers tend to get the short end of the stick.
Vince's inclination towards muscular was more apparent in the 80's where they were pushed even if they had talent but were forced to hide it, (Hulk Hogan) or like some, had no (Ultimate Warrior) skill in the ring. As time went on, smaller yet more talented wrestlers were given chances. At this point, Vince tends to push charisma over everything else, in-ring talent included.
It has been said that, with some (but not very many) exceptions, he insists on people being of a certain height. Two-time World Heavyweight Champion Rey Mysterio Jr would suggest otherwise, but Mysterio is probably the second most popular wrestler in the company at the time of this writing, behind only John Cena. That being said, when WCW folded, it took his entire creative staff pushing him for him to sign Mysterio to a very low minimum guarantee.
Part of the "bigger guys" thing is simply that they have more of a physical presence, since it's easier to make a guy look intimidating when he's bigger or taller (and it gives the announcers a go-to factoid to repeat during a dull part in a match.) While WWE isn't filled with complete giants right now, most of the wrestlers considered "average-sized" by WWE standards (guys not pushed as giants, such as Cena, Edge, Morrison) are at least 6'2" and over 220 pounds, which is considered above average for the typical man. The only really prominent smaller guys are Mysterio and Evan Bourne, who are closer to the American average of 5'9".
He also has a thing for gross storylines; his daughter Stephanie confirmed that he wanted to use her first pregnancy to push an incest storyline, with him as the father. He also OK'd the Katie Vick saga, probably the most horrible storyline to feature on a pre-watershed television programme. Made worse by the fact it was played for laughs.
Terry Funk called him "the most hardcore man in the business" because he's a multi-millionaire who doesn't need to be hit over the head with chairs week in and week out, but does so anyway to promote a story. TERRY F'N FUNK, the father of all Garbage Wrestlers.
Shown in his 2012 match with CM Punk. Not only did he not mind taking some nasty shots, he came close to winning without outside interference to the point that Punk tried to run away.
Shown once again on RAW in January 2013, when he was about to fire Paul Heyman. He was scheduled to get hip surgery for a real life issue, so what did he do to have an excuse to be off TV? Take an F-5 from Brock Lesnar, of course.
It's been said that Vince gets angry when HE sneezes, as he wants to control everything and a sneeze is something he can't control.
Big Bad: As a Heel. On the occasions that is is a Face, he's the Big Good. Since he's the boss of the entire company both on-screen and in real life, he's one of the few people who can be BOTH the Big Good AND the Big Bad in any form of fiction. Though he plays the Big Bad a lot more often, and sometimes his face turn is just part of his Evil Plan and he's Evil All Along(such as him being the Higher Power).
He also played this role in USWA in 1993 while feuding with Jerry "The King" Lawler.
Bigger Bad: Since he's the owner of the company, he's arguably responsible(directly or indirectly) for everything that has happened in WWE since he took over the company in 1982. It's even lampshaded in quite a few "worked shoots".
Even WCW originally implied Vince was this to the nWo before scrapping the idea when WWE threatened to sue them........only for Vince to imply it even more when he brought in the nWo to be his Dragons in his goal to kill his own company after he had purchased WCW, even going as far as being the one to kill the group altogether once he had no need for them anymore. He also appeared directly on WCW television during the final episode of Nitro, playing the Big Bad of both WWE AND WCW.
Big "Shut Up!": He's MASTER of this trope, spewing it out to hilarious effect.
Born in the Wrong Century: Known to be woefully out of touch with popular culture. Metallica wanted to perform St. Anger, the theme for the 2003 Summerslam event, live at the PPV but Vince shot down the idea, not knowing how big the band was. Sacked the gimmick of Pirate Paul Burchill, as he didn't get the Jack Sparrow homage (the gimmick was dropped less than a month before the first sequel came out, and the gimmick was supposed to ride its coattails). And he thought Razor Ramon (Scott Hall)'s catchphrases such as "Make way for the bad guy!" was of Hall's own accord.
Bring My Brown Pants: Vince wet his pants once after Stone Cold held a gun to his head, which turned out to be a fake gun.
Bullying a Dragon: He can make many cower before the control he has over the company, but all too often he'll overestimate just how much abuse his wrestlers will endure to keep their jobs over kicking his ass.
Works both ways as well. Many employees found out the hard way to not "cross the boss" .
Butt Monkey: Forget the probably thousand or so Stunners he's taken since the first one on the September 22, 1997 Raw. The guy sacrificed a freaking CORVETTE for the cause of Austin getting a laugh.
Card-Carrying Villain: Vince really enjoys being evil at times, and has acknowledged that he will probably go to Hell when he dies.
Complexity Addiction: Vince McMahon tends to simply screw wrestlers he's feuding with, even if it takes an Evil Plan to do so, rather than just simply fire them, despite the fact he fires others for lesser things. This is mainly because Vince prefers to torment anyone who stands up to him.
Double Subverted at one point during his feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin in the Attitude Era, in which Vince finally fired him after Austin refused to make either The Undertaker or Kane the new champion. However, Austin wasn't too happy with this, and took Vince hostage the following night on RAW. Shortly after it was revealed Austin had been rehired by Vince's own son Shane, however at Survivor Series 1998 it was revealed that this was all just another master plan of Vince's as Austin was screwed out of the championship once again.
Fridge Brilliance would be that Vince realized how much money he could make from Austin so he kept him on the show, but tried his hardest to torment him. No idea if this was lampshaded in universe.
Justified with Orton, as he'd won the Royal Rumble and was thus promised a world title match at WrestleMania, and had threatened to sue the WWE and get a court order to stop WrestleMania from taking place if he was fired before the event. He changed tact and started demanding he be fired after realizing how much it would hurt the McMahon family to not have the event take place.
Sometimes this kind of thing comes back to bite Vince and the family as a whole in the ass, such as when Randy then turned the mini-feud he had going with the McMahons around with a Evil Plan of his own in order to get his hands on the World Title, during the same storyline in which the above quotes took place!
Control Freak: It's been said that Vince is obsessed about keeping control over just about everything in his life, and this is probably a big reason why he doesn't push guys who made it big in other companies, as he doesn't feel comfortable putting the spotlight on guys he didn't make and therefore aren't loyal to him. He's made exceptions in the past, particularly during times when he was starting out (bringing in Hulk Hogan, who had gotten over huge in Japan and the Midwest) or when he was under the gun (bringing in Ric Flair in the early '90s, and building his company around a bunch of WCW rejects such as Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Dustin Rhodes, and Stone Cold Steve Austin in the middle/late '90s).
He supports the Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT-IP, the Internet's ultimate Control Freak + Greed bill.
Understandable from a business perspective, as a large majority of WWE's income comes from pay-per-view revenues and there's no easy way to build in copy protection to television broadcasts.
This article points out that Vince seems to be this in real life. The article paints both Vince and head of Creative Stephanie as raging egomaniacs who rule the writing team with an iron fist and quickly throw out or bully anybody who disagrees with them. What's most telling is that WWE's turnover of new writers is astounding (fifty writers in five years, a staggering number.)
Cue the Flying Pigs: CM Punk getting Vince to apologize - on LIVE TELEVISION - probably caused more "OH SHIT"s from the IWC than any match, spot, promo, or otherwise in the history of the wrestling industry.
On the other hand, he did apologize by saying, "I APOLOGIZE, YOU SON OF A BITCH!" Punk was satisfied, and justifiably so considering it was Vincent Kennedy McMahon, but if it were an older brother apologizing to his sister, one doubts that person's parents would be impressed.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Most of Vince's fights with his wrestlers (especially his Wrestlemania matches) are this since Vince isn't a wrestler and much of his in-ring talent involves being willing to take a brutal ass-kicking.
Curbstomp Cushion: Though not much on par with his employees, he can pull some nasty kicks and right hooks when given the opportunity (not to mention one mean slap), not to mention being the boss, can often apply stipulations and outside interferences in his favor, usually allowing for at least some amount of tension in his matches. His beatdown at the hands of Bret was one of the few instances he got ZERO offense whatsoever, perhaps another reason it's considered so uneventful (see below).
Deal with the Devil: Whenever a wrestler aligns themselves with Vince, the commentators often call it this.
Disproportionate Retribution: Like any traditional Bad Boss, he thrives on this trope. Sometimes even so much as indirectly undermining his power and logic in the slightest manner is enough to ensure you spend the usually very short remainder of your career living utter hell.
The Dog Was the Mastermind: Throughout the 80's and more than half of the 90's he was well known to the WWF audience....as one of the ringside commentators. Not many fans knew that he was actually the Boss.
The Dreaded: Many have Oh Crap reactions when they learn of Vince's arrival, since it usually means someone is going to be fired or worse.
Enforced Method Acting: The Montreal Screwjob, oddly enough. With Vince being caught on camera yelling at the ref to ring the bell, there was no way to pretend it didn't happen in kayfabe. Having made himself into a villain, Vince ran with it and created the "Mr. McMahon" character.
During his late 1998 angle with Mick Foley, Vince explicitly told Mick not to tell him what he was planning to do in their bits and that Vince would just react naturally to the stupidity. It led to some of the funniest bits ever on WWE programming.
Executive Meddling: For years, Vince has taken a direct and personal hand in WWF/E booking, with extremely mixed results. Sometimes the results are great, such as when he kept Vince Russo in check during the Monday Night Wars and turned the then-floundering WWF around. And then there are the results that don't work, like the whole Katie Vick angle.
Flanderization: Vince's character has degenerated more and more into self-parody in recent years, becoming more cartoonishly evil as time went on. By the time his feud with DX happened in 2006, Vince came across less like a serious threat and more like a Dean Wormer / Cobra Commander hybrid.
Vince's walk, initially it was a semi-confident stride. Now it's a full blown comical strut.
A God Am I: Vince once started his own religion called "McMahonism" and compared himself to God during a promo he cut while inside a church.
Had done this earlier in the 1990s, but that only lasted for one show
God Is Evil: A non-God example. Since Vince is the owner of the company WWE he's pretty much responsible for WWE and everything involved in it(especially in Real Life in which he has the final say in everything that happens, including what happens In-Universe), and since he's the onscreen Evil Overlord, he's the closest to this trope that anyone is going to get in pro wrestling. Vince has lampshaded this frequently.
Happened again with the McMahon-Helmsley storyline, though done much differently, as he didn't mastermind the whole thing. This time he simply hijacked it by pulling a Face Heel Turn against The Rock by costing him the main event of Wrestlemania, which led to both of Vince's kids, who had been The Starscreams up to that point, loyally returned to his side, and Triple H, whom he had been genuinely feuding with for months, became his new Dragon, and the direction of the storyline changed into a Rock vs Vince feud, with Vince doing everything to try and keep the title away from the Rock and Rock having to overcome the odds Vince stacked against him, similar to Stone Cold Steve Austin before.
Averted with the nWo storyline in 2002, by Vince himself, who revealed he was the mastermind behind bringing in the nWo to help him kill WWE in the same segment everyone learned they would be returning.
DX put him through many during their feud with him.
The entire Money in the Bank 2011 WWE Championship storyline with CM Punk and John Cena leading to Mr. McMahon's dismissal from power in favor of Triple H was the ultimateHumiliation Conga for the character.
Hypocrite: Has his company pushing an anti-bullying campaign and in kayfabe is currently the Big Good. Meanwhile his character is still the biggest cutthroat in the entire company, what with his constant attempts to derail CM Punk virtually anytime they've met since the June 27, 2011 Pipe Bomb and now the uncomfortable habit he's got of publicly intimidating Vickie Guerrero into making matches that are clearly supposed to be pro-his favorite faces (such as handing John Cena and Ryback additional title shots and even booking Vickie herself into a fight with AJLee).
Even worse, he's taken to calling it "Live Entertainment" as of 2010.
As Joey Styles mentioned, there's also "Superstars" and "Divas" instead of "wrestlers".
And instead of fans, it's the "WWE Universe".
When Ted Turner called Vince announcing his purchase of what became WCW, Turner said "Hey Vince, I'm in the rasslin' business!" In response, Vince said, "That's great Ted; I'm in the entertainment business."
Jerkass: Many fans of WCW and ECW see him as this due to their treatment of the InVasion angle, his misuse of the smaller wrestlers, and various other reasons.
A sentiment by no means limited to fans of those two departed promotions.
Despite his public perception, many of his employees are quick to point out his caring and friendly nature. Mick Foley has mentioned in several of his books Vince's concern for Mick's well-being (telling after the infamous Cell match that he appreciated all Mick's done for the company but for Mick to never do something that dangerous again) and thoughtfulness over Mick's career. He also complimented Vince on allowing the book to be published with criticisms of him intact. He also stated he doesn't entirely understand why Vince doesn't show this side of him to the public world.
A lot of his former employees have credited him for helping get their lives back together, paying for rehab, taking care of their finances and offering them legend contracts and jobs. Even Jeff Jarrett thanked Vince and Co. for showing support for him and his family after his wife died as a result of cancer.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Again, noted in Mick Foley's biography. At one point during the Attitude Era, 80s-era wrestler Tony Atlas was brought onto the roster for a short time at a point when he was having financial difficulties. Mick recalls that he had wondered aloud why he wanted to bring in Atlas, since he had never been a true main eventer even at his peak and that most casual fans didn't recall him. Someone later told him, "Sometimes, Vince does things just to be nice." One of his old wrestlers was having problems, so he gave him a helping hand.
A better (dare we say defining?) example would come in the wake of Eddie Guerrero's death from complications involving a prior drug addiction. As noted, Eddie had completely recovered from drugs at the time and had openly thanked the company for sending him to treatment and for saving his life, so his sudden death due to complications years after the fact hit everyone especially hard. Since Eddie was his family's sole provider, leaving behind a wife and children, Vince gave his widow Vicki a job as a backstage performer, guaranteed pretty much for life for as long as she needed it. Years later, she is one of the best heel manager types in the business and has stated that her late husband would have loved the fact that she was now involved in the business that he gave so much for.
Joker Immunity: Justified as Vince is the owner of WWE in both Real Life and Kayfabe, and has said he would run the company until the day he dies. Given the nature of the business and how even the biggest names can be released or quit the company, Vince is pretty much the only person in WWE who officially has this.
Fans have speculated that he's been trying to revoke this trope kayfabe wise since 2007, but in reality the angles were always meant to be a way for him to take a temporary break from television with the intention on INVOKING this trope, which always did wind up happening, usually resulting in a Hand Wave or even Canon Disconinuity. Especially since it would result in Fridge Logic considering that Vince was alive and well running the company in real life(though the storylines themselves often had their own Fridge Logic on Wall Banger levels). In any case, it's clear that this will likely be a case of Mr. McMahon only leaving television for good when Vince himself passes away, like pretty much everyone else.
Kavorka Man: The Vince character is basically this, thanks to the aphrodisiac powers of having a Writer on Board. An illegitimate son angle had Vince confessing to losing his virginity at such a young age that everyone else in the room was creeped out.
Knight of Cerebus: When he shows up, it's usually for something important. Especially if he's at his most evil as a heel.
"Welcome everyone! To WRRRRRRRESTLEMANIAAAAAAAAAA!"
"IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MO-NAYYY, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MO-NAYYY!"
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Way back in 1997 a New York Times writer named Phil Mushnick targeted professional wrestling. He hated the sport, hated the fans, wasn't content to change the channel and wanted to take away people's rights. Jim Cornette spoke his mind on the issue and after another segment where fan opinions were voiced Vince read out the address to send Mr. Mushnick their opinion, before stating he can think of a letter to send himself. At the time few knew Vinnie Mac ran the WWF and as owner he would rightly have a few choice comments to make.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Nearly every Vince match is one of these. Not only does he get absolutely destroyed by whoever he's facing, but the good guy usually crosses a Moral Event Horizon in torturing him to a degree that they would lose fan support if against any other competitor. And usually, the crowd roars with approval.
Part of the reason Bret vs. Vince didn't work out well was probably because the Lighter and Softer approach the WWE has implemented means Bret couldn't really beat the holy hell out of Vince like Shawn Michaels or Hulk Hogan could years before. That, and Bret - having suffered a career-ending concussion and a stroke in the twelve-plus years between the Montreal Screwjob and WrestleMania 26 - was in no shape to actually wrestle. That being said, the crowd did indeed roar with approval when Bret locked in the Sharpshooter.
Non-Action Guy: Vince runs the ring rather than wrestling in it. While he has enough moves to throw a few effective blows and supplies well in cheap shots, he will usually either cower or get his teeth kicked in whenever forced into a legitimate match.
Norio Wakamoto: When WWE programming is dubbed into Japanese, they get this man to do Vince's parts.
Old Shame: Vince reacts badly when people mention the XFL.
Omnicidal Maniac: Vince at one point attempted to "kill" the WWE in 2002 with help from the New World Order. In the end Vince wound up killing the nWo instead.
Papa Wolf: Subverted during the Higher Power storyline. Vince acted like this when his daughter Stephanie was threatened by The Undertaker and the Ministry Of Darkness, however it was then revealed that Vince was the Higher Power who masterminded Stephanie's kidnapping all along. Since then for the most part Vince has been portrayed as treating his family cruelly - unless they're on the same side, in which case he plays this pretty straight.
In 2002, Vince was going off the hinges over Ric Flair being co-owner of the WWF. Vince was so convinced that Flair was going to kill the WWF that he decided the only solution was for him to kill it first. So, he injected the WWF "with a lethal dose of poison" - which turned out to be the New World Order.
Satan: Often called this by commentators, especially Jim Ross. At one point Ross even claimed that when Vince goes to Hell, he would quickly take it over, implying that Vince was even WORSE than Satan. Vince was also the "Higher Power" of the Ministry, a Satanic cult, and branded himself a counterpart at war with God in "McMahonism". As well, during the McMahonism storyline, Vince imitated Triple H's water-spitting entrance using holy water, then turned to his son Shane and said, "That kind of burns a little!" giving a hint of actual demonic influence. No wonder Shane asked him off-screen after that if he was going to Hell.
Smug Snake: He proudly took credit as being the one behind the NXT Riot, only for the "NXT Seven" to subsequently beat him down for the insinuation.
Take Over Professional Wrestling: Vince's goal was to make WWE the biggest wrestling promotion and to put rival promotions out of business. He succeeded. There are still other wrestling promotions, but none are really a serious threat to WWE.
Which is especially ironic, considering the Insistent Terminology entry above. In recent press releases, Vince has placed an embargo on the words "wrestling," "wrestler," "fight," and even "athlete." He tried to take over pro wrestling, and is now trying his absolute hardest to convince the world he's anything but a wrestling promoter.
Verbal Tic: Get Vince talking about anything, either in his Mr. McMahon character or as himself, and see how long it takes before he precedes a statement with the words "quite frankly". Odds are good he'll say it within the first minute.
Villain Protagonist: Vince McMahon is the owner of WWE and the kayfabe universe is his own, so he's basically this. He also tends to center the show around himself and his storylines even though he's the Big Bad. His antics in 2007(Feud with Trump, ECW reign, limo explosion, illegitimate son, etc.) are just some examples.
Villain Song: "No Chance in Hell", which initially started as the theme song for The Corporation, and before that, the theme song for the 1999 Royal Rumble, at which Mr. McMahon assured that Steve Austin has "no chance in hell" of winning that year's Royal Rumble.
It also got a Dark Reprise simply known as the Corporate Ministry theme.
A decade and a half later, he and Hart worked a feud against each other that had many elements of this played straight.
Writer on Board: It's really amazing how many angles have been written of Vince kissing, fondling, or otherwise sexually interacting with a hot Diva. It's kind funny/sad on Vince's DVD when they talk about the angle in which Vince would make out with Trish Stratus in front of his comatose wife as just something that was part of the story as if Vince had no control over that little plot development.
Yes Man: Many of his critics attribute WWE's difficulties to these - Vince's former advisors who were able to say "no" to him (e.g. Pat Patterson) have all left the company, and his current crew doesn't stand up to him.
You Have Failed Me: Vince has two words for those who fail him: YOOOOOUUUUU'RE FFFFFFFFFFFFFIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEDDDD!!!!