YMMV: Vince McMahon

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: His current run as Face could be seen as him still doing what he did as heel - manipulating people, bending his own rules and using his connections for his own needs - but this time being Genre Savvy enough to know he can get away with it if he'll stick to targetting Heels.
    • Alternative Author Avatar Interpretation: In Ted DiBiase's autobiography Every Man Has His Price, he claimed that, right before he walked into Vince's office to find out about the "Million Dollar Man" gimmick, Pat Patterson told him that the gimmick he was getting would be the one Vince himself would use if he was a wrestler. According to DiBiase, Vince explained it to him as a wrestling version of Donald Trump. This suggests that Vince's weird Trump fixation, which became most blatant in 2007, went back at least to 1987, and possibly earlier.
      • The October 26, 1998 issue of New York Magazine ran an article on Vince and the then-WWF which noted that, according to Vince, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is "really playing the part of Vince McMahon." In a sense, DiBiase and Austin both represent sides of Vince's personality. DiBiase represents how a lot of cynical people/critics/censors/etc. see Vince, as the evil Corrupt Corporate Executive who uses money and power to push people around and doesn't care about any damage he might do along the way to getting what he wants in the long run or whatever he is trying to achieve at a given moment. Austin could represent how Vince sees himself and his attitude toward critics/censors/etc., as a defiant no-nonsense rebel, since Vince just wants to run his shows and doesn't like anybody getting in his way. It's when these two sides combine on TV that he is at his most over-the-top and most interesting.
      • Then, of course, there are the other sides which aren't explainable in this way, namely the nerdy, generic announcer, and the caring patriot/humanitariannote  who flies the whole crew over to Afghanistan or Iraq every year for the Tribute to the Troops specials.
  • The Assimilator: As Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman learned, after Vince crushes your company he will hire your wrestlers, continue your storylines and put you to work in a on- of off-screen capacity
  • Base Breaker: The greatest example in professional wrestling, with one notable exception. He's either an incredible businessman who took a carny-run business and turned it into an entertainment juggernaut, or he's a ruthless asshat that did everything in his power to crush his opposition and then whined about the same thing happening to him.
    • He's either A Father to His Men, allowing his wrestlers second chances and paying for their drug/alcohol rehab, or he's a Mr. Burns imitator who classifies his workers are "Independent Contractors" so he doesn't have to shell out health insurance or give them an offseason.
    • He's either a creative genius who single-handedly birthed the cable wrestling industry as we know it, or a confused old man with an infantile sense of humor who holds way too much creative power. The one thing everyone can agree on is Vinnie Mac is a master showman. (Better on the mic than Trips and Nips, certainly.)
    • Another near-unanimous opinion, it seems, is that he's stayed at the top too long and it's time for him to step down or at least consider think about stepping down. The problem is, he has given no indication he's retiring anytime soon.
  • Crazy Awesome: Terry Funk, who is probably the person with the most authority on the subject ever, thinks the most hardcore man in WWE is Vince. Why? Every other wrestler falls off of cages and gets hit with chairs because, on some level, they need the paycheck. Vince doesn't need to do any of that but still does because he likes to entertain the fans. Also, HBK has stated Vince won't ask any of his wrestlers to do anything he wouldn't do himself (HBK flew down to the ring on a wire for WrestleMania XII— the first guy to test out the harness was Vince). Mick Foley, the other man with high authority on hardcore, agrees with Funk
    • A Father to His Men: For the reasons above, wrestlers will almost do anything he asks. He will also listen to their opinions despite the aura of fear he inspires. Bret Hart during his initial WWE run considered Vince like that, and even after the screwjob they still had a heart to heart after Owen's funeral like a father and son who needed to reconcile. They did.
    • According to Matt "Spike Dudley" Hyson, Vince's limitations on the cruiserweight division were more out of concern for workers' safety rather than a lack of interest in the high-risk style. He said this after being fired. This is justified by the sheer amount of travel and working dates for wrestlers on a full-time WWE schedule.
      • Along the same lines, after Owen Hart injured Austin with the botched tombstone piledriver at SummerSlam 97, all Austin wanted to do was get back in the ring and kick Owen's ass in retaliation. Vince, having been acknowledged as the boss a year earlier courtesy of Jim Ross's "shoot" promo though still playing a neutral character, tried to get Austin to work within some kind of rules, acknowledging Austin's popularity and how the fans wouldn't want to see him get hurt again.
    • One of his hallmark moments had to have been his sudden reappearance in the latest Cena/Punk feud. Long story short, Vince challenged Punk to a fight and went toe-to-toe with him at the end of the episode. This was Crazy Awesome in kayfabe as Vince is nearing 70 and Punk was the WWE Champion at the time, but a look at the background info will show that Vince decided on about six days' notice to appear on RAW in person and carry out this storyline in an attempt to boost ratings after one of the worst Mondays in WWE's recent history. In other words, a 67-year-old multimillionaire CEO threw himself into an on-screen brawl (some of the spots included Vince leaping over an announce table as well as Vince and Punk beating the crap out of each other with kendo sticks) for the sole purpose of getting people to watch his TV show. Now that's dedication.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Vince sometimes has an... interesting concept of what "funny" is.
    • Mocking Jim Ross's Bell's Palsy on the June 11th, 2012 episode of RAW deserves special mention here. Remember the "Oklahoma" angle from WCW? This seems to be invoking shades of it.
    • Reportedly, Vince thought the infamous "I screwed your brains out" line, from the Katie Vick necrophilia skit, was a riot. Needless to say, he was alone in this thinking.
  • Epileptic Trees: More than one internet commentator has suggested that Vince is a dark puppetmaster controlling TNA from behind the scenes as a dumping ground for any wrestlers too old/unconventional, as an end around antitrust legislation, and as a way of making his product look good in comparison.
  • Executive Meddling: If the stories are to be believed, then Vincent Kennedy McMahon is the undisputed king of this trope. Don't be fooled by the fact that there are "writers" and "producers" involved in WWE storylines. If Vince McMahon likes it, it's brilliant. If he doesn't like it, it is killed dead.
    • Paul Heyman was originally brought in as a sounding board to help motivate WWE to think outside the box. By Paul E's own admission, his contrarian positions "wore thin" quickly and he was packed off to a smaller compartment in the company.
    • Whenever Vince starts a non-wrestling venture, he shoves it down viewers' throats as part of his "WWE entertainment" brand. Vince wants to feel validated as a businessman. So we get to see his inferiority complex being expressed through these ventures, or his idolization of Donald Trump. On a certain level Vince McMahon is somehwat ashamed of his association with pro wrestling.
      V1: "I don't watch your show. Now pay me and put my show over."
      Jay: That's how you get into the Hall of Fame!
      V1: You're probably more likely to get in if you call Vince's bluff and just be, "grumble grumble yeah I don't like it."
      Jay: He can respect that.
      V1: [chortling] God.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Stories abound that it doesn't take much to set Vince off. And when you do…run.
  • Hypocrite: Vince McMahon created the WWF juggernaut by poaching talent from territorial companies and assimilating them into his company. Then Eric Bischoff and WCW started stealing WWF talent at the height of the Monday Night War. Three guesses as to which of these situations had Vince McMahon crying about how unfair things were?
    • On a RAW episode that took place in 2/01/10, Vince lambasted Bret Hart for having "no personality, no command of the English Language, and having a hound-dog looking face." Ironically, one of his certain wrestlers fits exactly the descriptions that Vince spouted out. That's not cool, Vince...
    • Even the most ardent McMahon marks raise an eyebrow or two at his "command of the English language". That man is the Vizzini of pro wrestling. You're extemporaneous, but you're not trepidacious.
  • Iron Woobie: This may seem like an odd one given his fame and fortune, but he was beaten almost constantly by his step-father and laments openly about not being the one to have killed him because he would have enjoyed that. Paul Heyman once said that Sigmund Freud would need 900 pages to explain exactly how Vince McMahon works. RVD and others have all said that they don't blame Vince because inside he's a broken man. However the reason he's an Iron Woobie is that he never presents himself in a way that makes you want to comfort him. Could also be Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds depending on how much power you think he has. In Freddie Blassie's autobiography Listen, You Pencil Neck Geeks, George "The Animal" Steele said that Vince has about seven personalities and five of them are pretty good. He claimed that he and Don Muraco used to call Vince "Sybil."
    • Given all the blame put on him for the demise of the old school territorial systemnote  via WWE's expansion in the 1980s, many old-school fans would likely agree with the "Destroyer of Worlds" part.
  • It's All About Me: During his days as an on-screen character, it was clear that he was doing everything he could to have storylines revolve around him. Now that he's no longer an onscreen personality, there are people that speculate that he's living through John Cena's character…which explains a lot about Cena's booking, truthfully.
  • Love to Hate: Oh, SO much. And it's a quality he passed on to his daughter.
  • Mad Artist: If Professional Wrestling can be considered an art.
  • Memetic Mutation: Usually on forums when something of old news or common knowledge is talked about by someone that thinks of it as brand new info a few people would throw something like "OH MY GOD! DID YOU GUYS SEE RAW!! VINCE MCMAHON'S LIMO JUST EXPLODED!!!". Hilarity Ensues.
  • Moral Event Horizon: When Mr. McMahon started his feud with Steve Austin, he was more or less a stodgy businessman uncomfortable with Austin's behavior. By the time he organized his own daughter's kidnapping just to get the belt off of Austin, he crossed into a psycho who'd do anything just to spite his enemy.
    • He's crossed it numerous times. Another famous example is when abused his aforementioned daughter in a match on PPV, which ultimately ended with him choking her out with a pipe. He also physically threatened his wife the whole time and shoved her to the ground. Lampshaded by the commentators, as Tazz, who had been defending Vince's actions initially, eventually gave up in disgust and agreed that Vince had crossed it. And when Tazz claimed that this was the first time Vince had struck his wife, Cole retorted "that we know of" lampshading the Fridge Horror of how Vince treats his family outside of WWE (kayfabe-wise, of course).
  • Older Than They Think: Vince McMahon's first portrayal of the evil "Mr. McMahon" character was actually in USWA in the early 90's, years before he portrayed it in his own company World Wrestling Entertainment, in which he feuded with Jerry "The King" Lawler(who was also employed by WWE at the time, in which their face and heel roles were switched), and would have Lawler fight his WWE wrestlers(who were heel "invaders" in USWA). Interestingly, Lawler become one of Vince's biggest suck-ups during the Attitude Era in WWE.
    • Of course, Lawler generally sucked up to the heelsnote , enough to the point that one time Jim Ross finally had had enough and just said, "Yeah, well, you're an ass!"
  • Old Shame: His "Stand Back" video during his early days. Full stop.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: In character Vince is the closest thing to a real-life Disney villain, and apparently he's almost as much of a bastard backstage. However, Vince can be generous and self sacrificing if the WWE and the wrestling business in general benefit from his actions, and while he has been accused of some legally shady things, he's always been careful not to do anything that could get him jailed/sued. For instance, the Wellness Program- Vince doesn't technically have to spend money on heart screenings or sending addicts to rehab, but he does it because the company benefits.
    • Several wrestlers have also noted that unless you do something extremely damaging to the company or personally offensive to him, Vince won't hold a grudge and will give you a second chance if keeping you around is good business.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Pretty much all of Vince's side ventures outside of running the WWE went completely tits-up on him:
    1. Boxing promoter: The Ray Leonard-Donny Lalonde card lost money. He is, however, a surprisingly good boxing commentator.
    2. WWE Films: No Holds Barred, The Chaperone, etc. lost money. (The Marine broke even.) However, things began to pick up with The Call, possibly because it doesn't star a wrestler, and the Marine series is showing healthy life on direct-to-DVD.
    3. WBF (World Bodybuilding Federation): Don't mention this to him. Just don't.
    4. XFL Football League: Even he made fun of this one.
    5. WWE Restaurant: Vince was flush with cash in the 90s, so instead of spending it on, say, emplyoee bonuses or hiring more talent, he opened a restaurant in the Times Square and bought a football league (as you do). It's a Hard Rock Cafe now.
    6. Politics: Vince is obviously a much better public speaker than Linda, but she had to run in his place because of irradiated skeletons that would tumble out of his closet if he did run for public office. He couldn't outright tell his audience to vote for Linda McMahon (only doing it tangentially by running ads saying "Stand Up for the WWE!" and "SmackDown Your Vote!", whatever those meant.) Linda lost the 2010 senate race, despite the wave of Republican victories that year. She lost again in 2012. (Campaign budget: -$97,000,000)
  • Villain Decay: While a serious threat in the late 90's and early 2000's, the feud with DX and alliance with the Spirit Squad (male cheerleaders) pretty much turned Vince into a ineffectual cartoon version of his former self.
    • Granted this decay happened throughout that one arc. At it's earliest points when he was feuding with Shawn Michaels, he was portrayed as genuinely merciless and malicious, using every Mind Screw available to make Michaels' life an utter hell, it was only when he finally unleashed Michaels (and later Triple H's) own long-lost prankster side that he realised he was way out of his league. Even then though, you have to be amazed by his persistence in destroying them.
  • The Woobie: In real life he had a bad childhood, with abusive relatives having beaten on him constantly. The tough guy face he puts on is a way to try and gain some control over what happened to him, but this has reached the point where any sign of weakness terrifies him. People like Shawn Michaels and even on-screen nemesis "Stone Cold" Steve Austin have said there have been times, in private, where Vince just broke down crying. Vince also came very close to tears several times on the Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Legend special produced after Ultimate Warrior passed away on April 8, 2014. From the fan's perspective, they want him to get help, but not use incest/necrophilia angles as therapy.
    • Jerkass Woobie: Depending on your view of him.
      • Cry for the Devil: If you really don't like the guy, this is how you'll probably view his objectively shitty childhood.