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Trivia / Vince McMahon

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  • Actor-Shared Background: SCSA always said, "the best character is yourself turned Up to Eleven". Vince is always at 11, by default!
    • 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 being sexually abused by his mother. It goes long way towards explaining his more bizarre storylines (like the incest angle he kept pushing to do...and the one he actually did!).
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    • Mr. McMahon 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 Hunter. (That little stunt got him disinvited for their reception.) His daughter Stephanie confirmed that he wanted to use her first pregnancy to push an incest storyline, with him as the father. It was Vince's cathartic attempt to work through his childhood trauma.
    • Vince wants the reputation of being a "respectable" company, but none of the responsibility (ie. insurance, retirement plans, designated corporate hierarchy).
    • Ted Turner is another good man who loves wrestling. Many of us grew up on WWF vilifying him with "Billionaire Ted" skits.
      Um, Vince didn't you do that in the 80's, to the AWA...?
      Yeah, kinda like you did to all the territories... in the 80's.
      • Vince climbed to the top of the wrestling business by carpet-bombing said business: freezing out his competitors (strong-arming networks into not airing other shows and threatening to pull WWF off their channels), locking out the big arenas (intimidating arena mangers into being WWF/WWE-exclusive), and poaching talent from every promotion in North America. Years later, even Vince admitted that killing the territories was a mistake. Now the WWE is put into the position of finding new performers and training them from scratch.
        To put it in perspective, the now-defunct NA territorial system employed thousands of prospective performers; the WWE employs a few hundred.
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    • He supports the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT-IP, the ultimate control freak + corporate cash-grab bill. (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)
    • At the 2005 Royal Rumble, he rushed into the ring to restart the main event (after John Cena and Batista eliminated each other). In the process of doing so, he tore his right quad. He had to recite his lines sitting in a corner of the ring while in excruciating pain. (He then refused medical help, limping off backstage by himself... where he tore his left quad.)
  • Creative Differences: He hated Mick Foley's famous "Hell in a Cell" match (from King of the Ring '98). In fact, he mentioned on an episode of "The Monday Night War" that he'd exorcise 2 things from Attitude Era: The first being Owen Hart' s fall, and the second would be that cage match.note 
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  • Creator Breakdown: People are starting to wonder if this is starting to happen to Vince in 2020 in between the persistent rise of All Elite Wrestling, the collapse (again) of the XFL, the business loss resulting from the pandemic, the near-cancellation of Wrestlemania 36 and the lawsuits he's facing. His promo at Triple H's 25th anniversary episode of Smackdown was a strange, barely coherent rant given while he looked worse for wear. One YouTube wrestling channel cited an inside source that claimed Vince "gives zero fucks" with all the problems he's been facing. Aside from all that, Vince is in his mid-70s and has been working almost non-stop for decades while using steroids, taking vicious beatings in the ring and getting by on very little sleep and no vacations.
  • Doing It for the Art: Vince McMahon has said he will do anything for publicity, and that he'll never ask anyone to do something he wouldn't do himself.
    • Just the fact he'll step through the ring ropes and let himself get slammed and bloodied. We may not like the way he does it, but he desperately wants this company to succeed.
    • No less a legend than Terry Funk says that Vince is the most hardcore man in the entire industry. Why? Because, deep down, while the wrestlers may love their profession, they are doing it for a paycheck. Vince is a billionaire who could easily step aside and let others run his company and just relax with his money. But he puts himself in these situations because he knows the fans want to see it.
    • Outside of the ring, he'll allow himself to be disrespected and insulted if that rises the numbers that matter (especially money).
    • James J Dillon and Don Muraco have both confirmed that Vince has no life outside of wrestling and never takes vacations. James J Dillon, who spent years in the WWE office after Turner bought what remained of the NWA from Jim Crockett Jr., said that, by 1996, he reached the point where he could no longer keep up with Vince's sleepless schedule and over-achievement, so he fled back to WCW. This is likely why he put Linda, Shane and Stephanie on the payroll, since he'd never see them otherwise.
    • Even though they are not critically adored, the film branch of WWE isn't just to enact further control over his talents' careers (as Kurt Angle hypothesized). VKM loooooooooves being a movie producer, even more than being a wrestling promoter. This has the secondary effect of making the WWE less of a wrestling company and more of an entertainment company.
  • Dueling Works:
    • WCW used to practically throw money around like it was nothing. They had better production values, sets, bigger names, even Michael Goddam Buffer (and he ain't cheap!). No wrestling company has the capital to really challenge WWE like Turner did.
    • Turner bought out Crockett's Promotion because he wanted a southern-based cable network (TBS). Before buying out JCP, Turner even let Vince air wrestling on TBS, but southerners hated Vince's product. It wasn't about Ted trying to drive him out of business, he just knew his market.
    • Thanks to the backing of the billionaire Khan family, All Elite Wrestling is the first company since WCW went out of business to have the capital to potentially challenge WWE on its own footing, although its lack of established brand limits it reach and it's mainly focused on carving out its own niche as an alternative. Despite initially pretending he didn't care about this new rival, Vince's actions have betrayed a vicious refusal to accept the existence of AEW as an alternative to his promotion, moving NXT to Wednesday night TV to run head-to-head with AEW Dynamite (the same way Eric Bischoff once pitted WCW Monday Nitro against RAW) and aggressively counterbooking them at every opportunity.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • He wants to move away from that southern, inbred, hillbilly stereotype of wrestling. It's funny, because "pro wrestling" is an art practiced from coast to coast; it was in no way unique to the south. In fact, he even admitted "Pro wrestling is what my dad did".

      He can call it sports entertainment all he wants, but to the rest of the world it's wrestling. Vince doesn't want to even be put in the same category as other promotions.
      • He forbids his commentators from even calling out moves. Instead, it's "What a maneuver!" and "Look at that move!" As a result, the play-by-play is pretty samey despite Cole and Bradshaw's efforts to make it work.
      • In the end you could have Vince Gilligan, David Chase, Aaron Sorkin and Matthew Weiner writing for RAW and it'd still be a coin toss, because all their ideas will be put through Vince's filter. Jim Ross talked about this on Opie & Anthony. He said that sometimes Vince would yell nonsense through the headset, and then after few moments, Vince would say, "Thank God you didn't say what I told you to say, that would've made no sense."
      • Foley's book Countdown to Lockdown confirmed what a lot of people already knew, that Vince has a habit of providing loud and heated "feedback" to his announce team, mostly on matters of terminology and pushing storylines. This brought him to grief with Foley when he was on the announce team for close to a year; Foley did extensive research and consulted with the wrestlers themselves to provide make his commentary more in-dpeth and interesting. For the most part, his announcing tenure was a great critical success, but by the end of his contract, Foley was low on morale and decided go work for TNA. Though he very much enjoyed announcing, he couldn't deal with the stress of knowing an angry Vince McMahon would start YELLING INTO HIS ONE GOOD EAR WITHOUT WARNING.
      • Beyond The Mat shows Vince with the headset giving instructions to his commentators. That was filmed in 1999.
    • Whenever things start to go wrong, Vince drills down into micromanagement mode, obsessing over the details of the main event or the top guy's promos and leaving the overall story arc in limbo. It probably doesn't help that the closest thing he has to an Editor is Triple "I do a 20-minute promo to start the show, and I'm a bad guy, but I'm also cool" H.
      • Vince is even obsessed with micro-managing just about everything in his life — Up to and including stifling his directors and crew on movie sets, his own sneezes (ACHOO DAMMIT), and passengers aboard his private jet (SLEEP IS THE COUSIN OF DEATH DAMMIT). Apparently, it's not uncommon for him to make these kind of impulsive changes to the booking, as well. It's been said that even Steph and Haitch aren't immune to Vince changing their script with seconds to go before filming.
    • It's 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. (Understandable given the behavior of The Ultimate Warrior, Madusa, Jack Swagger, Mr. Kennedy, and the list goes on and on. Perhaps the deepest cut of all was Hulk Hogan joining WCW and testifying against him in court.) Unfortunately, workers who have the temerity to start careers in someplace other than WWE are shoved to the midcard regardless of prior accomplishment or work ethic, and usually drop out after a few years.
    • 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, Triple H, Mick Foley, and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in the middle/late '90s). Brock Lesnar is the Shining Light of MMA and McMahon continually backs up bigger and bigger trucks full of money to keep him on the card. (Brock is aware of this and ruthlessly turns Vince over a spit every time his contract is renewed.)
    • He's also made exceptions for people he feels were kept down in other organizations and could do very well otherwise. Examples include Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, and Rey Mysterio Jr..
    • Vince actually takes some glee in successfully pushing wrestlers rejected by other companies (it shows Vince is so much smarter than those other promoters, you see). Of the above examples, only Austin was planned for anything above mid-card in WCW and that ended as soon as Hogan arrived.
      • The modern example of this is probably AJ Styles, pretty much the only non-WWE home-grown talent to get a constant, sustained (and well-deserved and mostly successful) push since he debuted for WWE in 2016. AJ was the top star in TNA for years, the guy who made that company and carried it on his back, but in the end they bungled, undervalued and eventually lost their grip on him. Vince pushed him almost immediately and hasn't really stopped pushing him since, again to prove that he's not as dumb as TNA was when they squandered AJ (and to be fair it's worked out quite well for WWE and Styles both).
    • 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. Critics attribute WWE's recent 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 the remaining staff won't stand up to him.
    • 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.
    • Vince's Control Freak tendencies do have another benefit: they prevent wrestlers from putting themselves over the product and the company. When TNA hired every single person on the cover of The Death of WCW (at the same time, no less), a starstruck Dixie Carter was extremely lenient with their behavior and demands and basically allowed them to do whatever they wanted, at the cost of promoting TNA or doing what its fans wanted, and it led to TNA's Dork Age, the ramifications of which they still haven't recovered from. Vince also hired every single person on the cover of that book, but nobody bags on him for doing that because he has long since proven able to keep them all in line.
  • Fan Nickname: His name is Vincent Kennedy McMahon and his father's middle name started with a J. Still it is common for people, especially those who were around the business in the 1980s, to refer to this one as "Vince Jr." and the dad as "Vince Sr.", especially when talking about how different they were.
  • Lying Creator:
    • Vince will have you believe that he is the one who killed WCW with his superior product. He didn't kill WCW, he just bought it for cheap after Time-Warner stripped the brand of its value.
      • In-storyline, Triple H single-handedly brought down WCW. The funny thing is that WWE will have you believe Triple H was already a main event threat.
    • Since Vince completed his aggressive campaign to destroy all relevant competition (which began in December of '83), the business has never been smaller since its debut on network TV in 1952. There are less places for the talent to work, there are less people attending live events, there are less people watching it on TV. The business is smaller for everyone but Vince, and he and his people do a clever job manipulating those who remain invested into thinking it was "always going to end up this way" or "the business has simply evolved" or some such.
  • Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros.": Most people associate the "Mr. McMahon" character with him post-Montreal, but he played a prototype of this character in a crossover with the USWA, which also featured Jerry Lawler.
  • Money, Dear Boy:
    • Even if the territories had stood together when they really needed to, it's doubtful anyone could have anticipated an industry figure achieving the success of McMahon Jr still publicly breaking kayfabe in order to reduce operating costs, such as the infamous New Jersey tax case of 1989. At least Jack Pferer had a grudge.
    • Vince McMahon is the Simon Cowell of wrestling; Cowell doesn't produce music most of us would listen to in a million years but his bands have made millions. Vince has always been more concerned about getting the WWE over as a product and attaining mainstream "respectability" than about the actual wrestling, but he is a genius. It is what is really.
  • Old Shame: Vince reacts badly when people mention the XFL, the World Bodybuilder Federation, And "Stand Back!"
    • Also don't test him on the steroid scandal of the 90s.
  • Promoted Fanboy: He's acknowledged that, growing up, his favorite wrestler was Dr. Jerry Graham.
  • Running the Asylum: 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 who speculate he's living vicariously through John Cena's character...which explains a lot about Cena's booking, truthfully. Interestingly, this was very much not the case as late as 1997. Vince didn't like on-screen references to his ownership of the company and thought the average fan saw him as nothing more than a commentator. He had to be dragged into turning heel following the Montreal Screwjob. It was only after the feud with Austin exploded that Vince ran with it and made himself a major part of the storylines.
  • Written by Cast Member: Basically all backstage vignettes on the final episode of WCW Monday Nitro showed him doing things like making out with Trish Stratus or burying WCW in general.


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