You can look like a million bucks, you can have upper echelon mic skills, and you can be well-received by the “WWE Universe”, but if Vince McMahon does not believe in you, the likelihood that you will excel in the business is severely diminished. The chain of command runs through none other than Vincent Kennedy McMahon, and if he isn’t fond of you, well, simply put, “you have no chance in hell”.
With McMahon having turned 71 years old this year, it’s likely that his days running the WWE are numbered. However, with Vince, you just never know. Despite his advanced age, he still looks better than half the wrestlers in his company.
The chain of command in WWE will then likely run through Triple H and/or Stephanie McMahon. However, until then, the WWE superstars will have to adhere to McMahon’s rules and regulations and hope they are on his good side.
Here, we take a look at 15 current wrestlers who McMahon simply does not like.
15. Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks has reached the pinnacle of WWE as she is currently in her third reign as WWE Raw Women’s Champion. However, the true “Legit Boss”, Vince McMahon, isn’t said to be the biggest fan of the WWE’s resident “Boss”, Sasha Banks. In May of 2016, McMahon likened Banks to Daniel Bryan. According to the Wrestling Observer, McMahon’s opinion of Banks was the following: “The bad part of this is Vince McMahon has on several occasions said he believes Banks knows only one speed and that’s all out, and even months ago was comparing her to Daniel Bryan, feeling she’s injury-prone”. While Bryan is as talented as they come, when your speed is compared to that of Bryan’s by McMahon you’re in dangerous territory.
14. Tyler Breeze
The NXT brand is Triple H’s baby and one NXT star Hunter was always a big fan of was the gorgeous one, Tyler Breeze. However, NXT is its own entity and WWE is its own entity and just because Vince McMahon’s son-in-law Triple H may be fond of you does not necessarily mean that McMahon is going to be fond of you as well. Breeze came up to the roster and was inserted into a feud with Dolph Ziggler which placed him in a good place on the card. After defeating Ziggler at Survivor Series it looked like Breeze was going places, but he lost the rematch between the two. Shortly after Breeze was stripped of his manager Summer Rae. He currently finds himself in a tag team with Fandango in a fashion police gimmick. Breeze is a resident WWE jobber and McMahon wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Swiss Superman is a crowd favorite and has become one based solely on his impressive in ring talent. Fans have shown their appreciation by printing out signs with the words “Cesaro Section” that are frequently on display in venues all across not only the U.S., but any and everywhere the WWE goes. Cesaro has been applauded by his WWE coworkers as being one of the strongest competitors employed by the WWE and the WWE’s poster boy John Cena even highly praised Cesaro after a match they had on Monday Night Raw. Cena said Cesaro deserved to be in the main event each and every night. When you’re a crowd favorite and your company’s biggest star heavily praises you, you’d think McMahon would see the light and not have Cesaro wither away in mid card limbo. But, maybe fans should cut McMahon some slack considering he’s seventy-one and may need to get his eyes checked!
12. Apollo Crews
Apollo Crews has a look that Vince McMahon usually raves over as he looks like he is chiseled out of stone. However, McMahon’s beef has nothing to do with Crews look (and how could McMahon have anything negative to say about Crews physique); McMahon’s beef is with Crews inability to develop his character. McMahon isn’t sure that Crews can successfully play the role of a charismatic babyface that the fans are excited to see when he comes out. To Vince’s credit, his concern about Crews is fully warranted. Crews has failed to show any amount of personality as he is almost always smiling. Not to mention, Crews mic skills are nowhere near polished. Crews may never become the charismatic babyface McMahon wishes for, but, giving Crews a manager to speak for him could significantly build his character.
11. The Cruiserweight Division
Vince McMahon has never truly been sold on the smaller competitors as he has always been more inclined to favor towering giants. Prior to the Cruiserweight Classic and the bringing back of the Cruiserweight Championship, McMahon made a mockery out of the belt before it was eventually retired. The last Cruiserweight Champion was of all people Hornswoggle. With all-time greats such as Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio Jr having held the belt, to disrespect it as McMahon did is despicable. In October of 2016 it was reported by WrestlingNewsWorld that McMahon wasn’t happy with how the Cruiserweights were being received by the audience. When you factor in that Raw was competing against the presidential debates and Monday Night Football at the time, the ratings were bound to falter. Case and point when McMahon can blame a smaller guy it is exactly what he will do.
10. Zack Ryder
Zack Ryder was on the verge of getting fired as he was sparingly being used on television after the ECW brand folded. Ryder knew he had to do something and do something fast in order to get noticed. The Merrick, Long Island native started his own YouTube show, “Z! True Long Island Story” which endeared him to fans. Despite not being on television, fans would consistently chant “we want Ryder” during matches. To further help Ryder, his merchandise was selling like hotcakes on WWEShop.Com. Not to forget, at Survivor Series 2011, during a segment in which The Rock of all people was in the ring, a “we want Ryder” chant broke out. Yet, WWE has given Ryder a lackluster two month U.S. Championship reign, put him in a terrible love triangle angle with John Cena and Eve and had him get decimated by Kane and gave him a despicable one day Intercontinental Championship reign. It’s not Zack, Vince; it’s you.
9. Daniel Bryan
He’s arguably the greatest wrestler on the planet. Yet, WWE refuses to clear him to wrestle as they believe he’s injury prone. As a result, fans see Daniel Bryan weekly as Smackdown’s General Manager as opposed to wrestling the likes of AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt. Bryan doesn’t have a look McMahon is fond of as he only stands 5’10” and 210 pounds which is a strike contrast from the towering giants and/or aesthetically pleasing athletes McMahon has been fond of throughout the years. McMahon’s disdain for Bryan was all but cemented when fans weren’t buying into the WrestleMania XXX main event between Randy Orton and Batista. McMahon reluctantly had to call an audible and insert Bryan into the main event to prove he wasn’t tone-deaf.
In 2015, Goldberg partook in an interview with Steve Muehlhausen and told Muehlhausen, “I think there’s great disdain for me because I wasn’t one of their boys because I didn’t want to play there game because I felt like I was part of the team and all I needed to do was come in and play my part and I didn’t have to fraternize and just play that game” in regards to Triple H and Vince McMahon’s opinion of him. With Goldberg recently signing with WWE in November of 2016 and doing the unthinkable by squashing of all people Brock Lesnar, perhaps Goldberg viewed the opinions of McMahon and Triple regarding him incorrectly. Then again, maybe Goldberg did not at the time of this interview. Maybe McMahon and Triple H had a change of heart? This is anyone’s guess.
Rusev once looked like he was on the cusp of being a main event player within the WWE. He was a foreign heel that irked fans and he played his role perfectly. However, Rusev had an unfortunate slip up in May of 2015. Rusev, who sported a gold star from the Russian Federation ended up misplacing his medal. The medal was eventually stolen at the Philadelphia airport. To further hurt Rusev was the fact that a fan found the medal and changed his Instagram picture to him sporting the medal. Rusev would also draw further heat from McMahon when his fiancee, Lana, put up a picture on social media of her and Rusev’s engagement. This put a halt to the quadrangle between Lana, Rusev, Summer Rae and Dolph Ziggler. This may have infuriated McMahon, but on behalf of everyone I would like to thank Lana for putting a stop to one of the worst angles in recent memory.
6. Kevin Owens
As long as Vince McMahon is in charge, Kevin Owens will never ever truly be safe. Forget that he is a throwback heel that is truly one of a kind for today’s era. Forget that despite him being a heel he gets one of the largest pops every night he is present. Forget that he arguably has the best mic skills in the company. Forget that he is currently WWE Universal Champion. Forget that he is Triple H’s guy. That’s a lot of things to forget. But, remember this: Vince McMahon has never been fully sold on Owens. McMahon’s reasoning stems from the fact that Owens physique is on the heavier side and not in a good way. McMahon has always felt that Owens doesn’t have the look of a World Champion and he has been displeased with Owens weight on multiple occasions in the past.
Christian hasn’t been inside of a WWE ring since January of 2014, but he is still under contract by the company. Former WWE writer, Alex Greenfield recalled an incident in which the chairman of the board relayed quite the unflattering opinion of Christian. In an interview with FightNetwork, Greenfield told interviewer John Pollock the following, “We were on the plane one time shortly after I started, and Vince was just like ‘God damn, I just don’t like his face. His face really bothers me.’ I was like, ‘He’s ugly, Vince?’ ‘No, it’s not that he’s ugly, it’s just, I don’t know, it’s ratty!” Christian has all the talent in the world and many feel he had the ability to go as far as his best friend Edge did in WWE. However, when you have a face that McMahon deems looks like a rat, your fate is sealed.
4. Bo Dallas
It seems like an eternity ago that Bo Dallas was racking up wins left and right as he would cleverly tout his win total accompanied by a “Bo” to replace the “O” (i.e. 15 and Bo). Dallas had great success in NXT as he held the NXT Championship and had a snarky character that could’ve kept gaining momentum if he kept racking up wins. Then on an episode of Monday Night Raw, Dallas who had eighteen wins and zero losses lost to of all people R-Truth. It would only be downhill for Dallas from that point forward. According to the Wrestling Observer, Vince McMahon “had and continues to have low expectations in regards to Dallas and overall, just doesn’t like, or understand his character”. To further add on Dave Melter stated, “the reason Dallas lost to R-Truth, which essentially ended his push and his winning streak, is due to McMahon being down on the character”. We hardly knew ye, Bo.
2. The Vaudevillians (Aiden English and Simon Gotch)
When Aiden English and Simon Gotch were first promoted to WWE’s main roster, Vince McMahon had gotten cold feet and had second thoughts. McMahon wasn’t sure if the two were ready for the main roster and if their booking indicates anything it’s clear that the two weren’t ready for the main roster in McMahon’s eyes. McMahon isn’t said to have a problem with either English or Gotch, rather it’s their characters that he isn’t fond of. Moreover, it’s believed that McMahon simply does not get the basis being English and Gotch’s gimmick. It’s a shame considering the duo was well received in NXT. To further add on, McMahon believes the gimmick is stupid and non-sensical. English and Gotch aren’t necessarily doomed; the Vaudevillians gimmick, on the other hand, is.
1. Samoa Joe
At thirty-seven years of age, its almost a foregone conclusion that Samoa Joe debuts in the WWE in 2017. Better late than never, right? However, it shouldn’t have ever taken this long for Joe to get to the WWE as Joe has performed at a high level for fifteen plus years. According to former WWE executive Bruce Prichard, McMahon never had an interest in signing the Orange County, California native. On the Something to Wrestle podcast Prichard revealed, “I’ll tell you why he wasn’t considered. It was because they thought he was a fat Samoan. He looked out of shape, he wasn’t the body type that Vince liked and they felt that it wouldn’t work”. Yet, McMahon a decade earlier pushed a “fat Samoan” named Umaga to the moon. To quote the self-proclaimed G.O.A.T. Chris Jericho, “hypocrite”.