The backstage world of the WWE, and pro wrestling in general, used to be among the most secretive places in entertainment. Hiding information from the fans and trying to ensure as many people as possible still believed it was real was a very important part of the business. The landscape and climate of pro wrestling changing with the ascension of the internet has led to the business being more open. We get a brighter glimpse into what goes on backstage and that even applies to Vince McMahon and Triple H. The two most powerful men in the WWE hold power over just about everyone else.
McMahon is currently the CEO and Chairman of WWE as well as the majority owner, of course. He took over the company for his father in the 80s and has never looked back in taking the WWE to new heights with each passing decade. Vince’s vision created the current WWE we know and enjoy. While many things have changed, McMahon is still the final voice in running the company. Triple H is being groomed as the eventual successor along with Stephanie McMahon. As the son-in-law of Vince McMahon and a legendary wrestler, Triple H has the official job title of Executive Vice President of Talent along with various other roles.
Both men provide the leadership for the company and the talent answers to them. McMahon and Triple H are backstage at every televised WWE show, making the big decisions that we see unfold. The backstage aspect of WWE has become more known in today’s world and we finally have an insight into what both men do. Wrestlers, former writers and other employees of WWE have given a great deal of information on the surprising things the corporate elite duo actually is getting done during TV. We’ll take a stroll into the backstage area of WWE and list the top twelve things you didn’t know Triple H and Vince McMahon were doing during a show.
12. They Run The Show Together At Gorilla Position
The gorilla position is the small area between the locker room backstage spots and the stage. Wrestlers all have to walk past the small room named after Gorilla Monsoon to get to the ring. Triple H and Vince McMahon are the two major head honchos that remain in the spots watching the show and giving out instructions all night. Most of the production commands are spoken in headsets via the gorilla position. The scene usually features Vince, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, other producers and sometimes wrestlers. Everyone learns from being there, but it can be a stressful place to be. Imagine knowing the first people you will see after a bad performance are your two bosses ready to chew you out. That’s a reality with Vince and Triple H always in gorilla.
11. They Eat Luxurious Meals
Everyone has to eat sometime and that includes both Vince McMahon and Triple H. Considering the days of Raw, Smackdown and PPVs are basically a full day of work in putting together the show, everyone has to partake in their routine meals backstage. The stories of McMahon’s meals being custom made for him are pretty enviable. Wrestlers have revealed Vince doesn’t eat anything in catering like the rest of the boys, but rather has his own meals ordered to have the best lobster, steak or other costly foods brought to him. Bret Hart has stated you’ll find some of the most delicious food in the world at McMahon’s private office. We can only assume the new job titles for Triple H also extends to him having spectacular meals as well.
10. They Give Input For Putting Together Matches
WWE’s agents help put together the matches we see in the ring. Past stars and legends such as Dean Malenko, Fit Finlay, Jamie Noble, Arn Anderson and a few others work with the wrestlers to structure the matches we get to see play out week in and week out. Triple H and Vince McMahon have the ultimate power at the end of the day and will give input into television matches. The product on television is far more important than the live events, so the powers-that-be will voice things they want portrayed in the story of the match. It is a team effort but the bosses have overall control with the power to call the shots at any time.
9. They Instruct Camera Operators On How To Film The Show
The camera work of the WWE product is one of the most impressive facets of the huge operation in running the televised shows. Vince McMahon and Triple H have the power to speak to everyone wearing a headset during the show and that includes the camera men and women. The dozens of camera operators will each shoot a different angle to provide the best possible presentation of the show. Some cameras zoom into the wrestler showcasing, others have a wide view of the crowd and others will focus on the commentary table. Everyone has a different responsibility but Vince and Triple H will talk in their ears to get them in the right spot.
8. They Run Talent Meetings
Much like any other successful business, the authority figures in the company have to keep communication open with talent. The wrestlers will have meetings about big news coming led by Triple H and/or Vince McMahon, if the reasoning is important enough. There will likely be a meeting about the upcoming brand split run by either Triple H or Vince to give accurate information to the roster regarding any changes to pay or scheduling. The locker room needs to trust the people in charge of their future for high morale. TNA has constantly failed in this aspect, leading many to believe this is the reason why the company still hasn’t flourished. WWE luckily runs meetings about the noteworthy subjects the talent are wondering about.
7. They Talk Into Commentators’ Headsets
The commentary team for Raw and SmackDown are often criticized for their work, but the blame really should be placed on Vince McMahon and Triple H. Vince has been the voice in the ears of the announcers during the show, instructing them on what to say and what to talk about. Their lack of attention to the matches taking place in the ring is something orchestrated by McMahon to spark conversation about other topics. Triple H’s rise in power likely gives him the ability to do the same, but it will always be Vince’s specialty. You can easily envision McMahon’s face while JBL is shouting about Roman Reigns being “the guy” and fans only booing him out of excitement.
6. They Books The Shows
The writing team gets most of the heat for the poor creative effort with many wrestlers being underutilized and storylines failing to deliver. Cody Rhodes recently trashed a couple of the writers for his failures over the past few years. While the writers do deserve their fair share of the blame, the responsibility should go to Vince McMahon and Triple H. They ultimately decide the important things on the show, with the writers having to find ways to make Vince/Triple H’s ideas work. There are apparently multiple scripts written for Raw due to Vince wanting changes to occur after disliking some of the ideas on paper.
5. They Time Matches And Segments By Talking To Ref
You might have noticed an ear piece being used by the referees during the shows. The refs aren’t listening to music in-between counting the pin falls but rather have instructions being given to them. Vince McMahon, Triple H and other members of the backstage team will remind referees when it’s time to go to a commercial break, so the wrestlers are informed on how to pace a match. The PG element of blood not being allowed has seen officials put on gloves when blood is spilled and attempt to cover it up. That also comes from backstage with Vince and Triple H giving the instructions. Triple H actually made the call to stop a match due to Daniel Bryan’s injury in 2013 and Bryan got into a shouting fest with him because of it.
4. They Advise Talents
The backstage climate in WWE is rather fascinating with various stories giving different outlooks on how it goes. Most wrestlers are able to talk to Vince McMahon or Triple H backstage about their characters, storylines and futures. McMahon is believed to be quite intimidating but he claims his doors are always open for Superstars as they look to pick his brain about their careers. Triple H’s role in the company has made him more accessible and wrestlers feel more comfortable speaking to him. Considering he was “one of the boys” for a long time in the WWE, Triple H is a better option to ask advice or get information from if you’re a confused wrestler.
3. They Argue
There’s no doubt that Triple H and Vince McMahon are very close with both having great power in running the WWE but they don’t always agree. Two strong-willed personalities will always buttheads at some point and that’s also the case for McMahon and Triple H. They have apparently had disagreements about various talents and how to utilize them. Triple H’s belief in NXT has given him reason to argue his point against Vince when stars from the developmental brand aren’t booked well on the main roster. Tyler Breeze, Emma and The Ascension would be some of those names to fall under that category. Triple H admitted on Chris Jericho’s podcast that no matter how much he can argue his point, it all comes down to McMahon’s decision at the end of the day. Also, much to everyone’s surprise, Vince is reportedly not as excited with the NXT product at the moment as everybody else is, ouch.
2. They Lead Standing Ovations Following Great Matches
WWE documentaries on DVD or the WWE Network give us an insight into the backstage world, giving us a visual glimpse into some of the things Triple H and Vince McMahon actually do during a show. One of the cooler and more positive things revealed was that the duo lead standing ovations for the performers following a great match or big achievement. Other producers and wrestlers will often be in gorilla position while the wrestlers walk backstage and everyone will join in on applauding the talent on a job well done. The WWE 24 special on NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn showed Triple H’s excitement and McMahon’s pride after the spectacular performance by Bayley and Sasha Banks.
1. They Change Things On The Fly
WWE is one of the most unpredictable environments to work in and that is shown with the shows often changing on the fly. The flow of the show or unplanned occurrences will see them make the big call to change something. WWE’s Payback show saw Enzo Amore get injured and the decision was made to end the match early and change the pacing of the show. Another case at the recent Extreme Rules PPV of a match being scrapped last minute caused Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose to wrestle longer than expected. Vince McMahon and Triple H make the important changes on the fly by reacting to everything going on.
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