WWE owner Vince McMahon is a billionaire, has been happily married to Linda for 51 years, has two wonderful and successful children in Shane and Stephanie and six healthy grandchildren. He’s turned the company into the world’s greatest wrestling promotion that entertains millions to this day.
You’d think that Vince McMahon therefore has zero regrets and is completely content with how most things have gone in both his personal life and career of being the WWE chairman. Unfortunately, there have been a number of mistakes, tragedies, porous decisions and embarrassing storylines that have complicated the life of Vince McMahon. What makes this worse is that many of these moments could have easily been avoided.
Mr. McMahon has undoubtedly had a storied life and his legacy will be remembered forever, but there are plenty of sad occurrences that we’ll never forget that he surely wishes would never have happened. Here are those 15 things that he wishes never happened.
15. The Lex Luger Saga
When Vince McMahon chose to cut ties with Hulk Hogan — the man who helped turn the WWE into a worldwide powerhouse, he chose Lex Luger to be the next face of sports entertainment.
He pushed Lex Luger as the All-American hero, and gave him his own bus called The Lex Express to get him over with the fans. The problem was that Luger really could not wrestle — like at all. The idea of having Luger replace Hogan as the WWE’s top guy failed big time. But it got even worse for Vince.
In 1995, Luger finished a house show for WWE, only to appear on WCW’s first-ever episode of Monday Nitro. As it turned out, Luger opted to leave WWE without telling them in advance and joined their rival competition instead.
14. Misusing The Invasion Storyline
After WCW was bought out by WWE, Vince McMahon signed away most of his rival competition’s top wrestlers. This list included Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Scott Steiner, Booker T, DDP, Jeff Jarrett and others. It was the dream of every WWE fan to see such a glamorous amount of talent working for the same wrestling promotion.
Unfortunately, Vince McMahon, despite having countless possibilities, failed to deliver on this golden opportunity. The Invasion storyline had so much promise but really didn’t live up to the hype. Triple H being absent from a torn quad really didn’t help, for one thing.
13. Cutting Ties with Hulk Hogan in 1993
Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan both owe a lot to each other. McMahon handpicked Hogan to be the world’s most beloved and marketed superstar. But Hogan was the guy that put the WWE on top of the world of sports entertainment. Unfortunately, their relationship has always been a history of two major egos constantly bashing heads — with one man trying to out-do the other.
As Hogan pushed the age of 40 (in 1993), McMahon decided he wanted to bring up younger competition to lead his company. He parted ways with Hogan, and it ended up costing the chairman a lot of business.
Hogan joined WCW shortly after leaving the WWE, and all he did was turn Ted Turner’s company into the world’s most popular. WCW crushed WWE in ratings for most of the ’90s, and McMahon was nearly put out of business. Imagine how much better the WWF would have been throughout those years if they never let Hogan go?
12. Rough Relationship With Randy Savage
After Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage was arguably the biggest wrestling name on the planet. The Macho Man had even more swagger and charisma than The Hulkster, and was a world-class talent in the ring. But like Hulk Hogan, Vince McMahon was losing his faith in Savage as a top performer, and moved him to do ringside commentary.
Savage was excellent as a commentator, but ultimately asked to go back into the wrestling ring. McMahon said no and parted ways with Macho Man, who later joined WCW and (along with Hogan), turned that company into the most watched in America.
Sadly, Vince also had a rough relationship with Savage due to the rumors that The Macho Man and Stephanie McMahon had a sexual relationship, despite Savage being 24 years older. We’re sure Vince really took it upon himself to make amends with Savage and treat one of his top wrestlers even better.
11. MSG Curtain Call
The Kliq was one of the most influential factions in the history of professional. This group consisted of Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman. All five were among the biggest wrestlers employed by the WWE and were heavily involved in pushing the others to success.
But in 1996, it was revealed that Nash and Hall were about to leave the WWE to join WCW. Triple H and Shawn Michaels took it upon themselves to embrace their two friends while giving them a good bye to the crowd at Madison Square Garden, acknowledging that both men had wrestled their final matches before joining WCW.
This curtain call was not actually scripted, and it left McMahon and the management team embarrassed. Back then, wrestlers were expected to always follow the script and not break kayfabe. Triple H was punished by being pushed lower down the card before moving his way back up.
10. Making Trish Bark Like a Dog
Back in the days of the Attitude Era, Vince McMahon was running a company that had many storylines implement sexual and vulgar content. Many of these storylines involved the divas seducing McMahon and such.
One of them involved him and Trish Stratus having an on-screen relationship, even though McMahon’s marriage to Linda has always been well-documented. Unfortunately, Vince decided to take things way too far on a segment nearly two decades ago.
In storyline, McMahon was furious at Trish and ordered her to strip down into her panties and to bark like a dog as a way of apologizing. McMahon even ordered her to take all of her clothes off until teasing the crowd and saying they had seen enough.
9. The Limousine Explosion
On the June 11, 2007 edition of Monday Night Raw, the company ended the show on a gruesome note. Vince McMahon walked into his limousine before it exploded and had many wonder if he was seriously injured. On its official website, WWE.com reported that Mr. McMahon was ‘presumed dead’, and a funeral was to take place for him on the following week’s Raw.
The angle itself went way too far, and joking about people dying has never been an acceptable storyline for the WWE. But to make matters worse, WWE picked a horrible time to implement this angle.
The week of Mr. McMahon’s scheduled ‘funeral’, it was actually a tribute to Chris Benoit, who was found dead in his home, along with his wife and son. It was an extremely sensitive angle, and having it a week before the death of a wrestler and his family crossed the line.
8. The XFL
Seemingly, being a billionaire to one of the top sports entertainment companies in the world wasn’t enough. Vince McMahon chose to create his own football league called the XFL. It was a league meant to provide more physicality with an anything goes style. This league was to happen during the NFL offseason in order to give football fans something to look forward to.
NBC would broadcast the game and invest millions into the league. But ratings were horrible and the XFL lasted all but one season — ceasing operations in 2001. Both WWF and NBC lost a reported $35 million in the whole league itself. That’s a lot of money when you consider it only lasted for one season.
7. Cheating on Linda McMahon
Vince and Linda McMahon met while they were both young teenagers and have had a strong marriage since 1966 — over a half century old. Linda has always been a great husband to Vince, helping his company become the most popular and wealthy wrestling promotion for nearly four decades.
She also stayed by his side when he was on trial for allegedly distributing steroids to his wrestlers. Linda has done everything a man can ask for in a great wife, but that sadly wasn’t enough for Vince McMahon.
He’s openly admitted to having affairs and being unfaithful to his wife. This can’t be a surprise when there’s been segments of him and divas making out backstage while having them seduce him in many storylines.
The thing is, Linda has forgiven him for his lack of faithfulness at times in this marriage. Given how she’s stayed by him all this time, you have to believe he wishes he never cheated on her in the first place.
6. Saying a Racial Slur on Live Television
Racism will never be tolerated in our society, nor should any one ever condone it. Vince McMahon has made it clear that the WWE has zero tolerance for racism — hence a reason he fired Hulk Hogan in 2015 after tapes surfaced of him using the N word multiple times. Good on Vince to take a stand against racism, but it’s sad that he also had a major slip up…on live television.
During a backstage segment some years ago, McMahon was greeting a number of wrestlers backstage, including John Cena. Vince proceeded to use the N word while greeting Cena, with a shocked Booker T and wife Sharmell looking on.
5. Stephanie Comparing His Trial to 9/11
The 9/11 attacks were among the most tragic and devastating events in human history. It affects every American citizen to this day, as 2,977 victims lost their lives from attacks by al-Qaeda. Undoubtedly, no other event on U.S. soil in recent years can be compared to the tragedy of 9/11. But if you’re Vince’s daughter, Stephanie, comparing a steroid trial to this horrific event was necessary?
Here is what she had to say, regarding the incident:
“A few years ago, some people tried to destroy my family….and they attacked the World Wrestling Federation. They tried to rip us apart…but all they did was make my family stronger. And that’s exactly how America feels right now. Because on Tuesday, America was attacked. Because America is a united nation. And together, we stand strong. I am incredibly proud to be an American citizen, and I will stand up for my rights and my freedom.”
With all due respect to Stephanie, comparing her father’s steroid trial to a terrorist attack that killed 2,977 people is just ridiculous. It came off as the billionaire family putting themselves first once again.
4. The Steroid Trial
Though the WWE was booming in the ’90s, it’s tough to believe how it almost came crashing down. Today’s WWE fans may sometimes forget that they almost shouldn’t even be watching its programming today. That’s because Mr. McMahon went to trial after allegedly handing out steroids to his wrestlers. While on the stand, he had to hand over the company to Linda.
The prosecution had built a solid case, until Kevin Wacholz’ testimony could not be deemed relevant because of his clear despising of McMahon. They turned to Hulk Hogan to testify against McMahon, but the former defended his boss. Hogan claimed that he had never taken steroids nor was forced to take them from McMahon. As a result, Vince was acquitted and has since made his name and company even larger.
3. The Katie Vick Storyline
I will never be able to understand who devised this storyline and why. Even more importantly, why did Vince McMahon EVER go through with this? Seriously, why, why, why?
This storyline consisted of Triple H and Kane in a rivalry. The Game revealed a dark secret that Kane’s girlfriend, a woman named ‘Katie Vick’, died in a car accident — while Kane himself was the driver. Triple H mocked Kane for this incident (since when is death funny), and then took it a step further to make this storyline even worse.
Backstage, Triple H wore Kane’s mask and pretended to have sex with a dead ‘Katie Vick’ in her coffin. In reality, the Katie Vick shown in the coffin was a mannequin — but Triple H was simply doing it to embarrass Kane.
2. Tribute to Chris Benoit
At the time, the WWE seemed to be doing the right thing when they held a tribute for Chris Benoit on the June 25, 2007 edition of Monday Night Raw. Instead of going with its pre-planned show, the WWE made it a three-hour tribute to Benoit’s life and career. Unfortunately, WWE did this before police and investigators reached a conclusion.
As it turned out, Benoit murdered both his wife, Nancy and son, Daniel before taking his own life. Tests revealed that Benoit had severe brain damage. So severe, that Dr. Julian Bailes from West Virginia University compared Benoit’s brain damage to an 85-year-old who had been suffering from Alzheimer’s, a horrible and scary thought.
It appeared as though WWE was doing something great, but they didn’t wait for the investigation’s final results. They then removed Benoit’s name from the company wherever possible and have refused to bring up his name or life ever since.
1. Having Owen Hart Perform The Fatal Stunt
Owen Hart was one of the greatest wrestlers of his generation, coming from the legendary Hart wrestling family. He was on his way to becoming one of the company’s top stars in the late ’90s. He had an Intercontinental Championship match against The Godfather at the Over the Edge pay-per-view event in 1999.
Hart was performing in his ‘Blue Blazer’ gimmick, and was to perform a stunt from the rafters of the extremely tall Kemper Arena building in Kansas City. Hart had performed the stunt before, but was very hesitant and nervous about doing it at Kemper Arena. But he was pushed to do it nonetheless.
The plan was for Hart to ‘accidentally’ trigger himself early, where he would then fall into the ring to provide an element of slapstick comedy for the fans.
Hart accidentally was triggered too early and fell 78 feet into the ring, and paramedics rushed to revive him. Sadly, Hart was pronounced dead from internal bleeding; caused by blunt force trauma from the fall.
If McMahon and the management team had simply listened to his wishes of not wanting to perform the stunt, Hart would be alive today and the WWE would have avoided one of its greatest tragedies ever.
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