Looking around at most of the men in charge of major sporting promotions, leagues and organizations, they are mostly dull as can be. Among the major leagues and promotions (in North America at least), WWE owner Vince McMahon and UFC president Dana White are virtually the only heads of organizations that have any personality whatsoever.
Looking around at other leagues, Gary Bettman just seems like the kind of guy who would try to get people into a ponzi scheme but not be willing to pick up his own tab at the bar. Adam Silver looks like Lurch's (from The Addam's Family) cousin who works as an accountant. Of course, Roger Goodell is basically a reverse ATM, violently slurping up money from players who dare to look at TV cameras wrong. In short, these guys have no personalities and are essentially bureaucratic inconveniences to their leagues. Dana White has been a charismatic figure in the world of MMA, willing and eager to share his honest (and often unpopular) thoughts and often adding something to the experience of being a fan. However, nobody in a position of authority in a sporting league or promotion has more of an impact that Vince McMahon, that's part of the beauty of sports entertainment, the man in charge can get involved.
Among the fans, he's always been a polarizing figure, known for his cutthroat business tactics (which he often plays up for the camera) and for certain appearances over the years. These days, especially with the fact that kayfabe is less convincing (some may argue it is dead), Vince and his involvement with wrestling have become meme fodder for the online wrestling community, and some of those jokes that are circulating are brilliant. Here are fifteen of the finest Vince McMahon memes out there.
16 Great Timing, Vince
In the real world you generally can't lay a hand on your boss (without consent) and not face some consequences. In the world of WWE, the same can be said of Vince McMahon, and while he used to get into the ring from time to time for matches, if it isn't scripted, you can't touch him. In early 2016, on an episode of Raw, Titus O'Neil grabbed his arm and jerked him to the left. McMahon was furious, and almost fired O'Neil in the aftermath, but was talked out of it and decided on a two month suspension and a hefty fine.
There was some speculation that this was an overreaction, and that the penalty was based in racism more than maintaining employee discipline. When asked for his opinion, Stone Cold Steve Austin argued that racism had nothing to do with the situation, and that Vince, 70 years old at the time, had the right to be protective of his health, and was right to punish O'Neil. But the maker of this meme definitely noticed that this event happened during February, Black History Month.
15 Must Be Tough Being Shane
This one, although hilarious, is dated, like quite a few other memes on our list. Shane-O Mac made his return to WWE in 2016, and has been working as the Commissioner of Smackdown since. He left the company in 2009, and has had on-screen animosity with sister Stephanie and her husband Triple H, along with some rumored quarreling behind the scenes as well. For a few years there, he was somewhat of a pariah, and Bret Hart has said in the past that he believes that there may be a great deal of disdain within the McMahon family, especially between Shane and Stephanie, but also between father and son. The message of this meme may well still be true, as everyone knows Vince has found a great son-in-law in Triple H. We highly doubt that Vince genuinely dislikes Shane, but whether kayfabe or in real life, there is some mutual difficulty between them.
14 Vince Has Had Some Hard Times
Vince McMahon has a reputation for being a very solid businessman, and is, by all accounts, a massive success story. While he and Linda did have some financial troubles early on in their entrepreneurial career, McMahon has seen little in the way of failure, and has fostered a persona for himself as a businessman who has never made a bad decision. This is inaccurate, but we'll give it to him, he is worth over a billion dollars, so he's clearly done quite a lot right.
The XFL is probably his most notorious blunder, but in his defense, it was a cool idea. Basically a gongshow football-based spectacle that would attract both NFL fans during the offseason, and wrestling fans who would tune into anything WWE produced. Unfortunately the league saw just one season and then folded.
13 Good, Better, Best
This is one of a couple of memes we'll feature here that has not remained solely within the realm of WWE. It may be used as a GIF or as a video, but most often, it will be a series of pictures that show Vince McMahon way back in the early 2000s, when Stacy Keibler was dancing for him. The reaction faces of McMahon are hilarious and over-the-top enough that the internet, even outside of wrestling fandom have come to use these faces for anything they like. In many cases these faces will be used to present dark or political humor, but in the most basic of terms, they are used to demonstrate something used with the first face to be adequately pleasing, while the second image is matched with something that is somewhat better, while the third is absolutely mind-blowing.
12 Welcome to PG
The glorious history of WWE is marked by some distinct historical periods dating back a few decades. While everyone has their opinions about which is the best, everyone who was around and paying attention during the Attitude Era, ranks the period roughly between 1997 and 2001 among the top. It was another world back then, and WWE wrestling was a magical blur of cursing, nudity, and bloody mayhem. It ended in the early 2000s and was replaced with what we now call Ruthless Aggression (also among the top in terms of our favorite WWE eras), and later on the PG Era, which is still somewhat in effect to this day, at least in terms of what can be shown on air.
After the Chris Benoit tragedy, and during Linda McMahon's senate run, WWE needed to become more family friendly. At the time however, when there were rumors about there being some changes and a new "era", some fans thought it would be a return to the debauchery of the late 1990s. Tough break, guys. Vince is laughing at you.
11 Vince Has His Favorites
It is no secret that Vince McMahon has certain wrestlers that he personally wants to succeed in WWE. He has a sort of managerial tunnel-vision and has spent more than a couple of recent years pushing Roman Reigns in spite of fans not totally being on board. This has nothing to do with whether or not he is a good wrestler however. He is very respectable in all aspects of the sport, but fans caught on to the fact that he was the company's new favorite early on. Many talented wrestlers have been essentially ignored by WWE in order to push him as much as possible, so it is no wonder he hasn't been more accepted among many fans.
While this is a funny meme, of course mocking Turkish chef Nusret "Salt Bae" Gorce, and his distinct method of applying seasoning to meat, we can't really dislike McMahon's treatment of certain wrestlers, because he's had good judgment with regard to top promotional talent, and while many loud and outspoken fans are not on board with Roman Reigns, plenty of them are, while others are still calling for a heel-turn...who knows what the future holds.
10 Who Would Dare Suggest McMahon is Out of Touch?
Ever hear the phrase, "The Simpsons did it"? Well, after almost thirty years on the air, they've done everything, and there are few shows out there that have a screenshot for virtually any given situation. In this case, school Principal Seymour Skinner, has what seems to be a momentary epiphany, that perhaps he is the problem, but instead manages to reassure him that he's doing fine and the students are the problem.
When applied to the last while of Vince's leadership of WWE, we can see why some in the online wrestling community might say he's out of touch. Among the reasons for many people suggesting that McMahon is out of touch with his audience are his choices and handling of his favorite superstars, his use of the term "sports entertainment" (it's wrestling, damn it) and of course the current (since '08) PG promotion. Then again, it is hard to see whether this is Vince doing some of these things, or kayfabe Vince pretending to be out of touch for the sake of being the behind-the-scenes villain.
8 Did We Mention He Might Be Out of Touch?
We can't stress enough that there may be a lot of reason behind the idea that McMahon is out of touch with his audience. This meme is a bit dated, as The Authority has been officially disbanded for just over a year now, but the point still stands. Things like this happen from time to time. Vince is the guy who essentially has the final say in terms of story-lines and even show structure, and from time to time, he does something that is clearly annoying to fans. Obviously we're all into the story of wrestling, but there has to be a decent balance, and starting an episode of Raw off with a lengthy promo can be frustrating when all you want to see is some people throwing each other around a ring. Oh well, it's Vince's baby and if it were that bad we'd stop watching, right?
7 Some Heels Are Too Likable
Yet again we come back to Vice being out of touch with the audience. Is it a theme in this article? No, it's a theme in the last twenty years of WWE, but it hasn't done much to wrestling's chronically enthusiastic fan base. The very simple fact of the matter is, it has happened many times that Vince and the writers have created a heel only for them to be cheered for by fans, or had a case of the opposite: a face that nobody could get behind.
Remember Wrestlemania X8 back in 2002, when Hulk Hogan was supposed to be the villain against The Rock? The fans couldn't stand seeing an icon like The Hulkster as a bad guy, so they cheered, they went wild. While the Rock won the match, the two allied shortly after. This is just one example, but if you have a brilliant athlete with good mic skills (or just an icon) and write him or her as a heel, fans may not pay attention to the story and will just cheer anyway. Furthermore, some of the heel characters are just better written and more interesting overall.
Okay, we'll try to make this the last meme that addresses Vince McMahon's lack of understanding of his audience. We had to put this one on here because it demonstrates one of two things: he's either oblivious to how he is perceived as a leader of his organization or he is mocking everyone through Twitter and has a great sense of humor.
He tweeted this gem back in 2013 and nearly everyone who responded to it did not respond positively. Those responses consisted of everything from declarations that NXT is better than main roster WWE programming, calls for the Attitude Era to be brought back, and of course, some who just ran at the issue, telling Vince he hasn't understood an audience in ages. Chris Jericho shouting "hypocrite" may be the wrong word however, if McMahon is actually oblivious.
5 "Sports Entertainment"
There it is again, that term, "sports entertainment." It seems to be a favorite of Vince McMahon and has been dropped a few times in interviews, much to the chagrin of numerous fans. On the one hand, the phrasing is innocent, and quite simply an issue of semantics, but to those fans who don't care for the term, it is a much bigger deal. The enthusiasts who reacted to the term generally see the use of the word "entertainment" taking away from the legitimacy of wrestling as a sport. While we recognize the scripted nature of the matches and the conflicts, it's still real, and regardless of choreography, the wrestlers who put their bodies on the line in the ring. They're athletes, their work is awesome and absurdly difficult, but it's wrestling. The use of the term "entertainment" is to keep boxing and regulatory bureaucracies out of the promotion's way, but it is still bothersome.
4 Conspiracy Theory
Every sport has conspiracy theories, but given the nature of wrestling, the history of WWE probably has some of the best conspiracy theories in the athletic world. A few of the best theories among those that have captivated the imaginations of wrestling fans focus on whether the demise of other promotions like WCW and ECW were caused by Vince McMahon through sabotage. Ever since WCW's rapid decline and eventually going out of business, there has been some speculation that writer Vince Russo, a WWE employee from 1992-99, was tasked with working for WCW, and did so for three months, coming up with absurd stories that are believed to have started the gradual downfall of the company. The accuracy of this theory is questionable, as he was only there for a few months, and it took a couple more years before WCW was absorbed into WWE.
While we'll likely never have a conclusive answer to the veracity of this theory, if you feel like Sudden Clarity Clarence (the guy in the meme) thinking about stuff like this, by all means, ponder it as you see fit.
3 Some Names You Just Don't Say
Right now there is no bigger headache in sports right now than the issues surrounding athlete health, especially mental health. Retired NFL players have shot themselves (and of course, one who was still active, in his team's practice facility parking lot), three NHL tough guys died in one summer several years ago, and that is really just the tip of the iceberg. Who would think that getting hit in the head tens of thousands of times would impact how sharp someone is later in life?
While the incidents we mentioned are tragic, the worst was definitely Chris Benoit's murder-suicide. There may not be more of a black eye in the history of WWE than that event and it is definitely one that Vince wants all of us to forget, but those who watched the man during his career likely won't.
2 Ever Ask "How do these Ladies Get Jobs in WWE?"
Maybe this isn't so much of a Vince McMahon meme, and more of a female wrestlers meme, but Vince is involved with the message so we'll include it. While there are some absolute gems among the current and former Women's/Divas roster, such as Trish Stratus, Lita, and today well, maybe Charlotte? Paige and Becky Lynch are up there too, but we digress, because there are also some atrocious ladies (wrestlers, managers, valets, whatever, all of the above) both past and present. Lana is the example used in the meme, and we know you're sharp enough to figure out her name backwards. Other terrible female wrestlers include Kelly Kelly (so damn hot though) and from the 2000s, Torrie Wilson (again, so beautiful, but minimal on in-ring talent). One has to wonder if Vince has a certain couch set up in his office.
1 Will They?
At the time of writing this article, Vince McMahon is 71 years old. He's in good shape for his age and has taken good care of himself over the years, but everyone has to go sometime. We could see that sad eventuality going one of two ways. Either the entire promotion will see a series of somber tributes to his life, or like this meme is implying, there will be a really interesting storyline relating to the event.
There are a few reasons for which we don't think we can accurately predict this: first of all, death story-lines have become less "normal" than they were in the 1990s (when wrestling was a mess), especially in today's WWE. On the other hand however, Vince McMahon loves wrestling, and has spent his life making the greatest wrestling empire the world has ever seen: would he want his passing to become a story to entertain the fans one last time? Who knows for certain? Great meme, though.