Vince McMahon is still the head honcho running WWE and continues his approach to the wrestling business. One thing that is a consistent negative is trying to avoid controversial stories. The wrestling business helps create less than pleasant moments behind the scenes that could paint WWE in a negative light. From egos getting out of control to tragedies striking to stories that would embarrass McMahon, there is a plethora of things WWE wants to keep under wraps. An influx of controversies has started somewhat recently and others have lasted years to still exist in conversations today.
We'll look at some of the stories to unfold in real-life and provide more intrigue than most of the tales that go down on screen. McMahon specifically will try to manipulate things in his favor and help present WWE in the best light possible for every incident. These are the ones that WWE and Vince most want to try to get out of the minds of the wrestling fan. WWE has managed to survive all of the negativity through the years, but bad publicity is still something worth avoiding. These are fifteen controversies that exist in the wrestling world that Vince McMahon wants to bury.
15 Stephanie McMahon/Randy Savage Allegations
One specific urban legend that continues to grow in popularity is the rumor that Randy Savage had an affair with an underage Stephanie McMahon during his final years in WWE. Savage left the company for WCW in 1994 and would never be welcomed back in any capacity. A couple of people to work closely with Vince McMahon stated Savage was the one wrestler that Vince claimed he’d never do business with again.
This story that Savage hooked up with Stephanie is what many believe caused Vince to hold such a hatred for the former WWE star. WWE didn’t even start acknowledging Savage’s career accomplishments again until he passed away. We’ll likely never get confirmation or denial of this controversy from the McMahon family, but you just know they want it out of the public light regardless.
14 Roman Reigns Kicking Enzo Off Bus
A more recent story to make the rounds revolves around the biggest star in WWE today, Roman Reigns. The new face of the company apparently has taken the role of locker room leader. That is something Vince McMahon has to love, but one of the actions isn’t good publicity. According to wrestling insider Dave Meltzer, Reigns kicked Enzo Amore off a tour bus for being disrespectful.
Enzo apparently badmouthed the wrestling business during a phone call and bragged about making a lot of money in a manner that pissed off the boys. Reigns reacted by stepping up to kick him off the bus. In the wrestling world, Roman is absolutely in the right here. The negative to it is it looks like he is overreacting and being a jerk when the mainstream sports media reports it. McMahon can’t be thrilled with this being out there.
13 Steroid Trial
The biggest struggle in WWE was getting through the federal government coming after them. Fans of the early 90s remember the massive steroids trail scandal that almost killed WWE. Vince McMahon was accused of distributing and encouraging steroid use from his performers. It is no secret that most wrestlers were using the drug to enhance their physiques at time.
Hulk Hogan even testified against McMahon by admitting he got the drugs from his boss. WWE however overcame the negative perception of the company. Vince has tried to clean up their reputation over the past decade. Sadly, steroid use is still viewed as a stereotype in the wrestling business. WWE would love to erase this perception of the industry and get a fresh slate with their new approach.
12 Everything Paige Related
One of the most controversial stars on the WWE roster today is Paige. The women’s wrestling star was once viewed as the top female prospect in WWE. Now, she is on the outside looking in with multiple negative stories. The relationship between Paige and Alberto Del Rio is something WWE tried to prevent but they have been together for over a year. A recent story of domestic abuse with allegations being thrown to both parties has them relationship more uncomfortable to witness than ever.
Another terrible thing to happen to her was the sex tape leak from many years ago with fellow wrestler and ex-boyfriend Brad Maddox. All of this has made Paige a risk in WWE’s mind due to bad publicity and the toxic relationship with Alberto. Paige is still working towards returning to the ring and Vince McMahon will want all of this buried if she does wrestle for them again.
11 Was the Montreal Screwjob A Work?
The Montreal Screwjob was arguably the most controversial moment to ever take place in WWE history. Bret Hart thought he was going to retain the WWE Championship at Survivor Series 1997 in Montreal, but Vince McMahon flipped the script by having the referee ring the ring early declaring Shawn Michaels the winner. Hart was livid and punched out Vince before leaving WWE for WCW.
Many pundits believe this was a work orchestrated by McMahon, Hart and Michaels to benefit all involved. All men involved stand by their story that it was a complete shoot and something regretted given the drama that would follow. The debate over this incident being real or planned is one that still goes on today. McMahon wants it out of the conversation considering he looks like a snake either way.
10 JBL Bullying Mauro Ranallo
A recent controversy to become a hot topic online was the story of bullying in wrestling. For many years, hazing has gone down in the WWE locker room. Wrestlers like The Undertaker, JBL and Hardcore Holly would punish anyone they felt stepped out of line. JBL however started making headlines for it when he allegedly bullied play-by-play commentator Mauro Ranallo into leaving his gig on SmackDown Live.
Ranallo suffers from depression and bipolar disorder that led to him deciding it was best for his mental health to leave WWE for the time being. Triple H ended up bringing him back to call NXT while remaining away from JBL. Many websites reported the bullying issues in WWE and fans even chanted “Fire Bradshaw” at live shows. The story has sort of faded out recently. Vince McMahon couldn’t be happier since JBL is one of his favorites and the coverage made both look pretty bad.
9 Bullet Club Outselling All WWE Merchandise
A shocking shift in the landscape of wrestling has seen promotions outside of WWE start to accomplish getting into the mainstream. This is shown with the popularity of Bullet Club shirts making their way into Hot Topic stores. The owner of Hot Topic attended WrestleMania and noticed the staggering number of Bullet Club shirts worn by fans at events.
They contacted WWE to get the shirts in the stores only to realize it was NJPW property. Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes, the Young Bucks and New Japan brokered a deal to get the shirts into national retail stores. The shirts outsold everything WWE related and it wasn’t even close. Hot Topic is now branching with even more NJPW shirts. Bullet Club merchandise is way more popular than anything WWE related and Vince McMahon can’t be thrilled about that.
8 Hulk Hogan's Racist Tape Scandal
Hulk Hogan may very well still be the most recognizable face in the history of professional wrestling. The success Hogan accomplished in WWE helped the company grow into the massive juggernaut it would become. WWE tried to bring Hogan back into the company in 2014 after one of many falling outs. This was supposed to be the final relationship in Hulk retiring as a WWE ambassador.
Instead, a sex tape leaked featuring Hogan unleashing a hateful racist tirade. WWE fired Hogan to stay far away from the controversy. Hulk badly wants to return to the company, but they're still keeping their distance. Vince McMahon does not want to risk any negative coverage as they try to continue expanding a global brand all over the world.
7 Allegations Of Sexism
Vince McMahon specifically has been viewed as a sexist due to his portrayal of women through the years. Until recently, the women were viewed as eye candy first and athletes secondary. McMahon even forced his way into multiple storylines through the years to make out with the female talent on the roster. Vince’s reputation took a hit when Sable sued him for sexual harassment.
Both sides would make peace before her second run in the company, but the stories of WWE being sexist remained there. McMahon is the one that personally looks horrible in this narrative regarding the way the company used to be run. The recent changes in presenting a credible Women’s Division has helped WWE and they want to keep the attention on that rather than past allegations of sexism.
6 Allegations Of Racism
Another serious accusation towards Vince McMahon is the way he views people of color. McMahon has been accused of racism by a few wrestlers to leave the company through the years. It didn’t help his cause when he appeared in a backstage segment saying the n-word for “humor” during an interaction with Booker T and John Cena.
A story from current WWE wrestler Curt Hawkins exposed Vince for referring to black wrestler Michael Tarver as “Shelton” assuming he was Shelton Benjamin. The recent push of Jinder Mahal has seen him become the first ever Indian WWE Champion, but he's playing the stereotypical anti-American character. WWE even booked it so fans would boo someone singing the Indian national anthem. McMahon doesn’t look good here and clearly would like to keep this belief from growing stronger.
5 Black-listing Chyna
Chyna was one of the top women’s wrestling stars ever pushed in WWE. No other woman became an in-ring success story during the Attitude Era. Chyna however made the company a lot of money by wrestling against the male wrestlers and taking part in many noteworthy storylines. Things went downhill for her when ex-boyfriend Triple H cheated on her with Stephanie McMahon.
Vince McMahon made the decision to not renegotiate Chyna’s contract due to the controversy regarding his daughter stealing her boyfriend. Chyna would get blackballed from WWE and never returned. The recent death of Chyna saw WWE celebrate her career and they will likely induct her into the Hall of Fame someday. Unfortunately, McMahon blackballing her for all those years prevented it from happening while she was alive.
4 Jimmy Snuka Murder Scandal
The death of Jimmy Snuka’s then girlfriend Nancy Argentino would be a story for many years leading up to his recent passing away. Most people to study the story believed Snuka was the one to kill his wife. According to his story, she slipped outside and hit her head on a rock before passing out in the hotel room and never waking up. The popular belief is that Snuka hit her during an argument and killed her.
Vince McMahon not only kept Snuka on the roster at this time, but he also met with investigators. The controversy gets worse thanks to the rumor of McMahon paying them off to protect Snuka. An arrest came 32 years later but Snuka was deemed unfit for a trial. Snuka passed away earlier this year to end the controversial tale. However, McMahon allegedly helping cover up murder is one thing he doesn’t want associated with him.
3 CM Punk Walking Out
The story of CM Punk walking out on WWE is one that still haunts them today. Punk became the second biggest star in the company after John Cena but always clashed with both Vince McMahon and Triple H. After years of frustration, Punk walked out in 2014 in dramatic fashion. WWE sent his termination papers on his wedding day and Punk trashed them for it on a podcast.
Punk is now being sued by WWE’s doctors for his comments and the drama continues. One thing that McMahon can’t stop with lawsuits is fans chanting “CM Punk” at shows to this day. Vince had a strong relationship with Punk despite the differences and definitely would love him back. Unfortunately, Punk doesn’t seem to ever want to return. The fans desire to see him back and their vocal nature about it is a controversy that has to annoy the chairman.
2 Daniel Bryan’s Status
The biggest news story in wrestling right now is Daniel Bryan’s desire to return to the ring. WWE does not believe Bryan is healthy enough to compete. Bryan believes he is healthy enough to compete. Bryan’s contract expires at some point in 2018 and it may very well lead to his return. A recent appearance on the Edge and Christian Podcast confirmed it.
Bryan has been going through a few treatments and has word from various doctors that his head will be as healthy as any other athlete competing in the ring. WWE however doesn’t buy into it and refuses to clear him. Vince McMahon wants him to remain on television as the SmackDown General Manager due to his popularity. Bryan seems to be itching to leave the company for a return to ROH and NJPW. Vince definitely wants to bury the story of a top star potentially leaving for other promotions.
1 Shane Vs Stephanie Power Struggle
The future of WWE and the next generation of McMahons have each led to a huge story to unfold over the past ten years. Vince McMahon decided at some point that Stephanie McMahon and her husband Triple H would succeed him as the ones running the company whenever he passes away rather than his son Shane McMahon. Shane left WWE for many years to start his own projects due to this and only recently returned in 2016.
Both Shane and Stephanie have completely different visions of what the company should be. There are some rumors that Shane is gaining more control and could have a bigger role going forward. A podcast appearance of Shane being interviewed by Mick Foley saw him throw shade at Triple H. The two McMahon kids having opposing views and a power struggle for many years is the biggest controversy Vince will never acknowledge as he wants it buried forever.