While there are still a lot of professional wrestling companies out there right now nobody in their right mind would argue that any of them are bigger and more successful than WWE. That wasn’t always the case though of course. As recently as 20 years ago Ted Turner’s WCW was giving Vince McMahon a run for his money, and 20 years before that the wrestling business was made up of a number of territories across the United States and around the world. Nowadays though it is effectively WWE’s industry to do with what they please. What’s more there is one man at the top of that company who oversees everything, Vince McMahon.
Vince McMahon is the godfather of professional wrestling. He has built WWE into the juggernaut that it is today and the industry wouldn’t be where it is right now without him. Needless to say after all of those glowing compliments, Vince is a pretty clever man. He has created Superstars that we love and idolize and given us moments that we’ll never forget. A not so flattering trait of Mr McMahon is his stubbornness. If Vince thinks that the fans should like a certain Superstar then he’ll shove them down our throats until we like them, damn it! Subsequently if we the fans do like a certain Superstar and the chairman does not, that wrestler will have to work twice as hard to win their boss over.
These are 15 WWE Fan Favourites That Vince Hates.
15. Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens and Vince McMahon recently staged one of the hottest segments of the year on SmackDown Live. The Prizefighter delivered a vicious beat down to his boss despite the fact that Mr McMahon is 72 years old. It was like a car crash that you couldn’t help but stare at. Many likely thought to themselves afterward that Owens must be Vince’s new pet project, being given the Stone Cold treatment in that way. That might very well be the case, but it could also be a rouse. Let’s not forget that despite how good the segment was, Vince still managed to squeeze in a quip about Kevin’s weight and body type. This may very well be just another attempt from Vince to momentarily please the fans before he demotes KO back down to where he thinks he belongs. Let’s all hope not.
14. Daniel Bryan
There is no man or woman in WWE history that had to battle Vince McMahon’s deep rooted pro wrestling beliefs more than Daniel Bryan. Bryan had wrestled around the world before arriving in WWE so naturally he brought a pretty big following along with him. I can only imagine what Mr McMahon thought the first time he saw Daniel in the flesh. Nevertheless Bryan was a home run with the fans from day one in WWE. Then came Vince’s worst nightmare as the eventual World Champion began to force his way up the card with the backing of the WWE Universe. The rest is history of course. No matter how little the top brass at WWE liked Bryan they couldn’t stop him reaching the top and having his crowning moment in the main event of WrestleMania XXX.
13. Anderson And Gallows
One of the hottest things in pro wrestling right now (outside of WWE that is) is the Bullet Club. A faction in New Japan Pro Wrestling made up of various wrestlers. While WWE may do their absolute best not to mention the words Bullet Club on their programming, they certainly know who they are and how popular they’ve become. AJ Styles, Finn Balor, and the subjects of this post Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are all former members of the popular Japanese faction. One thing’s for sure though, Vince McMahon wouldn’t have brought in The Good Brothers if it wasn’t for the fans. Hardcore fans knew who they were because of the Bullet Club which meant WWE saw them as an asset. Gallows had already been under Vince’s watch and not worked out, and we all know how Mr McMahon feels about wrestlers who manage to make a name for themselves without his help.
12. Sami Zayn
On screen Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are bitter enemies. However behind the scenes they are actually the best of friends. Their pro wrestling careers have effectively run parallel to each other. Another thing they have in common is that Vince McMahon doesn’t really get them. While Owens’ fans are being given something to cheer about, his friend Sami’s fans really aren’t. The Underdog from the Underground might very well be one of the best wrestlers on the planet right now but obviously the boss doesn’t see that. Zayn foolishly believed that a move to SmackDown Live would afford him more opportunities yet as it stands his career has only stalled even more since the move. Right now Vince sees more promise in Aiden English than he does Sami Zayn.
11. Mauro Ranallo
Despite rumors that it was in the works, it came as quite a shock when WWE actually pulled the trigger and brought in Mauro Ranallo. A legitimate announcer having called a multitude of boxing and MMA matches, fans who had encountered or heard Mauro’s announcing in the past were very excited to hear him start calling the action in WWE. It went well for a while, but then came the controversy. Ranallo disappeared from our screens and it turns out it was largely due to the attitude of fellow SmackDown Live announcer JBL. Rather than punish JBL and listen to the fans so that Mauro could return, Vince turned a deaf ear and let things carry on right under his nose. Thankfully Triple H has a little more sense and has since mended fences with Ranallo, bringing him in to call the action on NXT.
Sticking with SmackDown Live Superstars, what on earth does Vince McMahon see in Rusev that he doesn’t like? When The Bulgarian Brute first arrived on the main roster his future looked a lot brighter than it does right now. As expected Vince used Rusev as a stereotypical big foreign heel. He spent a year unbeaten, was United States Champion, then all of a sudden Mr McMahon seemed to lose interest. Rusev was then lumped in with some other foreign Superstars to make up The League of Nations, an idea that did not take off. Since the foreign menace gimmick has worn off though fans have taken to him. The under utilization of the former US Champion seems to be playing on the affections of the WWE Universe and sooner or later Rusev is going to have had enough of being wasted by WWE.
9. Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler has had somewhat of a roller coaster ride during his stay with WWE. For a long while he was a fan favorite. The WWE Universe were waiting on the edge of their seats for months hoping that WWE would give him that one final push and make him a World Champion. Well eventually Vince McMahon reluctantly did do that, but the boss made sure it was a token reign rather than anything meaningful. It was actually a stroke of genius from Mr McMahon. He managed to give the fans what they wanted without having to stray too far from his own vision, and it worked. The fans no longer clamor for Dolph to be on top and he is very firmly rooted in the company’s mid-card.
Kalisto might seem like an odd choice for this list but trust me, the luchador is very much a firm favorite with a large portion of the fan base. For some reason a lot of younger fans gravitate towards Kalisto. His merchandise sells, as do his action figures. It’s likely why he has remained on Raw all this time because most other Superstars of his size are gradually being shifted across to 205 Live. No matter how many kids love him though it won’t sway Vince McMahon’s outlook on a performer that small. WWE may not be the land of the giants anymore but having someone of Kalisto’s stature any higher up the card than he currently is would be a bridge too far for Mr McMahon.
Paige has had a pretty rough last 18 months or so. From suspensions to neck surgeries to leaked photos, it just feels like it has been one thing after another for the former two time Divas’ Champion. For the past month or so things have been looking up. The Brit has kept herself out of the wrestling headlines and the only real news about her is that she hopes to be back in a WWE ring sooner rather than later. Well unfortunately for her Vince McMahon may have other ideas. No bridge between WWE and its talent is irreparable, but some of the wounds caused by Paige are still pretty fresh. Namely the things her partner Alberto Del Rio has said about Triple H. The fans may be dying to see Paige return, but those behind the scenes might not feel the same way.
6. Tye Dillinger
Tye Dillinger has had a longer WWE career than you might realize. The Perfect 10 actually first started wrestling under the WWE banner all the way back in 2006, but back then he wasn’t known as The Perfect 10. When first in WWE he was known as Gavin Spears and was actually used sparingly during the company’s reboot of ECW, something that didn’t pan out obviously. By the time Dillinger returned to the company the failed ECW reboot had turned into NXT. Although it took him a while Tye enjoyed a lot more success in NXT and became a firm fan favorite. For some reason WWE has tried to put a stop to that on SmackDown Live. The well traveled Superstar is getting very little in the way of in ring action on Tuesday nights, and even less in the way of wins.
While Bayley was perfecting her trade in NXT it felt like we were all witnessing something special. She was a phenomenon and was loved by quite literally every demographic of fans imaginable. NXT fans worry about what Vince McMahon will do with a lot of the Superstars that graduate from Full Sail to either Raw or SmackDown Live. They couldn’t fathom that being an issue with Bayley yet here we are a year later and the last time Raw’s Resident Hugger appeared on Monday night she was booed out of the building. Bayley isn’t only a fan favourite that Mr McMahon inexplicably dislikes, he has actually managed to ruin her through his indifference towards her. Triple H needs to step in as soon as possible and have a word with his father in law before another immense talent goes to waste.
4. Finn Balor
Finn Balor is one NXT alumni that Vince McMahon hasn’t managed to ruin quite yet, but he seems to be in the midst of having a good go. For years and years WWE was the land of the giants. If you weren’t at least 6’5″ and weighed more than 300 pounds you weren’t likely to get a second look. Finn is far away from any of that and the epitome of what modern day fans love about the business. When Finn arrived on Raw last year the fans were given what they wanted and Balor became WWE’s first ever Universal Champion. A serious injury from that match kept him out of the ring and Vince has since attempted to keep Balor very much grounded. He can’t fool the fans though and even The Demon’s lacklustre feud with Bray Wyatt hasn’t diminished his love from the WWE Universe.
3. Bray Wyatt
While we’re on the topic of Bray Wyatt we may as well cover The Eater of Worlds. The former WWE Champion is a sort of mix of many of the entries that have already made it onto this list. Like Rusev he seemed extremely popular with the powers back stage at first, being given WrestleMania matches against The Undertaker and John Cena. Bray has also had his love from the fans somewhat broken thanks to poor booking from those same back stage powers. Last but not least Wyatt was also given a token title reign, like Dolph Ziggler, to keep his fans quiet. Sadly it seems to have worked. Bray and his fans were on top of the world when he won the WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber, and now less than a year later Vince may be well on the way to swaying the fans back to his way of thinking.
2. Sasha Banks
Yet another entry in this list of a current WWE Superstar who seems to be given title reigns to keep the fans quiet, and she has been given a fair few of them. Sasha Banks is already a four time Women’s Champion, yet none of those reigns have lasted longer than a month. Something just doesn’t seem to click with The Boss when it comes to her own boss and Vince hasn’t exactly done a very good job of hiding that. Awarding Sasha the Women’s Title over and over again is a sign that Mr McMahon knows the fans like Sasha, but taking it from her so soon after each time shows that he doesn’t have faith in her. Banks is becoming wise to it as well and vented a little during her appearance on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast recently.
1. Tyler Breeze
Tyler Breeze is another NXT prodigy that hasn’t exactly taken to main roster life. Unfortunately for Prince Pretty if the rumours are true then this one is mostly on him. According to said rumors one of the first times Tyler was present on the main roster for an episode of Raw he asked if he could leave the show early. That’s a no-no, especially for someone as new to the company as Breeze. Although we haven’t heard it from the horse’s mouth it’s probably safe to assume that something like this did happen. Tyler’s character and wrestling ability combined could have led to great things after life in NXT. The fans still love him though, and if he toughs it out long enough maybe Vince’s distaste for him will one day be a thing of the past.
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