WWE is known to have their favourites, the WWE Superstars that they can see the ultimate potential in. The “A-plus players” is a term that is often used when WWE see the Wrestlers that have that star quality. The ultimate package, the athleticism, the ability to prove themselves in the ring, strong promo skills, the ability to sell and convey a story to the WWE Universe, along with the ability to sell merchandise. If WWE officials believe that a Superstar has it all then they put every ounce of effort into pushing him to the top of the hierarchy.
Every once in a while Vince McMahon himself sees something in a particular Superstar, such as Roman Reigns, and does everything in his power to make sure they become one of the biggest Superstars of the world of pro wrestling. He shapes and forms them into his vision. He knows exactly what he wants to do and he does it. Being one of Vince’s favourites does come with benefits, they get to go out and do interviews, TV shows, movies.
If you are one of Vince’s favourites then the possibilities are endless for you and your career if Vince sees something in you, then it’s not just company and opportunity benefits that could come your way. In the past, there have been Superstars who have gotten away with just a little too much.
Here are the fifteen Superstars who had a pass to do anything.
Goldberg’s first run with WWE was one that consisted of turbulence and a lot of head banging with Vince McMahon. Vince still favoured Goldberg. The two were unable to agree on many things but Vince still managed to provide Goldberg with everything he needed to become one of the most dominants Superstars.
Whether Vince and Goldberg could actually get on professionally, Vince still allowed him to get away with a lot. The two were known to having verbal disagreements. According to Goldberg, since he returned last year he is able to have a better professional working relationship with Vince and they have the ability to have business-focused meetings without coming to verbal blows. Goldberg recently stated it was due to the pair of them changing characteristically. Perhaps sometimes it’s good to have time away.
14. Big Show
The World’s Largest Athlete has always been one of Vince’s personal favourites, he’s been given a lot of pushes and opportunities to do movies such as Vendetta and Knucklehead. However, before he joined WWE, he worked for WCW and in 1998, Big Show was arrested for public indecency after he reportedly exposed himself to a motel employee. While charges were later dropped to insufficient evidence. WWE are typically very reluctant to hire anyone with a criminal record.
For example, female Superstar Emma was arrested due to theft, she was automatically fired and then later reinstated. Vince must have seen something in the seven-foot giant because he has been given opportunities that some of the regular Superstars struggle to get. Perhaps it was Big Show’s charming personality that allowed him to go so far in this business.
13. Trish Stratus
Trish was known as the biggest sex symbol in WWE back in the 2000s and no one was going to mess with the image that Vince had planned for Trish. There was a rumour going around that Lilian Garcia and Trish Stratus were having a relationship, Vince wasn’t happy when the rumour came out, due to his infuriation that his biggest sex symbol was being rumoured to being involved with a woman. He almost fired Lillian Garcia to get rid of the stigma and the rumour.
However, several locker room reports have suggested that in the early stages of Trish’s career, she was sleeping around the locker room which Vince is not too keen on his staff doing. Trish Stratus was one of the first women in WWE history to get a sizeable push and being put in the forefront for the WWE to see. Even if back then it wasn’t necessarily based on Trish’s natural in ring talent alone. In her later years, she got a special treatment unlike Lita who didn’t go out so gracefully.
12. Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan over the years has often been in trouble, often heading to court on several occasions. For example, the 1993 Steroid case which Vince McMahon was involved in. There was also the Belzer lawsuit, and more recently, there was the case where his sex tape was leaked and he went into court to sue the person who leaked a footage of the sex tape.
Hulk Hogan has also made racist claims during the tape, as Vince McMahon has often argued that Hulk Hogan will never work for WWE again. Triple H recently stated that he would be happy for Hulk Hogan to work for the company again. There have been rumours that Hulk Hogan could possibly make a return to WWE soon. Could we be seeing Hulk Hogan post-WrestleMania season?
JBL has been known to be a bit of an enforcer when it comes to WWE. He has openly admitted to “hazing” people, which is what college students do in frat houses as a process of initiation. Vince has always turned a blind eye to JBL’s antics. JBL has always been known to be able to create some sort of reaction from the WWE Universe whether he’s in the ring or on commentary but it looks like JBL’s heel and behaviour mirror backstage antics.
JBL has been known to terrorize the backstage staff and Superstars. If Vince McMahon hadn’t favourited JBL for his entire career and even now as he features on SmackDown Lives commentary team, he probably wouldn’t be here. According to reports, JBL currently has tension brewing with fellow SmackDown commentator Mauro Ranallo which could be part of the reason why Mauro may have left the company.
10. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Stone Cold has had a turbulent relationship with Vince both on and off screen. But one thing both men have managed to do is keep a well-maintained working relationship. When Steve was in-ring, the two were known to bump heads every now and again but that never stopped Vince from giving Stone Cold the opportunities that have to led him in becoming the legend and Hall of Famer that he is today. Vince noticed something in Stone Cold and used that to its full potential.
Even when Stone Cold was charged with domestic violence, WWE could have easily gotten rid of Stone Cold Steve Austin but instead, they stood by him. One of Stone Cold’s ex-wives made the accusation that WWE knew of the abuse and would put makeup on her to try and cover up the bruising to her face. WWE have obviously denied the allegations.
9. The Undertaker
The Undertaker has always been “best friends” with Vince McMahon, there is reported issues that when talent were having troubles amongst each other that Vince would send the Undertaker to deal and resolve the issues between Superstars, at the price of a bottle of Jack Daniels. The Undertaker was Vince’s ears backstage whenever things were going on backstage, or even on airplanes.
There was one instance where Vince McMahon got into a dispute with Kurt Angle, to protect Vince, the Undertaker chokeslammed Kurt Angle while they were on a flight. Vince McMahon has openly stated that the Undertaker is one of the most professional and extraordinary men that he has ever worked with and in Vince’s opinion, The Undertaker is the greatest of all time.
8. Kevin Nash
Hall of Famer Kevin Nash is also one of those few people that Vince let get away with anything. Kevin Nash didn’t start out as a household name that everyone knew. After “Hulkamania” ended Vince needed a new and big name to push and make his top star. During that time, a lot of wrestlers were supporting “everyday” job gimmicks. Vince was looking the next big star and Kevin Nash appeared to fit the bill.
Vince started building him up when he partnered him with the already show-stopping and charismatic Shawn Michaels who was already working his way to becoming one of the most entertaining WWE Superstars of all time. Kevin Nash turned against Shawn Michaels and they began feuding.
Even when Kevin Nash faced battery charges against his own son in 2014, Kevin Nash was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame a year later. Due to his such a close friendship with Triple H, Kevin Nash can come and go as he pleases even to this day.
7. John Cena
John Cena is a world renowned Superstar, he does it all, from TV appearances to movies and TV Shows. There is nothing that John cannot do. But he wasn’t always the ‘never give up’ leader. Early in his career, there was a more edgier version of John Cena known as Dr Of Thuganomics and this character was far from the PG John Cena that we see today.
Vince McMahon and John Cena have always had a very solid, father and son type of relationship and perhaps that is why when John used to have such an edgier personality, he could pretty much get away with saying anything he wanted. John also has the ability to come and go when he pleases. He can disappear for months and Vince would never say a word against it. Cena is also known to have influence on the outcome of his matches.
6. Randy Orton
Randy Orton from the early stages of his career was shaped to become one of the greatest WWE Superstars in this generation, he arguably has everything that the WWE look for, star quality, ring ability, the ability to convey a message and a story. If being the son of Hall of Famer, Cowboy Bob Orton wasn’t enough, Vince was quick to take a shine to the young WWE Superstar.
While Vince doesn’t always pick Randy as his favourite, he has definitely been able to get away with too much. There have been background talks that Randy has often threatened his work colleagues when he has disagreed with them. Randy has also failed more drug tests than WWE will ever let on. Orton has been involved in controversial incidents with fellow Superstars as well as fans.
5. Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar is no stranger to breaking the rules and Vince constantly ignores Brock’s behaviour. From homophobic remarks to failed drug tests. Brock Lesnar is no stranger to being in trouble publicly. Recently he has been made to “retire” from the UFC after failing a drug test.
Brock faced a $250,000 fine and was banned from UFC for an entire year. Some expected the WWE to punish Brock since he was indeed working for WWE at the same time. However, it appeared like WWE choose to ignore his legal problems.
No matter what Brock has said or done, he’s been able to consistently main event pay-per-views and WrestleMania. It appears that as long as you bring in the money and seats, Vince doesn’t care what you do.
4. Ric Flair
Ric Flair is one of the greatest Superstars in WWE history. Ric’s career lasted decades. Of course, over his career, Ric has faced his fair share of problems but that didn’t stop WWE and Vince from pushing him. In 2005, Ric Flair was arrested for a road rage charge. Later in 2008, Ric declared that he was bankrupt as he owned another Wrestling promotion, Ring of Honour $40,000 in unmade appearances.
Instead of getting rid of Ric Flair, which WWE have been known to do, his road rage was made a mockery of during a Raw segment involving the Rated R Superstar Edge who at the time he was feuding with. Even currently, Ric Flair is allowed to come and go as he pleases, making appearances throughout the year.
3. Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels is one of the most entertaining Superstars in this generation. In the early stages of a career, no one had ever seen anyone like him before. Being one of kind Superstar came with some perks especially if Vince likes you. According to backstage reports, Shawn could do whatever he wanted. Vince would say nothing, no matter how absurd the action was.
There have also been reports that Shawn would whisper in Vince’s ear about what to do with the other talent. Whether Vince decided to take Shawn’s advice on how to use the talent is unknown but since the pair were so close, it’s very likely. Yet that is not all that Shawn was apparently able to get away with, he was often very disrespectful to Vince McMahon himself and his fellow peers, yet the boss seemed to turn a blind eye.
2. Triple H
Triple H has had an extensive career, from his days in DX to the Cerebral Assassin and The King of Kings, Triple H has made his way up towards the top of the business chain. The strength of the relationship that he has with Vince is a major key factor to his success, it is very much so a father, son relationship although Triple H is married to Vince’s only Daughter Stephanie McMahon.
Triple H has always been able to get away with just about anything. Vince McMahon has also given Triple H complete control of NXT, which since then has used to develop himself and has proven that he can put on great show after great show. And of course we can’t forget Triple H having multiple lengthy runs as the World champion.
1. The Rock
The Rock is a world known Superstar, wrestling fans or not, everyone knows who The Rock is. His presence alone can make the WWE Universe pumped and ready to go. This could be the stand alone reason why the Rock has always been favoured by Vince McMahon. He’s charismatic, relatable, and it helps that he has become a Hollywood star.
Last month was the perfect example. Rock was present at a Raw taping in order to film a match for a movie, documenting Paige’s life and in order to give the fans a unique experience, Rock decided to call up former WWE Superstar CM Punk. Of course, Vince was furious that Rock decided to call CM Punk but he seemed to get away with it relatively unscathed.
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