The most important person for wrestlers to impress in WWE is still Vince McMahon. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are powerful and will eventually take over full control, but Vince is still the man in charge of everything. Many legends to thrive in WWE tell young wrestlers to form a relationship with McMahon. All of the top stars have enjoyed some sort of connection with him that allowed them to earn his confidence. On the flip side, making an enemy out of Vince can easily sink a career regardless of the talent exhibited by the performer.
McMahon doesn’t always have the best judgment but his track record has more hits than misses. The logic behind his decisions is the route of the problem. A close-minded approach in the position can lead to issues in how the company is run. The current roster is loaded with talent but some performers are being held back from their full potential and McMahon's poor opinion of them is not helping. Vince's favorites get an abundance of opportunities on the contrary. We’ll look at both sides of McMahon when it comes to the roster today. We’re naming eight of the current WWE stars Vince McMahon loves and another seven that he dislikes.
15 Loves: Roman Reigns
The fondness Vince McMahon has for Roman Reigns has been evident since the debut of The Shield. CM Punk revealed he and other wrestlers were told to make Roman “look strong” in their matches. Reigns has been pushed to the top of WWE on multiple occasions as “The Guy” to succeed John Cena as the face of the company.
Despite the fans booing him out of the building most shows, Reigns has main evented the past two WrestleMania shows as a face. One thing that has damaged Reigns’ standing in WWE and in the heart of McMahon is his violation of the Wellness Policy. WWE was forced to have him lose the WWE World Championship and suspend him for thirty days. Still, Reigns is clearly the most heavily pushed face on Raw and McMahon will give him plenty more chances.
14 Dislikes: Rusev
Rusev has been an effective heel on the main roster any time he has been placed in a position to succeed. Vince McMahon usually loves the gimmick of a foreign anti-American heel but he almost sabotaged Rusev’s career. WWE split up the couple of Rusev and Lana by turning Lana face. Reports indicated McMahon didn’t believe Lana should have been with a guy like Rusev on television or in real life.
Rusev's career went downhill without Lana and he lost all his momentum. Lana struggled without Rusev by her side as well and that luckily forced WWE’s hand into putting them back together. They are once again a great heel couple together on television but Rusev can’t feel too safe knowing McMahon would prefer Lana moving up in the wrestling world.
13 Loves: A.J. Styles
A shocking twist has seen A.J. Styles become a favorite of Vince McMahon. For many years, fans have wanted to see Styles in WWE, but it seemed impossible. Styles has many things that McMahon dislikes in a performer. A smaller build, lack of outward charisma and a Southern accent usually spells disaster for a wrestler in the WWE. Styles however impressed enough to win over McMahon.
WWE signed AJ at the beginning of the year and his work made McMahon a believer in him as a main eventer. Reports circulated that McMahon was even heard saying he regretted not signing Styles years ago. Styles worked a World Championship program in back-to-back PPVs against Roman Reigns and moved into a feud with John Cena. The fact that Styles pinned Cena cleanly at SummerSlam 2016 showed you everything you need to know about his standing in WWE. Styles is now the WWE World Champion on SmackDown Live with McMahon’s full support.
12 Dislikes: T.J. Perkins
It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out T.J. Perkins is already falling out of favor in the WWE. Triple H’s Cruiserweight Classic series on the ˆ saw Perkins win it all and become the Cruiserweight Champion to lead the new division on Raw. His lack of charisma and presence sunk Perkins’ instantly with the crowd.
WWE didn’t give him a long rope and The Brian Kendrick defeated him to win the Cruiserweight Championship just one month into Perkins coming up to Raw. Taz stated on his radio show that the way WWE booked it showed Vince McMahon had no confidence in Perkins and wanted to end the experiment quickly. Kendrick has seen already move daway from Perkins, as he'll face Kalisto at Survivor Series for the title in a interbrand match.
11 Loves: Nia Jax
If you’re a cousin of The Rock, Vince McMahon will probably love you. The WWE Performance Center and NXT system fast tracked Nia Jax to get to the main roster rather quickly. NXT’s use of Jax clearly showed someone up top believed she's a future star. McMahon is likely the one that influenced her ascending in the system faster than most.
Many pundits believe Jax should have stayed in NXT much longer due to her lack of experience. Nia was drafted to Raw for the brand split. Aside from enhancement matches and a small feud with Alicia Fox, she has not done anything of note. McMahon is in the right for spotting her tremendous potential as a monster heel, but calling her up this early may be a case of love gone wrong.
10 Dislikes: Apollo Crews
Apollo Crews is one of the most athletically gifted performers in WWE today but they're doing absolutely nothing with him. Crews getting drafted to SmackDown Live felt like a good fit given the youth movement and amount of opportunity on the blue brand. Because of that, fans have been shocked to see Crews rarely featured on television. Vince McMahon’s poor opinion of him may be the reason why.
Reports circulated that McMahon was down on Crews just a couple of months into his main roster debut. The knock on Crews by McMahon is that he doesn’t have the personality to get over with the fans. That may be true, but WWE has not put him in a legitimate position to succeed. Crews losing to Curt Hawkins on a recent episode of SmackDown Live is a bad sign for his standing in the WWE and with McMahon.
9 Loves: The Undertaker
An old reliable favorite of Vince McMahon is The Undertaker. We only see The Undertaker a handful of times per year, but he is one of the highest paid wrestlers on the roster. The twenty-five years of loyalty shown by The Undertaker towards the WWE has earned him a place in McMahon’s heart. Undertaker never left WWE for WCW during the Monday Night Wars despite the majority of wrestlers going back and forth.
McMahon most respects the fact that Undertaker served as a locker room leader for many years. The Undertaker was a silent hero in the WWE helping make sure everyone backstage respected their peers and the audience. McMahon allows Undertaker to work a very relaxed schedule and pays him very well, showing how much respect he has for The Deadman and all his work throughout his epic WWE run.
8 Dislikes: The Vaudevillains
The Vaudevillains moved up to the main roster from NXT after WrestleMania 32. Aiden English and Simon Gotch worked the throwback gimmick and got over with the smaller crowds in NXT. The sold out Barclays Center crowd for TakeOver: Brooklyn saw them have a larger audience react to them positively when winning the NXT Tag Team Championship. Despite all of that, they have tanked horribly on the main roster.
Vince McMahon reportedly is a not a fan of The Vaudevillains at all. The rumors stated McMahon did not understand their gimmick and considered it to be “stupid.” WWE’s booking of The Vaudevillains has followed suit with his opinion of them. We rarely see The Vaudevillains on SmackDown Live and their time in the WWE may be running out unless they change gimmicks or split up.
7 Loves: Eva Marie
Eva Marie's wrestling skills are borderline embarrassing with her looking out of place any time she steps inside the squared circle. Eva happens to be one of the best looking women in the entire company and has won over the important people in the WWE, namely Vince McMahon. Marie's marketability is likely the main reason McMahon loves her.
Vince has never endured the most logical mind-set when it comes to women in his company. The looks of Eva likely wins out over the talent of many others in the company according to McMahon.
Marie was suspended for violating the Wellness Policy back in August and has yet to return to television. Most others with her failure to improve would have been fired, but she still remains employed as a favorite of McMahon.
6 Dislikes: Tyler Breeze
Tyler Breeze was one of the top performers in NXT due to his impressive heel character. Breeze had a unique gimmick that he worked to perfection as the arrogant male model and he backed it up with his in-ring talent. Fans were excited for his main roster debut but it fell apart quickly. Breeze defeated Dolph Ziggler in his first PPV match and that was his peak in the WWE.
Vince McMahon’s dislike of Breeze is what killed his push within a month. Breeze fell down the card and instantly became one of the least credible wrestlers on the roster. The rumors stated McMahon didn’t believe in him. Triple H fought for Breeze in hopes of him being a top heel in the company, but it was all for nothing.
5 Loves: Braun Strowman
We are in the early stages of the ascension of Braun Strowman in WWE thanks to Vince McMahon’s love for him. Strowman fit the mold of the massively sized monster heel McMahon has loved for the entirety of his time running the company. It only makes sense that he believes in Strowman as a future World Champion. Strowman is one of the rare Performance Center prospects to skip NXT altogether.
WWE introduced him as a new member of The Wyatt Family. The brand split saw Strowman go to Raw with the rest of The Wyatt Family heading to SmackDown. It was done purposely to push Strowman as a singles star. Braun has dominated everyone he has faced and has the biggest opportunity of his career so far as part of the Raw team in the Survivor Series brand tag match. Rumors have claimed that McMahon would love to have Strowman face The Undertaker or Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania at some point.
4 Dislikes: Cesaro
One WWE star that never gets his due respect is Cesaro. The talented in-ring performer usually gets a loud crowd response with many fans online pleading for him to get a main event run. Vince McMahon is the reason why Cesaro has never been able to move past the mid-card. Steve Austin asked McMahon during a live podcast and the boss shared his unfiltered thoughts.
McMahon claimed Cesaro lacked charisma and didn’t have the “it factor.” McMahon's silly criticism was saying Cesaro being Swiss could be the reason he was lacking something. Cesaro is one of the bigger misuses of a talent in recent WWE history. McMahon’s dislike of him is hard to figure out, but it’s one that all wrestling fans are paying for.
3 Loves: John Cena
John Cena is the performer Vince McMahon has always dreamed of being the face of WWE. Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan both walked out when asked to do things they didn’t want to. The Rock left for Hollywood. Numerous top wrestlers have made negative headlines by getting in trouble outside of the ring. Cena is the one man that has avoided every single one of those problems.
WWE has made Cena the top star for over a decade now and he's delivered more than what anyone could have asked for. The fact that Cena worked harder than anyone, keeping a full schedule of shows along with spending his free time doing promotional work for WWE, made him McMahon's beloved golden boy. Cena likely has creative control in the WWE until he wants to retire due to his value and appreciation from Vince.
2 Dislikes: Sasha Banks
The most popular woman on the main roster during the women’s revolution over the past year has been Sasha Banks. Sadly for her, one person that isn’t a fan happens to be the most important person. Vince McMahon clearly doesn’t have faith in Banks being the face of the women’s division. Banks has captured the Raw Women’s Championship twice but both wins were on Raw and she lost it to Charlotte Flair at the proceeding PPV.
WrestleMania 32, SummerSlam 2016 and Hell in a Cell 2016 all felt like times Banks would obviously defeat Charlotte to roll on as the top star. She lost every time. Rumors are now out that McMahon blamed Banks for Hell in a Cell not connecting with the audience, due to her being too small to break the table on the finish and just falling off of it. Hopefully Sasha can change his mind for all our sake.
1 Loves: Charlotte Flair
As much as Vince McMahon may dislike Sasha Banks, he loves Charlotte Flair just as much. Charlotte has been the face of the women’s revolution in WWE since her debut on the main roster. The fact that she is the daughter of his good friend Ric Flair likely adds a level of favoritism towards her. Charlotte works hard to earn everything she gets, but she continues to win matches that logic would dictate she’d lose.
Her PPV record at the moment is 14-0 with her winning every single “big match” she has appeared in. McMahon wanted her as the woman to leave WrestleMania 32 and Hell in a Cell both times as the Women’s Champion. We will likely see Charlotte continue to win every historic match in the women’s division. McMahon’s support has made her arguably the most accomplished wrestler in the entire company this year.