Vince McMahon is the biggest name the world of professional wrestling will ever know. He's the one who made the biggest wrestling names in the world become, well, the biggest wrestling names in the world. He's the one who made professional wrestling a major part of sports entertainment. He's a reason millions of fans tune into Monday Night Raw on a weekly basis. Get the idea? Wrestling is nothing without McMahon.
With money, fame, and power come two things: 1) Great Decisions and 2) Awful Decisions. McMahon has done so much right as a billionaire, but he's also made so many calls that make us cringe to this day. And those obviously make him ashamed to this day.
Here are the things McMahon is most proud of and ashamed of today.
15 Proud: Out with the Old
Vince McMahon took some huge risks in his life when it came to running the WWE. We all know how much Buddy Rogers and Bob Backlund kickstarted his wrestling empire. But getting Hulk Hogan to became THE Guy in the '80s was a huge move that ended up paying off.
McMahon also had "Macho Man" Randy Savage become one of his two main stars. But during the early '90s, McMahon wanted to get younger stars, so he moved on from both men who ran to WCW. In came The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. After those men, in came John Cena and Batista. Ever since, Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens have become his guys. McMahon has always known when to push a new guy and when to replace them with the right guy. No doubt he's proud about the timing.
14 Ashamed: The XFL
In life, you can't be too greedy. Some athletes try to become actors. Some people try to hit the casino over and over again because they were lucky once. But some businessmen and entrepreneurs need to run more than one business. McMahon has done a great job running the WWE for nearly four decades, but he wanted to try to make some money by coming up with a billion dollar idea.
McMahon created this to try to get football fans involved during the NFL offseason. It lasted one season. Even McMahon himself admitted how much it failed, even though he's not a man to usually admit his mistakes. But hey, at least he's kept his billionaire status. But it doesn't mean he's happy with how the XFL worked out.
13 Proud: Helping Troubled Stars Recuperate
Though McMahon has created a number of top-notch wrestlers, it's sad to know that many of them have had troubled lives. To name a few, Scott Hall and Jake 'The Snake" Roberts had alcohol and drug addiction issues. Hall was arrested multiple times for groping, assault, and public drunkenness.
Also, Shawn Michaels' life was at crossroads in the '90s, as he too struggled with alcohol and drug addictions. But McMahon helped create a strong WWE Rehab program that has helped these three men reshape their lives. Michaels returned in the 2000s and became a much more respected star. Hall was recently inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and other wrestlers with problems turned their lives around to become stars.
And that's because of McMahon's care and love for the men who helped him succeed.
12 Ashamed: Cheating on Linda
A large amount of men dream of being filthy rich, insanely famous, and have the ability to pick up virtually any woman in the world they want. We've seen so many power couples divorce, especially with cheating scandals.
Well, Vince and his wife Linda have stayed together for 50 years as a married couple, but it's well-known by now that he hasn't been faithful to his wife. McMahon has had plenty of inappropriate relationships with WWE Divas. In storylines and segments, Divas like Trish Stratus and Stacy Keibler would seduce him and hook up with him. There is no doubt McMahon crossed the line and didn't seem to have a problem doing it.
This should be higher on our list; but there aren't any confirmed allegations on how much he cheated on her. Plus, Linda has obviously forgiven him and they remain a happily married couple. But it doesn't mean he's proud of it.
11 Proud: Transitioning Eras
Every decade, the product put on by Vince McMahon's wrestling promotion has changed. Throughout the '80s and early '90s, he simply had the American heroes like Hogan and Randy Savage take down the bad guys. He focused solely on putting on entertainment in the ring with incredible wrestlers with strong characters.
In the late '90s, the Attitude Era came around. McMahon needed to compete with WCW, so the on-screen character of the arrogant Mr. McMahon boss came to life. Steve Austin, the rule-breaking beer drinker and the formation of the vulgar D-Generation X appealed to the teenage audience. Then came the Ruthless Aggression Era, putting on many Hardcore matches that involved weapons and high-flying stunts. There was plenty of sex involved in both the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression Eras.
WWE is boomin today, even though many old-timers dislike the PG Era. There's almost no blood, very little usage of weapons ,and there's virtually no sex, alcohol or drug storylines. Given how much the kids are involved in WWE today, McMahon doesn't have a choice but to keep it classy and clean. And it's working.
10 Ashamed: Having Trish Bark like a Dog
We are in an era where there's a strong movement to have women earn equal pay and rights all across the world, and rightfully so. But looking back on the old WWE segments, it's amazing to think how much McMahon got away with when having the Divas involved in so many sexual segments, to essentially appeal to the young male audience.
So McMahon thought he was doing the right thing by having Trish (as his mistress in storyline) strip down to her panties in the middle of the ring and bark like a dog. Really, what could have possibly come out of this that could have led to something positive? It was clearly embarrassing and uncomfortable for Trish, and not a segment anyone (especially Vince) want to remember.
9 Proud: Beating the Courts
Listen, everybody knows how many wrestlers over the years have taken steroids. You really think Batista, The Rock, and Hulk Hogan have been clean their whole lives? Who knows how many Superstars from the '80s to early 2000s were actually clean.
Well, the legend of McMahon could have ended because of steroids. In 1994, he went to court for allegations of handing steroids to the wrestlers who helped him become filthy rich. McMahon even went far enough to admit that he was guilty of taking steroids. So Hulk Hogan came in to be the deciding factor in the court.
Hogan ended up saving McMahon by claiming that the latter never had him take steroids. McMahon could have gotten himself into one giant pickle without ever getting out, but his former buddy got him out of trouble.
8 Ashamed: Bad Treatment of Stars
Hogan was the guy of the '80s who made WWE really become the boom we know it by today. He's the guy who saved McMahon from possible jail time by defending him in the courts. He's the guy who headlined many Pay-Per-View events. Hogan's impact on the WWE is felt even years after his last match with the company.
But McMahon let him go in the '90s to join WCW. Hogan came back after WCW was bought out by McMahon, but was released some time later. Hogan made a brief comeback in 2005 and let go a short time later. Hogan was on a WWE Legends contract but let go after his racial remarks came out.
Maybe he did the right thing with Hogan, but he also let Randy Savage go and tried telling the audience it was his decision to leave, when McMahon basically kicked him out. McMahon always had issues being fair and honest to the guys who made him a billionaire, and it's something he knows and probably can't get over.
7 Proud: Family Ties
Not every father and husband can convince his family to get involved in his career field. All McMahon has done was get his wife Linda involved in ridiculous storylines while having Stephanie and Shane become wrestlers and the Commissioners of Raw and SmackDown, respectively.
The McMahon family has put on some great feuds, and Stephanie is already in a great position to take over the company when her father leaves. Shane has put on a huge clinic of great matches and should also help his younger sister succeed when the time comes. Vince hasn't had to sell his company nor train any one outside to run it when he's gone. He has his family running it just as well as he did decades earlier.
No doubt his wife and children have made him a happy man.
6 Ashamed: Ridiculous Storylines
Listen, I love McMahon's on-screen character and the way he was able to bring entertainment into our living rooms for decades. He's found a way to impress millions on a weekly basis. It's simply remarkable.
However, I feel like I've questioned the guy more than agreed with the guy. Some of the storylines and stipulations he came up with were ridiculous. May Young's birth of the hand, Hornswoggle being his son, the Katie Vick storyline, and others are simply disgusting things we'd like to forget.
Oh, and the Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio match to determine who wins the custody of the latter's son was a big strange. Wrestling is supposed to be entertainment, but some stories were really gruesome and ones that make no sense. I have no idea how he came up with these ideas.
5 Proud: Becoming a Billionaire
As Donald Trump and all of these other filthy rich people in the world have shown, having money means everything to them. We see professional athletes ditch teams they love to join even worse teams to make more money. People quit jobs they love to earn more money at a job they don't like that much.
To many, money runs the world and is everything in life. No doubt that means a lot to Billionaire Vince. He has the huge ego, all of this power, and the most successful wrestling company in the world because of his billionaire status. He's held it for years and seems to be most proud of it. So why isn't it number one? McMahon wouldn't be a billionaire without the next two "proud" headings to appear on our list. In other words, keep reading.
4 Ashamed: Montreal Screwjob
To myself, the biggest lie ever told was when McMahon infamously said the following:
"Bret screwed Bret."
This was in regards to The Montreal Screwjob, where McMahon double-crossed Bret Hart and had him lose his WWE Championship to Shawn Michaels at the 1997 Survivor Series in Montreal. The plans were actually in place for Hart to beat his real life rival in his home country then drop the title before bolting for WCW.
However, McMahon's decision led to ugly times. Many saw the real-life jerk he was. Some wrestlers felt like he was going to double-cross them as well. This happened as WCW was running away with the War. McMahon had just been a disgrace to one of his biggest stars.
Thankfully, the two ended their "rivalry," with Hart returning in 2010. "The Hitman" would beat Vince at WrestleMania XXVI, putting an official end to the rivalry.
3 Proud: WrestleMania
The Grandest Stage of them All.
Where would the WWE be today without 32 grand editions of WrestleMania, the most electrifying show in sports entertainment? Millions watch across the world while thousands pack the arena. The show always makes insane money, and WWE Hall of Famers make rare appearances to enhance the awesomeness of the show.
Hulk Hogan bodyslamming Andre The Giant, Hogan and The Rock fighting at WrestleMania X8, and so many other iconic moments have taken place at WrestleMania. It's become the most epic Pay-Per-View in sports and draws interest all around the world. Imagine the NFL without the Super Bowl. This is the same impact WrestleMania has on the sports entertainment world.
2 Ashamed: Over The Edge, 1999
Not gonna lie, this isn't something I want to write about. But Over The Edge, 1999 was easily the most tragic and worst moment in WWE history. And Vince McMahon will never be able to live it down.
That night, Owen Hart in his Blue Blazor gimmick, was to face The Godfather for the Intercontinental Championship. Hart's character was to come from the rafters as part of his entrance. However, he was to trigger himself early and fall in the ring for slapstick comedy purposes.
Hart had done the stunt before but was very nervous about doing it again, and was pressured into doing so. Sadly, an equipment malfunction occurred and Hart fell to his death. When Jim Ross announced his passing to the television audience, the WWE was changed forever.
To make matters worse, McMahon made the decision to go on with the Pay-Per-View, something nobody agreed with. But had he let Hart avoid the stunt, tragedy could have been avoided.
1 Proud: Taking Down WCW
On a more positive note...
We talked about all of the things McMahon was proud of. WrestleMania and becoming a billionaire took two of the top three spots. Now, where would these be if McMahon didn't destroy a company that was so close to putting him out of business?
WCW was taking it to McMahon. They stole Hogan, Savage, Hall, Kevin Nash, Lex Luger, and Ric Flair from him and became the most watched programming of wrestling in the world. But Vince watched WCW shoot themselves in the foot over and over again, while he slowly moved to the Attitude Era.
That was the difference maker, as WWE ran away with the ratings war, bought out WCW in 2001, and would never look back.