Vince McMahon does NOT mess around. He has been described by numerous wrestlers as a “man”. He can intimidate gigantic athletes and apparently loves confrontation. It makes sense as his business is all about confrontation. For him to love and understand it is part of why he has dominated the industry for decades. But throughout those decades McMahon has stepped on more than a few people along the way. It’s also been said that Vince can hold grudges and loves to eventually see them through. Because of the absolute power of his WWE, he usually comes out on top.
From the time he began his assault on the territories to the launch of the WWE Network McMahon has created enemies along the way. He’s a businessman after all and that’s an inescapable part of it, but to wrestlers who sacrifice everything, it can feel much more personal.
McMahon’s feud with Bret Hart made the mainstream news and was covered extensively by a documentary, painting Vince as quite the villain. But like the genius he is, he decided to work with the bad press instead of against it, creating his ‘evil boss’ character. This character, along with Stone Cold, catapulted the WWE into it’s most popular era of all time.
Along with Bret Hart, many others have felt the wrath of McMahon; whether it be kayfabe or real, woman or man, wrestler or broadcaster. This is a guy who made a “kiss my ass club!” What could be more humiliating than that? He even farted in their face! Geez, I hope membership to that club comes with a nice pay raise and first-class airfare for the rest of their contract.
McMahon is almost 70 now but still has that fire. He even slightly humiliated his own roster on the Steve Austin Podcast. Vince never sounded more like an angry old man when he called the current generation ‘unambitious’ with his infamous ‘brass ring’ comments.
Professional wrestling has always had great success magnifying emotions. The epic wins and dastardly evil deeds go hand-in-hand with the intense humiliations Vince dreams up. So let’s delve deep into the twisted psyche of the real Big Boss Man: Vince McMahon.
10 T-10. The Kiss My Ass Club Members
The Vince McMahon Kiss My Ass Club had six members and anybody who has to pucker up on live television to kiss the billionaire backside is being humiliated, even if it's all in storyline (and us being guiltily entertained by it).
The members were:
William Regal - puckered up to keep his job after having jumped ship to the Alliance.
Jim Ross - forced to join after laughing at McMahon after failing to get Austin to join.
Shawn Michaels - joined while knocked out and Shane placing his lips on Vince's butt.
Shane McMahon - Michaels got his revenge by shoving Shane's face "in his daddy's crack" while Vince thought it was Shawn the whole time.
Mick Foley - joined to save his friend Melina's job, only for Melina to betray him and Foley was fired by Vince soon afterwards.
Hornswoggle - forced by Vince to join to show loyalty to his new-found McMahon family name. Hornswoggle actually bit McMahon's buttocks, but Vince officially dubbed him a member since his lips made contact. Club rules have to be respected after all.
9 Terry Taylor
Taylor was a decent enough worker with a great amount of experience. He was a former champion and did well for himself. But after his first stint in the WWE he will forever be remembered as the Red Rooster. How was this ever a good idea? To spike his hair up was awful enough but to make him do the rooster walk was over the line.
You could call it ‘comic relief’ but this one feels like only Vince was laughing.
8 Vickie Guerrero
Dangerous eating disorders are far too prevalent in our culture. To see the WWE resort to outdated insults about weight is depressing. For the WWE to flood the screen with chiseled bodies (that are definitely not average) and then attack a regular looking woman for being “fat” is an awful message to send out. If the WWE wants to make money marketing to kids they need to take a little more responsibility for the impact they have.
7 Randy Savage
Randy Savage was easily one of the all-time greats. He had almost the same mainstream recognition of Hulk Hogan but far surpassed the Hulkster’s in-ring talent. Agile as a cat, he performed his moves with a power and beautiful grace. His flying elbow was in a class of its own and his wounded ‘savage’ personality could evoke hatred and sympathy from the fans.
But when Savage jumped ship to the WCW so he could actually wrestle matches instead of just calling them, Vince was crushed. He gave a noticeably devastated statement (devastatement?) on Raw, letting the fans know the Macho Man had left and that he wished him the best of luck.
How quickly that all changed. As the Monday Night War heated up, McMahon created the infamous “Nacho Man” character. In real life, McMahon had told Savage they were going with a ‘youth movement’ and he would rather have Savage as a broadcaster. The geriatric Nacho Man was too close to home and came off incredibly tacky.
McMahon officially buried the hatchet when he posthumously inducted Savage into the Hall of Fame this year.
6 Jim Ross
Jim Ross is the greatest wrestling announcer alive, and arguably of all time. Look no further than superstars like Steve Austin, The Rock, and CM Punk all requesting that Ross be allowed to call their matches. Today’s announcers sound like they’re calling golf. Ross giveth to the action, and Cole taketh away.
Since McMahon is so lucky to have a treasure like Ross affiliated with his company, you’d think he would treat him like gold right? Well if you're familiar with McMahon’s track record, then you know the opposite is true. Perhaps it’s ego that gets in the way. Perhaps McMahon has to assert his dominance over his employees that are truly loved by the fans.
Jim Ross suffers from Bells Palsy. Although he was still able to deliver better than anyone on the planet, it’s led to his replacement and some of the worst WWE television moments ridiculing his condition! It’s shocking to see anyone get treated in this way, and sad that McMahon attacks one of his greatest treasures.
Michael Cole, Jonathan Coachman, Todd Grisham, Mike Adamle. All were brought in to replace Ross and none came close. Each time it was an insult to the man and the fans who know far better than to accept mediocrity. Fortunately, Paul Levesque has shown he had some brains and brought Ross in to help train new announcers.
This is just a tiny salute to Jim Ross in the face of evil. Long live Jim Ross!
5 Trish Stratus
It was all done in the storyline of course, but does one of your future Hall of Famers really need to be treated that way? To be stripped down, made to bark like a dog, covered in god knows what seems a little over the top. Of course it was all fictional, but male wrestlers of similar standing would never be subjected to that.
Stratus should be remembered for her contributions to the women's division of WWE and her numerous Championships; not for barking like a dog and having a fictional affair with an old man.
4 Hulk Hogan
Hogan and Vince are the chicken and egg of the WWE’s breakthrough success. Was it Vince’s grand vision or Hogan’s undeniable charisma? Any way you look at it, Hogan was at the top of every WWE card while they rocketed skywards and he made a TON of money for himself and the company. Other than The Wrestling Classic, Hogan headlined every single WWE PPV until SummerSlam ‘92; an astounding feat.
But did he get to ride off into the sunset like a hero, thanked for his efforts? Of course not. Vince distanced himself from Hogan during the steroid trial and preferred to sweep Hogan under the rug instead of properly honoring the man who was arguably responsible for the WWE’s massive success. And when Hogan decided to wrestle for the competition, that’s when all hell broke loose.
The Huckster character, along with the Nacho Man are two of the most embarrassing creations Vince has come up with (and that’s saying something).
Luckily they were able to do business again and preserve the incredible legacy of Hogan. The match with Hogan and The Rock in Toronto at WrestleMania is still my favorite of his entire career.
3 Bret Hart
This was well documented and I assume a rehash won’t be necessary. Bret is the proudest there was/is/ever will be and Vince will go to ANY lengths to protect his company and say anything a wrestler needs to hear. Countless wrestlers have experienced this firsthand and Hart had been a victim of Vince’s empty promises many times before. The ‘screw-job’ just happened to be the cherry on top.
To screw his most loyal soldier, who worked tirelessly through the darkest times was bad enough. But to do it on his home soil was the ultimate humiliation.
Vince’s decision to ring the bell while Hart had obviously not given up let all the viewers in on the dirty secret. To see the ‘champion’ Shawn Michaels run away with his belt while Hart angrily paced the ring and spat on his boss was a disgrace to wrestling.
Vince got his way at the expense of everyone else.
2 The Ultimate Warrior
The Ultimate Warrior made the WWE a ton of money. His wild energy captured the imagination of kids and moved vast amounts of merchandise. Yet in 2005, Vince decided to make some more money from his legacy by taking a giant crap on it. The Self Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior used all of the WWE’s resources in basically a smear campaign against Jim Hellwig.
The ironic part is that everything Vince’s video insults about the Warrior (wrestling skill, promos etc) were definitely not a problem when McMahon was directly profiting from it. It was incredibly hypocritical and a dirty way to make money.
Like many cases however, Hellwig and McMahon were able to bury the hatchet. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame just in the nick of time as he passed away just days after the ceremony.
At least Vince directs some of his awful sense of humour towards himself. He has appeared to pee his pants, had his head shaved, and had (kayfabe) feces dumped on him. He also performed a promo after defecating in his pants. According to Jim Ross, Vince (as a hilarious joke!) went to fart in his colleague’s face and accidentally soiled himself. Lacking the time to change, the dirty old man knew ‘the show must go on’.
Also, since fans are well aware that Vince is the decision maker, every time he chooses to humiliate one of his employees, he actually embarrasses himself. To see him put on a JR hat and mimic cerebral palsy on television reflects poorly on his ideals and judgement. Whether playing a villain or not, many of his actions are inexcusable.
Wrestling genius, social maniac, we’ve seen it all.
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