"No chance, that's what you got."
Any time Vince McMahon steps out in front of the crowd, his infamous theme song blares through the speakers, the audience erupts, and his patented walk still makes people chuckle to this day. It doesn't matter why he is walking out in front of a sold out crowd - just know that when he does, it's business time.
McMahon, the principal owner of the world's largest wrestling company, is the king of the WWE. Sure, his on screen character has had many embarrassing moments, ranging from getting beat up by wrestlers, to fighting his own son, to peeing his pants. But don't let that fool you - the man knows what's best for business, even if that means making fun of himself in front of millions of viewers from around the world.
However, you must remember that despite his cartoonish character on television, he is a savvy business man that won't let anyone get the best of him. Unfortunately for some of his employees, that means harsh penalties, huge fines and being yelled at and berated in front of their coworkers. If you cross the boss, there will be no smiles and happiness when trying to explain yourself.
In a conversation - or better yet, an argument - with McMahon, his theme song rings true in real life: you simply have no chance in hell. However, just because he always gets his way, doesn't mean that he's always right in his decisions. For proof, here are 12 times when McMahon was harsh and unfair in punishments he has given to people in the past.
16 Suspending Titus O'Neil 60 Days
If we're going to talk about times Vince McMahon was unfair, we have to start with the most recent instance. By now, everyone knows the story - Daniel Bryan, one of the most beloved WWE superstars in the modern era, was forced to retire due to concussions issues. After giving a tremendous speech on the February 8th edition of Raw, the entire locker room came out to the stage to give their thanks and gratitude towards Bryan. However, something notable happened after the show went off the air on the WWE Network.
After Bryan made his way to the back, Vince McMahon followed suit, only to be grabbed by Titus O'Neill. While McMahon had a smile after shoving O'Neill, he was anything but happy in the back. McMahon wanted to fire O'Neil for the unprofessional moment, but Triple H talked him out of it. Although he had his 90 day suspension reduced to 60, O'Neil will still miss his big WrestleMania payday, while his recent push will almost certainly be thwarted.
15 Never giving CM Punk a WrestleMania Main Event
While many have mixed feelings about CM Punk, there's no doubt that he was WWE's hottest star a few short years ago. He was the answer for adults who were fed up of John Cena's Superman schtick and embraced Punk for being different and incorporating his real feelings into promos. Despite this, Punk kept getting tossed to the side, often not closing a PPV even as champion. Punk always said his ultimate goal in wrestling was to main event a WrestleMania. Punk's spot was given to The Rock and John Cena two years in a row. You could also make the argument he should have faced Cena at WrestleMania XXVII over Miz and certainly deserved a spot at WrestleMania XXX. When he found out he wasn't, he quit the company. Punk should have gotten his moment before leaving the business.
14 Firing Jim Ross after Bell's Palsy Episode
We know what firing of Jim Ross you're probably thinking about, but we'll get to that soon. Jim Ross was first brought in to WWE in 1993, with WrestleMania IX marking his debut. Early the following year, Ross suffered an episode of Bell's Palsy for the first time and had to take time off. While he was home, he received a notice from Vince McMahon that with his contract expiring in March, that his services were no longer required. Firing a guy who's at home recovering is incredibly unfair no matter how you slice it.
13 Firing Abraham Washington
Abraham Washington was the manager of The Prime Time Players when they were first starting off as a tag team. Washington was a pretty entertaining manager, wearing a microphone earpiece during matches and pulling line after line. One match, he made an inappropriate remark, comparing a move to Kobe Bryant, saying "Titus O'Neil is like Kobe Bryant at a hotel (room) in Colorado. He's unstoppable!" This was in reference to the sexual assault allegations against Bryant back in 2003. While it was an ill-advised comment, it was unfair to fire Washington, as far worse stuff has been said on WWE television without repercussions.
11 Blaming The Miz and R-Truth For Survivor Series 2011's Low Buyrate
Leading up to the event, there was no more highly anticipated pay per view than Survivor Series 2011. After The Rock returned and challenged John Cena to a match at WrestleMania 28, Cena was going through an on screen program with The Miz and R-Truth. Leading into Survivor Series, Cena asked The Rock to be his partner against the duo, making this The Great One's first match in over seven years.
Unfortunately, the event's buyrate was extremely low, especially with The Rock's inclusion. The brunt of it went down on The Miz and R-Truth, who were blamed for the numbers. While R-Truth was used sparingly, The Miz was gone for almost two months, and a championship program that he was going to be involved in was scrapped. However, that wasn't necessarily fair, simply because the WWE didn't have the necessary heel talents to put against the super team.
10 Taking Shots At The Denver Nuggets When They Cancelled Raw
Back in August of 2008, Vince McMahon booked his famed Raw show for May 25, 2009, live from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. However, there was one problem; with the Denver Nuggets basketball team being so good that year, they made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals. When was their first home game of the series, you ask? May 25.
After nearly selling out the arena, McMahon had to scramble. His backup plan? Moving Raw to the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Oh, and who were the Nuggets playing in the Western Conference Finals? The Los Angeles Lakers. On top of taking shots at the Nuggets and owner Stan Kroenke, his main event featured Team Nuggets (The Miz, Legacy and The Big Show, who were all conveniently heels) vs. Team Lakers (John Cena, Batista, MVP, Ken Kennedy and Jerry Lawler, who were, of course, faces).
9 Firing Jim Ross After The WWE 2K14 Panel, But Letting Ric Flair Get Away Without Punishment
If you grew up during wrestling's boom period - otherwise known as the Attitude Era - the voice of your childhood was Jim Ross. Unfortunately, after being at the helm of Raw's broadcast team for a decade, his role became diminished, as Michael Cole took over his duties on the A show. Despite this, Ross still had a prominent role backstage, while also doing different events for the WWE.
One of those events was the WWE 2K14 Video Game Panel, where current and former wrestlers got together in front of a crowd in a question and answer forum. One of the former wrestlers who was in attendance was the great Ric Flair. Unfortunately, Flair lost his son to a drug overdose just prior to the event. Clearly slurring his words, a drunk Flair spoke out of line and, to some people, ruin the event. Because Ross was the host, McMahon decided to fire him (despite having Ross call it a retirement), while doing nothing to Flair. Although Flair shouldn't have been there in the first place due to his son's death, he should have received some form of punishment.
8 Trying To Fine Stone Cold Steve Austin $650,000 After He Walked Out
There is no doubt that Stone Cold Steve Austin is one of the greatest stars in wrestling history. While his run on top lasted nearly four years, Vince McMahon was in the midst of a transition; and by 2002, Austin was phased out of some of the major storylines, instead used as a talent to get people over. However, Austin could only take it so far - and when he found out he was going to lose to rookie Brock Lesnar with no build up on Monday Night Raw, he walked out of the company.
Many could see where Austin was coming from. While Lesnar was a rookie, it was clear that the WWE had major plans for him. However, Austin believed that the two should have worked a program and build up to a pay per view match to earn more money, not to throw it away on free TV. When Austin did return in the beginning of 2003, McMahon wanted to fine him $650,000 for walking out. While that was a massive number, Austin said on his Stone Cold Podcast interview with McMahon that it was reduced to $250,000.
7 Burying Zack Ryder For Getting Himself Over
It's hard to be a WWE wrestler who doesn't get used. While you're a part of the biggest brand in the industry, you can't work elsewhere due to your binding contract. However, Zack Ryder took it upon himself to gain recognition. Using social media to his advantage, he became an avid user of Facebook and Twitter while starting the vastly popular "Z! True Long Island Story" on Youtube.
Because of the show's popularity, "We want Ryder" chants would ring out each night. Although Ryder received the United States title and a decent push at the end of 2011, a poor program with John Cena and Kane made him look like a loser. Many have speculated that because of Ryder's success without the WWE, he was buried by Vince McMahon. And while that hasn't been confirmed, it appears as though it's true.
6 Firing Alberto Del Rio For Defending Himself
When Alberto Del Rio first appeared on WWE television in 2010, Vince McMahon's plan was to make him an international star, someone who could attract the Mexican audience in a positive way. The technical wrestler did have a strong first run in the company, winning multiple world championships while also featured as a main event star. However, an incident backstage led to an end to his first run.
While eating in catering back in 2014, an employee who ran social media told Del Rio to throw out his plate because he was Mexican. This led to Del Rio slapping the employee in front of everyone in the back. Originally, everyone understood Del Rio's stance, and Triple H told him he would be suspended to cool off and brought back soon. That is, everyone but McMahon, who fired him due to "unprofessional conduct." However, the bridge was obviously mended, as Del Rio returned to the company in October.
5 Fining Batista $100,000 For Blading
As the world got into the latter portion of the 2000s, the WWE changed their business model. Long gone were the days of exuberant violence and action, as Vince McMahon instead instituted the PG Era, a product that could appeal to fans of all ages. In the midst of the change, Batista and Chris Jericho wrestled for the World Heavyweight Championship in a steel cage match on Raw.
Batista, who is known for his old school mindset, decided it was best to bleed, saying that it would add more to the match. However, blading was forbidden at that point, as McMahon saw it as too violent. Going against the rules, Batista forced himself to bleed, and when they finished the match, McMahon was irate. In a meeting a week later, McMahon fined Jericho, the referee and the agent $5,000 each, while fining Batista an eye popping $100,000 for the incident. Batista subsequently paid everyone's fines, and realized the business would never be the same.
4 Burying Almost Every WCW Wrestler After 2001
The famed Attitude Era would have never been what it wasn't if it wasn't for WCW being just as popular as the WWE. During the late 1990s, wrestling was being watched by over 10 million people each week, and the competition was compelling television. Because said competition was so serious, when Vince McMahon bought WCW in 2001, he did everything in his power to make them look like the minor leagues, despite the contrary.
Sure, someone like Booker T had a great WWE career. However, there were plenty of top WCW wrestlers who were buried when they made their way to the WWE. Former top stars like Diamond Dallas Page, Goldberg, Scott Steiner, Buff Bagwell, and a multitude of other stars of the rival company never had a chance to succeed in WWE. That list doesn't end there, however...
3 Failing To Make Sting Look Good
Sting was one of the main wrestlers that Vince McMahon was trying to bring over after he bought WCW. However, after seeing how McMahon used his former coworkers, Sting didn't want to make the jump until he felt comfortable. Instead, he took his talents to TNA, where he wrestled for over a decade before finally making his way to the WWE in November of 2014.
There's no doubt that the WWE made him look like a very big deal and portrayed him as the Hall of Famer he is. However, in his WrestleMania feud with Triple H, the focus was more on WWE beating WCW nearly 15 years ago, instead of Sting finally stepping into the WWE ring. While his WrestleMania match was certainly a spectacle, the antics of DX and the NWO combined with Sting's loss certainly put a damper on his WWE debut.
2 The Montreal Screwjob
Ah, probably the most famous incident in professional wrestling history, the Montreal Screwjob. No need to rehash the entire situation; Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart - the company's two biggest stars - hated each other, and their feud blurred the lines between script and real life. With WCW giving Hart a massive offer to jump ship, Vince McMahon gave him his blessing. However, Hart was the WWE Champion; and in his last match, he was supposed to drop the belt to Michaels - but refused.
What transpired next was McMahon ringing the bell early, screwing Hart and granting Michaels the championship. While it's understandable that McMahon was scared that Hart would bring the WWE Championship on WCW television, both sides should have been able to work out some sort of an agreement to iron on the whole mess of a situation.
1 Only Punishing Triple H After The MSG Curtain Call
Although the Curtain Call is the second most infamous incident in WWE history (behind the Montreal Screwjob, of course), it lands as number one on our list. The Kliq - Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Triple H and X-Pac - had the ear of Vince McMahon because of their love for the business. And despite the rest of the wrestlers not liking them, McMahon always listened to their ideas for storylines. When Nash and Hall received better offers from WCW, they asked McMahon for one more favor - if the group of friends could celebrate in the ring on their last night.
Despite Michaels, Nash, Hall and Triple H being heels and faces, they call came together at the end of the show for a group hug and celebrated in the ring. While McMahon originally gave his blessing, the heat he received from his coworkers made him dish out punishments. With Nash and Hall gone, they couldn't receive any type of punishment. Michaels, who was the company's top star, didn't get punished because of his status. That left the blame all on the shoulders of a young Triple H, who had all of his big plans scrapped, including a King of the Ring 1996 win. I guess it worked out for him in the end, anyway.
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