The nature of working for WWE will see wrestlers having to struggle with working for Vince McMahon. History has shown that McMahon will be difficult to work with at some point given his nature of wanting things his way. Quite a few wrestlers have endured bitter falling outs with McMahon and WWE in general. Business makes it tough for both parties to end things on a strong level, so it only makes sense that these situations occur.
WWE has tried to always keep an open door for talents to return even when things end ugly. CM Punk is the most recent instance of a wrestler having a poor relationship with Vince and the company. There is still hope he’ll return one day given the track of record of WWE ending things right. We will look at ten former enemies of Vince McMahon that made peace with him and the company.
10 Eric Bischoff
Eric Bischoff was arguably the biggest enemy of Vince McMahon during the Monday Night Wars. WCW passed WWE in the pecking order for 83 weeks thanks the leadership of Bischoff. Many cutthroat moves like spoiling WWE results and throwing them their titles in the trash made things ugly between them.
Bischoff even challenged McMahon to a fight on WCW television at one point. WWE would eventually pass WCW and win the battle when Vince purchased the company. McMahon did not hold a grudge brought Bischoff into WWE as an on-air character. Bischoff has recently returned to WWE in a backstage capacity helping run Smackdown.
9 Kurt Angle
The departure of Kurt Angle from WWE in 2006 saw them having many issues towards the end. Angle’s addiction issues would see him butt heads with Vince McMahon before getting released. Various shoot interviews from Angle when he joined TNA would throw insults at McMahon, Triple H and the entire WWE.
Angle would regret those comments and issue apologies throughout the years. It became apparent that he wanted to make things right and end his career in WWE. Vince and Triple H would give him that closure by making peace and allowing Angle to retire in the WWE world that he considered home.
8 Mick Foley
The relationship between Vince McMahon and Mick Foley featured many ups and downs. Foley made McMahon believe in him by delivering incredible performances during the Attitude Era to become a huge star. Things would hit rock bottom between the two when Foley tried his hand at broadcasting.
Foley detested the experience of having McMahon yell and curse him out in his head set during the commentary of Smackdown. It led to Foley leaving WWE for a few years to have a run in TNA. Vince eventually made peace with Foley as he’s been back on WWE television many times since then.
7 Ultimate Warrior
Vince McMahon trusted Ultimate Warrior enough during his peak to have him defeat Hulk Hogan cleanly in the main event of WrestleMania 6. Warrior was the only wrestler of that era to beat Hogan without any outside interference.
This ended up being a regret of McMahon as Warrior could not thrive as the WWE Champion. Warrior and Vince had many issues following the flopped title reign that led to him being blacklisted. WWE even issued a DVD basically burying Warrior for two hours in the documentary. Warrior held a grudge for many years but made peace when McMahon and Triple H brought him back for the 2014 Hall of Fame.
The relationship between Goldberg and Vince McMahon is tremendous today with the recent returns of Goldberg for the company. However, the 2003-2004 run for Goldberg in WWE made him regret signing there a few years after WCW went out of business.
Vince’s vision for main eventers in WWE was that they all had to work longer matches due to the responsibility of being the talent people paid to see. Goldberg lost his luster with the longer matches preventing his destruction. There was a huge grudge there until Goldberg returned to WWE in 2016 which culminated in McMahon putting the Universal Championship on him.
5 Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon had one of the longest-running love/hate relationships in the wrestling industry. McMahon made a genius move picking Hogan as the face of WWE during his planned expansion to become a national mainstream form of entertainment.
Hogan’s star power would see him often demanding to win matches or get paid more than Vince wanted to. It led to multiple stints of Hogan leaving WWE. McMahon eventually would bring him back in 2014 until the racist tirade earned him a firing. The soft spot for Hogan would see Vince once again have him come back to the company in early 2019.
Batista represented everything Vince McMahon wanted from a wrestler which led to his huge push as a top star. The physique, intensity and personality of Batista allowed him to hold down a main event spot for many years.
McMahon would see a clash with Batista during his 2014 return to the company. Batista disliked the new PG element of WWE and the system of writers scripting every aspect of the show. It led to Batista trashing WWE in interviews, but peace was made when he returned in 2019 for his storybook ending against Triple H at WrestleMania 35.
3 Jeff Jarrett
One of the more fascinating instances of a wrestler burning a bridge with WWE came from a controversial Jeff Jarrett moment. Jarrett made the call to leave WWE for WCW in 1999 when his contract expired. WWE didn’t realize this as he was still holding the Intercontinental Championship.
Jarrett allegedly demanded extra money, or he was going to take the title to WCW. Vince McMahon agreed to pay Jarrett as he lost the title to Chyna. The last episode of Nitro would see McMahon get revenge by firing Jarrett during the telecast.
However, things would find a surprising ending when WWE reached out to Jarrett to return for the Hall of Fame and he now works as a producer.
2 Bruno Sammartino
Bruno Sammartino was one of the wrestlers to have a longer grudge with Vince McMahon for many years. The run of Sammartino as the face of the company took place under Vince’s father Vince McMahon Sr. and he didn’t like the changes when Vince Jr. took over.
Sammartino specifically went against WWE during the steroid trials in the early 90s and the inception of the Attitude Era. The sport of wrestling was important to Bruno and he viewed McMahon as the man killing it. Triple H was the one to convince him to come back and join the Hall of Fame. Sammartino made peace with Vince and appeared in WWE a few more times before passing away.
1 Bret Hart
The most controversial instance of a wrestler becoming an enemy of Vince McMahon featured Bret Hart’s departure during the Montreal Screwjob. McMahon went against his word with Hart and had the referee ring the bell for Bret to lose the WWE Championship to Shawn Michaels.
Things got heated enough for Hart to knock out McMahon with a punch backstage. They had issues for many years, but they eventually made peace when Bret returned to WWE. The relationship has been good since then as Hart is still a part of the WWE family making the occasional appearance.