In the contemporary pro wrestling world, Vince McMahon and Triple H are the ultimate power brokers. McMahon remains the head of the company he brought to worldwide prominence, and the guy whom the buck still stops with in making decisions of any magnitude. Triple H is ascendant as the Vice President for Talent Relations and the lead decision maker for the NXT developmental brand. The general consensus is that when McMahon retires or passes away, he’ll hand the reins of the company off to his daughter Stephanie in terms of marketing and big business decisions, and off to Triple H when it comes to steering the creative direction of WWE.
For both McMahon and Hunter, there are skeletons in the closet. McMahon rose to prominence over 30 years ago and had to make some cut throat choices when it came to competition and managing his roster. Meanwhile, critics persistently view Triple H, above all else, as a calculating politician who aligned his independent with The Kliq and married into the McMahon family with a very conscious eye toward bettering his position on the roster and then shoring up an executive role.
Whether it’s a matter of their personal lives, their professional choices, or the talents they have advocated for (or against) there’s no shortage of rumors that connect to one or both of these men. This article takes a look at right rumors McMahon would like forgotten for good, and seven Triple H would like to sweep under the rug.
15 Vince Wants Hidden: The Undertaker Isn’t Retired Yet
In a surprising turn, The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns got the main event spot at WrestleMania 33 over any title match or that Seth Rollins-Triple H showdown. After Reigns scored the pin, the rationale became more clear. The Undertaker removed his signature garb and the consensus was that this move symbolizes he was retiring.
The Undertaker hasn’t been seen on WWE television since, at press time, despite rumors he’d make a surprise return for No Mercy, or now WrestleMania 34. By all accounts, The Phenom has a close relationship with Vince McMahon. Both as a friend and as a draw, you have to believe McMahon wants these rumors to go away. Either The Deadman really is done, or it would be a more compelling surprise for him to come back if no one saw it coming. The latest rumor has 'Taker set as John Cena's opponent for WrestleMania 34.
14 Triple H Wants Hidden: Triple H Is Trying To Become Stone Cold
Fans have taken note as of late of some shifts in Triple H’s look and behavior when he steps in the ring. Since WrestleMania 33 he has been less of a regular on screen character than an occasional visitor and all the more so a special attraction for international shows. A pattern has shaped up, though. Rather than working his slow, methodical heel style he has been more prone to hit the ring, hit a younger and less over star with a Pedigree and split. It happened with Xavier Woods in South America. It happened with The Singh Brothers in India. It happened with Jason Jordan on the Raw before Survivor Series.
Hit an Attitude Era finisher, often as not in a swerve? Sport a bald head and goatee? It all looks a lot like Hunter’s old rival Steve Austin, with the suggestion The Game is trying to capture a similar sense of being the cool legend to WWE fans.
13 Vince Wants Hidden: Roman Reigns Wasn’t Considered Ready At WrestleMania 31
It’s no secret at this point that Vince McMahon hand picked Roman Reigns to be the new face of WWE. Daniel Bryan went so far as to acknowledge in a visit to Edge and Christian’s podcast that McMahon asked for Bryan’s help in making Reigns the next John Cena.
WrestleMania 31 looked to be the Nig Dog’s coronation, as he challenged Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship in the main event. Reigns’s biggest push would get deferred, though, with Seth Rollins cashing in Money in the Bank to steal the title. We can believe that was the plan all along, or that WWE was trying to push Rollins or the electricity of the event rather than de-push Reigns. The fact that’s WWE is fixed on revisiting the Lesnsr-Reigns showdown three years later seems to support the uncomfortable (for McMahon) rumor that he wasn’t over as quickly as WWE wanted, and now needs a do-over.
12 Triple H Wants Hidden: Sami Zayn Has Backstage Heat
While he hasn’t been marketed as such, the way Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens have been, Sami Zayn is widely believed to be one of Triple H’s boys. He was an indie standout, hand selected by The Game for a starring role with NXT, and for a shot at main roster glory. As such, Hunter can’t be thrilled about allegations that Zayn has heat backstage.
The more substantiated part of the rumor is that Zayn is known to obsess and micromanage among his colleagues, which Kevin Owens has spoken to in interviews. The less proven, but more damning suggestion was about Zayn and Owens refusing to bump for New Day in aboost match brawl, bailing on the fight early and throwing plans for that episode of SmackDown off and calling into question Zayn’s willingness to take directives if he didn’t personally agree with.
11 Vince Wants Hidden: He Thinks Charlotte Flair Vs. Sasha Banks Failed
One of the more interesting, gradual reveals over the course of Chris Jericho’s podcast has been the fact that he’s grown pretty close with Vince McMahon, to the point at which the Chairman will share his personal views with Y2J. One nugget that Jericho dropped, as if it were common knowledge, was that McMahon viewed Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks’s Hell in a Cell main event match as a failure.
To be fair, few would rate that match as an all time classic. Just the same, most critics received it reasonably well, landing in at least three if not four star territory. According what Jericho communicated, McMahon felt a little pressured by those around him to try the women out in a main event spot, and now feels that it has been done, hasn’t worked and everyone can move on. Given how hard WWE has pushed its Women’s Revolution, McMahon surely wouldn’t want for this perception to go public.
10 Triple H Wants Hidden: Ken Shamrock Was Blackballed By The Game
Ken Shamrock was a red hot act for a brief period—a super credible MMA fighter who proved himself as a more than capable professional wrestler. Though he never won the WWE Championship, he was a solid upper mid card act in the early Attitude Era.
Shamrock would end up leaving to wrestle elsewhere and spend more time on his shoot fighting career. He has commented in recent interviews that he’s interested in returning to the WWE fold, and particularly a match with Brock Lesnar. He claims, however, that WWE won’t return his calls and has offered the explanation that Triple H was jealous of him from when they were both up and coming stars and Shamrock was booked to beat him.
Shamrock’s rationale is pretty spurious, given he is older and seems to overestimate how over he is with wrestling fans. Still, this rumor isn’t a good look for Triple H, his ego, or his approach to doing business.
9 Vince Wants Hidden: Jinder Mahal’s Championship Run Was A Play For Business In India
Fans don’t always agree without a Vince McMahon’s creative choices, but he has a pretty solid track record on the whole. One recent call that didn’t connect with much of anyone? Jinder Mahal as WWE champion for half of 2017.
Rumors abound that WWE only cast Mahal for this big push in an effort to appeal to a growing market of fans in India. This period was poorly received by critics, and failed to improve WWE’s business in India or much of anywhere else.
McMahon wouldn’t want for fans to view Mahal as a failure so much as a successful heel who ran his course. Moreover, he wouldn’t want for fans to think that booking was affected so overtly by Mahal’s ethnicity. Still, this rumor is pervasive and logical enough that it probably isn’t going anywhere.
8 Triple H Wants Hidden: Triple H Cheated On Chyna
It isn’t a secret that Triple H was romantically linked to Chyna, nor that his next partner was Stephanie McMahon, whom he wound up marrying. The fuzzier piece? How much—if any—time came between these two pairings.
While Triple H has never publicly copped to having cheated on the Ninth Wonder of the World, the timeline suggests it was probable, and Chyna hinted it was the case in interviews. This sequence of events doesn’t reflect very well on Triple H or his family. It takes what WWE had framed as a fairy tale romance and turns it into something more tawdry, if not scandalous.
As time goes on, WWE has largely written Chyna out of history. As Triple H himself has acknowledged, that’s largely due to her choices after wrestling, including substance abuse and shooting adult films. You have to wonder, though, if a piece of the issue is his own guilty conscience.
7 Vince Wants Hidden: Finn Balor Isn’t Over
Finn Balor had one of the most successful runs in NXT history, including a lengthy tenure as the developmental promotion’s top champion. He went on to a highly decorated inaugural run on the main roster that saw him go undefeated en route to becoming the first Universal Champion (pinning no lesser talent than Seth Rollins at no lesser show than SummerSlam). That run got cut short by injury, though, and Balor hasn’t reached that kind of momentum again.
According to rumor, The Demon King’s stagnation has a lot to do with Vince McMahon’s arbitrary sense that he just isn’t that over with the fans. The rumor has given way to Balor publicly joking about it on social media, using “over” puns.
This rumor paints McMahon in a poor light of at least being a bit arbitrary and perhaps even a little out of touch.
6 Triple H Wants Hidden: The Sibling Rivalry Between Shane And Stephanie Is Real
Rumors have abounded—particularly since Shane McMahon’s return to WWE in 2016–that his on screen rivalry with his sister Stephanie isn’t just kayfabe. Word is that he decided to leave WWE in the first place when he saw the writing on the wall that his sister and brother in law would be the heirs to their father’s wrestling empire rather than him. From there, the rumors suggest that Vince welcomed Shane back in part to encourage competition between the siblings to push each other further.
Triple H finds himself in an awkward spot in this family squabble. It’s particularly tricky that Shane didn’t exactly refute that he didn’t approve of The Game dating and then marrying his sister in WWE Network interview with Mick Foley. Surely, the King of Kings would rather the situation—to the extent it’s real—be resolved and that fans would forget about the whole thing.
5 Vince Wants Hidden: He’d Welcome Back CM Punk
CM Punk left WWE in pretty epic fashion. He walked out in the heat of WrestleMania season, personally insulting Triple H by not wanting a a ‘Mania match with him. From there he read WWE the riot act on a variety of levels in a tell all podcast interview with Colt Cabana.
Triple H seemed to have a lot of issues, personal and professional, with Punk. McMahon doesn’t seem to have been as hurt by Punk’s actions, though, and rumor has it that he went so far as to offer Punk the chance to come back. For as long as McMahon remains in power, it’s conceivable he’s mended fences with the Straight Edge Superstar, though he wouldn’t necessarily want for fans to know it. Triple H, on the contrary, is less likely to let water pass under the bridge.
4 Triple H Wants Hidden: Triple H Had An Affair With Christy Hemme
Christy Hemme won the 2004 WWE Diva Search, and went on to become a popular character for her day in the women’s division. She was an attractive woman who stood out for not matching the blond bombshells who were en vogue at the time. At the peak of her celebrity, she was not only booked in a one on one match with Trish Stratus for WrestleMania, but was featured in a Playboy spread.
For all of her notoriety and successes, Hemme was shunted down to developmental quite suddenly in late 2005, before being released altogether. There was little clear explanation to fans. The rumor mill offered up that she may have behaved inappropriately with Triple H—perhaps going so far as to have slept with him. Getting involved with Hunter would have been a high stakes proposition and, if it’s true, Hemme came out the worse for it. For Hemme’s part, she’s never offered explained her side, but did cryptically suggest that she stood by her morals and it led to her leaving the company. In either case, the whole situation suggests something shady about Triple H's dealings, and he’d rather we forget about it.
3 Vince Wants Hidden: Cesaro Doesn’t Have Charisma
Vince McMahon famously commented on his visit to Steve Austin’s podcast that the new generation of stars weren’t grabbing the brass ring. Cesaro was among a cluster of talents who openly took exception, and purportedly went so far as to campaign to have his tag team with Tyson Kidd work under the moniker The Brass Ring Club. The powers that be didn’t bite.
Cesaro has become something of an Internet darling, with a vocal segment of supporters suggesting The Swiss Superman ought to be a main eventer. A lot of his colleagues seem to agree and yet Cesaro is arguably peaking now as half of a regular Raw Tag Team Championship contending pair with Sheamus. Rumor has it that McMahon himself has held Cesaro back on the premise that he doesn’t have charisma and can’t connect with the fans. These claims seem pretty out of touch to a lot of folks. Whether they’re true or not, there’s little doubt McMahon doesn’t want people knowing if he doesn’t have faith in a currently signed talent.
2 Triple H Wants Hidden: Daniel Bryan Could Return To The Ring
The number one purveyor of the rumor that Daniel Bryan could wrestle again is none other than Bryan himself. He has claimed in repeated interviews that he retired less out of necessity than a misunderstanding of the nature of his head injuries, taking them to be far worse and less reparable than he has later discovered them to be. Bryan has reportedly been cleared to wrestle by a number of independent doctors, but has still not convinced WWE’s physicians.
Over the last year, WWE has seemed to tease Bryan’s return to action, first in a war of words with The Miz, and more recently in butting heads with Shane McMahon and seeming to advocate for Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Despite what look like hints, WWE has publicly held fast that Bryan won’t be allowed to wrestle again.
Triple H was a key figure in trying to protect Bryan from himself in the past. If WWE really won’t ever let him back in the ring, Hunter surely wants these rumors quieted to head off false hope. On the flip side, if recent months have been an elaborate work and Bryan will be back, you can bet The Game wants to protect the surprise.
1 Vince Wants Hidden: The Macho Man Deflowered Stephanie
Despite having no real substantiation, one of the most persistent major rumors in the world of pro wrestling is that The Macho Man Randy Savage slept with a teenage Stephanie McMahon.
The story goes that this indiscretion destroyed relations between Savage and Stephanie’s father Vince. That not only meant Savage defecting to WCW, but Vince refusing to welcome Savage back into the WWE fold after the company bought out WCW and gave plenty of comparable (and lesser) talents opportunities.
Most indications suggest the beef was actually about Vince putting The Macho Man out to pasture in favor of a youth movement, when Savage still wanted to be in the ring. Still, the rumor suggests at least an annoyingly persistent myth, and at worst a dark family secret that intersected with Vince’s business.