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Vince McMahon
Ring name(s) Vince McMahon
Mr. McMahon
Billed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Billed weight 248 lb (112 kg)
Born August 24, 1945 (1945-08-24) (age 64)[1]
Pinehurst, North Carolina[1]
Resides Greenwich, Connecticut
Billed from Greenwich, Connecticut
Debut 1969[2]

Vincent Kennedy "Vince" McMahon (born August 24, 1945)[1] is an American professional wrestling promoter, announcer, commentator, film producer and occasional professional wrestler. McMahon currently serves as the chairman and CEO of professional wrestling promotion World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and is the majority shareholder of the company.[3][4] After acquiring WCW and ECW, McMahon's WWE became the sole remaining major American professional wrestling promotion (prior to the national expansion of TNA and ROH).

As an on-camera character, he can appear on all WWE brands (though the majority of the time, he appears on Raw). McMahon plays a character known by the ring name Mr. McMahon, based on himself in the world of the WWE, and is a former WWE Champion as well as a former ECW World Champion. He was also the winner of the 1999 Royal Rumble.

Contents

Business career

World Wide Wrestling Federation (1971–1979)

McMahon first met the promoter for Capitol Wrestling Corporation, his father Vincent J. McMahon, at the age of 12. At that point, McMahon became interested in following his father's professional wrestling footsteps and often accompanied him on trips to Madison Square Garden. McMahon also wanted to be a wrestler but his father wouldn't let him, explaining that promoters did not appear on the show and should stay apart from their wrestlers.

In 1968, McMahon graduated from East Carolina University with a business degree and after a nondescript career as a traveling salesman, he was eager to assume a managerial role in his father’s World Wide Wrestling Federation promotion (although Vince Sr. was not thrilled with the idea of his son entering the business). In 1969, McMahon made his debut as an in-ring announcer, announcing matches of WWWF's All-Star Wrestling.[2] In 1971, he was assigned to a small territory in Maine, where he promoted his first card. He later became the play-by-play announcer for television matches after he replaced Ray Morgan in 1971, a role he would regularly maintain until November 1997.

Throughout the 1970s, McMahon became the prominent force in his father's company, and over the next decade, Vince assisted his father in tripling TV syndication. He pushed for the renaming of the company to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). The young McMahon was also behind the Muhammad Ali versus Antonio Inoki match of 1976. In 1979, Vince purchased the Cape Cod Coliseum, where he promoted hockey games and concerts in addition to pro wrestling, as he began to prove that he was capable of running the WWF after his father’s retirement. By 1980, McMahon had become chairman of the company,[4] and Titan Sports was incorporated; in 1982, a 37-year old McMahon led Titan’s acquisition of the Capitol Wrestling Co. from his ailing father (who died in May 1984), as he and his wife Linda McMahon took control of the World Wrestling Federation.

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (1982–present)

1980s wrestling boom

At the time of his purchase of the World Wrestling Federation, professional wrestling was a business run by regional offices. The various promoters shared an understanding that they would not invade each other’s territories, as this practice had gone on undeterred for decades. McMahon had a different vision of what the industry could become. In 1963, the WWWF split from the National Wrestling Alliance, which was the governing body for all the regional territories across the country and as far away as Japan.

He began expanding the company nationally by promoting in areas outside of the company's Northeast U.S. stomping grounds and by signing talent from other companies, such as the American Wrestling Association (AWA). In 1984, he recruited Hulk Hogan to be the WWF’s charismatic new megastar, and the two quickly drew the ire of industry peers as the promotion began traveling and broadcasting into rival territories. Nevertheless, McMahon (who still also fronted as the WWF’s squeaky clean babyface announcer) created The Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection by incorporating pop music stars into wrestling storylines. As a result, the WWF was able to expand its fanbase into a national mainstream audience as the promotion was featured heavily on MTV programming. On March 31, 1985, he promoted the first WrestleMania to be held at Madison Square Garden while airing on closed circuit TV throughout the U.S. WrestleMania was an undisputed success. As a result, the WWF thus stood head and shoulders above all its competition, and Hulk Hogan soon became a full-fledged pop-culture icon and child role model.

During the late 1980s, McMahon shaped the WWF into a unique sports entertainment brand that reached out to family audiences while attracting fans who had never before paid attention to pro wrestling. By directing his storylines towards highly-publicized supercards, McMahon initiated a brand-new revenue stream by promoting these events live on PPV television, a concept that would completely revolutionize event programming for all sports while catapulting the WWF into a multi-million dollar empire. In 1987, McMahon reportedly drew 93,173 fans to the Pontiac Silverdome (which was called the "biggest crowd in Sports entertainment history") for WrestleMania III, which featured the blockbuster main event of Hulk Hogan versus André the Giant.[5] The actual attendance number, however, is debatable.[6]

1990s Attitude Era

After several years struggling behind Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling (WCW), McMahon cemented his place as the industry’s preeminent promoter in the late 1990s, when he initiated an entirely new brand strategy that would eventually return the WWF to prominence. Sensing a public shift towards a more hardened and cynical fan base, McMahon redirected storylines towards a more adult-oriented model. The concept became known as WWF Attitude, and McMahon personally commenced the new era when he manipulated the WWF Championship away from Bret Hart at Survivor Series in what is now known as the "Montreal Screwjob."[7] From then on, McMahon, who for years had downplayed his ownership of the WWF and was thus better known as merely an affable announcer and foil to heel color commentators, immersed himself into WWF storylines as the evil “Mr. McMahon,” who later began a feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin, who challenged the boss’ authority. As a result, the WWF suddenly found itself back in the midst of national pop-culture, drawing millions of viewers for its weekly Monday Night Raw broadcasts, which ranked among the highest-rated shows on cable television.[5]

Other business dealings

In the early 1980s, McMahon briefly promoted ice hockey in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts. His Cape Cod Buccaneers played at the Cape Cod Coliseum and were founding members of the Atlantic Coast Hockey League, an AA circuit. Historically, the ACHL is considered a forgotten link between the rough and tumble loops of the 1970s like the NAHL, lampooned in the classic movie Slap Shot, and today's more credible East Coast Hockey League. When all prospective investors, including the NHL's Boston Bruins (who once used the Cape Cod Cubs as a farm team), either balked at the idea of placing a new franchise at a venue with a mediocre track record or simply could not pay the entrance fee, he had to step in to ensure the building (which he owned) would have a main tenant. Amid tensions with other owners, McMahon soon withdrew his support. He folded the franchise in early 1982, before the league's first season had even ended.[8]

In October 1999, McMahon led the WWF in an Initial public offering of company stock. On March 23, 2001, he purchased the fading WCW for a mere $5 million. Three days later, his “victory speech” was simulcast on both WWF Raw and WCW Nitro.

In 2000, McMahon again ventured outside the world of professional wrestling by launching the XFL. The league eventually began in February 2001 with McMahon making an appearance at the first game. The league, however, quickly folded after lack of publicity. In the summer of 2003, McMahon acquired Extreme Championship Wrestling in bankruptcy court, leaving McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation as the only major wrestling promotion left in North America.

In 2009, McMahon indicated interest in starting a brand new cable network.[9][10][11][12]

In 2010, McMahon announced plans to launch the brand new cable network by summer 2011.[13][14]

Professional wrestling

Mr. McMahon is the on-screen character of Vince McMahon, with the gimmick of being an often egotistical heel boss. The character was spawned from the real-life hatred many wrestling fans had for McMahon following the Montreal Screwjob, at the 1997 Survivor Series.[7]

Several other gimmicks have become integral parts of McMahon's on-camera persona, such as his throaty exclamation of "You're fired!", and his "power walk"—an over-exaggerated strut toward the ring, swinging his arms and bobbing his head from side to side in a cocky manner. This is usually accompanied by a comment from Jim Ross, such as "There's only one man I know that walks like that." The power walk is used to get a reaction out of the audience (especially when he's a heel), but it also provides comic relief as well. WWE Superstar John Cena had joked on the WWE Exposed special that aired before WWE Homecoming, that McMahon "somehow walks like he's got a broomstick shoved up in his ass". According to Jim Cornette, the power walk was inspired by one of Vince McMahon's favorite wrestlers as a child, Dr. Jerry Graham. The Fabulous Moolah, however, claims in her autobiography that "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers was the inspiration for the walk.[15]

McMahon has occasionally dropped his character performance upon real-life events affecting WWE, such as the death of Owen Hart at Over the Edge in 1999, the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the death of Chris Benoit.

United States Wrestling Association (1993)

While the Mr. McMahon character marked the first time that McMahon had been portrayed as a heel in WWF, in 1993, McMahon was engaged in a feud with Jerry Lawler as part of a cross-promotion between the World Wrestling Federation and the United States Wrestling Association. In Memphis, Tennessee (where the USWA was produced), Lawler was seen as a major babyface character (as opposed to his WWF persona which was seen as a cowardly heel), whereas McMahon was seen as a smug heel (similar to the "Mr. McMahon" character) to the Memphis audience, hell-bent on dethroning Lawler as the "king of professional wrestling." As part of the angle, McMahon sent various WWF wrestlers to Memphis in order to achieve such a goal. This angle also proved to be the first time that McMahon would physically interject himself into matches, as he would occasionally trip Lawler or throw punches at him while seated at ringside. During the angle, McMahon was never directly acknowledged as the owner of the WWF (back in 1993, McMahon was only portrayed as the head announcer on television) and the feud between Lawler and McMahon was not acknowledged on WWF television, as the two continued to provide commentary together (along with Savage) for the television show Superstars. The feud between Lawler and McMahon would also help build towards Lawler's match against Hart at SummerSlam in 1993.[16] The peak of the angle came with Tatanka defeating Lawler to win the Unified World Championship with McMahon gloating at Lawler while wearing the championship belt.[17] This storyline came to an abrupt end when Lawler was accused of raping a young girl in Memphis, and he was dropped from the WWF. He returned shortly afterward, however, as the girl later stated that the rape accusations were lies.[18]

Montreal Screwjob (1997)

At Survivor Series in 1997, Bret Hart defended his WWF Championship against long-time rival Shawn Michaels in the main event. McMahon, who was the owner of the WWF, previously opted to be a play-by-play announcer instead of acting as the owner on-screen. In the weeks heading into Survivor Series, McMahon had entered into a rivalry with the heel Hart. During the match, Michaels applied Hart's own signature submission maneuver The Sharpshooter on Hart. Hart refused to submit. McMahon, however, got up and ordered the referee to ring the bell thus screwing Hart out of the title and making Michaels the champion. This incident was subsequently dubbed the "Montreal Screwjob".[7]

Steve Austin vs Mr.McMahon (1998–1999)

In December 1997 the night after In Your House D-Generation X: In Your House on Raw is War. Vince McMahon talked about the behavior and Attitude of Stone Cold Steve Austin. Mr McMahon demanded that Stone Cold Steve Austin defend his intercontinental championship against the Rock in a rematch. As in the previous match Stone Cold used his pick up truck as a weapon against the Rock and the Nation of domination gang. Austin forfeited the title and gave the rock a stunner and knocked Vince Mcmahon off the ring ropes. After Raw went off the air Mr McMahon was furious at Austin and he got a steel chair and it looked like they were going to fight Austin but the referee's and WWF agents restrained both men. This was the begging of the Austin-Mcmahon rivalry. Several months later after he introduced Mike Tyson to the WWF Austin and Tyson got into a fight and it embarrassed Mr McMahon, when being asked by Kevin Kelly if he wanted Stone Cold Steve Austin a the WWF champion. He said it would be a public relation corporate nightmare. when asked again yes or no he replied "Its Not just a No Its a oh hell no and Austin thats the bottom line because Vince Mcmahon said so thank you very much." On the episode of Raw is War after Austin won the WWF Title at Wrestlemania 14, Vince McMahon presented him with a new title belt and warned Austin that he did not approve of his rebellious nature and that things could be done "the easy way or the hard way." Austin gave his answer in the form of another Stunner. This led to a segment a week later where Austin had pledged a few days prior in a meeting to "play ball" with McMahon, appearing in a suit and tie, with a beaming McMahon taking a picture of himself and his new corporate champion. The entire thing was a ruse by Austin who in the course of the segment proceeded to tear off the suit, tell McMahon it was the last time he would see Austin dressed like this, punch his boss in the "corporate grapefruits," and take another picture of the two of them while McMahon was doubled over in pain. In April 1998, it appeared Austin and McMahon were going to battle out their differences in an actual match, but the match was declared a no contest when Dude Love made an appearance. This led to a match between Love and Austin at Unforgiven. Where Mr McMahon would sit a ringside during the title match. Austin commented on this saying Vince Mcmamhon has only done that one other time and that was at Survivor Series. when someone else got screwed out of the title (a reference the Montreal screwjob). Dude Love won the match by disqualification when Ausitn hit McMahon with a chair. in a rematch at Over the Edge: In Your House for the WWF Championship. Austin managed to retain the title despite McMahon acting as the referee and his "Corporate Stooges" (Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson) as timekeeper and ring announcer, respectively.

Mr McMahon continued to do everything he could to ruin Austin, and he finally scored a big victory for his side at the 1998 King of the Ring tournament.[8] There, Austin lost the WWF Championship to Kane in a First Blood match.[8] Austin further infuriated McMahon by winning back the championship the next night on Raw.[8] Austin also emerged victorious against The Undertaker at SummerSlam. In response, McMahon set up a Triple Threat match at Breakdown: In Your House where he made the rule that the Undertaker and Kane were prohibited from attacking each other, At the event The Undertaker and Kane pinned Austin at the same time. McMahon decided to vacate the WWF Championship[8] and award it based on a match between the Undertaker and Kane ths promoted the Undertaker and Kane to break his leg after he fingered them both, in which Austin was the guest referee. Austin refused to count for either man and attacked both towards the end of the match. McMahon later fired him, although Austin got revenge by kidnapping McMahon and dragging him to the middle of the ring at "gunpoint," which ended up being a toy gun with a scroll that read "Bang! 3:16." Also the segment was very "embarrassing" to McMahon as it showed he was so scared that he urinated his pants. Stone Cold was later re-signed by Shane McMahon.

McMahon ordered the WWF Championship to be defended in a 14-man tournament named Deadly Games at Survivor Series in 1998. McMahon made sure that Mankind reached the finals because Mankind had visited McMahon in hospital after McMahon was sent to the hospital by the Undertaker and Kane.[19] He also awarded Mankind the WWF Hardcore Championship due to his status as a hardcore wrestling legend. During the main event, he was at the ringside during Mankind debated Steve Austin when Shane Mcmahon double crossed Austin in the semi finals tournament. In the final match with The Rock for the WWF Championship. Originally, McMahon was acting as he if he was helping out Mankind during the match. At one point, The Rock turned his attention over McMahon. McMahon turned on Mankind after a screwjob, however, as The Rock had caught Mankind in the Sharpshooter. Mankind had not submitted but McMahon ordered the referee to ring the bell, thus giving The Rock the WWF Championship. This was an homage to the "Montreal Screwjob" that occurred one year earlier.[19] McMahon referred to The Rock as the "Corporate Champion" thus forming the Corporation with his son Shane and The Rock.[20] At Rock Bottom: In Your House, Mankind defeated The Rock to win the WWF Championship after The Rock passed out to the Mandible claw. McMahon, however, screwed Mankind once again by reversing the decision and returning the belt to his chosen champion, The Rock.[21] McMahon went on to participate in a "Corporate Rumble" on the January 11, 1999 edition of Raw as an unscheduled participant, but he was eliminated by Chyna.

Vince McMahon in 2006.

McMahon restarted a long-running feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1999 when in December 1998 he made Austin face the Undertaker in a buried alive match with the Royal Rumble qualification on the line. Austin defeated the Undertaker with help from Kane. He had put up $100,000 to anyone who was able to eliminate Austin in the Royal Rumble match.[22] At Royal Rumble, with help from the Rock, McMahon won the match and earned a title match at WrestleMania XV against the WWF Champion The Rock. He turned down his spot, however, and WWF Commissioner Shawn Michaels awarded it to Austin.[23] Austin decided to put his title shot on the line against McMahon so he could get a chance to fight Vince at In Your House: St. Valentine's Day Massacre in a steel cage match. During the match, Big Show—a future member of the Corporation—interrupted, making his WWF debut. He threw Austin through the side of the cage thus giving him the victory.[20][24]

The Corporation started a feud with The Undertaker's new faction the "Ministry of Darkness," which led to a storyline introducing Vince McMahon's daughter Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie played an "innocent sweet girl" who was kidnapped by The Ministry twice. The first time she was kidnapped, she was found by Ken Shamrock on behalf of McMahon in a basement of the stadium. The second time she was kidnapped, The Undertaker attempted to marry her whilst she was forcefully tied to the Ministry's crucifix, but she was saved by Stone Cold Steve Austin. This angle saw a brief friendship develop between McMahon and Austin, cooling their long running feud.

A previously unknown character was developed as a result called the "Higher Power", invented by Shane McMahon and The Undertaker. Vince McMahon, however, was later revealed as the "Higher Power" on the June 7 edition of Raw, reigniting his feud with WWF Champion Austin. McMahon's son Shane merged the Corporation with Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness to form the Corporate Ministry. McMahon would become a member of the stable The Union which existed for a brief time, during May 1999. As a result of McMahon being the "Higher Power", Austin was given 50% shares of the WWF by Linda and Stephanie McMahon out of their kayfabe disgust at him.

At King of the Ring, Vince and Shane McMahon defeated Austin in a handicap ladder match to regain control of the WWF.[25] While CEO, Austin had scheduled a WWF Title match, to be shown on Raw after King Of The Ring. During the match, Austin defeated the Undertaker once again to become the WWF Champion. At Fully Loaded, Austin was again scheduled for a match against The Undertaker. If Austin lost, he would be banned from wrestling for the WWF Championship again; if he won, Vince McMahon would be banned from appearing on WWF TV. Austin defeated The Undertaker, and McMahon was banned from WWF TV.[26]

McMahon returned as a face in the fall of 1999 and won the WWF Championship in a match against Triple H, thanks to outside interference from Austin on the September 16 episode of SmackDown!. He vacated the title during the following Monday's Raw is War. Over the next few months McMahon and Triple H feuded, with the linchpin of the feud being Triple H's storyline marriage to Stephanie McMahon. The feud culminated at Armageddon in 1999; McMahon faced Triple H in a No Holds Barred match which McMahon lost. Afterward, Stephanie turned on him.[27]

McMahon-Helmsley Era (2000–2001)

McMahon returned to WWF television on the March 13, 2000 edition of Raw is War representing The Rock once again.[28] Two weeks later, McMahon and The Rock defeated Shane McMahon and The Big Show in a tag team match with help from special guest referee Mankind.[28] At WrestleMania 2000, Triple H defended the WWF Championship in a Fatal Four-Way Elimination match in which each competitor had a McMahon in his corner. Triple H had his wife Stephanie McMahon who was also the WWF Women's Champion in his corner, The Rock had Vince McMahon in his corner, Mick Foley had Linda McMahon in his corner, and Big Show had Shane in his corner. After Big Show and Foley were eliminated, Triple H and The Rock were left. Although Vince was in The Rock's corner, he turned on The Rock after hitting him with a chair, which helped Triple H win the match and retain his title.[29] This would officially begin the McMahon-Helmsley Era.

At King of the Ring, McMahon, Shane, and WWF Champion Triple H took on the Brothers of Destruction (Undertaker and Kane) and The Rock in a six-man tag team match for the WWF Championship. The stipulation of this match was that whoever made the scoring pinfall would become the WWF Champion. McMahon was pinned by The Rock which gave Rock the WWF Championship and his team, the victory.[30] On the December 18 edition of Raw, McMahon faced Kurt Angle in a non-title match which was fought to no contest when Mick Foley interfered and attacked both men. After the match, both men beat Foley and McMahon fired him.[28] McMahon and Stephanie then aligned together against Shane. At WrestleMania X-Seven, McMahon lost to Shane after Linda, who had been heavily sedated in the storyline, hit Vince with a low blow.[31] On the same night, McMahon formed an alliance with Stone Cold Steve Austin, helping him defeat The Rock to gain another WWF Championship. The two, along with Triple H, formed an alliance which saw Austin and Triple H hold all three major WWF titles (Austin's WWF Championship, the Intercontinental Championship which Triple H won, and the Tag Team Championship) at the same time. The alliance was short lived, due to an injury to Triple H and a business venture by McMahon.

The Invasion and brand extension (2001–2006)

McMahon purchased long-time rival promotion World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in March 2001 from AOL Time Warner and signed many wrestlers from the organization. This marked the beginning of the Invasion storyline, in which the former WCW wrestlers regularly fought matches against the WWF wrestlers. On the July 9, 2001 edition of Raw, some extremists as well as several former ECW wrestlers on the WWF roster, joined with the WCW wrestlers to form The Alliance. Stone Cold Steve Austin joined the Alliance, along with Shane and Stephanie McMahon. Vince McMahon would join Team WWF. At Survivor Series, Team WWF defeated Team Alliance in a Survivor Series elimination match to pick up the victory for WWF and end the Invasion storyline.[32]

Following the collapse of the WCW/ECW Alliance at Survivor Series in 2001, McMahon created the "Vince McMahon Kiss My Ass Club", also known as the "Mr. McMahon Kiss My Ass Club", which consisted of various WWE individuals being ordered to kiss his ass in the middle of the ring, usually with the threat of suspension or firing if they refused. The club was originally proclaimed closed by The Rock after McMahon was forced to kiss Rikishi's ass on an episode of SmackDown!;[33] however, the club segment has resurfaced several times over the years. The gimmick has also spawned its own Internet based cartoon entitled "Mr. McMahon's Kiss My Ass Club - The WWE's Most Valuable Asset." The cartoon series, produced by Animax Entertainment, debuted on WWE.com on November 22, 2006. The cartoon was later canceled as part of a settlement between WWE and Cartoon Network due to the show's similarities with Cartoon Network's show Assy McGee

The Undertaker, McMahon, Brock Lesnar, and Sable on SmackDown!

In November 2001, Ric Flair returned to WWF after an eight year hiatus declaring himself the co-owner of the WWF, which infuriated McMahon. The two faced each other at the January 2002 Royal Rumble in a Street Fight which Flair won.[34] Due to their status as co-owners, McMahon became the owner of SmackDown! while Flair became the owner of Raw. However, on the June 10, 2002 edition of Raw, McMahon defeated Flair to end the rivalry and become the sole owner of WWE.[35]

On the February 13, 2003 edition of SmackDown!, McMahon tried to derail the return of Hulk Hogan after a five-month hiatus but was knocked out by Hogan and received an Atomic Legdrop.[36] At No Way Out, McMahon interfered in Hogan's match with The Rock. Hogan had originally won the match as he hit The Rock with an Atomic Legdrop but the lights went out. When the lights came back on, McMahon came to the ringside to distract Hogan. Sylvain Grenier, the referee, gave The Rock a chair, which he then hit Hogan with. He ended the match with a Rock Bottom to defeat Hogan.[37] This led to McMahon facing Hogan in a match at WrestleMania XIX, which McMahon lost in a Street Fight.[38] McMahon then banned Hogan from the ring but Hogan returned under the gimmick of "Mr. America". McMahon tried to prove that Mr. America was Hogan under a mask but failed at these attempts. Hogan later quit WWE and at which point McMahon claimed that he had discovered Mr. America was Hulk Hogan and "fired" him.[39]

McMahon asked his daughter Stephanie to resign as SmackDown! General Manager on the October 2, 2003 edition of SmackDown!. Stephanie, however, refused to resign and this set up an "I Quit" match between the two.[40] At No Mercy, McMahon defeated Stephanie in an "I Quit" match when Linda threw in the towel.[41] Later that night, he helped Brock Lesnar retain the WWE Championship against The Undertaker in a Biker Chain match.[42] This started a rivalry between McMahon and Undertaker. At Survivor Series, McMahon defeated Undertaker in a Buried Alive match with help from Kane.[43]

McMahon began a feud with Eric Bischoff in late 2005, when he decided that Bischoff was not doing a good job as General Manager of Raw. He started "The Trial of Eric Bischoff" where McMahon served as the judge. Bischoff ended up losing the trial; McMahon "fired" him, and put him in a garbage truck before it drove away. Bischoff stayed gone for months. Almost a year later on Raw in late 2006, Bischoff was brought out by McMahon's executive assistant Jonathan Coachman so that he could announce the completion of his book Controversy Creates Cash. Bischoff began blasting remarks at McMahon, saying that he was fired "unceremoniously" as the Raw General Manager, that there would be no McMahon if not for Bischoff's over-the-top rebellious ideas, and that D-Generation X was nothing but a rip off of the New World Order.

Feuds with D-Generation X and Donald Trump (2005–2007)

McMahon as the ECW Champion in 2007

On the December 26, 2005 edition of Raw, Vince personally reviewed Bret Hart's DVD. Shawn Michaels came out and he also started talking about Hart. McMahon replied, "I screwed Bret Hart. Shawn, don't make me screw you".[7][44] At the 2006 Royal Rumble, when Michaels was among the final six remaining participants after eliminating Shelton Benjamin, McMahon's entrance theme music distracted Michaels, allowing Shane McMahon to eliminate him.[45] On the February 27, 2006 edition of Raw, Michaels was knocked unconscious by Shane. When Michaels' former Rockers tag team partner Marty Jannetty came to the rescue of Michaels, he was forced to join McMahon's "Kiss My Ass Club".[46] On the March 18 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, Michaels faced Shane in a Street Fight. McMahon screwed Michaels while Shane had Michaels in the Sharpshooter. Michaels had not submitted, but McMahon ordered the referee to ring the bell, giving Shane the victory (another Montreal Screwjob reference).[7][47] At WrestleMania 22, Vince McMahon faced Michaels in a No Holds Barred match. Despite interference from the Spirit Squad and Shane, McMahon was unable to beat Michaels.[48] At Backlash, Vince McMahon and his son Shane defeated Michaels and "God" (characterized by a spotlight) in a No Holds Barred match.[49]

On the May 15, 2006 edition of Raw, Triple H hit Shane with a sledgehammer meant for Michaels.[50] The next week on Raw, Triple H had another chance to hit Michaels with the object but he instead whacked the Spirit Squad.[51] For a few weeks, McMahon ignored Michaels and began a rivalry with Triple H by forcing him to join "Kiss My Ass Club" (Triple H hit McMahon with a Pedigree instead of joining the club) and pitting him in a gauntlet handicap match against the Spirit Squad.[52][53] Michaels, however, saved Triple H and the two reformed D-Generation X (DX). This led to a feud between the McMahons and DX, throughout the following summer.[54] At SummerSlam in 2006, the McMahons lost to DX in a tag team match despite interference by Umaga, Big Show, Finlay, Mr. Kennedy, and William Regal.[55] The McMahons also allied themselves with the ECW World Champion Big Show.[54] At Unforgiven, the McMahons teamed up with The Big Show in a Hell in a Cell match to take on DX. Despite their 3-on-2 advantage, the McMahons lost again to DX thus ending the rivalry.[56]

In January 2007, McMahon started a feud with Donald Trump, which was featured on major media outlets. Originally Trump wanted to fight McMahon himself but they came to a deal: both men would pick a representative who would fight at WrestleMania 23 in a Hair vs. Hair match. The man whose representative lost the match would have his head shaved bald. After the contract signing on Raw, Trump pushed McMahon over the table in the ring onto his head after McMahon provoked Trump with several finger pokes to the shoulders. Later at a press conference, McMahon, during a photo opportunity, offered a shake of hands with Trump but retracted his hand as Trump put out his. McMahon went on to fiddle with Trump's tie and flick Trump's nose. This angered Trump as he then slapped McMahon across the face. McMahon was then restrained from retaliating by Trump's bodyguards and Bobby Lashley, Trump's representative.[57] At WrestleMania 23, McMahon's representative (Umaga) lost the match.[58] As a result, McMahon's hair was shaved bald by Trump and Lashley with the help of Stone Cold Steve Austin, who was the special guest referee of the "Battle of the Billionaires" match.[58]

McMahon then began a rivalry with Lashley over his ECW Championship. At Backlash, McMahon pinned Lashley in a 3-on-1 handicap match teaming up with his son Shane and Umaga to win the ECW Championship.[59][60] At Judgment Day, McMahon defended his ECW Championship against Lashley again in a 3-on-1 handicap match. Lashley won the match as he pinned Shane after a Dominator but McMahon said that he was still the champion because Lashley could only be champion if he could beat him.[61] McMahon finally lost the ECW Championship to Lashley at One Night Stand in a Street Fight despite interference by Shane and Umaga.[62]

Numerous incidents (2007–2009)

On June 11, 2007, WWE aired a segment at the end of Raw that featured McMahon entering a limousine moments before it exploded. The show went off-air shortly after, and WWE.com reported the angle within minutes as though it were a legitimate occurrence, proclaiming that McMahon was "presumed dead".[63] Although this was the fate of the fictional "Mr. McMahon" character, no harm came to the actual person, the "presumed death" of McMahon was part of a storyline.[64] WWE later acknowledged to CNBC that he was not truly dead.[65]

The June 25, 2007 edition of Raw was scheduled to be a three-hour memorial to "Mr. McMahon". However, due to the actual death of Chris Benoit, the show opened with McMahon standing in an empty arena, acknowledging that his reported death was only of his character as part of a storyline.[66] This was followed by a tribute to Benoit that filled the three-hour timeslot.[67] His last appearance on WWE television until August 6, 2007 was the next night on ECW on Sci Fi in which after acknowledging that a tribute to Benoit had aired the previous night, he announced that there would be no further mention of Benoit due to the circumstances becoming apparent, and that the ECW show would be dedicated to those that had been affected by the Benoit murders. On the August 6 show, McMahon said that he faked his death to see what people really thought of him, with Stephanie accused of faking mourning while checking her father's last will and testament to see how it would benefit her.

The "Mr. McMahon" character officially returned on the August 6 episode of Monday Night Raw. He talked about many subjects, including an investigation by the United States Congress and owing money to the IRS. McMahon also declared a battle royal to determine a new Raw General Manager, which was won by William Regal. At the end of Raw, Jonathan Coachman informed McMahon of a (storyline) paternity suit regarding an illegitimate long-lost child,[68] who was revealed in the following weeks as being a male member of the WWE roster. On the September 3 episode of Raw, McMahon appeared and was confronted by his family. They were interrupted by Mr. Kennedy who claimed to be McMahon's "illegitimate son", but he was also interrupted by a lawyer claiming Kennedy was not McMahon's son and that the real son would be revealed the following week on Raw.[69] His illegitimate son was finally revealed on September 10 on Raw to be Hornswoggle.[70] In February 2008, after months of "tough love" antics towards Hornswoggle, John "Bradshaw" Layfield revealed that Hornswoggle was not McMahon's son and that he was actually Finlay's son. It turned out that the scam was thought up by Shane, Stephanie and Linda McMahon, along with Finlay.

McMahon, at the Hall of Fame, introducing Stone Cold Steve Austin.

On the June 2 episode of Raw, McMahon announced that starting the following week, he would give away $1,000,000 live on Raw. Fans were able to register online, and each week, randomly selected fans would receive a part of the $1,000,000. McMahon's Million Dollar Mania lasted just three weeks and was suspended after the 3-hour Draft episode of Raw on June 23. After giving away $500,000, explosions tore apart the Raw stage, which fell and collapsed on top of McMahon. On June 30, Shane addressed the WWE audience before Raw, informing the fans that his family had chosen to keep his father’s condition private. In addition, he also urged the WWE to stand together during what he described as a "turbulent time". The McMahons made several requests to the wrestlers for solidarity, before finally appointing Mike Adamle as the new general manager of Raw in order to restore order to the brand.

Return, feuds with Randy Orton and Bret Hart (2009–present)

On January 5, 2009, Chris Jericho speaking to Stephanie McMahon, announced that Vince would return to Raw.[71] The following week, Jericho was fired from WWE in a storyline. On January 19, 2009, Vince returned, as a face, and supported his daughter's decision on Jericho. Stephanie, however, rehired Jericho. Randy Orton then came out and claimed that Stephanie owed him an apology, but Vince stated that Orton owed him an apology. As Vince was about to fire Orton, Orton slapped, kicked, and punted Vince in the head, causing the return of Shane McMahon. On March 30, 2009, McMahon made a surprise return on Raw with his son, Shane, and the WWE Champion Triple H to confront Orton. The night following WrestleMania, McMahon appeared on Raw to announce Orton would not be receiving another championship opportunity at Backlash but would instead team with his fellow Legacy members to face Triple H, his son Shane, and himself (this was altered, by the Raw General Manager Vickie Guerrero, later in the night to become a 6-Man Tag Team WWE Championship contest). Orton challenged McMahon to a match that night, which saw Legacy assault him, with Orton also hitting the RKO. After being assisted by Triple H, Shane and a returning Batista, McMahon announced that Batista would replace him in the Backlash 6-Man Tag Team Match; at Backlash Orton pinned Triple H to become the WWE Champion. After Placing different celebrity guest hosts each week on Raw Vince would make his main appearances on SmackDown! thus placing Theodore Long in probation for his actions on Smackdown. On August 24, episode on Raw, Vince had a birthday bash which was later interrupted by The Legacy, and competed in a six-man tag team match with his long-time rival team DX, in which they won after the interference of John Cena. He continued to appear on Smackdown! making occasional matches and reminding Long that he is still on probation. On the November 16th edition of Raw he appeared on the show for the first time in 3 months which took place in Madison Square Garden to have an in ring segment with guest host Roddy Piper in which McMahon announced his "retirement" from in ring action.[72]

On the January 4, 2010 episode of RAW, McMahon confronted RAW special guest host Bret "The Hitman" Hart for the (televised) first time since the Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series 1997, with the intention of burying the hatchet from the above mentioned Montreal Screwjob. The two appeared to finally bury the hatchet, but after shaking hands, Vince kicked Hart in the groin and left the arena to a loud chorus of boos and the crowd chanting "You screwed Bret! You screwed Bret!".[72]

Personal life

McMahon was born on August 24, 1945 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. McMahon's father, Vincent J. McMahon, had left the family while McMahon was still a baby. McMahon did not meet his father until age 12. Vince spent the majority of his childhood living with his mother and a string of stepfathers.[73] In an interview with Playboy, McMahon claimed that one of his stepfathers, Leo Lupton, used to beat his mother and would attack him as well when he tried to protect her.[74] He said, "It is unfortunate that he died before I could kill him. I would have enjoyed that."[74] In his early life, McMahon also overcame dyslexia.[75][76]

McMahon married Linda McMahon on August 26, 1966 in New Bern, North Carolina. The two met in church when Linda was 13 and Vince was 16. At that time McMahon was known as Vince Lupton, using his stepfather's surname. They were introduced by Vince's mother, Vicky Lupton (now Vicky Askew). They have two children, Shane and Stephanie, both of whom have spent time in the WWF/E but onscreen and behind the scenes. Shane left the company as of January 1, 2010; while Stephanie continues to be active in a backstage role.

He has a $12 million penthouse in Manhattan; a $40 million mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut; and a $20 million vacation home in Boca Raton, Florida.[77] Forbes has noted McMahon's wealth at 1.1 billion dollars, backing up the WWE's claim he's a billionaire.[78][79]

McMahon has four grandchildren: Declan James and Kenyon Jesse McMahon, sons of Shane and his wife Marissa; and Aurora Rose and Murphy Claire Levesque, daughters of Stephanie and her husband Paul "Triple H" Levesque.[80]

Harassment

Rita Chatterton (ring name: "Rita Marie") was a former referee who is noted for her stint in the World Wrestling Federation in the 1980s. She is known for being the first ever female referee in the WWF, possibly in pro wrestling history.[81] Her times there, however, were shrouded in controversy, due to sexual harassment charges against owner McMahon. On April 3, 1992, Chatterton made an appearance on Geraldo Rivera's television show Now It Can Be Told alleging that on July 16, 1986 McMahon tried to force her to perform oral sex on him in his limousine and, after her rebuttal, subjected her to rape.[82] McMahon was not charged with any offense relating to the alleged incident, the criminal statute of limitations having passed.

On February 1, 2006, McMahon was accused of sexual harassment by a worker at a Boca Raton, Florida tanning bar.[83] The worker said that he "groped her and harassed her." At first, the charge appeared to be discredited because McMahon was in Miami for the 2006 Royal Rumble at the time. It was soon clarified that the alleged incident was reported to police on the day of the Rumble, but actually took place the day before.[84] On March 27, a Florida television station reported that no charges would be filed against McMahon as a result of the investigation.

Legal trial

In 1989, McMahon tested the movie producing waters by co-producing the Hulk Hogan vehicle No Holds Barred.

In 1993, he was indicted after a steroid controversy engulfed the promotion.[85] McMahon was put on trial in 1994, accused of distributing steroids to his wrestlers.[86] As a legal move, his wife Linda was made CEO of the WWF during the trial. He was acquitted of all charges though he admitted to taking steroids himself in the 1980s. The prosecution made Hulk Hogan its star witness, and his testimony in the trial severely damaged the two's friendship, even though Hogan's testimony defended McMahon.

Although he personally escaped jail time, the WWF’s public image took a hit as pro wrestling began a slow descent from its pop-culture perch.

Other media

In 2001, McMahon was interviewed by Playboy and performed an interview with his son Shane for the second issue of the magazine that year. In March 2006, (at age 60) McMahon was featured on the cover of Muscle & Fitness magazine. In the months after its publication, it could be seen in McMahon's office during backstage segments. A large version of the cover was used as a weapon during McMahon's match with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 22 and was defaced by D-Generation X upon their reunification during an episode of Raw.

On August 22, 2006, a two-disc DVD set showcasing McMahon's career was released. The DVD is simply titled McMahon. The box art symbolizes the blurred reality between Vince McMahon the person and Mr. McMahon the character. McMahon features a profiling of the Mr. McMahon character, such as the rivalries with wrestlers, on-screen firings, and antics. In addition, the DVD features the profiling of Vince's business life, such as acquiring WCW and ECW and the demise of the XFL. McMahon's top nine matches of his professional wrestling career are also included in McMahon.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

McMahon as ECW World Champion.
Vince McMahon receiving his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Notes

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  11. ^ WWE's Vince McMahon to Launch WWE Cable TV Network, Examiner.com, August 25, 2009
  12. ^ WWE's Vince McMahon Wants to Launch Cable Network, Los Angeles Times, August 24, 2009
  13. ^ Vince McMahon: WWE Television Network to Launch By 2011, Wrestling, Inc., February 11, 2010
  14. ^ Details on WWE Network Plans, Inside Pulse Wrestling, February 22, 2010
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References

  • Shaun Assael & Mike Mooneyham (2002). Sex, Lies and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation. Crown Publishers. ISBN 0609606905. 

External links








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