Posted By admin on January 31, 2009
History and Biography of Vince McMahon
Vince McMahon, Jr.
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
248 lb (112 kg)
August 24, 1945 (1945-08-24) (age 63)
Vince McMahon started out in poverty and rose to become a billionaire.
Vince McMahon was born in Pinehurst, North Carolina in 1945. As a young child Vince didn’t know his father and lived in a trailer with his mother. He says he was beaten and sexually abused by one of his five stepfathers. When he was 12 years old he finally met his real father and they had an instant bond.
Vince’s father, Vincent James McMahon was a wrestling promoter who ran the Capitol Wrestling Federation. He was a moderately successful man who loved the wrestling business. Vince had wanted to go into the sport in some way, but his father wanted him to become a lawyer or accountant and live better than he did. So Vince was sent to military school. Even then he was against authority, as he was the first cadet in the history of the school to be court marshaled.
When he left school he fell in love with Linda Edwards. They soon married while Vince was unemployed. Vince was ready for his first shot in the wrestling business. After firing an announcer before a show, Vince Sr. needed a replacement. Vince Jr. stepped in and had his first job as an announcer. He knew from that point on that wrestling was what he wanted to do.
Picking up tips from his father as he went along, Vince quickly learned what it took to be successful as a wrestling promoter. He and his father created the WWWF (World Wide Wrestling Federation) and became one of the top organizations in the US. In 1982, Vince Sr. decided to retire and sold the business to his son. Changing the name to the WWF, Vince started an empire. He created stars such as Hulk Hogan and Randy “Macho Man” Savage.
Vince made up his mind to do something that nobody else had done. He risked the entire company with wrestling’s biggest event ever, Wrestlemania. Since Pay-Per-View wasn’t around in 1985 so this super event was shown on closed circuit television. Vince had spent his entire fortune renting out over 100 arenas. The idea was crazy, to have people pay to enter an arena and watch wrestling on a giant screen. But it worked and Wrestlemania made Vince McMahon a millionaire.
Wrestling gained popularity throughout the 80’s. Wrestlemainia became an annual event and at Wrestlemania III, having over 93,000 people jam the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan set a new indoor attendance record. Vince formed Titan Sports, the new parent company of the WWF. He also celebrated the birth of 3 healthy children. Everything was going great for Vince and the World Wrestling Federation, until 1992.
A doctor had admitted to a federal jury that he had supplied wrestlers with steroids. Vince was brought to trial and testifies that he had used steroids when they were legal and had never distributed or promoted the use of steroids to his wrestlers. With the support of several wrestlers, Vince was cleared of all charges. The trial was over, but it took Vince away from wrestling for two years. When he returned, he found his company in financial trouble and a new monster organization was dominating, WCW.
The Ted Turner owned WCW had quickly gained the top talent by spending insane prices to acquire them. It had worked though, and WCW had become the leading wrestling organization by the mid-90’s. This period is sometimes referred to as the dark ages for the WWF. The matches and storylines were getting stale and every huge new star WWF got, WCW convinced them to jump ship. There was only one way to get out of this slump, and that was to change the rules.
How could Vince change the rules of wrestling? I don’t mean the rules of matches; I mean the rules of the business. Well he let wrestlers do more than they ever could before. During the 80’s, wrestling was geared toward children and family. That meant no cussing and no sex appeal. Well Vince started to use cuss words, sex appeal, and anything else he could come up with to bring the WWF on top. While they lost a lot of their fanbase, they found a whole new market. Instead of kids watching the shows, the WWF’s viewers changed into males between the age of 13-25. This was a much larger market, and the new WWF fit their tastes perfectly.
With starts such as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Triple H, and The Rock, Vince brought the WWF back to the top, and better than ever. One reason may be that Vince put himself in the ring. For years we had known Vince as just an announcer, but it was told that he was the owner of the WWF. He started an angle with Steve Austin where the no-nonsense toughguy fought the rich boss; This turned out to be one of the most profitable feuds in wrestling history.
In 2001, McMahon was interviewed by Playboy magazine alongside his son, Shane McMahon. More recently, in March of 2006, sixty-year-old McMahon was featured on the cover of Muscle & Fitness magazine.
Today, the WWE empire, which McMahon has steadily built, continues to flourish, and McMahon’s worth is estimated at a staggering $1.7 billion dollars.
Vincent Kennedy McMahon (born August 24, 1945 in Pinehurst, North Carolina) is an American Billionaire wrestling promoter, professional wrestler, on-screen personality, and former play-by-play announcer. He is the Chairman of the Board, Co-Founder and majority shareholder of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE).
Vincent Kennedy McMahon was born in Pinehurst, North Carolina. He attended Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, Virginia, where he became the first cadet in the school’s history to be court-martialed. He was not convicted, however. He graduated from East Carolina University in 1968 with a degree in Business Administration/Marketing. He had married Linda Edwards (also an ECU graduate) in his junior year in 1966. His son Shane Brandon McMahon was born in 1970.
Vince was raised as Vinnie Lupton. His mother Victoria ‘Vicki’ Lupton remarried after her first marriage to famed wrestling promoter Vincent James McMahon failed during World War II. Vince also has a slightly older half-brother Rodney McMahon, who is understood to work in the steel industry in Texas.
Vince didn’t meet his biological father Vincent J. McMahon until he was twelve. Living in a trailer park in Havelock, North Carolina, he had only known a string of abusive stepfathers until his mother revealed that his father was Vincent J. McMahon. McMahon’s company the WWWF (World Wide Wrestling Federation) and its parent company the Capitol Wrestling Corporation had dominated pro wrestling in the northeastern United States during the mid-twentieth century when the wrestling industry was divided into strictly regional enterprises.
Father and son quickly bonded. The elder McMahon was willing to give his son, then a struggling traveling salesman, a shot in Bangor, Maine. In 1971, he promoted his first wrestling card there. In 1972, in addition to promoting, McMahon provided play-by-play TV commentary for the WWWF, but promotion was his real interest.
Throughout the 1970s, McMahon became a prominent force in his father’s company, and pushing for the renaming of the company to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). The young McMahon was also behind the famous Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki match of 1976, the year that his daughter Stephanie was born. In 1979, the WWWF became the WWF, and Vincent K. purchased the Cape Cod Coliseum, which held both hockey and wrestling events. In 1980, he incorporated Titan Sports, Inc., which would purchase the Capitol Wrestling Corporation from his father in 1982.
Against his father’s expressed wishes, McMahon began a national expansion process that would fundamentally change the business. By 1983, Vince had full control and ownership of the WWF and its future direction, having bought out all of his father’s former partners, including the legendary Gorilla Monsoon. As part of the deal, Vince promised Monsoon lifetime employment, and Monsoon did in fact remain affiliated with the WWF until his death. Vince’s father died in 1984, leaving his son behind to carry on his pro wrestling legacy. The first thing that he did as full owner of the WWF was to break away from the National Wrestling Alliance, as his vision of a new, national wrestling promotion was incompatible with their old-school promoting philosophy.
In Rocky III, Hulk Hogan began to expand on his new-found celebrity and returned to Vince McMahon’s all-new WWF. Hogan won the WWF Championship on January 23, 1984—just weeks after his return—and McMahon helped engineer Hogan’s immersion into the mainstream entertainment media, in which Hogan was portrayed as the ultimate all-American good guy. McMahon did not stop there, however, inviting rock and pop stars such as Alice Cooper and Cyndi Lauper to participate in WWF storylines in what would come to be called the “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection.” The popularity of the WWF increased exponentially as MTV often featured wrestling in its programming to follow the exploits of music stars and other celebrities in the wrestling world. McMahon called the incorporation of pro wrestling among other types of entertainment such as music and movies Sports Entertainment. With Hulk Hogan as the performer and McMahon as the promoter, the two worked to take the pro wrestling business to places that no one ever deemed imaginable.
Around the same time, McMahon publicly admitted the secret behind kayfabe in pro wrestling: that its outcomes were predetermined, moves planned and rehearsed, and that wrestlers played character roles much like Hollywood actors do. While general knowledge to most wrestling fans, this admission broke the final taboo of the old ways of wrestling and earned McMahon much ire among old-school fans, wrestlers, and promoters, who were already incensed at McMahon for his invasion into long-held NWA territories. Then-NWA Champion Harley Race was very vocal of his frustrations toward McMahon and the WWF; when promoting a show in his hometown of Kansas City, Race supposedly attempted to burn down a WWF ring. Interestingly, Race jumped ship to the WWF just two years later and became “King” Harley Race.
The culmination of the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection was the first-ever WrestleMania event at Madison Square Garden in New York City. McMahon promoted the event across the country on closed-circuit TV (Pay-per-view technology was not yet sufficiently developed.), pouring all of his and his company’s resources into what was widely seen in the business as a long shot The investment paid off, and the inaugural WrestleMania was a resounding financial success. The show became an annual event, held every March or April. McMahon followed the success of the event by launching a series of other yearly pay-per-view events including Survivor Series, held roughly every Thanksgiving, SummerSlam in 1988 and the Royal Rumble in 1989.
McMahon ventured outside of wrestling by founding a bodybuilding company called the World Bodybuilding Federation (WBF). At roughly the same time, some die-hard NWA territories run by Jim Crockett, Jr., badly bruised by McMahon’s tactics of attempting to undermine Crockett’s shows by threatening PPV carriers of withholding his WrestleMania if they showed Crockett’s shows and placing his shows directly opposite of Crockett’s (a tactic that Ted Turner and Eric Bischoff would later employ on McMahon), as well as WWF’s garish comic book heroes, sold up to Ted Turner, thus creating World Championship Wrestling (WCW). WCW never really troubled the WWF at this juncture when it came to TV ratings or attendances.
However, around 1992, things began to change. The WBF went out of business as alleged steroid abuse among both McMahon’s wrestlers and bodybuilders came under scrutiny. By 1994, things were slowly turning in WCW’s favor, especially when they signed Hulk Hogan.
McMahon was put on trial in 1994, accused of distributing steroids to his wrestlers. As a legal move, his wife Linda was made CEO of the WWF during the trial. He was acquitted of all charges but later admitted to taking steroids himself in the ’80s. 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. After Hogan’s testimony, McMahon would go before the media declaring that he wished that Hogan had not lied about him on the witness stand. McMahon’s rationale for stating such a comment was later revealed to be his attempt at vilifying Hogan before he entered WCW. Despite not being convicted, McMahon and the WWF took a major public relations hit. The WWF’s popularity sharply declined from that point, mainly in part to even more poor ideas and matches being served up in Vince’s enforced absence.
In 1997, the WWF and its flagship show on the USA Network Monday Night RAW were consistently losing the ratings war with WCW and its new show WCW Monday Nitro, which premiered in September 1995. Despite the fans loud yearning for less over-the-top gimmicks like The Patriot and Doink the Clown, McMahon resisted, and the WWF’s product quality continued to sink. WWF fans now witnessed McMahon – who to many was known more for being an enthusiastic face announcer rather than the WWF owner, although despite being lesser known as owner of the WWF, no secret was made of it – “screw” Bret Hart out of the WWF Title “for real.” This also made Vince turn heel for the very first time. After the 1997 Survivor Series and his participation in the Montreal Screwjob, McMahon inserted himself into the WWF show as the hot tempered, unfair evil owner character “Mr. McMahon”, who conspired and meddled in the affairs of other fan favorite wrestlers. He eventually led various heel stars in the Corporation stable, which complemented the Austin vs. McMahon feud that saw popular beer-guzzling anti-hero Stone Cold Steve Austin challenge McMahon’s authority every week on RAW and business really picked up again. In the spring of 1998, the WWF solidified itself as the wrestling ratings king and never looked back. As both a face and a heel, the Mr. McMahon character would play a prominent on camera role, feuding with top stars such as The Undertaker, The Rock and Triple H. One storyline even involved him becoming WWE Champion. Storylines would also involve the character feuding with members of his own immediate family - Stephanie, Shane and Linda.
The new millennium and the birth of WWE
In 1999, McMahon took the WWF public; the McMahon family retained the vast majority of voting shares, however. Forbes placed his net worth at $1.7 billion.
In 2001, his company created a joint venture with NBC for a new professional football league called the XFL. The league folded after one season and is widely regarded as a colossal failure. He and NBC lost over 30 million dollars that year. Also in 2001, the North American wrestling landscape changed forever when the WWF purchased the assets of its long-ailing rival, WCW. AOL Time Warner, then WCW’s parent company, was looking to cut costs dramatically in the wake of its merger. McMahon eventually purchased the rights to ECW’s video library and trademarks. With these purchases, WWE became virtually the only pro wrestling organization in North America. McMahon ruled North American wrestling virtually unchallenged until 2002, when veteran wrestling promoter Jerry Jarrett and his son, former WWF and WCW star Jeff, created Total Nonstop Action (TNA).
In May 2002 (as noted by the interchangeable usage of different acronyms for the company in this article), McMahon changed the WWF’s name to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in the midst of an ongoing lawsuit with the World Wildlife Fund over the use of and trading using the WWF initials. Eventually McMahon hired his heated rival, former WCW President Eric Bischoff to play an on-camera, kayfabe role as RAW general manager, effectively signaling the end of the WCW/WWF rivalry.
After feuds with Ric Flair, a returning Hulk Hogan and the Undertaker, McMahon’s on-camera character would become less prominent for two years. However, the character resumed a more regular role after WWE Homecoming. This time he allied himself with Shane, Linda and Stephanie McMahon. His on-camera persona resumed a feud with Steve Austin. Shortly after, he started a feud with Shawn Michaels and eventually Triple H, which led to the return of D-Generation X. During this feud he claimed that Michaels was saved from destruction at WrestleMania 22 by God and formed his own religion (McMahonism). His on-camera storylines involved him firing Jim Ross and on-camera RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff. Mr. McMahon began serving as the interim General Manager of RAW, although he gave the primary duties to “Executive Assistant” Jonathan Coachman.
The “Mr. McMahon” character has several gimmicks that have become integral parts of McMahon’s on-camera persona. The crowd has responded to him in chants such as “ASSHOLE”. Some fans bow showing their honorable respect for Vince McMahon and what he has made the company of what it is today.
The Power Walk
When Vince walks down the ring, he usually performs a certain “strut” in which is called by WWE Commentator Jim Ross as The Power Walk. This is practically an overexaggerated strut that Vince performs while walking down the ring while swinging his arms- and this is usually aided with comments by Jim Ross such as “There’s only one man that walks like that”, or “The Power Walk means bad news for somebody”. The Power Walk is used to get a reaction out of the crowd (especially when he’s a heel) but it also provides comic relief for fans as well. WWE Superstar Mick Foley had joked on the “Raw Exposed” special that aired before WWE Homecoming, that Vince “somehow walks like he’s got a broomstick shoved up in his ass”.
In wrestling storylines, one of McMahon’s more notable gimmicks is his ability to terminate whomever he feels from either a position or the company. When “firing” an employee, McMahon’s mannerism is usually an over-the-top utterance of “YOU’RE FIRED!” This is a list of those whom he has “fired.”
* Kane (Kane was quickly rehired for that one night.)
* Mick Foley (as Commissioner, twice, then fired again after joining the “Vince McMahon Kiss My Ass Club”. Used Melina for this firing.)
* Paul Heyman (as an announcer for Raw)
* Hulk Hogan (after it was proven that Hogan was indeed “Mr. America”, coinciding with the end of his contract at that time)
* Kurt Angle (as SmackDown! General Manager and forced back as wrestler)
* Eric Bischoff (Twice. The first time he was fired was around October of 2004, however, Vince McMahon later called on the “New General Manager” to make his way down to the ring. At first, a stunned crowd saw Jim “Good Ol’ J.R.” Ross walk down to the ring, however, he was trying to plead with McMahon to get his job back because he was fired unfairly by Bischoff. Moments later, an even more shocked (and then very annoyed) crowd witnessed Eric Bischoff walk down to the ring to reclaim his spot as G.M. the same night in which he had been fired earlier. The second time because was the RAW brand lost to SmackDown! at Survivor Series 2005 in a 5-on-5 tag team match, Bischoff also had pledged to beat SmackDown! G.M. Theodore R. Long and failed at that, as well. Part of the reason for his “firing” was also for failing to accomplish “his goals”.)
* Stone Cold Steve Austin (numerous times)
* Jeff Jarrett the night WCW and then WWF merged as one show.
* Jim Ross (blamed for being Stone Cold’s friend, representative of an off-screen decision to replace Ross, partially due to Ross having major colon surgery. Joey Styles replaced Ross as play-by-play commentator. However, Ross did commentary for Saturday Night’s Main Event, WrestleMania 22 and Backlash 2006 and has since returned to RAW due to the kayfabe “quitting” of Joey Styles.) Jim Ross is now back on the RAW announce team replacing Joey Styles who is working the ECW shows. He has also been “fired” repeatedly
* Shawn Michaels (as Commissioner, although Shawn notified Vince that he couldn’t be fired as per his contract)
* The Undertaker (though Linda McMahon signed him to a new contract just eight months later)
* Dude Love (for not being able to defeat Steve Austin at In Your House: Over the Edge in 1998. However, Mankind came back later in the night.)
* Every WWE fan - One night in the ring Vince claimed to hire every person watching, for the sole purpose of firing them a few seconds later
* Marty Jannetty (For failing to beat a wrestler of Vince’s choosing, therefore he couldn’t get his WWE contract)
Kiss My Ass Club
McMahon’s other trademark gimmick is the “Vince McMahon Kiss My Ass Club.” It refers to those people who have literally kissed Mr. McMahon’s backside, often involuntarily, in order to either get or keep a job, or secure future championship opportunities within the company.
It is a trademark gimmick that is popular with the fans, despite the character status (face or heel) Vince McMahon may be playing. It is mainly used for comic relief. However, some fans find this gimmick to be disrespectful to those involved, particularly to the long-time WWE alumni Jim Ross and Shawn Michaels.
William Regal was the first member of the club. WWE RAW announcer Jim Ross, the second member, was forced to join when McMahon spotted him laughing; the Undertaker seemed to come to Ross’ rescue, but made his last heel turn to date when he shoved “Good Ol’ JR’s” face into McMahon’s rear.
During McMahon’s feud with Shawn Michaels, the “Heartbreak Kid” was forced to join the club after being knocked out with a steel chair saving Marty Janetty from joining the club at the hands of Chris Masters. Shane McMahon shoved the unconscious Michaels’ face into his rear. The elder McMahon tried to force Michaels to kiss his ass a second time at WrestleMania 22, but this time, Michaels got the upper hand and it was Shane who suffered the indignity of kissing his unknowing father’s rear.
Mick Foley is the most recent inductee of the club, having voluntarily joined in order to save the job of WWE Diva Melina after Vince explained that it wasn’t Foley who would be fired if he didn’t kiss his posterior. Melina then gave Mick a low blow from behind, and the trio of Shane McMahon, Vince McMahon, and Melina fired Foley instead.
Several attempts to have others join the “Kiss My Ass Club” have failed, including Zach Gowen, Steve Austin, Trish Stratus, Marty Janetty, and most recently Triple H. Stratus was saved by The Rock, Gowen and Austin low-blowed McMahon, while Triple H gave him a Pedigree. In addition, Eric Bischoff was offered a chance to join the Kiss My Ass club in 2003, but when he refused, McMahon told Bischoff that he would be the first member of the “Vince McMahon Kick Your Ass Club” when he ordered Bischoff to face the returning “Stone Cold” Steve Austin at the 2003 WWE No Way Out PPV.
On February 1, 2006, McMahon was accused of sexual harassment by a worker at a Boca Raton tanning bar. The worker said that he “groped her and harassed her.” The charge was thought to have been discredited as McMahon was at the post-Royal Rumble company meeting in Miami during the alleged event. However, Dave Meltzer reported that confusion about the alleged day occurred due to a Florida newspaper reporting that the accuser had stated that the incident took place on Sunday when it in fact is reported to have taken place Saturday. Meltzer reported that “The confusion is because the alleged victim told police the story on Sunday, but apparently not that it happened on Sunday.” The Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that police reports say that the reported incident took place Saturday. On March 27, 2006, a Television station in Florida reported that no charges would be filed against Vince McMahon as a result of the investigation into allegations that he groped a tanning salon attendant.
McMahon has also come under fire for constantly placing himself into sexual angles with many WWE Divas, including Sable/Rena Mero and Trish Stratus.
McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment as a whole has been the center of controversy in the past, especially in the “Attitude Era” of what was the World Wrestling Federation. The sexual references and the ever popular and also controversial group of D-Generation X has been the center of this as well as Stone Cold Steve Austin for his trademark drinking of beer (sometimes the beer was labeled as “Steveweiser”) and gesturing his middle finger quite often. (Though the latter was initially not liked by McMahon himself, according to Austin on the A&E Biography featuring Austin.)
The new McMahon DVD features commentary from Stephanie where she says that she had to nix a potential incest angle. According to her, Vince to reveal himself as the father of her baby and when she said no, he pushed for Shane to be the father. Stephanie turned that idea down also. She also said no to Vince’s idea that her wedding to Triple H be aired live on PPV and that the only reason Vince ever hired Eric Bischoff was just to be able to say that his longtime nemesis once worked for him.
In 2001, Vince McMahon was interviewed by Playboy for the second issue of Playboy Magazine in the year.
In March 2006 (at age sixty) McMahon was featured on the cover of Muscle & Fitness magazine, displaying a well-chiseled physique. 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.
The McMahon DVD cover features a split image of McMahon in a business suit and in wrestling attire. On August 22, 2006, a two-disc DVD set showcasing McMahon’s career was released. The DVD is simply titled McMahon.
The DVD includes the following McMahon matches:
* vs. Steve Austin (RAW is WAR, April 13, 1998, Philadelphia, PA)
* vs. Steve Austin – Steel cage match (St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, February 14, 1999, Memphis, TN)
* with Shane McMahon vs. Steve Austin – Handicap ladder match (King of the Ring, June 27, 1999, Greensboro, NC)
* vs. Triple H – No Holds Barred match (Armageddon, December 12, 1999, Sunrise, FL)
* vs. Shane McMahon – Street Fight match (WrestleMania X-Seven, April 1, 2001, Houston, TX)
* vs. Ric Flair – Street Fight match (Royal Rumble, January 20, 2002, Atlanta, GA)
* vs. Hulk Hogan – Street Fight match (WrestleMania XIX, March 30, 2003, Seattle, WA)
* vs. Stephanie McMahon – “I Quit” match (No Mercy, October 19, 2003, Baltimore, MD)
* vs. The Undertaker – Buried Alive match (Survivor Series, November 16, 2003, Dallas, TX)
While much of the DVD paints McMahon in a good light (the chapter on the XFL gives the impression it was a daring idea not a massive failure), several segments did point out some of his drawbacks. Greg Gagne accuses Vince of destroying his father Verne and the AWA, almost everyone besides Vince talks of how horrible the Katie Vick angle was and many wrestlers discuss how stubborn Vince can be and how he refuses to listen to others.
Vince married Linda McMahon on August 6, 1966 in New Bern, North Carolina. The two met in church when Linda was 13 and Vince was 16. They were introduced by Vince’s mother, Vicky Askew. They have two children: Stephanie and Shane, both of whom work for WWE. A third child was falsely rumored, but the rumor stemmed from a picture featuring Shane, Vince, Stephanie, Linda and Marissa Mazzola-McMahon, Shane’s wife. He has a 12 million dollar penthouse in NYC, a 40 million dollar mansion in Greenwich, CT. and a 20 million dollar vacation home in Boca Raton, Fl, he is also the owner of the famous 30 million dollar WWE jet that was recently seen on RAW when Kayfabe story had Shawn Micheals and Triple H spray paint the Jet. He became a billionaire in 2000 and is still considered the most powerful man in sports entertainment.
Vince has two grandsons: Shane’s sons, Declan James McMahon and Kennedy Jesse McMahon, and one granddaughter, Aurora Rose Levesque, daughter to Stephanie and Paul Levesque, A.K.A Triple H.