|Born||Vincent Kennedy McMahon
August 24, 1945
Pinehurst, North Carolina, U.S.
|Other names||Mr. McMahon
Vincent K. McMahon
|Occupation||Majority owner, Chairman, and CEO of WWE, promoter, announcer, commentator, film producer, actor, professional wrestler|
|Net worth||$1.2 Billion (2015)|
CEO (1980–1993; 2009–present)
|Spouse(s)||Linda McMahon (m. 1966)|
|Parent(s)||Vince McMahon, Sr.
|Relatives||Roderick McMahon (grandfather)
Paul Levesque (son-in-law)
|Website||WWE Corporate Bio|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Mr. McMahon
|Billed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Billed weight||248 lb (112 kg)|
|Billed from||Greenwich, Connecticut|
Vincent Kennedy "Vince" McMahon (born August 24, 1945) is an American professional wrestling promoter, former commentator, announcer, film producer, actor, and retired professional wrestler. Since taking over the company from his father in the 1980s McMahon has always worked in the corporate area of the WWE as well as behind the scenes. He currently serves as the majority owner, chairman, and CEO of the professional wrestling promotion.
McMahon has also occasionally competed as a professional wrestler using a gimmick known by the ring name Mr. McMahon, based on his real life persona. He is a two-time world champion, having won the WWF Championship in 1999 and ECW World Championship in 2007, and is the 1999 Royal Rumble winner. He headlined multiple pay-per-view events from 1999 to 2000 and participated in the main event of WrestleMania 2000, as a cornerman for The Rock. In singles competition, McMahon holds victories over former WWF/E Champions Ric Flair, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Triple H. McMahon continues his backstage and on-screen roles as the main authority figure along with the rest of the McMahon family.
He is married to Linda McMahon, with whom he ran WWE from its establishment in 1980 until she resigned as the CEO in September 2009 and further eventually sold her shares to Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, selling most of her shares in 2011 and the latter between 2013–2014.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Business career
- 3 Professional wrestling career
- 3.1 Commentator (1971–1997)
- 3.2 United States Wrestling Association (1993)
- 3.3 Start of the Mr. McMahon character (1996–1997)
- 3.4 Feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin (1997–1999)
- 3.5 McMahon-Helmsley Era (2000–2001)
- 3.6 The Invasion and the Kiss My Ass Club (2001–2008)
- 3.7 WWE Brand Extension (2001–2005)
- 3.8 Feud with D-Generation X and Donald Trump (2005–2007)
- 3.9 Faked death, illegitimate son and Million Dollar Mania (2007–2009)
- 3.10 Feud with Randy Orton and Bret Hart (2009–2010)
- 3.11 Part-time television appearances (2011–2014)
- 3.12 The Authority (2015–2016)
- 4 Other media
- 5 Personal life
- 6 In wrestling
- 7 Championships and accomplishments
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
McMahon was born in Pinehurst, North Carolina. He was raised as Vinnie Lupton and spent the majority of his childhood living with his mother, Victoria 'Vicki' Lupton and a string of stepfathers. He claimed that one of his stepfathers, Leo Lupton, used to beat his mother and attacked McMahon when he tried to protect her. He said, "It is unfortunate that he died before I could kill him. I would have enjoyed that." His biological father Vincent James McMahon, had left the family while McMahon was still a baby, taking his elder son, Rod, with him. McMahon did not meet his biological father until age 12. According to an interview with Playboy, he attended Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, Virginia, graduating in 1964. In his early life, he also overcame dyslexia.
World Wide Wrestling Federation (1969–1979)
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 wanted to be a wrestler, but his father would not 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 the elder McMahon was not thrilled with the idea of his son entering the business). In 1969, McMahon made his debut as an in-ring announcer for the WWWF's All-Star Wrestling. In 1971, he was assigned to a small territory in Maine, where he promoted his first card. He later became the play-by-play commentator for television matches after he replaced Ray Morgan in 1971, a role he regularly maintained until November 1997.
Throughout the 1970s, McMahon became the prominent force in his father's company and, over the next decade, assisted his father in tripling TV syndication. He pushed for the renaming of the company to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). The younger McMahon was also behind the Muhammad Ali versus Antonio Inoki match of 1976. In 1979, the younger McMahon and his wife Linda founded their own company, Titan Sports, which was incorporated in the following year and in 1982 - when McMahon was aged 37 - acquired control of the Capitol Wrestling Co. from his ailing father (who died in May 1984).
World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment
1980s wrestling boom
On February 21, 1980, McMahon officially founded Titan Sports, and the company's headquarters were established in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts, using the now defunct Cape Cod Coliseum as a home base for the company. At the time of his purchase of the WWF, professional wrestling was a business run by regional promotions. 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 1983, the WWF split from the National Wrestling Alliance a second time, after initially splitting from them in 1963 before rejoining them in 1971. The NWA 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 ran the first WrestleMania at Madison Square Garden, available on closed circuit television in various markets throughout the U.S.
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 capitalized on a fledgling revenue stream by promoting these events live on PPV television. In 1987, the WWF 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 main event of Hulk Hogan versus André the Giant.
After struggling against Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling (WCW), McMahon cemented the WWF as the preeminent wrestling promotion in the late 1990s, when he initiated a 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 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." McMahon, who for years had downplayed his ownership of the company and was mostly known as an commentator, became involved in WWF storylines as the evil Mr. McMahon, who began a legendary feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin, who challenged the boss’s 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.
In October 1999, McMahon led the WWF in an initial public offering of company stock. McMahon acquired the fading WCW from Turner Broadcasting System on March 23, 2001, bringing an end to the Monday Night Wars. On April 1, 2001, Extreme Championship Wrestling filed for bankruptcy, leaving WWF as the last major wrestling promotion at that time.
Other business dealings
In 1979, Vince and Linda purchased the Cape Cod Coliseum and the Cape Cod Buccaneers of the Atlantic Coast Hockey League. In addition to pro wrestling and hockey, they began selling out rock concerts, including Van Halen and Rush, in non-summer months, traditionally considered unprofitable due to lack of tourists. This venture led the McMahons to join the International Association of Arena Managers, learning the details of the arena business and networking with other managers through IAAM conferences, which Linda later called a "great benefit" to WWE's success.
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 2010, McMahon announced plans to launch a brand new cable network by summer 2011. The concept was eventually modified from a conventional cable channel into an over-the-top streaming service known as WWE Network, which launched in February 2014.
Professional wrestling career
Prior to the evolution of the Mr. McMahon character, McMahon was primarily seen as an commentator on television, with his behind-the-scenes involvement generally kept off TV for kayfabe-based reasons. While he did publicly identify himself as the owner of the WWF outside of WWF programming, on TV his ownership of the WWF was considered an open secret through the mid-1990s. Jack Tunney was portrayed as the president of WWF instead of him.
McMahon made his commentary debut in 1971 when he replaced Ray Morgan after Morgan had a pay dispute with McMahon's father, Vince McMahon, Sr., shortly before a scheduled TV taping. The elder McMahon let Morgan walk instead of giving into his demands and needed a replacement on the spot, offering it to his son. For the younger McMahon, it was also somewhat as a compromise, as it allowed him to appear on television. McMahon wanted to be a wrestler but his father would not let him, explaining that promoters did not appear on the show and should stay apart from their wrestlers.
McMahon eventually became the regular play-by-play commentator and maintained that role until November 1997, portraying himself as easily excited and over-the-top. In addition to matches, McMahon also hosted other WWF shows, and introduced WWF programming to TBS on Black Saturday, upon the WWF's acquisition of Georgia Championship Wrestling and its lucrative Saturday night timeslot. (McMahon sold the timeslot to Jim Crockett Promotions after the move backfired on him; he eventually acquired JCP's successor company. World Championship Wrestling, from AOL Time Warner in 2001.) At the 1987 Slammy Awards, McMahon performed in a musical number and sang the song "Stand Back". The campy "Stand Back" video has since resurfaced several times over the years as a running gag between McMahon and any face wrestler he is feuding with at that particular time, and was included on the 2006 McMahon DVD.
As with most play-by-play commentators, McMahon was a babyface "voice of the fans", in contrast to the heel color commentator, usually Jesse Ventura, Bobby Heenan or Jerry Lawler. While most of McMahon's on-screen physicality took place during his "Mr. McMahon" character later in his career, he was twice involved in physical altercations on WWF television as a commentator; once on the September 28, 1991 episode of WWF Superstars of Wrestling, when Roddy Piper mistakenly hit him with a folding chair aimed at Ric Flair (requiring McMahon to be taken out of the arena on a stretcher), and again on the November 8, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw, when Randy Savage hurled him to the floor in an attempt to attack Crush after McMahon attempted to restrain him.
United States Wrestling Association (1993)
While the Mr. McMahon character marked the first time that McMahon had been portrayed as a villain in WWF, in 1993, McMahon was engaged in a feud with Jerry Lawler as part of a cross-promotion between the WWF and the United States Wrestling Association (USWA). As part of the angle, McMahon sent various WWF wrestlers to Memphis in order to dethrone Lawler as the "king of professional wrestling". This angle marked the first time that McMahon physically interjected himself into a match, as he occasionally tripped and punched at Lawler while seated ringside. During the angle, McMahon was not acknowledged as the owner of the WWF, and the feud was not acknowledged on WWF television, as the two continued to provide commentary together (along with Randy Savage) for the television show Superstars. The feud also helped build toward Lawler's match with Bret Hart at SummerSlam. The peak of the angle came with Tatanka defeating Lawler to win the USWA Championship with McMahon gloating at Lawler while wearing the championship belt. 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.
Start of the Mr. McMahon character (1996–1997)
Throughout late 1996 and into 1997, McMahon slowly began to be referred to as the owner on WWF television while remaining as the company's lead play-by-play commentator. On the September 23, 1996 Monday Night Raw, Jim Ross delivered a worked shoot promo during which he ran down McMahon, outing him as chairman and not just a commentator for the first time in WWF storylines. This was followed up on the October 23 Raw with Stone Cold Steve Austin referring to then-WWF President Gorilla Monsoon as "just a puppet" and that it was actually McMahon "pulling all the strings". The March 17, 1997 WWF Raw Is War is cited by some as the beginning of the Mr. McMahon character, as after Bret Hart lost to Sycho Sid in a steel cage match for the WWF Championship, Hart engaged in an expletive-laden rant against McMahon and WWF management. This rant followed Hart shoving McMahon to the ground when he attempted to conduct a post-match interview. McMahon, himself, returned to the commentary position and nearly cursed out Hart before being calmed down by Ross and Lawler.
McMahon largely remained an commentator after the Bret Hart incident on Raw. On September 22, 1997, on the first-ever Raw to be broadcast from Madison Square Garden, Bret's brother Owen Hart was giving a speech to the fans in attendance. During his speech, Stone Cold Steve Austin entered the ring with five NYPD officers following, and assaulted Hart. When it appeared Austin would fight the officers, McMahon ran into the ring to lecture him that he couldn't physically compete; at the time, Austin was recovering from a legit broken neck after Owen Hart botched a piledriver in his match against Austin at SummerSlam. After telling McMahon that he respects the fact that he and the WWF cared, Austin attacked McMahon with a Stone Cold Stunner, leaving McMahon in shock. Austin was then arrested on charges of trespassing, assault, and assaulting a police officer. This marked the beginning of the Austin-McMahon rivalry.
At Survivor Series in 1997, Bret Hart defended his WWF Championship against long-time rival Shawn Michaels in the main event. During the match, Michaels applied Hart's own signature submission maneuver The Sharpshooter on Hart. Though Hart didn't submit, McMahon ordered the referee to ring the bell, thus screwing Hart out of the title and making Michaels the champion and making McMahon turn heel for the first time on WWF television. This incident was subsequently dubbed the "Montreal Screwjob". Following the incident, McMahon left the commentary table for good (Jim Ross replaced McMahon as lead commentator) and the Mr. McMahon character began.
Feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin (1997–1999)
In December 1997 on Raw Is War, the night after D-Generation X: In Your House, McMahon talked about the behavior and attitude of Stone Cold Steve Austin, such as Austin having assaulted WWF Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter and commentator such as Jim Ross and McMahon himself. Mr. McMahon demanded that Austin defend his Intercontinental championship against The Rock in a rematch. As in the previous match, Austin used his pickup truck as a weapon against The Rock and the Nation of Domination gang. Austin decided to forfeit the title to The Rock, but instead Austin gave The Rock a Stone Cold Stunner and knocked McMahon off the ring ropes.
On the March 30 Raw Is War, the night after Austin won the WWF title at WrestleMania XIV, McMahon presented him with a new title belt and warned Austin that he did not approve of his rebellious nature. 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; off-screen, this marked the first time since June 10, 1996 that Raw beat WCW's Nitro in the ratings. This led to a title match between Love and Austin at Unforgiven, for which McMahon sat ringside. Love won the match by disqualification when Austin hit McMahon with a chair. In a title rematch at Over the Edge: In Your House, Austin retained, despite McMahon being the referee and his "Corporate Stooges", Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson, as timekeeper and ring announcer, respectively.
In the fall of 1998, McMahon said he was "damn sick and tired" of seeing Stone Cold Steve Austin as the WWF Champion and developed a "master plan" to remove the championship from Austin. By employing the services of The Undertaker and Kane, McMahon set up a triple threat match for the WWF championship at Breakdown: In Your House, in which Undertaker and Kane could only win by pinning Austin. At Breakdown, Austin lost the title after being pinned simultaneously by both Undertaker and Kane. However, no new champion was crowned. The following night on Raw Is War, McMahon attempted to announce a new WWF Champion. He held a presentation ceremony, and introduced The Undertaker and Kane. After saying that both deserved to be the WWF Champion, Austin drove a Zamboni into the arena, and attacked McMahon before police officers stopped him, and arrested him. Because The Undertaker and Kane both failed to defend McMahon from Austin, McMahon did not name a new champion, but instead made a match at Judgment Day between The Undertaker and Kane with Austin as the special referee. This prompted The Undertaker and Kane to attack Mr. McMahon, injuring his ankle because he gave them the finger behind their backs. At Judgement Day, there was still no champion crowned as Austin declared himself the winner after counting a double pinfall three count for both men. 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. He also awarded Mankind the WWF Hardcore Championship due to his status as a hardcore wrestling legend. Originally, McMahon was acting as he if he was helping out Mankind during the match. At one point, The Rock turned his attention to 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. McMahon referred to The Rock as the "Corporate Champion" thus forming the Corporation with his son Shane and The Rock. 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. McMahon participated in a "Corporate Rumble" on the January 11, 1999 Raw as an unscheduled participant, but was eliminated by Chyna.
McMahon restarted a long-running feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin 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. McMahon had put up $100,000 to anyone who could eliminate Austin from the Royal Rumble match. At Royal Rumble, thanks to help from the Corporation's attack on Austin in the women's bathroom during the match (Austin and McMahon went under the ropes, not over them as the Royal Rumble rules require for an elimination to occur along with the 'Shawn Michaels Rule', in which both feet must touch the floor after going over the top rope) and The Rock distracting Austin, McMahon lifted Austin over the top rope from behind, thus winning the match and earning a title shot at WrestleMania XV against the WWF Champion The Rock. He turned down his spot, however, and WWF Commissioner Shawn Michaels awarded it to Austin, which infuriated McMahon. 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.
The Corporation started a feud with The Undertaker's new faction the "Ministry of Darkness", which led to a storyline introducing McMahon's daughter Stephanie. 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 Steve Austin. This angle saw a brief friendship develop between McMahon and Austin, cooling their long running feud. McMahon became a member of the short-lived stable The Union, during May 1999. McMahon's son Shane merged the Corporation with Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness to form the Corporate Ministry. On the June 7 episode of Raw Is War, McMahon was revealed as the "Higher Power" behind the Corporate Ministry. This not only reignited McMahon's feud with WWF Champion Austin but also caused a kayfabe disgusted Linda and Stephanie McMahon to give their 50% share of the WWF to Austin.
At King of the Ring, Vince and Shane defeated Austin in a handicap ladder match to regain control of the WWF. While CEO, Austin had scheduled a WWF Championship match, to be shown on Raw Is War 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.
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 SmackDown!. He had decided to vacate the title during the following Monday's Raw Is War, because he was not allowed on WWF TV because of the stipulations of the Fully Loaded 1999 contract he signed. However, Stone Cold Steve Austin reinstated him in return for a WWF title shot. Over the next few months McManhon 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, revealing her true colors. McMahon, along with his son Shane, then disappeared from WWF television, unable to accept the union between Triple H and Stephanie. This left Triple H and Stephanie in complete control of the WWF.
McMahon-Helmsley Era (2000–2001)
McMahon returned to WWF television on the March 13, 2000 Raw Is War helping The Rock win his WWF title shot back from the Big Show. He also attacked Shane McMahon and Triple H. 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. 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, turning heel for the first time since his feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin, which helped Triple H win the match and retain his title. This began the McMahon-Helmsley Era.
At King of the Ring, McMahon, Shane, and WWF Champion Triple H took on The Brothers of Destruction (The 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. McMahon was then absent from WWF television until late 2000. On the December 4 episode of Raw Is War, McMahon questioned the motives of WWF Commissioner Mick Foley and expressed concern of the well being of the six superstars competing in the Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon. On the December 18 episode of Raw Is War, 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. McMahon then began a public extramarital affair with Trish Stratus, much to the disgust of his daughter, Stephanie. However, on the February 26 episode of Raw, McMahon and Stephanie humiliated Trish by dumping sewage on her, with McMahon adding that Stephanie will always be "daddy's little girl" and Trish was only "daddy's little toy". McMahon and Stephanie then aligned together against Shane, who'd returned and had enough of Vince's actions in recent months. At WrestleMania X-Seven, McMahon lost to Shane after Linda—who had been emotionally abused to the point of a nervous breakdown; the breakdown was caused after Vince demanded a divorce on the December 7 episode of SmackDown!; the breakdown left her helpless as she was deemed unable to continue being CEO of the WWF at the time, giving Vince 100% authority; finally, she was heavily sedated, in the storyline—hit Vince with a low blow. 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. Austin and Triple H put The Rock out of action with a brutal assault and suspension; this was done so The Rock could film The Scorpion King. Austin and Triple H held all three major WWF titles 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 the Kiss My Ass Club (2001–2008)
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 episode of Raw Is War, 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 led 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.
Following the collapse of The Alliance, 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 buttocks 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 buttocks on an episode of SmackDown!. 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.
Kiss My Ass Club members
|1||William Regal||November 19, 2001||Charlotte, North Carolina||Raw||Made Regal join to be rehired after he had previously joined The Alliance.|
|2||Jim Ross||November 26, 2001||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma||Raw||Was forced to join the club by The Undertaker after laughing at McMahon who Steve Austin just beat up after saving himself from membership.|
|3||Shawn Michaels||February 27, 2006||Charlotte, North Carolina||Raw||Was forced to join the club by Shane McMahon after Shane knocked him unconscious with a chair after Michaels saved Marty Jannetty from membership.|
|4||Shane McMahon||April 2, 2006||Rosemont, Illinois||WrestleMania 22||Was forced to join the club by Shawn Michaels after he over powered Shane who was trying to make Michaels rejoin the club.|
|5||Mick Foley||August 21, 2006||Bridgeport, Connecticut||Raw||Joined the club to save Melina's job, but she was actually tricking Foley and he was later fired by McMahon.|
|6||Hornswoggle||February 4, 2008||Austin, Texas||Raw||Was being forced to join to show loyalty to the McMahon family. The induction to the club was interrupted by Finlay and Hornswoggle bit McMahon's ass, but McMahon stated since Hornswoggle's lips came in contact he was a member.|
WWE Brand Extension (2001–2005)
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 in January 2002, at Royal Rumble, in a Street Fight which Flair won. 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 Raw, McMahon defeated Flair to end the rivalry and become the sole owner of WWE.
On the February 13, 2003 SmackDown!, McMahon tried to derail the return of Hulk Hogan after a five-month hiatus but was knocked out by Hogan and received a running leg drop. 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 a running leg drop, 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. This led to McMahon facing Hogan in a match at WrestleMania XIX, which McMahon lost in a Street Fight. 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.
McMahon asked his daughter Stephanie to resign as SmackDown! General Manager on the October 2 SmackDown!. Stephanie, however, refused to resign and this set up an "I Quit" match between the two. At No Mercy, McMahon defeated Stephanie in an "I Quit" match when Linda threw in the towel. Later that night, he helped Brock Lesnar retain the WWE Championship against The Undertaker in a Biker Chain match. This started a rivalry between McMahon and Undertaker. At Survivor Series, McMahon defeated Undertaker in a Buried Alive match with help from Kane.
McMahon shared a moment with WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero in a July 2004 edition of SmackDown! by sitting with him in a lowrider. He 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.
Feud with D-Generation X and Donald Trump (2005–2007)
On the December 26, 2005 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". 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. On the February 27 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". 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). 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. At Backlash, Vince McMahon and his son Shane defeated Michaels and "God" (characterized by a spotlight) in a No Holds Barred match.
On the May 15 Raw, Triple H hit Shane with a sledgehammer meant for Michaels. The next week on Raw, Triple H had another chance to hit Michaels with the object but he instead whacked the Spirit Squad. 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. 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. 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. The McMahons also allied themselves with the ECW World Champion Big Show. 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.
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 to wrestle at WrestleMania 23 in a Hair vs. Hair match. The man whose wrestler lost 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. At WrestleMania 23, McMahon's representative (Umaga) lost the match. As a result, McMahon's hair was shaved bald by Trump and Lashley with the help of Steve Austin, who was the special guest referee of the "Battle of the Billionaires" match.
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. 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. McMahon finally lost the ECW Championship to Lashley at One Night Stand in a Street Fight despite interference by Shane and Umaga.
Faked death, illegitimate son and Million Dollar Mania (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". 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. WWE later acknowledged to CNBC that he was not truly dead.
The June 25 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. This was followed by a tribute to Benoit that filled the three-hour timeslot. McMahon's 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 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, who was revealed in the following weeks as being a male member of the WWE roster. On the September 3 Raw, McMahon appeared and was confronted by his family. They were interrupted by Mr. Kennedy, who claimed to be McMahon's "illegitimate son". He was himself interrupted by a lawyer claiming Kennedy was not McMahon's son and that the real son would be revealed the next week on Raw. His illegitimate son was finally revealed on September 10 on Raw as Hornswoggle. 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.
On the June 2 Raw, McMahon announced that, starting the next week, he would give away US$1,000,000 live on Raw. Fans could 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 roster 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.
Feud with Randy Orton and Bret Hart (2009–2010)
On the January 5, 2009 Raw, Chris Jericho told Stephanie McMahon that McMahon would be returning to Raw soon. The following week, Jericho was (kayfabe) fired from WWE by Stephanie. On the January 19 Raw, McMahon returned, as a face, and supported his daughter's decision on Jericho, but Stephanie rehired him. Randy Orton then came out and assaulted McMahon after harassing Stephanie. McMahon returned on the March 30 Raw with his son, Shane, and son-in-law Triple H to confront Orton. The night after WrestleMania XXV, McMahon appeared on Raw to announce Orton would not receive another championship opportunity at Backlash, but compete in a six-man tag team match with his Legacy stablemates against Triple H, Shane McMahon and himself. Raw General Manager Vickie Guerrero made the match for the WWE Championship. Orton then challenged McMahon to a match that night, in which Legacy assaulted him, and Orton also hitting him with the RKO. After being assisted by Triple H, Shane and a returning Batista, McMahon announced Batista would replace him in the match at Backlash. On the June 15 Raw, McMahon announced that he had sold the Raw brand to businessman Donald Trump. The next week, during the Trump is Raw show, McMahon bought the brand back from Trump. On the June 29 Raw, McMahon announced that every week, a celebrity guest host would control Raw for the night. He soon appeared on SmackDown, putting Theodore Long on probation for his actions. On August 24 Raw, McMahon had a birthday bash which was 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 16 Raw, McMahon was called out by guest host Roddy Piper, who wanted a match with McMahon that night in Madison Square Garden. McMahon declined, and announced his retirement from in-ring competition.
On the January 4, 2010 Raw, McMahon confronted 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!". A match was then booked between the two at WrestleMania XXVI, which saw Hart defeat McMahon in a No Holds Barred Lumberjack match. After WrestleMania, it was announced that McMahon would no longer appear on WWE television as his character Mr. McMahon. On the May 31 Raw, McMahon returned to congratulate Hart on becoming the new Raw General Manager. On the June 22 Raw, McMahon fired Hart for not dealing with NXT season one rookies, known as The Nexus. That same night, he announced the new General Manager would be anonymous and make decisions via emails, which would be read by Michael Cole. The General Manager's first decision was McMahon to be the guest referee for a WWE Championship match that night between John Cena and Sheamus. The match was interrupted by The Nexus who then attacked McMahon.
McMahon appeared in a segment on the November 1 Raw, in a coma from the attack by The Nexus. He woke up and his doctor (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) explained what had happened since he'd been out. The scene transitioned to Stephanie McMahon waking up, revealing it was all a dream.
Part-time television appearances (2011–2014)
In early 2011, McMahon began to work mostly behind the scenes, making only sporadic onscreen appearances.
On the June 27 episode of Raw, CM Punk made a scathing-on air speech criticizing WWE and McMahon about the way WWE was run. McMahon suspended Punk, but reinstated him at the behest of Punk's Money in the Bank opponent, WWE Champion John Cena. At the pay-per-view, McMahon and Vice President of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis interfered on Cena's behalf but Punk was ultimately successful and walked out of the company with the championship. On the following Raw, Triple H returned and, on behalf of WWE's board of directors, fired McMahon from his position of running Raw and SmackDown, though leaving him chairman of the board. Triple H then announced he himself had been designated Chief Operating Officer of WWE. McMahon returned on the October 10 Raw, firing Triple H from running Raw, stating the board of directors had called Triple H a financial catastrophe, and that the WWE employees had voted no confidence in him the previous week. He subsequently appointed Laurinaitis as the interim general manager of Raw.
On June 11, 2012, McMahon returned to give a job evaluation to John Laurinaitis. After a conflict with Cena and Big Show that saw McMahon accidentally knocked out by Big Show, McMahon declared that if Big Show lost his match at No Way Out, Laurinaitis would be fired. Cena defeated Big Show in a steel cage match, and McMahon fired Laurinaitis. McMahon announced AJ as Raw's new general manager at Raw 1000 and made Booker T SmackDown's new general manager on August 3 episode of SmackDown. After CM Punk interrupted him on the October 8 episode of Raw, he challenged Punk to a match, threatening to fire him if he didn't accept. The match never officially started, but McMahon held his own in a brawl with Punk, until being set up for the GTS. Ryback and Cena interfered and McMahon ultimately booked Punk in a match with Ryback at Hell in a Cell.
During the buildup for the 2013 Royal Rumble, McMahon told CM Punk that if The Shield interfered in his match with The Rock, Punk would forfeit his title. During the match, the lights went out and Rock was attacked by what appeared to be The Shield, leading to Rock's loss. Vince came out and restarted the match at Rock's request and Rock was victorious. The next night on Raw, while conducting a performance review on Paul Heyman, he was assaulted by the returning Brock Lesnar, who hit him with the F-5. According to WWE.com, McMahon suffered a broken pelvis and would require surgery at some point. Vince sought revenge on Heyman and faced him in a street fight on the February 25 episode of Raw, but Lesnar again interfered, only for Triple H to interfere as well, planting the seeds for a rematch between Lesnar and Triple H at WrestleMania 29.
From June 2013, members of the McMahon family began to dispute various elements of the control of WWE, such as the fates of Daniel Bryan, and of Raw and SmackDown General Managers Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero. After Triple H and Stephanie created The Authority, McMahon celebrated Randy Orton's victory at TLC with them, but stepped aside from his on-screen authority role in early 2014 in order to evaluate Triple H and Stephanie's control of the company.
McMahon returned on the November 3, 2014 episode of Raw, making a stipulation that if Team Cena had defeated Team Authority at Survivor Series, The Authority would be removed from power. Team Cena won the match, but McMahon gave John Cena the option to reinstate The Authority.
The Authority (2015–2016)
McMahon returned on the December 14, 2015 episode of Raw, aligning himself with The Authority, by confronting Roman Reigns over his attack on Triple H at the TLC pay-per-view. McMahon granted Reigns a rematch for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Sheamus, with the stipulation that if he failed to win the championship he would be fired. During the match, McMahon interfered on Sheamus' behalf but was attacked by Reigns, who then pinned Sheamus to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. On the December 28 episode of Raw, McMahon was arrested for assaulting an NYPD officer and resisting arrest after a confrontation with Roman Reigns. McMahon made himself special guest referee in Reigns' rematch against Sheamus on the January 4, 2016 episode of Raw, where Reigns won after McMahon was knocked out and another referee made the decision. With his plan foiled, McMahon retaliated by announcing after the match that Reigns would defend his title at the Royal Rumble against 29 other men in the Royal Rumble match, which was ultimately won by Triple H.
On the February 22, episode of Raw, McMahon presented the first ever "Vincent J. McMahon Legacy of Excellence" Award to Stephanie before being interrupted Shane McMahon, who would make his return to WWE for the first time in over six years, confronting his father and sister, and claiming that he wanted control of Raw. This led to Vince book Shane against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 32 in a Hell in a Cell match with the stipulation that if Shane won, he would have full control of Raw and The Undertaker would be barred from competing in any future WrestleMania. On the April 4 episode of Raw, McMahon would gloat about Shane's loss at WrestleMania the previous night, before Shane would come out and accept his defeat and say goodbye, leading McMahon to allow Shane to run that nights show, after feeling upstaged by his son. After Shane would take control of Raw for the rest of April, at Payback, McMahon would announce that Shane and Stephanie would have joint control of Raw.
In February 2016, Dave Meltzer reported that McMahon wanted WrestleMania 32 "to be the springboard for several years of Reigns in the position formerly held by John Cena" as WWE's top babyface, although "it's very clear [Reigns is] not going to be cheered" as he is "not as big a star as Cena, and this is with years of getting [Reigns] ready". The decision was based on WWE (through McMahon) believing that "looks are the key factor in being a top star", but Meltzer countered that looks are now "less important" since the wrestling audience "changed greatly" and now "for the most part doesn't care in a money way about looks". In April 2016, McMahon was criticized by Vince Russo continually pushing Roman Reigns as a "white bread babyface" due to believing that "the 1970s philosophy is going to work today" in 2016. Russo also said that McMahon also tried to give the same treatment to many previous wrestlers (Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund, Diesel, Shawn Michaels and the Rock) as "it's all he knows".
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. 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 March 2015, (at age 69) McMahon was once again featured on the cover of Muscle & Fitness magazine.
|2016||Camp WWE||Himself; "Mr. McMahon"||Camp Owner|||
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 H. Lupton (now Vicky H. Askew). They have two children, Shane and Stephanie, both of whom have spent time in the WWF/E both onscreen and behind the scenes. Shane left the company on January 1, 2010 (later returning in 2016), while Stephanie continues to be active in a backstage role and onscreen.
McMahon has six grandchildren: Declan James, Kenyon Jesse and Rogan Henry McMahon, sons of Shane and his wife Marissa; and Aurora Rose, Murphy Claire and Vaughn Evelyn Levesque, daughters of Stephanie and her husband Paul "Triple H" Levesque.
Wealth and donations
As of 2006, McMahon has a $12 million penthouse in Manhattan, a $40 million mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, a $20 million vacation home, and a 47-foot sports yacht named Sexy Bitch. Forbes has noted McMahon's wealth at 1.1 billion dollars, backing up WWE's claim he was a billionaire for 2001, although he was reported to have since dropped off the list between 2002 and 2013. In 2014, McMahon returned to the Forbes list, with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion. On May 16, 2014, Vince McMahon's worth dropped to an estimated $750 million after he lost $350 million of WWE stock, due to a price drop following disappointing business outcomes. In 2015, McMahon returned to the list with an estimated worth of $1.2 billion.
Vince and Linda McMahon have donated to various Republican Party causes, including $1 million in 2014 to federal candidates and political action committees, such as Karl Rove's American Crossroads and the research and tracking group America Rising. The McMahons have donated $5 million to Donald Trump's charity, The Trump Foundation. The McMahons donated over $8 million in 2008, giving grants to the Fishburne Military School, Sacred Heart University, and East Carolina University. Nonprofit Quarterly noted the majority of the McMahons' donations were towards capital expenditures. In 2006, they paid $2.5 million for construction of a tennis facility in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania. The McMahons have supported the Special Olympics since 1986, first developing an interest through their friendship with NBC producer Dick Ebersol and Susan Saint James, who encouraged them to participate.
Rita Chatterton (ring name: "Rita Marie") was a former referee who is noted for her stint in the WWF in the 1980s. She is known for being the first ever female referee in the WWF, possibly in pro wrestling history. 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.
On February 1, 2006, McMahon was accused of sexual harassment by a worker at a Boca Raton, Florida tanning bar. 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. On March 25, it was reported that no charges would be filed against McMahon as a result of the investigation.
In 1993, McMahon was indicted in federal court after a steroid controversy engulfed the promotion and thus temporarily ceded control of the WWF to his wife Linda. The case went to trial in 1994, where McMahon was accused of distributing steroids to his wrestlers. One notable prosecution witness was Kevin Wacholz, who had wrestled for the company in 1992 as "Nailz" and who had been fired after a violent confrontation with McMahon. Wacholz testified that McMahon had ordered him to use steroids, but his credibility was called into question during his testimony as he made it clear he "hated" McMahon. The prosecution's intended star witness was Hulk Hogan, but this proved to backfire on the prosecution when Hogan testified that McMahon never told him to take nor tried to sell him steroids. McMahon himself testified that he had taken steroids during the 1980s.
The jury acquitted McMahon of the charges and he resumed his role in the day-to day operations of the WWF.
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- Best Booker (1987, 1998, 1999)
- Best Promoter (1988, 1998–2000)
- Best Non-Wrestler (1999, 2000)
- Feud of the Year (1998, 1999) vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
- Most Obnoxious (1983–1986, 1990, 1993)
- Worst Feud of the Year (2006) with Shane McMahon vs. D-Generation X (Shawn Michaels and Triple H)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 1996)
Other awards and honors
- Boys and Girls Club of America Hall of Fame (class of 2015)
- Guinness World Records – Oldest WWE Champion (September 1999)
- Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Sacred Heart University
- Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
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