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Vince McMahon

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Vince McMahon
Vince McMahon 2.jpg
Born Vincent Kennedy McMahon
(1945-08-24) August 24, 1945 (age 73)
Pinehurst, North Carolina, United States
Other names Vince McMahon, Jr.
Alma mater East Carolina University
Occupation Chairman and CEO, WWE
Salary $1.1 million[1]
Net worth US$1.1 billion (2000)[2]
$700 million (2001)[3]
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 248 lb (112 kg)[4]
Title Chairman (1980–present)
President (1980–1993)
CEO (1980–1993; 2009–present)
Spouse(s)
Linda McMahon (m. 1966)
Children Shane McMahon (born 1970)
Stephanie McMahon-Levesque (born 1976)
Parent(s) Vincent James McMahon
Vicky H. Askew
Website WWE Corporate Bio

Vincent Kennedy "Vince" McMahon (born August 24, 1945)[5] is an American professional wrestling promoter, announcer, commentator, film producer, actor and former occasional professional wrestler. McMahon is the Chairman, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Stamford, Connecticut-based professional wrestling promotion World Wrestling Entertainment (branded as WWE). Upon acquiring World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), McMahon's WWE became the sole remaining major American professional wrestling promotion (until the national expansion of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and Ring of Honor).

McMahon plays a character known by the ring name Mr. McMahon, based on his real life persona. In the world of WWE, he is a two-time world champion, having won the WWF Championship and ECW World Heavyweight Championship. He was also the winner of the 1999 Royal Rumble. Vince is the husband of Linda McMahon, with whom he ran WWE from its establishment in 1980, until she resigned as the CEO in September 2009.[6]

Early life

McMahon was born on August 24, 1945 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. McMahon's father, Vincent James 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.[7] According to an interview with Playboy, he attended and graduated, in 1964, from Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, Virginia. 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.[8] He said, "It is unfortunate that he died before I could kill him. I would have enjoyed that."[8] In his early life, McMahon also overcame dyslexia.[9][10]

Business career

World Wide Wrestling Federation: 1971–79

McMahon first met the promoter for Capitol Wrestling Corporation, his father Vincent J. McMahon's company, 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 would not let him, explaining that promoters did not appear on the show and should stay apart from their wrestlers.[11]

In 1968, McMahon graduated from East Carolina University[12] 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).[citation needed] In 1969, McMahon made his debut as an in-ring announcer for the WWWF's All-Star Wrestling.[13] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] By 1980, McMahon had become chairman of the company,[14] 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 took control of the World Wrestling Federation.

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment: 1982–present

1980s wrestling boom

At the time of his purchase of the WWF, 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.[citation needed] McMahon had a different vision of what the industry could become. In 1963, the WWF 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] 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 main event of Hulk Hogan versus André the Giant.[15]

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."[16] 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’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.[15]

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.[citation needed] 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 $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.[17] In the summer of 2003, McMahon acquired Extreme Championship Wrestling in bankruptcy court, leaving McMahon and the WWF as the only major wrestling promotion left in North America.

In 2010, McMahon announced plans to launch a brand new cable network by summer 2011.[18][19][20]

Professional wrestling

Mr. McMahon is the on-screen character of Vince McMahon, with the gimmick of being an often egotistical and conniving 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.[16]

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. According to Jim Cornette, the power walk was inspired by one of 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.[21] 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.

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. 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.

Personal life

Family

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 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 as of January 1, 2010; while Stephanie continues to be active in a backstage role.

McMahon has six grandchildren: Declan James and Kenyon Jesse McMahon and a grandson born in 2010, sons of Shane and his wife Marissa; and Aurora Rose, Murphy Claire & Vaughn Evelyn Levesque, daughters of Stephanie and her husband Paul "Triple H" Levesque.[22]

Wealth

McMahon has a $12 million penthouse in Manhattan, a $40 million mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, a $20 million vacation home,[23] and a 47-foot sports yacht named Sexy Bitch.[23][24] Forbes has noted McMahon's wealth at 1.1 billion dollars, backing up the WWE's claim he is a billionaire for the year of 2001,[25][26] though he is reported to have since dropped off the list.[27]

Harassment allegations

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.[28] 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.[29]

On February 1, 2006, McMahon was accused of sexual harassment by a worker at a Boca Raton, Florida tanning bar.[30] 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.[31] On March 27, a Florida television station reported that no charges would be filed against McMahon as a result of the investigation.[citation needed]

Legal trial

In 1993, he was indicted after a steroid controversy engulfed the promotion.[32] McMahon was put on trial in 1994, accused of distributing steroids to his wrestlers.[33] One former wrestler, Nailz, was called by the prosecution to testify against McMahon, stating that Vince encouraged him to start using steroids.[34] His wife Linda became 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, however, when called to testify, Hogan stated that at no time did Vince McMahon ever sell steroids.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "WWE 8-K 11/12/2010". World Wrestling Entertainment. November 12, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Forbes 400 Richest in America 2000 – Vincent K. McMahon". Forbes. Retrieved July 13, 2010. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Dropoffs – Vince McMahon". Forbes. June 22, 2001. Retrieved March 25, 2011. 
  4. ^ Vince McMahon News, Info And Videos. WrestlingInc.com (1945-08-24). Retrieved on 2012-06-09.
  5. ^ "IGN: Vince McMahon Biography". IGN.com. Retrieved September 14, 2007. 
  6. ^ "WWE says CEO resigns, names chairman as new CEO". Reuters. September 16, 2009. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Vince McMahon Biography". SLAM! Sports. 
  8. ^ a b "The parent's guide to WWF". Sunday Mirror. April 29, 2001. Archived from the original on October 31, 2007. Retrieved July 4, 2007. 
  9. ^ "Dyslexia TV Alumni". Dyslexia. Retrieved September 15, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Famous Dyslexics". Dyslexia Mentor. Retrieved September 15, 2008. 
  11. ^ McMahon DVD
  12. ^ Hornbaker, Tim (2007). National Wrestling Alliance: The Untold Story of the Monopoly That Strangled Pro Wrestling. ECW Press. p. 194. ISBN 978-1-55022-741-3. 
  13. ^ Kaelberer, Angie Peterson (2003). The McMahons: Vince McMahon and Family. Capstone Press. p. 15. ISBN 0-7368-2143-0. 
  14. ^ "WWE Board of Directors". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved September 9, 2009. 
  15. ^ a b "Vince McMahon's biography". WWE Corporate. Retrieved January 14, 2008. 
  16. ^ a b "Survivor Series 1997 main event (Montreal Screwjob)". WWE. Retrieved January 14, 2008. 
  17. ^ Boehlert, Eric (2001-05-11). "Why the XFL tanked". Salon.com. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  18. ^ Vince McMahon: WWE Television Network to Launch By 2011, Wrestling, Inc., February 11, 2010
  19. ^ Details on WWE Network Plans, Inside Pulse Wrestling, February 22, 2010
  20. ^ New Details on the WWE Cable Network, When It May Launch and More, LordsofPain.net, May 7, 2010
  21. ^ Ellison, Lillian (2003). The Fabulous Moolah: First Goddess of the Squared Circle. ReaganBooks. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-06-001258-8. 
  22. ^ "Heavy Muscle Radio/Access Bodybuilding: (1-3-11):TRIPLE H! Plus, Dr. Scott Connelly!". http://rxmuscle.com. Retrieved January 3, 2011.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  23. ^ a b McMahon (DVD). World Wrestling Entertainment. 2006. 
  24. ^ "The running of the rich: Is wealth changing Connecticut politics?", by Ken Dixon, Stamford [CT] Advocate, March 14, 2010, 07:16 p.m. ET. Retrieved July 3, 2010.
  25. ^ Lisa DiCarlo. "Scoff If You Wish, But The WWF Is A Real Business". Forbes.com. Retrieved July 2, 2007. [dead link]
  26. ^ S. Fitch, W. P. Barrett, C. Coolidge, M. Rand, and S. Hanke (April 23, 2007). "Informer". Forbes.com. Retrieved April 7, 2007. 
  27. ^ Daniela Altimari (September 16, 2009). "WWE's Linda McMahon Seeks GOP Nod For Sen. Chris Dodd's Seat". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  28. ^ Shaun Assael & Mike Mooneyham. Sex, Lies and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation (p.116)
  29. ^ Shaun Assael & Mike Mooneyham. Sex, Lies and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation (p.115-117)
  30. ^ Dale King (February 3, 2006). "WWE chief accused of groping Boca tanning salon worker". Boca Raton News. Retrieved July 2, 2007. 
  31. ^ Meltzer, Dave (February 2, 2006). "McMahon situation to get more publicity". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved July 2, 2007. 
  32. ^ "W.W.F.'s McMahon Indicted". The New York Times. November 19, 1993. Retrieved October 17, 2009. 
  33. ^ "Wrestling Promoter Fights Steroid Charges". The New York Times. April 28, 1994. Retrieved October 17, 2009. 
  34. ^ Nailz the Wrestler Testifies He Was Told to Use Steroids

References

  • Shaun Assael & Mike Mooneyham (2002). Sex, Lies and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation. New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 0-609-60690-5. OCLC 49276567. 

External links


Business positions
Preceded by
Vince McMahon, Sr.
Chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment
1980–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Linda McMahon
Chief Executive Officer of World Wrestling Entertainment
2009–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
New creation President and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment
1980–1993
Succeeded by
Linda McMahon

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