Mr. McMahon and “over-the-top” go together in a given sentence as effortlessly as peanut butter and jelly coexist in a sandwich. The persona of WWE boss Vince McMahon has produced countless outrageous moments over the years, many of which never fail to draw a shocked response from the WWE Universe—even years after they happened.
I’ve tried my best to whittle Mr. McMahon’s most notorious milestones into a compressed list. Don’t worry, it’s chock full of McMahon shock-and-awe value. Here are Mr. McMahon’s 15 most over-the-top moments.
Forget the fact that Vince McMahon’s Xtreme Football League (XFL) was an extreme flop. There was incredible hype surrounding the XFL in the weeks prior to the league’s debut game a decade ago.
That hype reached a dramatic pitch when, before the opening kickoff of the inaugural game, McMahon marched to midfield and—in his trademark husking voice—bellowed that “This is the XFL!”
I felt goosebumps when I heard those words live back in the day. And hearing them again on the McMahon WWE DVD makes me want to put on some shoulder pads and hit somebody!
I doubt Vince McMahon and famous sports journalist Bob Costas have exchanged Christmas cards since their heated interview on Costas’ On the Record that took place in 2001. During the exchange, Costas tried to coax McMahon into admitting that the defunct XFL was “low-rent” and that WWE programming was nothing more than smut television.
McMahon fired back in intimidating fashion against Costas, neck vein popping and all. After watching the testy interview, I’m shocked that McMahon didn’t knock Costas’ lights out. Unfortunately, the McMahon-Costas steel cage match never materialized.
Mr. McMahon lost a lot of blood during his Buried Alive match with the Undertaker at Survivor Series 2003. Real or fake, the red liquid enveloping McMahon’s mug was so over the top and severe that it bordered on the fringe of ridiculous.
The most perplexing aspect is the fact that actual WWE wrestlers don’t spew out this much blood (at least not in the PG era) in a match, never mind the head of the company, a man who’s technically not a wrestler. Yet it happened to McMahon. I pity the blood bank that he hit up after this match.
Baldness is pretty normal among many middle-aged men. Forced baldness at the hands of a billionaire isn’t.
Nevertheless, this happened to Mr. McMahon, courtesy of billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump at WrestleMania 23. McMahon’s wrestler, the late Umaga, lost his hair vs. hair match to Trump’s wrestler, former WWE star Bobby Lashley.
As a result, McMahon was strapped down and shaven of his salt and pepper locks by the likes of Lashley, Trump and Stone Cold Steve Austin. The most hilarious part was when the trio plastered McMahon’s bare dome with shaving cream.
If you can say anything critical of the supposedly invincible Mr. McMahon, it’s that he’s not a very graceful hostage. McMahon was taken hostage by a fired Stone Cold Steve Austin on a Monday Night Raw episode back in 1998.
At one point, Austin rolled a wheelchair-induced McMahon to the ring, where he held a gun to the boss’ head. Of course, the gun turned out to be a toy, but that didn’t stop McMahon from soiling himself in a hysterical frenzy. He should’ve worn a diaper for that one.
Most affluent gentlemen opt to join a rotary club or country club. William Regal joined a different club. Regal was forced to become the charter member of Mr. McMahon’s “Kiss My Ass” club in November of 2001.
In case you haven’t realized, McMahon’s keister can do tricks (at least according to him). Regal even moistened his lips with ChapStick in anticipation of kissing the boss’ butt—quite literally. Of course, there would be many other members of this illustrious club. But as they say, you always remember your first. I suspect Regal will probably leave this accomplishment off his post-wrestling resume.
Say hello to Mr. McMahon’s alter ego: Mr. Mack Daddy. That’s who greeted former WWE Diva and Playboy cover girl Torrie Wilson on her Monday Night Raw debut back in 2001.
Wilson and Mr. Mack Daddy were about to get it on in an arena laundry room when Wilson decided to make the Mack more comfortable by stripping him to his bare essentials. To make things even better, Wilson had a surprise for Mr. Mack Daddy.
It turned out to be Mrs. Mack Daddy, aka Linda McMahon. Quite the surprise, indeed.
Not many self-made billionaires would be willing to suffer a painful 20-foot drop onto an unforgiving table. Then again, not many self-made billionaires are Mr. McMahon.
The chairman of the board battled his most disgruntled employee, Stone Cold Steve Austin, in a steel cage at then-WWF’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1999. At one point, Austin bashed McMahon’s cranium into the cage as the two were perched near the top of the steel structure. As a result, McMahon fell onto the Spanish announcing table below.
If that wasn’t bad enough for McMahon, he botched the landing, crashing onto the edge of the table and fracturing his tailbone in the process. Amazingly, McMahon continued the match, which was basically an on-going beating at the hands of the Rattlesnake. There’s all the proof you need that McMahon is one tough corporate big wig.
It’s no secret that Mr. McMahon and Eric Bischoff absolutely despised one another during the days of the WWF-WCW war. Which is why it was so shocking when McMahon hired Bischoff as his Monday Night Raw General Manager in 2002.
The over-the-top moment came when the two mega forces embraced in a drawn-out hug in front of millions of viewers to celebrate the occasion. The chill viewers felt during that cheesy moment was that of hell surely freezing over.
Every wrestling fan knows of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s love for beer, which is why it was so shocking (and incredibly hilarious) when Austin wasted gallons of beer in dousing Mr. McMahon during one of the hallmark confrontations of the Austin-McMahon rivalry.
The hilarity hit its peak when McMahon pulled off his best Michael Phelps impersonation, swimming in a pretend pool of beer. A beer-spraying fire hose plus air swimming equals over-the-top fun every time.
During the height of WCW, many then-WWF stars left for the rival company in the south; there was nothing outrageous about that. But it was the way Bret Hart was ushered out of WWF that became one of the most over-the-top moments in Mr. McMahon’s history.
The incident is simply known as the Montreal Screwjob. In a nutshell, McMahon called for the bell to be rung as WWF champ Hart was in the grasp of a Shawn Michaels sharpshooter during their WWF title match—even as Hart wasn’t tapping.
After that, all hell broke loose, Hart bolted for WCW and you can argue that the Montreal Screwjob was the night when the Mr. McMahon heel character was born.
Only Mr. McMahon could get away with picking on a one-legged kid. That’s exactly what happened when he feuded with the one-legged fan turned wrestler, Zach Gowen, in 2003. Gowen, a cancer survivor, was forced to have his left leg amputated when he was eight, but Mr. McMahon didn’t care.
He bullied Gowen constantly, kicking his crutches or his prosthetic leg on several occasions. I guess McMahon ran out of two-legged suckers to pick on at that point in time.
If you’re a grown man trying to fight your own daughter, chances are you’d be arrested for child abuse or assault. Of course, if the grown man is Mr. McMahon and the daughter is Stephanie McMahon, the confrontation ends up on pay-per-view, instead.
Mr. McMahon tussled with Stephanie in an I Quit match at No Mercy back in 2003. Fighting your own son as a father is one thing (Vince and Shane McMahon threw down at WrestleMania 2001). But a father wrestling his own daughter? That’s pretty over the top.
Trish Stratus wanted Mr. McMahon’s forgiveness. She earned it the hard way.
McMahon basically humiliated Stratus in this incident, forcing the former WWE Diva to strip down to her bra and panties in front of thousands of hot-blooded male fans (surely they didn’t mind seeing the blonde bombshell in such an alluring predicament).
Looking back, it’s amazing McMahon didn’t feel the wrath of some women’s rights group in the aftermath of this.
When it comes to killing off your character in a fiery manner, it doesn’t get more over the top than Mr. McMahon’s infamous limousine explosion.
The pyrotechnics used to destroy the limousine that supposedly killed McMahon rival that of any blockbuster action movie. But perhaps what makes this incident so outrageous is the fact that McMahon had to “kill off” his own killing shortly thereafter. He appeared in person a week later to open Monday Night Raw.
Sadly, his appearance came as a result of Chris Benoit’s murder-suicide of his family, which remains the blackest eye in pro wrestling history.