Stay tuned for next month's profile: Rey Mysterio!
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
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
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,
1984just weeks after his returnand 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
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
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
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
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 John Cena 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 that
- Mick Foley (numerous times; once as Dude
Love, once on the December 18, 2000 episode of RAW (as commissioner), and
then again on the August 21, 2006 episode of RAW after making Foley join the
"Mr. McMahon Kiss My Ass Club")
- Paul Heyman (as an announcer for Raw, the
day after Survivor Series 2001 on the November 19, 2001 episode of RAW when
The Alliance (at Survivor Series) lost the Winner Takes All Classic Survivor
Series 10-Man Tag Elimination Match to Team WWE.)
- Hulk Hogan (after it was proven that Hogan
was indeed "Mr. America", coinciding with the end of his contract at that
- 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 on the March 26, 2001 episode of RAW.)
- 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)
- 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)
The Vince McMahon 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. This was so far the only ass
kissing time that McMahon was a face. 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.
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, 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 box art symbolizes
the sometimes blurred reality between Vince McMahon, the person, and Mr.
McMahon, the character.
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,
vs. Shane McMahon Street Fight match (WrestleMania X-Seven, April 1, 2001,
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,
vs. Stephanie McMahon "I Quit" match (No Mercy, October 19, 2003, Baltimore,
vs. The Undertaker Buried Alive match (Survivor Series, November 16, 2003,
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 American Wrestling Association, 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
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. He has a $12 million penthouse in New York City, a $40
million mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, a $20 million vacation home in Boca
Raton, Florida, and owns the $30 million WWE leer jet that is sometimes seen on
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".