The owner of WWE is one of the most prominent figures in the history of wrestling. After taking over the WWWF from his father, Vince McMahon did what many thought impossible. The McMahon son used his stroke and pillaged most of the independent promotions in America. Doing this created the WWF, the first major wrestling promotion in the United States.
This made Vince McMahon one of the most successful promoters in the world. However, Vince was not one to rest on his laurels and he has continuously held WWE near the top of the wrestling world for close to 40 years.
A large reason for the WWE’s success is the involvement of Vince himself. Whether behind or in front of the camera Vince has been the driving force of WWE. His ability to create captivating television is unmatched and his career highlights are numerous. With his latest match at Wrestlemania in the books, it is the perfect time to take a look back at the career highlights from the owner of World Wrestling Entertainment.
Vince McMahon Creates A Juggernaut
When Vince took over the company from Sr. he made some changes that forever altered the professional wrestling landscape in North America. The biggest of those is Wrestlemania.
In the beginning, Wrestlemania was a massive gamble for McMahon. Vince bet his entire company on the venture and put a lot of careers on the line, including his own. He was able to concoct an interesting premise that brought in a massive audience.
Of course, he was smart enough to load the show with main steam celebrities. This and the rise of Hulk Hogan made the night incredibly successful. This was a watershed moment for WWE and it created the institution of Wrestlemania.
Whatever Trips Can Do, Vince Can Do Better?
The Royal Rumble in 2005 was a memorable one for many reasons. To begin with, it ushered in a new era of talent. John Cena and Batista were on the cusp of the main event and this PPV was the moment that they became stars.
While both men were ushered into the main event scene it was the botch heard around the world that took centre stage. After simultaneously eliminating each other, a result that was not the intended one, all hell broke loose. Officials poured out from backstage, including the boss himself. Vince McMahon power strutted his way to the ring and upon entering tore both quads. It was a hilarious sight to see the boss flopping around on the mat.
What was even more impressive was Vince’s insistence on re-booking the main event from a seated position. Any other person would be carried out on a stretcher but Vince refused to admit he was hurt. It showed the world just how tough and determined the boss was.
Vince McMahon v Steve Austin
Cage Match – St. Valentines Day Massacre
The turning point in the Monday Night Wars was due to the greatest feud in WWE history. Vince and Steve Austin brought mainstream exposure back to WWE that hadn’t been seen in years. Their story of the rebel employee and evil boss was one that we could all relate to.
The back and forth between the two men provided for some of the best moments in television, more on that later, but it surprisingly made for compelling in-ring action. The best of those coming at the St.Valentines Day Massacre PPV.
Wanting to get McMahon in the ring Austin put his Wrestlemania title match up in a match against the boss. It was a coup by Austin and one that gave us a great match. Both men were able to work through Mcmahons’ shortcomings and presented the crowd with a very entertaining match. It was one of the better of McMahon’s career.
Vince McMahon or Mr McMahon? | “Bret Screwed Bret”
The Montreal Screwjob is near the top of infamous moments in WWE history. It broke the fourth wall and let fans see behind the hidden curtain of professional wrestling. It was the moment that Vince stepped from behind the headset and his true role with the company was known.
The Screwjob may have been a massive story but it was the subsequent interview that changed everything.
Wanting to get ahead of the story, Vince conducted the famous interview in which he said, “Bret Screwed Bret”. Thinking that he would come out of this as the babyface was a massive miscalculation. The fans instantly turned against the boss for screwing over a popular wrestler and Vince became the most hated man in the industry. From that day forward the Mr. McMahon character was born and thus the beginning of the greatest period in WWE history.
Vince McMahon v Hulk Hogan
The two biggest names from WWE’s golden era were set on a collision course in 2003. After returning to WWE the previous year, Hogan had put on some classic matches but he eventually drew the ire of the boss. Playing off the real-life events of the steroid trial and Hogan’s defection to WCW, WWE wove a great angle of betrayal and revenge. It was an easy angle to spin and one that had fans anticipating their Wrestlemania street fight.
Vince and Hogan were well past their primes for this match but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t great. The stipulation hid the age of both men and allowed them to have a car wreck for a match. The weapons, broken tables and blood covered every inch of the match and the Seattle crowd ate it up. Then we had the surprise appearance from Roddy Piper putting a neat bow on one of the best matches of McMahons’ career.
Vince McMahon Goes For A Swim
Vince McMahon’s heel character would not have been as successful if he didn’t embrace the comedic side of professional wrestling. A heel can only win so much before it is time to make them look the fool, and boy no one in the world did it better than Vince.
At the final Raw before Wrestlemania 15, Vince and the rest of the Corporation were in the ring gloating over their “eventual” win in the main event. Mid-promo the glass shattered and out came Austin driving a Coors Light truck. It was an immensely cool sight and one that was made better when Stone Cold began spraying the Corporation with beer.
The crowd went nuts for this and it got even better when VKM started trying to swim across the mat. It was the perfect reaction from the boss and one that pushed this segment over the top. It showed that Vince understood comedy and was willing to act the fool for the sake of entertainment.
McMahon Finally Beats Turner
For close to two decades WWE was the worldwide leader in professional wrestling. After pillaging the territories Vince faced no legitimate competition. This led to a prosperous era for his company, but all good things must come to an end. Vince grew compliant and this allowed WCW to get some of his talents and begin producing great television. It turned the tide and put Vince on the defensive for the first time in his career.
The reality of a WWE defeat was quite real and something that no one thought could happen. Now Vince, being the genius he is, was able to evolve with the times and was able to put an end to this. By the year 2000, one company was reaching new heights of success while WCW was on its last legs.
It was slightly after the new millennium when the rivalry was finally put to bed when Vince announced he bought WCW. It was a historic moment and one that Mr. McMahon never fails to bring up to anyone who will listen.
Vince McMahon v Shawn Michaels
Back in 2005, Mr McMahon was in another great heel run. His abuse of power had been burying talents all over the roster, that is until Shawn Michaels stepped in. Playing off the Montreal Screwjob, HBK was begging McMahon to let the past go. It drew the ire of the boss and led to one of McMahons’ better programs.
Sure, the God angle was a bit too much and it showed Vince’s slim grasp on modern storytelling, but it did give way to the best match of his career.
At Wrestlemania 22, HBK and McMahon engaged in a great street fight. It helped that Vince was in there with one of the greatest, but the boss held his own. He was in great physical shape and he knew his role. He bumped his ass off during the match and gave the fans a good laugh during most of it. It was exactly what the match needed and it helped to make it the highlight of the night.
“I’ll take it from here, Nurse…”
Highlights from the Austin/McMahon feud could take up every spot on this list. Both men provided quality entertainment for years and their comedic segments are some of the best that WWE has to offer.
The best of these comedic segments is the hospital skit involving Austin, McMahon, and Mick Foley.
Everything about the skit worked. McMahon and Foley’s relationship was a hilarious take on the father/son mentorship. Foley was trying his damndest to keep McMahon entertained while Vince just wanted to be left alone. The awkwardness of this was great and it brought the comedy to another level.
Then when the chaos was about to falter we heard Austin’s voice as he attacked McMahon, smashing him over the head with a bedpan. It was the perfect climax to this segment and it remains one of the most-watched moments of the Austin/McMahon feud.
Vince McMahon v Shane McMahon
Vince buying WCW was a huge coup for the boss. In March. 26th, 2001 he was in the ring gloating to the world before his son, Shane, made a surprise appearance on Monday Nitro to announce that he, not his father, had purchased WCW from underneath the elder McMahon. What sprung from this was one of the worst angles in wrestling history. WWE had the chance to pull off some great storytelling but the Invasion angle was botched from day one.
The only good thing to come out of this was the car wreck of a match between father and son at Wrestlemania. Both men were not wrestlers but knew exactly how to put on an entertaining match. From the onset, the use of weapons and brawling was utilized to ensure a fun match.
Using the family drama and Mick Foley as a special referee was adding some bells and whistles to the match but this added to the chaos. It was a car wreck of a match that none of us could look away from.