Raised in a trailer, viciously beaten by his stepfather, sexually abused by his mother. Overcoming dyslexia, fighting in the streets, meeting his father for the first time at the age of twelve. Petty crime to military school to court martial and finally taking the first baby steps towards working in his father’s wrestling promotion.
That’s the first twenty or so years of Vincent Kennedy McMahon’s life: the formative years, the ones that sculpt and shape the person you’ll end up becoming, rightly or wrongly.
There’s no doubt that McMahon is an unusual kind of guy – he’s famously a chronic workaholic, sleeping for around three hours a night for decades now. He’s elevated his father’s wrestling promotion into an internationally famous multimedia corporation – to many people, WWE is synonymous with wrestling, literally just another word for it – and he spends every waking hour working on that business, yet his endgame seems to involve moving away from wrestling completely, leveraging that successful business in order to finance non-wrestling activities and side projects… most of which have failed.
He’s become a father, a billionaire, lost a small fortune on paper and gone back to being a multi-millionaire, become a grandfather, bet big and become a billionaire again. He’s turned seventy this year with 5% body fat, capable of chest-pressing 450lbs: literally, a self-made man.
On episode 22 of Chris Jericho’s Talk Is Jericho podcast, his guest was fellow Attitude Era alumnus Amy Dumas – aka Lita. Talk (is Jericho) inevitably turned to Lita’s storylines with ex-lover Adam ‘Edge’ Copeland – specifically to the ‘live sex celebration in January 2006, after the Rated R Superstar had cashed in the first ever Money In The Bank briefcase to defeat John Cena for the WWE championship. After the pay-per-view victory, Lita and Edge would declare that they would celebrate the win by having sex on the following night’s Monday Night RAW, in the middle of the ring.
Lita was clearly cringing having to recall the incredibly embarrassing segment – it hadn’t been anything to do with Edge or herself, and was all Vince’s idea. Trying to put her more at her ease, Jericho reminded her of a part of his storyline when tagging Christian, where the Dudley Boyz had stolen their bags when they were in the shower, forcing them to hunt for their clothes backstage wearing only towels, until – lured in front of the live audience – the towels would be ripped away leaving them completely naked.
Wait, what? Jericho sought clarification from the genius behind the XFL.
“I want you to be naked.”
“Well, what do you mean?”
“I want you to be naked.”
“You want us to be standing out there, completely naked.”
“Well, yes! That’s what I want!”
In the end, Jericho persuaded McMahon that risking arrest for exposing themselves to the children in attendance wasn’t worth the attention to realism: some flesh coloured underwear and a little light pixelation persuaded the audience at home that the two had been two nude dudes in front of the Smackdown audience.
Lita wouldn’t be so lucky… she and Edge managed to convince the boss that the majority of the action should take place under the covers of the bed that had been placed in the ring for that purpose, but live television is live television, and there was a regrettable wardrobe malfunction – one that’s been cleaned up since then, before you go running to the WWE Network. You filthy monkeys.