The action was intense from start to finish last Sunday at WWE Extreme Rules. When the smoke cleared, The B-Team and Shinsuke Nakamura had captured championship gold, Braun Strowman had thrown Kevin Owens off a steel cage, Bobby Lashley overcame Roman Reigns in a brutal battle for respect, WWE Champion AJ Styles reigned supreme over Rusev, and Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler outlasted Seth Rollins in sudden death of a 30-Minute WWE Iron Man Match.
PWInsider was the first to report that Vince McMahon was not backstage at Extreme Rules at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was, however, in regular communication with WWE officials at Extreme Rules as Triple H and Billy Kidman coordinated the pay-per-view event from “Gorilla Position.”
WWE’s creative team had originally planned for the 30-Minute WWE Iron Man Match to kick off Extreme Rules, and for the last hour to feature WWE Champion AJ Styles vs. Rusev, Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax, and Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley in the main event. The match order was shifted just before showtime.
Dave Meltzer reports in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that McMahon missed Extreme Rules, as well Raw and SmackDown LIVE because he always takes a week off from work in the middle of July. Meltzer adds that McMahon has been doing this for years.
McMahon was likely vacationing in Boca Raton, Florida, where he owns a large two-story penthouse suite with an ocean view.
Several years ago, Vince and his wife Linda looked south to Boca Raton as a place to store their yacht and rest their heads as a much-needed escape from New England’s bitterly cold winters. Desperate for an ocean view, Vince and Linda found the perfect high rise and purchased the top floor and the floor below it in 2002 for $2.145 million. The couple then remodeled both floors to create a large two-story penthouse suite that offers plenty of room for summer vacations with their family including son Shane and his wife, film producer Marissa Mazzola-McMahon, and their three sons, as well as their daughter Stephanie, her husband Paul “Triple H” Levesque, and their three daughters.
People who have worked closely with Vince over the years have said this is where he goes to unwind every now and then. However, even when he’s on vacation, he’s usually still working.
Bruce Prichard revealed last year on his podcast, Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard, that some of the creative writers would have to travel to McMahon’s Boca Raton vacation home to meet with him if they needed to see him over the holiday season. Prichard then relayed a story from 2002 or 2003 of Stephanie giving cash to each writer to go out and have a “nice” lunch. Paul Heyman, who was a member of the creative team at the time, felt offended by Stephanie’s offer (H/T Wrestling Inc.).
Prichard recalled, “We were downstairs deciding where to go and they had suggested this really nice restaurant down the road and Paul is like, ‘I guess we’re not good enough to eat in the family domicile! We’re just the help. Send the help out to get lunch. Send a few dollars their way and send them away to get their own lunch while we dine on fine cuisine prepared by the chef and have the staff wait on us!'”
Prichard continued, “So everybody except Paul and Dave Lagana went to this nice restaurant, little Italian place down the street, great food, a little pricey, but we weren’t paying for it! Paul and David go to Burger King and just pocket the rest of the money! Just classic Paul.”
Similarly, Heyman was insulted by being offered water from a cooler instead of bottled water like the McMahons enjoyed at their home.
“Linda just makes the comment, ‘So guys, there’s this water dispensary here — the water is ice cold. It’s all filtered and good, so you don’t have to keep going in to get a bunch of bottles of water. There [are] cups here, big cups, and everything, or just refill your water bottle, whatever you need, whatever is faster, easier, better, whatever, and you’re not having 50 water bottles all over the place,'” Prichard recalled.
“Well, Heyman took exception to that. [Imitating Heyman] ‘I guess we’re not good enough to drink their water. I will just bring my own water from now on.’ So for the rest of the trip, Paul brought like a big bottle of water, which normally he never would have drank, but because he was told, and he wasn’t told, ‘Don’t drink our water’, it was just, ‘Hey, there’s this other water over here.’ ‘I will bring my own water. Thank you, ma’am.'”