Vince McMahon: 2022 Biography, Net Worth, Family, Income
Vincent Kennedy McMahon, better known as simply Vince McMahon or “Mr. McMahon,” is the former Chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment. He was born in Pinehurst, North Carolina to Victoria Hanner and Vince McMahon Sr, the latter of whom was the owner of what is now called WWE. McMahon Sr was not involved in his son’s life until Vince was 12 years old, but upon meeting him for the first time, Vince McMahon became interested in his father’s profession.
He made his debut for the WWWF (as it was then known) in 1969. His role was the ring announcer, where he would announce the names of wrestlers making their way to the ring. Soon, he became a TV announcer, commentating on matches for the viewers at home. McMahon’s position evolved over the years, taking on more and more backstage roles until he eventually purchased the WWF from his father in 1982.
McMahon’s first major move as the owner of the WWF was to promote the company outside of its Northeast United States home base. This was a controversial move due to the territorial system which was active in 1982. In short, the territorial system was a goodwill agreement from wrestling promotors to only run shows in their area of the country. Vince McMahon Sr respected this agreement, but Vince McMahon Jr defied it, expanding the WWF all over the United States and signing many of the territories’ top stars. This led to the eventual collapse of professional wrestling’s territorial system.
In 1985, McMahon ran his first major large-scale event: Wrestlemania. It was a huge success, partly thanks to the rising popularity of megastar Hulk Hogan as well as the inclusion of celebrities such as Cyndi Lauper and Mr. T, and became an annual tradition which still runs to this day. From the success of Wrestlemania, Vince McMahon transformed the WWF into what he called “sports entertainment,” continuing to promote multiple Pay-Per-View events over the calendar year.
The early 1990s saw the WWF say farewell to many big-time Superstars, which combined with fierce competition from rivals World Championship Wrestling, led to a steep business decline for McMahon’s company. Household names like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and the Ultimate Warrior were no longer part of the WWF, meaning McMahon had to build a new television product on top of names like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. These three among others took the spotlight in their stride and ensured that the company could continue, helping fans forget the superstars of the 80s by ushering in a new, fast-paced style of wrestling.
Meanwhile, Vince McMahon was facing other difficulties. In 1993, he was indicted in federal court after being accused of distributing steroids to wrestlers on his roster. Former on-screen performers of Vince McMahon’s WWF claimed that McMahon ordered them to take steroids so as to enhance their physique. Eleven wrestlers overall, including Hulk Hogan and Nailz, were called to testify during the trial. On July 23rd, 1994, a jury found McMahon not guilty.
Back on-screen, McMahon slowly evolved into a more prominent character. Though still behind the announcer’s desk as a humble commentator, 1996 onwards brought more references to McMahon as the owner of the company. Characters like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Bret Hart referred to Vince McMahon as such, but it was a real-life controversy with the latter which fully established the character of “Mr. McMahon,” as he would come to be known.
At Survivor Series 1997, McMahon played a vital role in the Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels main event for the WWF Championship. In an event dubbed “The Montreal Screwjob,” McMahon ordered referee Earl Hebner to ring the bell while Michaels had Hart in the Sharpshooter submission hold, despite Hart having not submitted. This was due to a real-life issue between McMahon and Hart.
Vince McMahon was fearful that WWF Champion Bret Hart, dangerously close to the end of his WWF contract, would leave WWF and appear with the championship on rival show WCW Nitro. Hart assured McMahon that this wasn’t going to happen, but McMahon took no chances, deciding controversially to end the match long before before the planned finish.
From this point forward, “Mr. McMahon” was featured as a main character on WWF television. He was seen as the evil, villainous owner of WWF, and ignited a feud with up-and-coming superstar “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. This feud is widely regarded as one of the best of all time, and as a major influence on WWF winning the famed “Monday Night Wars” with its competitor WCW. The feud with Austin led to McMahon stepping into the ring for the first time as an active performer. He’d face Austin on the 13th of April, 1999 edition of Monday Night Raw.
In early 1999, Vince McMahon won the Royal Rumble match, with help from his heel stable “The Corporation” and The Rock who distracted odds-on favourite “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. After losing to Austin in a cage match at St Valentine’s Day Massacre 1999, McMahon entered a feud with “The Ministry of Darkness,” a group led by The Undertaker.
The Ministry of Darkness would kidnap McMahon’s daughter Stephanie, who was ultimately rescued by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, which formed a brief partnership between McMahon and Austin. This partnership was short-lived, however, as McMahon revealed himself to be “The Higher Power” behind the merged super-faction “The Corporate Ministry.” Once again, his feud with Austin was ignited.
Towards the end of 1999, Vince McMahon became WWF Champion in a match with Triple H, as part of a feud with the Superstar. At Armageddon 1999, Triple H got his win back from McMahon in a No Holds Barred match, which led to Stephanie McMahon turning on her father in favour of her husband Triple H. McMahon was kept off of television until March of 2000 when he returned in time for Wrestlemania 16, which featured the famous “McMahon In Every Corner” Fatal-Four-Way Match.
This bout featured The Rock (with Vince McMahon in his corner), Mick Foley (with Linda McMahon in his corner), Triple H (with Stephanie McMahon in his corner) and Big Show (with Shane McMahon in his corner). The match ended when Vince McMahon turned on The Rock, handing Triple H the victory.
Also in 2000, McMahon attempted a venture outside of professional wrestling. He set his eyes on American Football, launching his own football league known as the XFL. The league lasted only one season, having lost McMahon $35 million in just a year. It closed its doors in February 2001.
In March 2001, WWF’s fiercest competitor WCW was put up for sale. Vince McMahon jumped at this opportunity, acquiring his arch-nemesis and putting an end to the Monday Night Wars. From this acquisition, a new on-screen story appeared which was known as “The Invasion.” This storyline pitted WWF wrestlers against WCW wrestlers with the two factions waging war against each other.
The writing team gave it their all, but the one major criticism of this storyline was that WWF opted to not buy the contracts of WCW’s biggest stars such as Goldberg, Hulk Hogan, Sting and others. While talents like Booker T, DDP and others appeared during the Invasion, many fans were left to wonder what could have been. The storyline concluded at Survivor Series 2001, where WWF beat WCW in a 5-on-5 elimination tag match.
After the Invasion, since the WWF had acquired so many WCW contracts, they faced the problem of having too big of a roster. Vince McMahon solved this problem in 2002 by putting a brand split into place: one-half of the roster would be exclusive to Raw, and one-half exclusive to Smackdown. As a result of a storyline collision with Ric Flair, it was determined that McMahon was the new owner of Smackdown and Flair was the new owner of Raw. By June 2002, however, Vince McMahon was once again the owner of the entire WWF due to beating Ric Flair in a match on Monday Night Raw thanks to help from Brock Lesnar.
Shortly after the Flair feud, Vince McMahon was forced to change the name of his company after losing a lawsuit to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in a trademark dispute. By July 2002, the World Wrestling Federation became World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as it is now known these days.
2003 saw McMahon embroiled in a feud with Hulk Hogan over who was responsible for the phenomenon known as “Hulkamania.” The two met at Wrestlemania 19, a match which Hulk Hogan won despite interference from Roddy Piper. This period was perhaps McMahon’s most active in all of his in-ring career, facing off against wrestlers as varied as Brock Lesnar, Zach Gowan, The Undertaker in a Buried Alive match, and even his own daughter Stephanie in an I Quit match.
McMahon stayed out of the spotlight for most of 2004, though did make an appearance in February to have a singles match with Eric Bischoff, formerly the Senior Vice President of World Championship Wrestling. The match ended in a no contest when Brock Lesnar interfered and attacked special guest referee “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
During the 2005 Royal Rumble, Vince McMahon tore both of his quadriceps while entering the ring to settle a botched Rumble finish between John Cena and Dave Batista. This took him out of action until 2006, when he returned to reignite a feud with Eric Bischoff, firing his former competitor and having him taken away in a garbage truck.
Later in 2006 came the infamous tag team match: Vince & Shane McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels and “God.” This was a result of a feud with Shawn Michaels with the McMahons attacking his religious beliefs. The McMahons won what was effectively a handicap match, with “God” being characterised by a spotlight which represented the deity walking to the ring. The McMahon’s feud with Shawn Michaels evolved into a feud with D-Generation X, who were the team of Shawn Michaels and Triple H. At Unforgiven 2006, the feud concluded, with DX defeating Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon and the Big Show in a 3-on-2 Hell in a Cell handicap match.
“The Battle of the Billionaires” became Vince McMahon’s next storyline, as he entered into a feud with future United States President Donald Trump. Unfortunately for McMahon, this culminated in him having his head shaved at Wrestlemania 23, where his representative Umaga lost to Bobby Lashley. Enraged about the loss of his hair, Vince McMahon pursued Bobby Lashley, who was the reigning ECW Champion at the time. McMahon became the 37th ECW Champion when he defeated Bobby Lashley at Backlash 2007 with help from Shane McMahon and Umaga. He lost the belt back to Lashley two months later at One Night Stand 2007, ending his final world title run.
In June of 2007, Mr. McMahon would fake his own death via limousine explosion. This storyline-based death was scrapped due to the Chris Benoit murder-suicide. McMahon would return in August, where it was revealed that he had fathered an “illegitimate son.” After much teasing, including hints that it could be Ken Kennedy, Triple H and even The Sandman, it was revealed that Hornswoggle was Mr. McMahon’s illegitimate son. On a 2008 episode of Raw, McMahon’s character was seriously injured when the Raw stage fell on him, keeping him off television for some time.
McMahon made his return to TV in 2009 where he feuded briefly with Randy Orton’s stable Legacy. Then in 2010, thirteen years after the aforementioned “Montreal Screwjob,” Bret Hart returned to the WWE. After apparently shaking hands and forgiving each other, McMahon kicked Bret between the legs, igniting a feud between the two. They competed against one another at Wrestlemania 26 in what was one of McMahon’s final matches, with McMahon ultimately losing. Following his run-ins with Hart, Vince McMahon stepped back from on-screen duties, not appearing on-screen again until the “Summer of Punk” where CM Punk’s anti-authority character led him into a number of segments with the WWE Chairman.
From 2012 onwards, Vince McMahon’s appearances in WWE became sporadic. In 2013, he helped form “The Authority,” a villainous faction with total control over WWE, though he allowed Triple H and Stephanie McMahon to handle most of the screen time for this. He returned in 2014 as a challenge for rising star Roman Reigns to overcome. After a run-in with Reigns which led to McMahon being shoved by the then-WWE champion, Mr. McMahon was arrested for laying his hands on NYPD police officers. In an act of revenge, McMahon booked Roman Reigns to defend his championship against 29 other men in the 2016 Royal Rumble.
2017 saw McMahon return briefly for an interaction with Kevin Owens. On the September 12 edition of Smackdown, Owens headbutted McMahon, causing a legitimate cut to form on McMahon’s forehead. He would then make an appearance on the 25th anniversary of Raw in 2018 where Steve Austin hit him with a Stone Cold Stunner for old-time’s sake. McMahon appeared to celebrate Triple H’s 25th anniversary in WWE as well as the Undertaker’s retirement in 2020, and in 2021 to introduce the first WWE post-pandemic show to be broadcast in front of a live crowd: Wrestlemania 37.
Towards the end of 2021, Vince McMahon would enter his final on-screen run in WWE, aligning himself with newcomer Austin Theory. Pat McAfee defeated Austin Theory at Wrestlemania 38 in 2022, but after this match, Mr. McMahon came out to challenge McAfee. In his official final match in WWE, McMahon defeated McAfee in just under four minutes.
In April of 2022, Vince McMahon came under investigation by the WWE board, due to an alleged affair with a former WWE employee. It was suggested that McMahon paid $3 million to this employee as hush money to keep tight-lipped about the affair. This investigation revealed further nondisclosure agreements initiated by McMahon which totalled $12 million. In what became one of the biggest wrestling stories of all time, McMahon stepped down as CEO and Chairman of WWE, later announcing his retirement from all duties on July 22nd, 2022.
McMahon has two children, Shane & Stephanie, both of whom went on to have major success in the WWE. Currently, Stephanie is the co-CEO of WWE after Vince McMahon’s retirement in July of 2022. Through Stephanie, Vince McMahon’s son-in-law is Paul “Triple H” Levesque.
McMahon had a brother named Roderick James McMahon who has never appeared on screen in WWE, despite being rumoured to do so in 2007. Roderick passed away in 2021.
McMahon’s father, Vince McMahon Sr, was the owner of the WWF (now known as WWE) from 1953 until 1982, where he sold the company to Vince Jr.
Though he is no longer actively employed by the WWE, Vince McMahon will be receiving a hefty pension from the company. Unfortunately, no public data on this exists, but it can certainly be assumed that he is being looked after in his retirement. He does, of course, still wield the majority of the voting power due to his share ownership.
Occasionally, Vince McMahon would step into the ring, competing under his moniker “Mr. McMahon.” According to Cagematch.net, he competed in 57 matches between 1998 and 2022. He has won 28 times with 21 losses and 8 draws putting his win percentage at 49.1%.
Figures are correct as of November 18th 2022.
- WWF Champion – 1 time
- ECW Champion – 1 time
- Royal Rumble Winner – 1999
Recently, Vince McMahon was found to have $5million of unrecorded donations to the Donald J Trump Foundation. This money was featured in a litany of unrecorded expenses uncovered by WWE in August 2022.
Under Vince McMahon’s control, WWE have contributed to many charities around the world. It could be said that the most famous example of this is their partnership with the Make a Wish foundation, which grants wishes to children battling critical illnesses. WWE have helped Make a Wish grant hundreds of wishes over the years.
|Net Worth||$2.6 billion|
|Endorsements||Donald J Trump Foundation, Make A Wish|
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