While Vince McMahon is widely seen as a ruthless businessman, the reinstated WWE Executive Chairman also has a softer side, something he showed to a former star when he publicly came out as gay.
Fred Rosser was part of the WWE roster from 2005 until his release in 2017. Under the ring name of Darren Young, he was part of the original Nexus group led by Wade Barrett and achieved popularity when he later teamed up with Titus O’Neill in the Prime Time Players.
In an interview with TMZ back in 2013, Rosser came out as gay. The star was asked if he thought a gay wrestler could be successful if he was gay and he responded by laughing before replying that he was a WWE Superstar and he was gay.
“Absolutely. Look at me. I’m a WWE superstar and to be honest with you, I’ll tell you right now, I’m gay.”
Vince McMahon reached out to Fred Rosser
In a new interview with WrestlingNews.co Rosser has recalled Vince McMahon’s reaction to the news, saying the two had a good talk.
“It was Vince McMahon that actually reached out to me when I came out publicly. And we talked for 20 minutes. And it was really genuine.
“He said about how one of his best friends Pat Patterson, God rest of the soul, was also gay. It was a good talk. You know what I mean?”
Later in the interview, Rosser said Vince McMahon didn’t want to make it into a storyline, something he was fine with as long as he could simply be himself.
“So yeah, Vince McMahon had said when I came out publicly that he didn’t want it to be a storyline. And I said to myself, well, I’m fine with that. As long as I can be myself and be comfortable. And at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.”
Since leaving WWE, Rosser has become a top star in NJPW’s US show STRONG, where he is the second STRONG Openweight Champion, having captured the gold from Tom Lawlor in May 2022.