There has always been an impression not just among fans, but also among those in the wrestling business, of Vince McMahon being something of a scary and intimidating figure, even behind the scenes. However, in a new interview with Renee Paquette, Shayna Baszler has suggested that there is more to the CEO than maybe first meets the eye.
Appearing on Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast, Shayna Baszler who is one half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions, described McMahon as “so nice” adding that “he’s never been the way that you imagine.” The Queen Of Spades also gave fans a peek behind the curtain of how wrestling on RAW differs from wrestling on NXT.
“You come with this image that he’s this unhinged, crazy guy, but he’s always so nice and critiques me really well. He’s never been the way you imagine, you build up this monster in your mind so much. When I first started wrestling on Raw he gave me a talk that was like ‘you have something different to offer, you have a unique look. The thing you have to start learning now you’re on Raw is that your work-rate is shown on pay-per-views and at NXT. So don’t get so hell-bent on weekly Raw tv, because that’s where we build the story for the work-rate that you can do on pay-per-view’. So he’s like: ‘you have this thing, I don’t want you to do any pro-wrestling. Got it?’. Ok, got it. So I have this match. It looks like I’m just going off the map and like beating someone up he loves it. The next week I do it again; he loves it.”
However, Baszler went on to explain that things haven’t always been plain sailing, detailing how McMahon hated a match she had with Natalya, leading her to be confused over what she was expected to do in the ring.
“The next week I have a match with Nattie [Natalya], and I’m like: ‘listen Nattie (who’s way more experienced at this than me – obviously – Nattie’s trained with me in an MMA gym). Listen, let’s just shoot a little bit and we’ll get to what we need to get to’. We do it; he hates it. We go to the back and he’s like: ‘it looked like you guys were just fighting each other’. So he makes us do it again – this is back when we were doing the stuff at the PC [Performance Center], recording some episodes and doing some live. So he goes and makes us do it right away again, and I’m just flabbergasted. I’m still new up there – I don’t know how stuff is. Nattie’s like: ‘I gotchu’. So we go and do a match that she basically calls to me. It’s a normal match, we go in the back and he loves it. I’m so confused at this point.”
Following the match, Baszler recalled going to see the boss in his office, telling him that if she’s given the time, she’ll make him money.
“So I go and sit outside Vince’s office for a long time. It’s scary, it’s nerve-wracking, it’s your boss. Anytime you go to the principal’s office it’s scary, right? I go in there and I don’t even know what I wanted out of it, I think it was just to get it off my chest. I was like ‘man listen I know I have something that no-one else has. I know I can bring a certain legitimacy to this that no other female has. I don’t know how to figure it out week-to-week yet, just give me a chance. You’ll never have to worry about me being in shape if you want me to go out there and wrestle the same match 100 times. I’ll do it, I’ll figure it out, just give me time. I’m just letting you know I’m aware I don’t have it, just give me time. I’ll make you money’. And he was like ‘can’t wait’.”
Eric Bischoff has also recently given an insight into Vince McMahon’s character behind the scenes, commenting on McMahon’s relationship with his daughter Stephanie. Speaking on 83 Weeks, Bischoff described Stephanie as “a special part of Vince’s life.”
You can listen to the full conversation between Shayna Baszler and Renee Paquette here.
If you use any of the quotes above please do so with a h/t to Inside The Ropes and a link back to the article.