7. Mick Foley
And speaking of people that Vince McMahon immediately wanted to throw a tarp over and leave on the curb for the binmen, Mrs. Foley’s baby boy, one of the most endearing men to ever lace up a pair of boots.
Mick Foley got over with three separate characters under Vince’s watch, and made significant contributions towards dragging the company out of the wretched New Generation Era.
Which again, makes its insane that it’s one of the most well-known cases of someone needed to be begged, actual begged, to allow someone else to make money for them.
Jim Ross wanted to bring in Foley because I mean, yeah, his work in WCW and Japan say hello, but Vince strongly disliked Cactus Jack, ironic considering that Foley’s best WWE match was wrestling as Cactus Jack.
According to JR on Talk is Jericho, when he suggested hiring Foley, Vince replied “Oh no, JR, we’re not doing that. I’m gonna go along with you on most of these things, but not that one.” Again, luckiest man in the business.
6. Shawn Michaels
And the hits start coming and they don’t stop coming.
Hey look, at least Vince snapped up The Rockers, that much was fantastic sense, likewise splitting them up and running HBK as the New Gen’s best preening dickhead, but when it came down to making Shawn the top guy, Vince had a crazy blind spot and I must not keep making jokes about Shawn’s eye, I must stop doing that.
Bruce Prichard, who at this point is basically our mole in WWE, when talking on Sam Robert’s Wrestling Podcast, described how Vince didn’t think HBK was championship material, which is like me not thinking that Keith Lee is husband material.
According to Prichard, whenever creative would pitch Michaels as a face Vince would respond with lines like, and I quote “‘that little son of a bitch? He’ll never be a babyface in this company!’
Then WrestleMania XI happened, and Vince finally saw the light, finally fuelling up the rocket to Michaels’ eventual coronation at WrestleMania XII.
Of course, considering the state of the roster in 1995, he didn’t really have anyone else other than Bret and Shawn, so the decision was pretty much made for him.
5. The Royal Rumble
Ok, this one’s not a wrestler but I wanted to include it because it is literally the greatest WWE stipulation of all time, it’s a 100% stroke of genius and I cannot believe that Vince initially didn’t like it.
In fact, worse than that, Vince HATED it, so much so that he would ridicule the match innovator Pat Patterson whenever it came up.
Genuinely, it’s the only match that I watched every single year without fail, even when I stopped watching wrestling, and it almost never existed.
In fact, it was only because Dick Ebersol, a tv executive who worked with Vince on Saturday Night’s Main Event, was pressing Vince for a special idea, a one-off wrestling special for tv when Vince turned to pat and said “Alright, tell Dick that stupid idea you’ve got.”
Vince then told Pat to book the first Rumble entirely by himself because he still didn’t believe in it, but then 33 years later, it’s still the best thing on WWE’s calendar, and, ironically, it’s a match that VINCE HAS F**KING WON.
Vince didn’t like the Money in the Bank match concept either when he first heard it, which leads us nicely to…
4. Chris Jericho
Heard of him? Y2J is up there in terms of having one of the most influential and important wrestling careers of all time.
ECW, WCW, WWE, AEW, even New Japan, the guy’s one impact match away from working everywhere. But getting him through the front door at WWE was a struggle.
According to Jim Ross in his book Under The Black Hat, it was a huge negotiation between him and Vince to bring Jericho in, which makes almost no sense when you consider Y2J in the Attitude Era.
Great talker, great worker, handsome, a catchphrase machine, why did Vince not want him, in JR’s own words “his f**king height”. Oh, Vince you silly sausage.
Jericho even wore lifts in his shoes when he first came to work for Mr. McMahon, that’s how Land of the Giants it was.
Even when Jericho had made it, the man himself revealed that it was something of a struggle, for another reason, at the time Vince couldn’t fathom the idea of pushing a Canadian as a babyface.
As yes, the infamously rude and obnoxious Canadians. When has a Canadian ever gotten over? When? When? When I ask you?
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