Vince McMahon smoking pot explains a lot of WWE’s creative decisions over the last 20 years. It’s all starting to make sense.
In the latest edition of the Talk is Jericho podcast, Chris Jericho was joined by former WWE writer and owner of MLW Court Bauer, and the conversation at one point turned to the “Battle of the Billionaires” feud in 2007, in which Vince McMahon and now President Donald Trump chose a wrestler to take part in a hair vs. hair match at WrestleMania 23.
McMahon lost that match, and Donald was able to keep his hair.
Vince’s choice to represent him in that match was the late Umaga (Ekkie), and Jericho described how Vince was very upset by the former stars untimely death.
“I vividly remember when [Umaga] passed away. We were in Saudi Arabia. Not Saudi Arabia, sorry, Iraq, doing the Tribute To The Troops. And I remember how legit sad Vince was about it because, at the time, I think they had let [Umaga] go because he wouldn’t go to rehab and I remember Vince really saying, like, ‘I tried. I did not want this to happen. I couldn’t do anything. Like, if you’re not going to do it on your own, there’s nothing we can do.’ But, he was, like, legit torn up about it because I think Ekkie, in [McMahon’s] mind, had so much more he could have done if he hadn’t fallen into those traps that happen to so many of the brothers over the years.”
Bauer believes that Trump learned a lot for his political campaign from his time in WWE.
“It was interesting [to work with Trump] because the crowds were kind of hostile towards him to the point where I remember that we would have money fall from the ceiling once as a babyface move to get the crowd behind him and stuff. He never sold it if they were hostile because I think wrestling fans, it wasn’t political at that time – he was just a reality [TV] guy from The Apprentice who was cross-promoting the NBC properties – and I think more or less, I think the fans were just like, ‘we want to see wrestling – we don’t want to have a 20-minute promo from this guy.’ And I think that’s what they were rejecting at the moment. But I think it kind of groomed him for political aspirations because it’s the same thing as [pro] wrestling.
“You’re just trying to take the fanbase and whip them into a frenzy and convert them into buying tickets. He’s just trying to convert them into voters here. And you’ve got to do your catchphrases and ways to heel on your opponent.” Bauer explained, “same thing there, so you look back and it’s like, ‘this was probably his breeding ground to do something else similar like a lot of people from wrestling get into politics whether it’s here or Japan.”
Jericho then went on to say that there was once a time when Vince started smoking pot, and that Trump told him he wasn’t allowed to.
“I remember one time Vince told me that they were watching some concert or something at Trump New Jersey, whatever it was called. Whatever the arena was called, Trump Arena. And Vince was sitting there with Linda, Donald, and all the heads of state, and Vince lit up a joint and Trump was like, ‘you can’t smoke that joint in here!’ And Vince goes, ‘I just did!'”
Wrestling is weird.