On episode 86 of Sam Roberts’ Wrestling Podcast, actor and former WWE writer Freddie Prinze, Jr. talked about his time working alongside WWE’s Chairman, Vince McMahon. Prinze suggested that McMahon knows very little about popular culture and entertainment beyond his own professional wrestling empire. In Prinze’s view, McMahon knows what is best for the company and that includes not wanting to put the world title on smaller performers. Prinze divulged that one of the perks of working close to McMahon was being able to cook in the kitchens of the hotels they would occupy while on the road.
According to Prinze, the man behind the villainous Mr. McMahon character on WWE programming has little exposure to the world of entertainment outside of his own corner of it. Apparently, McMahon even questioned why Prinze would chose to watch anything other than WWE programming in his downtime.
“I used to call him Robo-Vince and he goes, ‘what does that mean?’ because he [has] never seen anything but wrestling. I’m like, ‘you’ve never seen RoboCop? Of course not! You didn’t see Scarface or you would have known Razor Ramon is plagiarism!'” Prinze recalled, “I was watching a Richard Pryor set on the sweet WWE jet one time just to kind of unwind and relax. And we’re flying back to White Plains [New York] and he literally is like, ‘why don’t you have on WrestleMania?’ I’m like, ‘Vince, I just want to laugh’ [and McMahon replied] ‘well, we have Santino’. I’m like, ‘great, I love Santino [but] that’s not Richard Pryor!'”
Prinze stated that McMahon really does know what is best for business. Additionally, Prinze professed that McMahon, as an artist, should ignore the wishes of his audience.
“Vince is always going to do what Vince does. And, honestly, I know people don’t agree with this, but he really does know best.” Prinze continued, “imagine if Jimi Hendrix was alive today. People would reach out to him on social media and they would tell him what kind of music to make. It would literally be the movie, Misery, where Kathy Bates is like, ‘no, she’s not dead. You’re going to bring her back. I don’t care what book you wrote. You’re going to bring her back right now!’ And that’s what social media is, so they want to have a voice, they feel they have a voice in the match with the ‘yes! No! Yeah! 1-2-ahh!’ They feel they have a voice [but] you don’t. Are you entitled to it? Sure. Is it ever going to get heard? It shouldn’t. Picasso didn’t hate whales. He just didn’t paint any. Like, he did what he wanted to do because he’s the artist. Vince is the painter. It’s Vince’s toy box. They are his toys. It’s cool he invites you over twice a week to watch him play, but they’re his. He doesn’t take his ball and go home. He’ll punch you in the face and play his game that you didn’t want to play on your dead chest. That’s what the artist does. Jimi Hendrix would laugh at you if you said, ‘man, I just want a pop song.'”
Moreover, Prinze claimed that McMahon rightly gives smaller performers little to no chance in hell of being WWE’s world champion.
“I want you to believe in the indy guys and the guys coming [from NXT], but just remember only certain guys get to hold the title. Oh, you’ve got to be the right type. The small guys, their story is climbing the mountain. It’s not reaching the mountaintop. They’re Sisyphus. They roll the boulder up only to have it thrown all the way back down. Shawn Michaels was a rare exception because his body would not break. Rey Mysterio is an exception that proves the rule. He’s not an exception to the rule. He got hurt. The demands of a champion, Daniel Bryan, is another great example of what they have to do to their body 325 days a year without good sleeping conditions, without great physical therapy, without the means to rest between matches because you’re just on another plane in coach flying somewhere. It is gruelling and destructive and that’s why Vince wants to keep the belt on bigger guys because historically they’ve been able to last longer and remain healthier.”
During the interview, Prinze explained that McMahon’s influence would allow him to make use of hotel kitchen facilities on the road. Also, Prinze said that MVP was the first professional wrestler for whom he cooked.
“When you’re with Vince McMahon, you can call the hotel and be like, ‘hey, do you mind if I go in your kitchen and cook?’ And they’re like, ‘no, of course. Vince has rented 6,000 rooms for talent here. You can do whatever you want!'” Prinze continued, “[MVP] was the first pro wrestler I ever cooked for. We made steaks. I made him some New Mexico Cowboy Steaks and they’re in the cookbook. And I cooked those up and he’s like, ‘man, we’re in the kitchen, like nobody’s in here.’ I’m like, ‘this is Vince power.’ He’s like, ‘bro, I’m black, okay? Vince power or not, they ain’t letting me in here without you. I’m like, ‘oh, okay. Maybe.'”
Click here to check out the show. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit Sam Roberts’ Wrestling Podcast with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.