On a recent episode of the Talk Is Jericho podcast, MLW owner, Court Bauer, and Chris Jericho discussed their interactions with Vince McMahon and how he could always be a different guy. Jericho noted that McMahon, when he’s eating, was always a bad time to try to pitch an idea. On the podcast, Bauer believes that everyone has a different relationship with McMahon depending on when they meet him, and it’s probably harder to talent to talk to McMahon now because of where he’s at in his career.
“I think there’s this thing too because depending on when you enter the company, you know Vince at a different point,” Bauer pointed out. “Now, there’s such a big myth about Vince McMahon, ‘The Walt Disney Of Wrestling’, or whatever you want to call him. So I think with guys, it’s hard for them to try to have that conversation.
“I remember when I was going to start in WWE, I was trying to kind of get a feel for what it was going to be like. I remember asking George Steele, ‘So, what’s Vince like?’ He goes, ‘Which Vince do you want to know about? There’s a few.’ That’s true because you would have to read– okay, I’m entering the room, and this is the Vince I got. Is this the one I can sell him on bringing up guys from developmental? Is this the one that wants to blow up everything? Is this the one that just wants us to write down stuff like monkeys at a keyboard? We’re basically glorified secretary at that moment.
“What Vince do you have? It depends on that day, depends on that moment, and if you get Vince in a vacuum, it’s a totally different experience than when he’s in a room with a bunch of people. Everything changes, he’s a very dynamic guy.”
Bauer later told a story about WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes pitching an elaborate idea to McMahon. However, after Rhodes’ long pitch, McMahon didn’t have much of a response.
“So Dusty had this really incredible, very cinematic pitch, and he had been working on it for a few weeks. And it was all these interconnected parts and people, and would all convert to this big reveal,” Bauer recalled.” Dusty loved the big payoff reveal, and so he’s getting ready. This is the day’s going to pitch it. He goes out there and ‘American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes is filibustering.
“He’s cutting this incredibly long, incredibly compelling promo / pitch, just laying it all out there. I don’t know how you could inhale and exhale as he was doing it. Vince is sitting there, and he’s in his chair and he’s listening, listening, he’s listening, and he’s listening. And at the end, one eyebrow arches, and goes, ‘Next.’ That was it. ‘Aww, s–t.’ That was a tough day at the office.”
Bauer noted that McMahon would have that kind of reaction to everyone in the office. He also told a story about McMahon pretending to stab himself when a writer was reading a script. He said that McMahon would sometimes be a class clown in meetings, which would often lead to almost nothing getting done.
“That would happen to anyone at the office,” Bauer noted. “It depends on what Vince you’re going to get on that day. I’ve seen writers that are just reading a script, and Vince will sit there and he’ll act like he has an invisible sword and start putting it into his chest repeatedly. The writer is totally oblivious to it. I’ve seen that in agent meetings. At least in the agent meeting it’s nice because you have a studio audience, and they’ll start popping.
“So the writer doesn’t know because you’re looking at the script. Sometimes that’s the thing though, Vince has to have an audience, or he’s in with certain people. He’ll all of a sudden become the class clown. He’s a very intense person, but then they’ll be the class clown. ‘Oh God, so we’re not going to get anything accomplished in this agent meeting?’ And afterwards, all the s–t just happens very quickly because nothing got accomplished in the agent meeting.”
Bauer revealed in the past a plan for a WrestleMania 22 match against Bret Hart and McMahon. On Talk Is Jericho, Bauer revealed more details about the angle, noting that the match was obviously a one-off but it would’ve led to a Hart vs. McMahon feud involving not only Triple H and Shawn Michaels but also younger talents like Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Daniel Bryan.
“By the time you arrived, I was heading out,” Bauer pointed out. “I think you left in the summer of 2005. I was just starting, so we didn’t have much of a window together. But when I was there, there was a time where we had just closed a deal with Bret to do the DVD Anthology series. And it was big deal, and Bret was, at that moment in time, very small window of time, very much into the idea of doing a match with Vince at WrestleMania in Chicago, WrestleMania 22.
“And so that was then going to turn to other things because Bret wasn’t going to wrestle regularly. It was just a special attraction. So they’re trying to find ways to take us to the house shows, how to take this on TV, and also, at the time, USA wanted more McMahon. They wanted to do a fresh take on the McMahon Family, and so the idea was you would have Bret, and the Hart Foundation, and the New Generation, which would have been Harry Smith, Tyson Kidd, Nattie, and so on.
“I think Jim Neidhart was even going to come in for it, and they would take on Vince, Shane, Hunter, and Shawn, and his students, which were Brian Kendrick, Paul London, and – he wasn’t at the time – Daniel Bryan. This really cool multi-generational thing — we needed new talent. We were starving for young, talented guys. We’re gonna bring all these guys and bring them into the system, and it was a really interesting idea.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.