Vince McMahon Admits He Wanted To Beat Up Bob Costas

Back in 2001, Vince McMahon did an interview with Bob Costas for his HBO show, On The Record.

At the time of the interview, the XFL was on its way out and McMahon was asked about the league failing so quickly. McMahon looked visibly annoyed with Costas at times during their back-and-forth.

In a new book, Tinderbox: HBO's Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers by Jim Miller, Bob Costas called the segment, "good television." (h/t New York Post for the transcription.)

"It was live, and obviously since it's HBO, there were no commercials," Costas said. "I knew it was good television in the moment, but I wasn't trying to hype it. Sometimes things can become sensational, but they start from a legitimate place.

"And the legitimate place was that the XFL was trying to find a place in mainstream sports, on a mainstream network. It started out with great interest. I think they got a rating of 10 for the first game, but by the end, they were getting the lowest ratings of any program in prime time in the history of network television."

Vince McMahon even commented about the interview and admitted that had Costas been bigger, things would have turned physical.

"Once we were doing the interview, he kept interrupting me and interrupting me, and bringing up topics that had nothing to do with what we were supposed to be talking about," McMahon recalled. "He kept trying to do the 'I gotcha' kind of thing. It was clear he didn't want to hear any of my answers.

"The other problem was that Bob is so freaking pompous. The entire time he acted like he was above me and was just using me to show how great he was. I was sitting there really pissed off and started thinking, 'I wish he wasn't 5-feet high and 140 pounds. If he was 6-5 and 295, he would deserve to get the s*** beat out of him.' I could have really given them some great television."

Costas noted after the interview Vince stormed off and slammed multiple doors behind him on the way out. Vince later called back for a "rematch interview."

"He stormed off and you could hear the doors slamming behind him," Costas stated. "It takes some strength, by the way, to slam the doors of the studio. Those doors aren't like the door to your kitchen. I could hear them slam.

"The following day the phone rings, and it's McMahon. 'Bob, let's make it two out of three. You took last night. I want a rematch.' I said, 'Great.' We did another one a year later that was less heated, was still a good exchange, but it wasn't as memorable as the first one."

WWE President Nick Khan was also quoted in the book about his time in the boxing world.

McMahon attempted to bring back the XFL in 2020. Although it found success in its second run, the COVID-19 pandemic brought a halt to the season. The league went into bankruptcy and was later purchased by an investment group led by The Rock for $15 million. The league is currently slated for another restart in the spring of 2023.

You can check out the full interview below:

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