How Did Vince McMahon Help Freddie Prinze Jr. Overcome His Fear Of Flying?

On this week's Wrestling with Freddie podcast from iHeart Media's My Cultra Network, former WWE creative team member Freddie Prinze Jr. was riding solo to discuss his time with the company. The particular topic of interest for this episode was his time riding on the WWE jet with Vince McMahon.

Freddie stated an almost tragic incident not only nearly put an end to his flying days on smaller aircraft but also to his life. The incident took place on his way to a Scooby-Doo press event in Cancún, Mexico on Kevin Costner's private jet with the rest of the cast.

"So, we're coming in, and it is, turbulent is not the word," Freddie Prinze Jr. explains. "The winds are crazy. This plane is, we felt like the Gilligan's Island ship. That was us. So we're literally swerving back and forth, like the Viking ship at the State Fair, and you can't see anything out of the window. Sarah's hand is on my hand, and it's gripped tight, like nails through the skin. My left hand, I'm in the window seat on the left side, is gripped to the armrest my nails into its poor skin. And I'm looking out of the window, and all of a sudden I see the ground, except not beneath me, I am looking directly at the ground. The plane is about to land sideways on the left wing, and my face is about to go through the tarmac.

"And at the last second, and I'm not exaggerating, I've never even told this story. At the last second, the plane corrects itself, the pilot is a G, corrects itself and we came in hot and we're sliding and slipping and the plane lands, no damage, no anything, outside of the six and a half years it took off my life from the scarring of my heart. So we have to get off the plane. Everybody is freaked out, and we have to get right back on the plane, takeoff through this weather, and get back to L.A. So I'm freaking out, you know, I trust the pilot now more than any human, more than my wife. But still, like, we almost died."

A few months later, after joining WWE, Freddie was promoted to fly on the WWE jet, despite now vowing he would never fly on a small aircraft again after the incident. However, it was WWE Chairman, Vince McMahon, that help him overcome his fear of flying.

"They [WWE] say, you're flying on the jet, and I'm sweating when they tell me. Vince wants you on the jet," Prinze Jr. said. "I was like, 'oh man, alright.' My armpits are sweating right now and I ain't even afraid of flying anymore thanks to Vince, actually, he just made me do it until I wasn't scared of it anymore."

Vince McMahon was welcoming to Freddie when he got on the WWE jet for the first time, and Freddie Prinze Jr. explained to him why he was afraid.

"So I get on the jet and the first thing that Vince says to me when he gets on, he says, 'I heard you had a bit of a problem on the last plane [another WWE plane that Freddie refused to ride on before being assigned to use the WWE jet]' with a smirk," Freddie said. "'Yeah man, I'm not big on planes.' And this is who I tell this story to and he goes, 'ah don't worry, I got a better pilot than him [Kevin Costner] anyway."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Wrestling with Freddie with an h/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.

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