WWE Chairman Vince McMahon on The Pat McAfee Show live report

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

The following are real time notes on Vince McMahon’s appearance on The Pat McAfee Show on March 3, 2022. Refresh the page for the latest updates.

-Vince arrived in the studio 23 minutes late. McAfee said he couldn’t believe he was in the studio. Vince told McAfee to refer to him as Vince, adding that he knows he calls him a lot of other things when he was off-mic. McAfee said he doesn’t do that, but many others do and they were probably watching.

-Vince said he wasn’t surprised by his success. McAfee asked Vince about not backing off decisions such as the WWE Network. Vince said you have to have smart people around you and then make a decision. Vince spoke about Comcast getting involved. Vince spoke of wanting to have creative control and controlling your destiny as the reason they opted for WWE Network.

-McAfee asked if Vince pays attention when people say he’s made wrestling better and when others said he’s made it what it once was. Vince says he avoids all of it. He said he doesn’t care about pats on the back and he also tries to stay away from negatives. He said the media will say what they say and there’s nothing you can really do to change it.

-Vince said you can’t change perceptions when you’re a public figure. He admitted that it took some time for him to get to that point, but he said you just can’t care what people in the media or others think of you.

-McAfee asked Vince why he doesn’t like his product to be described as wrestling. Vince said there was always wrestling and he wanted to separate the company from everybody else. He recalled his father being a member of the NWA and then doing his own thing. Vince said his father would never have sold him the company had he known what he intended to do with it. Vince also brought up the WWF name change and said he had no idea that the World Wildlife Fund even existed.

-Vince revealed that he will induct The Undertaker into the WWE Hall of Fame. Vince praised Taker as an extraordinary human being and one of the all-time greats in the ring. He said he cares about him so much that inducting him will be one of the most difficult things he’s ever done.

-McAfee asked if the Monday Night Wars changed him, and brought up how people say Vince is at his best when he has competition. McAfee mentioned WCW, TNA/Impact, and AEW while also mentioning the acquisition of ROH the night before. Vince said he enjoys confrontation. Vince said he lived through beatings as a kid and felt like he lived through it and questioned what now after living through it. Vince also emphasized that he never had a single conversation with Undertaker regarding whether Taker would jump to WCW.

-McAfee asked if Vince had dreams as a kid of being wealthy. Vince said no. He spoke about growing up in a trailer park. He said he wanted to be successful and he knew there was a better life than what he had.

-Vince said there was a time after WrestleMania 4 or 5 when he developed an ego and felt he was somebody, but he said it only lasted about six months. McAfee brought up Vince’s age and that he’s still working. Vince said he’s not working because he loves it and the people he doesn’t business with.

-McAfee said that people on the internet assume that Vince has no heart. He asked how difficult it is for him to cut people. Vince said it’s always about what’s best for the audience. He brought up Hulk Hogan and others leaving him, but bringing him back. He said you’re hurting yourself when you say that you’ll never bring someone back. He said the key is what’s best for business, and if the audience wanted Hogan back then the right decision was to bring him back.

-Vince said going public with WWE made him a better businessman. He said he ran the business with his heart before that. He said once you go public, you have stockholders and you have to make better business decisions. Vince also said he’s okay with being the bad guy.

-McAfee asked Vince if he’s had a favorite moment. Vince spoke about going all in with the first WrestleMania. Vince said he had nothing and he didn’t really have the money he said he had when he bought the company to begin with. He recalled the balloon payment system that was used and how he had to make those payments or he would lose his money and the business.

-Vince spoke about taking the WWF into rival territories. He said death threats are what they are and said he never had a bodyguard. Vince recalled Jim Ross overhearing promoters talking about who would off Vince while Ross was in a public bathroom. Vince said Ross put his feet up on the toilet seat so that he wouldn’t be seen because he didn’t want to be an accessory to murder.

-McAfee brought up Vince McMahon taking WWE to Saudi Arabia. Vince said the Saudi people are like any other people, and WWE has fans all over the world. Vince said people love western culture even if they don’t love the government. Vince said people are people and cultures are cultures and you have to respect that.

-Vince said he works out more to help him mentally than he does for his physique.

-McAfee once again brought up the WWE Network subscription service deal and how it was mocked and now everyone is doing it. Vince said decisions come down to common sense. McAfee also raved about WWE on social media and said he looks forward to seeing what Vince does with the metaverse.

-McAfee mentioned WrestleMania and the stupendous line. Vince said he loves branding and they try to brand everything. He said the word stupendous isn’t used often and it makes you wonder what the hell it is. McAfee asked him how long it takes him to come up with something like that. Vince spoke about how it’s a great relief when you focus your create efforts on one thing and then something else that requires your creativity comes along.

-Vince spoke more about creativity and simply being open. He said he thinks he has a second wheel and maybe even a third one that allow him to think about multiple things rather than staying focused on one particular thing.

-McAfee asked Vince how much he has to think about the future while focusing on the current product. Vince said WWE can fit into almost anything. Vince said that when you graduate WWE, you know how to treat people and treat them with respect. He also spoke about hugging and shaking hands at the Gorilla position. He said the basics of that stems from the wrestlers respecting one another and keeping each other safe in the ring.

-McAfee asked Vince if he thinks he will live forever. He said no, and mentioned that his mother died at age 101. He said he wants one second before he dies to say thank you.

-McAfee brought up the HBO show “Succession” and said people assume it’s similar to what happens behind the scenes in WWE. He brought up the perception that Vince could sell rather than passing it down. Vince said he doesn’t think about it a lot. He said he wants the company to prosper whether it’s someone from the family or someone else running it. Vince said you have to be objective and look at family members like other employees, and he said there have been some employees he respects even more. He said he probably expected more out of his family, then conceded that it’s probably not the right thing.

-McAfee was going to wrap things up, but Vince asked if it was over. McAfee said his co-hosts probably had questions. Vince told them to fire away. Vince then cut them to offer McAfee a chance to wrestle at WrestleMania. McAfee said it would be a dream. He said there’s been a lot of chatter on the internet about him getting back in the ring. He said he’s out of shape. Vince said they could find a worthy opponent for him. McAfee pointed out that had a ring, which Vince saw and said it looked like a standard WWE ring.

-One of the co-hosts asked Vince if it’s more difficult to develop characters and get them over these days. Vince said no and veered off into talking about calling wrestlers WWE Superstars rather than wrestlers. He also spoke about the abilities that the talent must have.

-Vince was asked if there was any thought about missing a show due to Covid-19. Vince said he didn’t want to miss a beat, and they never missed a television show even though they couldn’t have an audience. He praised the talent for that.

-McAfee recalled Steve Jobs saying that people don’t know what they want until you show them. He asked if Vince has that mindset. Vince said they have a focus group every night (via the fans). McAfee asked if social media served as that focus group during the pandemic era shows. Vince said pretty much, but added that you can tell after doing it. He said a portion of the internet audience can be biased and so he doesn’t listen to any of it.

-McAfee said people couldn’t wait to see how he would react to Vince speaking in his headset. McAfee said he looked forward to having a billionaire brain in his ear. He added that Vince has pretty much just let him do his thing. Vince said if he didn’t like what McAfee was doing, then he wouldn’t be doing it. Vince said McAfee appeals to the audience.

-McAfee raved about the Attitude Era and asked if the approach was to show up and put on the most insane show as possible. Vince said it was the wild west and they had a blast. Vince told a comical story about Steve Austin and the bedpan segment.

-Vince said he loves live television. He spoke about how if something goes wrong, they audience doesn’t know it wasn’t supposed to happen.

-McAfee brought up Michael Cole. “A horrible human being,” Vince cracked. Once McAfee stopped laughing, he spoke about Cole gets fired up before a show. McAfee asked if Vince still gets excited before shows. Vince said he gets excited before every single show. Vince said he gets “the chill bumps like everybody else” when big moments occur.

-Vince said he was a poor student who had to go to summer school every year. He told a story in which he referenced “my wife at the time” and then corrected himself and said “my wife.”

-McAfee said Vince was the greatest heel of all-time. Vince said you have to really want people to dislike you. He also said that the tough part about performing was that he couldn’t produce or direct. He said it was difficult to do both.

-McAfee recalled Vince blowing out his quads and asked if there were other injuries that people are not aware of. He said he actually blew out his left one twice. He joked about it being a special talent to blow out both quads at the same time. They wrapped up the interview a short time later with Vince saying he enjoyed it.


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