Vince McMahon has fallen off the side of a steel cage in a match with Stone Cold Steve Austin, been clotheslined by the future President of the United States at a WrestleMania, and was headbutted in the face by Kevin Owens, but there was a time back in the long long ago when he was simply a young wrestling announcer who wanted to be a performer.
The cleverly named Wrestling News caught up with one of McMahon’s contemporaries from that time — former WWE Champion and G.I. Joe member Sgt. Slaughter — to ask him if he had any Vince McMahon stories we’d never heard. It turns out he had a great one about the time Vince rebelled against his father’s wishes and put on a mask to wrestle him at a house show. Yes, some unsuspecting crowd from 40 years ago got the in-ring debut of the Genetic Jackhammer and didn’t even realize it.
“Vince never was able to become a wrestler, his father wanted him to be behind the microphone, so he could control things a little better … One night we were driving in the car together and he says, ‘One thing I miss Sarge is getting in the ring.’ I asked him if he wants to get in the ring, he says yes, so I tell him to go put a mask on one night when we have a smaller event and I’ll wrestle you. So we did, and it wasn’t the funnest time of my life, but we got it done.”
As far as we know, no footage of Vince as El Hijo de El Jefe (or whatever) exists, but we’ll keep looking.
Sarge also shared a story about one of his earliest interactions with McMahon, in which he almost got fired for being too good at his job because he didn’t know about Vince’s hygiene phobias.
“Vince hates sneezing, he hates smoke … When I first came into the WWE, he had you do promos about wrestlers. Vince just wanted to see if you could do a promo. I met his father and he said to go out and do a promo with his son and see how it goes. Nobody had ever seen me before. I played the marine for him, put the sunglasses on, I had my swagger stick and by the time I almost got to him I almost caused a riot. He went to say something to me and I said, ‘Shut your hole puke, who gave you permission to speak?’ It kind of stunned him a bit. I berated him and his magnificent body that he worked so hard to chisel up. I heard through the grapevine that he spent $200 on a haircut so I took my swagger stick up and down his hair and I said, ‘Who cut your hair, Ray Charles?’ When we were all done I got my cigar and took a big puff of it, I blew it in his face and I didn’t know that he hated smoke. He started turning blue and red. I walked back to the dressing room and all the wrestlers were giggling, saying that poor guy (me) got fired before he got started.”
Remember, folks: Vince McMahon always wanted to be a wrestler, and is also possibly Dodongo.
(transcription h/t to Wrestling Incorporated)