Aside from the sexual assaults and employees dying on payroll, Vince McMahon has led a fascinating life. Growing up as Vinnie Lupton, Vincent Kennedy McMahon didn’t mean his father, Vincent J. McMahon (called Vince Senior to differentiate the two), until he was 12. Vince Senior was the owner of the company that promoted WWWF wrestling from Washington D.C. to Maine when wrestling was divided among territories in the United States.
When Vince bought out Vince Senior and his partners in 1982, it was for payments monthly for about $1 million over the next year. The recent deal with Endeavour on a merger with UFC values the business at $9 billion. Vince knew that from 1982 through 1984, that cable TV would make the territories obsolete because a regional promotion with national cable access would essentially violate the gentlemen’s agreement among promoters not to poach each other’s territory. Southwest Championship Wrestling on USA Network and Georgia Championship Wrestling on TBS were the first promotions with national clearance. By mid-1984, Vince would have both those cable spots. Vince would do what his father would do, break the gentleman’s agreement by invading other territories by running house shows and broadcasting TV, while also scooping up their stars. Taking Hulk Hogan and Jesse Ventura from the AWA, Junkyard Dog from Mid-South, and Roddy Piper from Mid-Atlantic, allowed Vince to recruit the biggest regional stars to make him go national. What better way to invade the AWA’s territory in Minnesota, Chicago, Las Vegas, Denver, and San Francisco, than with former stars of the AWA like Hogan, Ventura, and David Schultz? Vince’s wrestling wasn’t necessarily better, but he knew the competition could not compete. The competition, which was essentially wrestling promoters with their regional fiefdoms, didn’t have the visions or the willingness to spend on talent and production as Vince did.
Vince has his many faults and we will probably never the truth behind his involvement in steroids, the death of Jimmy Snuka’s girlfriend, and rumored rapes, but what we do know is that Vince is a billionaire because he had the ability to see the future and the ability to not be stuck in his ways.