Vince McMahon doesn't know how many different rivers he was supposed to be at the bottom of.
After purchasing the WWE (then WWWF) from his father in 1982, Vince McMahon set out on a path that would change the wrestling industry forever. One of the unwritten rules he began to break as he worked toward the inaugural WrestleMania in 1985 was operating outside of his father's traditional territory in the Northeast United States.
During his appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Vince detailed his favorite WWE moment and then proceeded to share a story, told to him by Jim Ross, in which four prominent wrestling promoters met up to discuss "taking him out" because he was invading their territories.
"I always like to say 'the next big moment is going to be my favorite.' I think WrestleMania 1 was important to me because that night, I hawked everything I had. I didn't have any money. Even competing with these other guys, I had a strong work ethic and with the work ethic, I had creativity and balls by the ton and you just go do it. That's the way I operated. These other guys were millionaires. I had nothing. I had cash flow, I bought the business from my dad and didn't have the money I said I had. It was like a balloon payment. So much down, and I didn't have the rest of it. Over the course of a year, there are installments. If you don't make those installments, they keep the money and have the business back. That was over the course of a year. Every installment was, 'this is great, got this kid's money and got the business' until the last one and it was 'Hmm, this happened.' Competing with the other guys, they are millionaires, I didn't have anything. it was all cash flow. If I went to St. Louis, which was an NWA territory and not part of my dad's Northeast territory, and you go into other people's territories. It was, 'Hmmm, you don't do that.' I don't know how many different rivers I was supposed to be in the bottom of. Death threats are what they are. I always felt, if you can knock off a President of the United States then, I'm easy to get to. I never had a bodyguard or any of that stuff. In those days, it was like, from their standpoint, when you invaded their territory. It was, they weren't just fighting words, it was so many times when people threatened me and the last guy, 'if you want to take credit for it, you better take it quick.' There is a story that Jim Ross was telling me one day. He was with Bill Watts and other old NWA guys and they are having this conference. 'What are we going to do about this kid invading everything. We have to do something about him.' They couldn't order lunch together. Egos and everything. They are meeting in terms of what they could do. Jim is not part of the meeting, but he's in the men's room. In walks four of the most prominent promoters, talking about how they are going to off me. 'This guy knows this guy, he can do this.' They all know people and are all talking about who is going to off me. Imagine Jim Ross. He's thinking, 'I don't give a shit about Vince McMahon,' he's thinking about himself. He hears this and thinks, 'I'm going to be an accessory to murder.' He takes one foot, puts it on the seat, takes the other, so they can't see his feet. Mother nature is calling at the same time. He waited for them to finish up. It's one of those things. What are you going to do? He told me about it five years after he came to work for me. 'You could have told me earlier,'" he said.
Jim Ross would work for WWE from 1993 to 2013 and then again sporadically for a couple of years starting in 2017. He is now the voice of All Elite Wrestling.
Elsewhere during the interview, McMahon announced that he would be inducting The Undertaker into the WWE Hall of Fame. Click here to see The Undertaker's reaction to the news.
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