On Raw this past Monday night, we almost got to see Vince McMahon made his return to television. Everyone thought it was him we heard his “No Chance in Hell” entrance music followed by a muscular guy in a suit making his way out.
Only it wasn’t Vinny Mac. Instead, it was Damien Sandow impersonating the boss, exclaiming that he was Vincent Kennedy McMahondow.
During his wonderful impression, McMahondow reminded everyone that he was “the Chairman of the Board, the creative genius, the genetic jackhammer” which got a big laugh.
It had been over a decade since the real Vince McMahon first proclaimed that he was a “genetic jackhammer” which has a fantastic definition in the urban dictionary. I thought I was about the only person that still called him that and only because I once called him that to his face.
Let’s go back to July 3, 2000. The World Wrestling Federation (yes, it was still the WWF then) was in Orlando for Raw that night. But hours before the show, McMahon had some other pressing business. That was to introduce the newest team of his brand spanking new football league, the Orlando Rage of the XFL.
I was there for the press conference and still have my generic XFL jersey that has “ORLANDO” printed on the back that was given to me as a member of the press. McMahon would give a grandiose speech to the members of the media about the new Orlando Rage franchise and how his latest brainchild was going to sweep the nation. Afterwards, he was then available for one-on-one interviews.
I had to get in on that but everyone else there did as well. Since I was the “wrestling guy” on the scene and wanted to ask him some other things besides the XFL, I figured I would go last. In the meantime, I had a quick conversation with Stephanie McMahon before just waiting patiently.
Once I saw that most of the local media got their few minutes with McMahon, I took my place in line. In fact, I told the PR guy there that I specifically wanted to be last.
Anyway, I was next in line with just Juliet Macur of The Orlando Sentinel talking with him before me. And let’s just say that she did not have a lot of faith in this new project. She began asking McMahon about how anyone can take the XFL seriously since he is a wrestling promoter and wanted to do all these things like getting to know the cheerleaders and their relationships with players. Plus, he wanted to ease back on the rules the NFL had implemented and get back to hard-nosed days of football of the past instead of being a bunch of pansies like what was happening in that other league.
She insisted that game could be just as fake as what people would see later that night on Raw. That did not sit well with McMahon. He firmly stated that was not the case. He then began to defend the WWF, proudly stating, “This is Americana! What we do is Americana!” He then invited Macur to come to Raw later than night along with her family as his guests but she quickly declined.
While all this is going on, I’m just standing nearby watching McMahon get more and more worked up trying to win this newspaper columnist over which was pointless. But once I heard that invite, I figured I would try to be cute to get him in a good mood. So when Macur was finished and I got my turn, I started like this: “Hi, I’m Brian Fritz. If you want to make me that same offer for Raw tonight, I’ll be more than happy to take you up on it”.
His response: silence.
I had nothing left to do but hit record on my device and dive into the interview. Once it started, everything was fine as we talked about the XFL and what fans could expect. But since I was the “wrestling guy” there, I had other things on my agenda.
The WWF was riding a tidal wave of success at the time. Just fours years earlier, the company was in deep financial trouble and trailing WCW in the Monday Night Wars. Now, it was putting Ted Turner’s company out of business with the Attitude Era and the likes of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Rock becoming mainstream stars.
So I asked him about their comeback which he seemed very happy to discuss and I could feel any angst from before going away. The WWE had also just secured a huge new television deal with Viacom which was my next question. At this point, we were having a good dialogue.
But I figured that since things were going so well, I had to see if I could get him to laugh. This was my goal. Even just a chuckle from the chairman would be awesome.
And I had a game plan for how to make that happen. I had to bring up something that Vince had called himself weeks earlier on Raw in the most braggadocious, McMahon-esque manner possible. So without thinking about it, I boldly asked my final question:
“So with you not being on TV lately, how’s the genetic jackhammer doing at home?”
Well, I got my chuckle. In fact, I got a legitimate belly laugh from Vincent Kennedy McMahon. And I got a picture with him out of it too.
Below is that interview.