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Part Four: Vince McMahon, History's Greatest Monster

Part Four: Vince McMahon, History's Greatest Monster

Thu, 25 May 2023 10:00

Robert walks Seanbaby and Tom through Vince McMahon's betrayal of Andre the Giant, rape allegations, and the murder he may have helped cover up. As a bonus, Jesse Ventura tries to unionize the WWF.

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Are you ready to move your career forward? Make your comeback with Purdue Global and get college credit for your work, school, life, or military experiences. With these credits, you may have already completed up to 75% of your undergraduate degree. You've worked hard to get where you are. It's time to get the recognition you deserve and earn a degree you'll be proud of. One that employers will trust and respect. When you take the next step in your life and career, make a count with Purdue Global. Purdue's online university for working adults, start your comeback at Purdue Hi, this is Bridget Todd. Discover the transformative power of psychedelic medicine at psychedelic science, June 19th through 23rd at the Colorado Convention Center. Presented by the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies, enjoy fascinating talks by hundreds of experts, amazing workshops, exciting events, and hundreds of vendors and marketplace opportunities. Use code iHeart to get 15% off registration today at psychedelic Hi, I'm David Eagleman. I have a new podcast called Inner Cosmos on iHeart. I'm going to explore the relationship between our brains and our experiences by tackling unusual questions. Like, can we create new senses for humans? So join me weekly to uncover how your brain steers your behavior, your perception, and your reality. Listen to Inner Cosmos with David Eagleman on the iHeart Radio app Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Robert Evans here and we'll get to the Vince McMahon episodes in a second. I wanted to let you all know that for the fourth year in a row, we are doing our fundraiser for the Portland Dipper Bank. Behind the bastard supporters have been helping to fund the Portland Dipper Bank since 2020 and bought millions of diapers for people who really need them. So if you go to GoFundMe and type in BTB fundraiser for pdx diaper bank or just type in BTB fundraiser diaper bank, GoFundMe, into Google, anything like that, you will find it. So please, GoFundMe, BTB fundraiser for Portland Dipper Bank, help us raise the money that these people need to get diapers to folks who need them desperately. Oh boy, it's another episode of us talking about Vince fucking McMahon and also wrestling history because they're kind of in exchange. And you know who else is inextricable? My guests on this episode Tom Rhyman and Sean Riley aka Sean baby. How are you both doing today? So ready for some Vince. Yeah, that is so true. I cannot be extracted. That's right. That's right. You both had blood tests recently that showed blood infection. Yeah. You are deficient in vitamin V. Oh, for Vince. Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, here we go. So as Vince Jr. remade wrestling in his own image, he knew that he was going to remake the popular image of wrestlers. His dad's most recent big star, the man who had sold out matches and ignited imaginations throughout the 70s, was one of the all-time coolest people to ever live on this planet. Andre the fucking giant. And I thought you were going to say, Brutus the barber beef kick. No, no, no. Fucking Andre, man, we are. I'm so excited. I am so excited to talk about Andre the giant. I hope there's lots of big stories, boss. What do we want to do? We'll have what to do. So born Andre Renee Rusimoff in 1946, Andre had gigantism caused by too many growth hormones, which kind of is a young kid. He's a normal size. But once he hits into his late teens, I think he starts to grow and just never stops. He's growing until the day he dies. It's part of why he dies. His organs can't really keep up with how big he is. He winds up at his height being about seven foot four. Normal landing. Most of his wrestling careers, about 450 pounds by the end. He's like 520. He's a very large man. He is a massive dude. I think he listed him at 700 on someone else. Yeah, it's credible. If you saw Andre the giant, someone said that man weighs 700 pounds. He go, yeah, man, I don't know. Sure. Yes, they always, they always increase those numbers. But yeah, but he is massive. I'm sure. Yeah, you would believe. I believed that he was 700 pounds. Sure. It scans. Now, Andre is a very bright guy. He's a really smart kid. He's very good at math. It's interesting. When he's in primary school, he does really well in math. Some of the adults around him are kind of surprised when he doesn't continue his education at 14. But he's like, I'm not supposed to be a smart person. I'm just going to work on a farm. It was kind of noted by people around him at the time that he very easily did the work of four men. And one thing you have to know, when you look at Andre, his most famous kind of cultural touchstone is obviously the movie Princess Bride. That is near the end of his life. He is not in great health in that movie. Kind of very famously in that scene when Princess Buttercup leaps into his arms, they actually had to have her like on strings or something so that the weight was not put on his back because he was in, he was in such bad shape. He was sick at that point in his life. At the height, when he is a young man and is 18, early 20s and stuff, Andre is jacked. Not just a huge man. He's a big guy. The Andre most people know. If you watch videos of young Andre, he is both swole and seven foot four. Some of the shit, some people will write that he was not a great technical wrestler. He was just good at kind of presenting himself and he was entertaining. I don't think that's fair. I've watched videos of him wrestling as a young man and he can do shit. He's picking up like 250 pound dudes and throwing them one handed across the fucking ring. He is leaping and landing on to people with his entire body weight and not killing them. That's a technical skill. Right. That's a that's a tech and boss. Yeah. He is. And he's mesmerizing like young Andre absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. Amazing. He wasn't a good wrestler. No, no wrong. He's fucking incredible. Yeah. They only saw 80s Andre. Yeah. If you say that. Even then he was pretty. There's some pretty 80s. He's got some, but it's also, you know, it's one of those things as a kid. I guess I knew that his like nickname was the eighth wonder of the world watching young Andre wrestle dudes. Like it is awe inspiring. It's like watching a fucking hurricane. Like it is like I don't think it's an exaggerate. He's amazing. Big Andre the giant fans. It sounds like all around the table to take around. Yeah. He's great. So it is true. Obviously, you know, as he gets older, especially his mobility issues mean that he can't handles and he's never really he's never able to do like the leaping off the turnbuckle stuff. Because he's he is, you know, too big for some things. He is very skilled. Anyway, Andre is such a big hit for his dad that Vince Jr. is like, I want this guy, but more so. He does is he keeps Andre the giant traveling more than ever in the early 1980s. I don't think there's a man in America who puts together the air miles. This man does. He said about Andre in 1983. He's traveling every day two weeks ago. He was in Japan. He's everywhere. Lucky for us. His IQ is as large as his body. He travels most of the time on his own. Does everything for himself. There are guys who have to have someone with them all the time. I don't think any general manager in a sport says he has a larger can say is a larger collection of a centric than we do, but not Andre. He'll always be there when you need him. And this is real genius. He can book his own plane tickets. It is like one of the say like obviously Andre did love. I think love the job love doing it. These flights are nightmares for him. One of the things I guess he can. Yeah. He literally couldn't fit in the airplane bathrooms. They had to like put a curtain aside and let him like go into a bucket when he was on long haul flights. Because there was like you can't fit Andre the giant. They would fly low and ask you so that they could open a window that she's pressurized and playing. He's just hanging out. Hey, I'm don't out the emergency exit. Here you go. He destroyed four American cities that way. Yeah. And nine Japanese ones. He was kind of known for being like the boss. Like that's literally that's what other wrestlers called him was the boss in the locker room. And one of the kind of the things with Andre was he was really the only guy in the business who would never lose right if Andre is in a match. He's going to win the match. And one of the things that kind of one like and still everyone wanted to wrestle him because like if you're a big regional wrestler, you want to wrestle. You want to lose to Andre the giant and just lose well because that can make your career right just fighting him can make your career because he's fucking Andre the giant. Now the sheer ferocity of Andre's travel schedule and the social demands of star Adam wore him down over time as did his lifestyle being massive. He ate incredibly huge meals. But he also drank an estimated 7,000 calories of beer and wine per day. Yeah, at one point, yeah, he got into a contest with an Olympian named Chris Taylor that ended with Taylor tapping out at 126 bottles of beer and Andre drinking more than 147. That's too much beer. That is too much beer. Honestly, here, what's the most beer either of you have ever drank like in the say like a day? Yeah, I mean maybe like 30, you know, and that was like that was intense. That was like regretted it for days. I've had 26 before. I've never gotten to I think I think I've been in the 20s. Yeah. So we don't understand that that that's like a one time in your life you drink like a quarter of what Andre did. Yeah, yeah, and it and you and it hurts you for possibly. Yeah, it's one of those things that you kind of you have to do it when you're like 25 because your limits, you know, yeah, I couldn't do that now. No, no, no, no, no, I'd never wake up. It'd be real sad if we all did it now, but yes. Like a twice in your life, you got a party. You got to test the limits of your party. Look at that event horizon of alcoholism. You must taste the oblivion of partying. Yeah, and with Andre, you know, part of why he drank so much is just that like it affected him less than it does people who are not seven foot four giants. And part of it was he was in a horrible pain because his body was far too large for his back in his knees. So for Andre, there's some sadness behind those stories. Yeah, there is some say now there's some funny stories too because like so one of like when kind of Andre is this is in the kind of the mid 80s when he's sort of at his near his height as a as a famous wrestler, he an Arnold Schwarzenegger become friends. And this is like peak body bill almost peak body building Arnold a little bit faster. The monster and Commander's Shoeyer. Yeah, exactly. So the two of them go out like drinking and have a meal one night. And at the end of the dinner, they have a fight over who's going to pay. And Arnold tries to be like, I'm going to pay and Andre the giant picks him up picks up Arnold Schwarzenegger and sets him in the eve of a window above them so that he can go pay. Like like like. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger like he's a giant adult. Like like carrying a cat out of the room. Exactly. He was so cool. When I was with the stilt that night, he was an old man. Yeah, yeah, you have to assume so you have to assume they just drank all of the liquor and that small town. And that must have been cool. So by the time Vince takes over, he's already starting to look for Andre's replacement. You know, Andre is probably the biggest name in wrestling or close to it. You know, it tied with a couple of other guys. But he's also he's old. He's not able to move the way he was. It's kind of clear that he's on the downswing of his career. And Vince finds Andre's replacement and a young man named Terry Bollia. Now Terry was just in his 20s when he'd started wrestling for the WWF, a child of the 1950s and of a dirt poor neighborhood in Port Tampa, Florida. Terry loved wrestling as had loved wrestling as long as he could remember. His favorite wrestler as a kid was Billy Graham. The younger brother of Vince's mentor, Dr. Jerry Graham, which is pretty cool. I do love that the cramps had such an impact. Young Terry was particularly drawn to Billy because of his larger than life physique, including improbable 22 inch biceps. These muscles were the product of steroids as Billy was among the first generation of wrestlers to get really into that shit. He evangelized them to other wrestlers saying, you can feel your body stretch, just lay in bed and you'll feel yourself grow. So that's great. Good stuff. Okay, muscle wizard. Okay. Yeah. So Terry started to get infected with strength. So Terry started out of your chest. So Terry starts wrestling small time in Florida. Graham notices his skill and he buys him a drink one night in Tampa and Bollia stated what everyone else knew by now. He's like, guys aren't breaking into the big leagues of wrestling anymore without chemical assistance. Yeah. And so young Terry is like, hey, I know that you kind of need to be roided out to some extent. You have to be larger than life to make it in this business now. What should I do to take my career to the next level? And Graham is like, you should take Diana Ball and Windstrawl and then chase them with Valium because that's what I do. Great. Great. You're going to get some real like, you know, you got to get out there and grind. You got to try your best. But no, he's like, no, take this. Yeah. You have to. You have muscle growth. If you have any space in your ass that isn't drugs, you're doing it wrong. Like, should fill that butt. So within the WWF, the task of handing out steroids went to an osteopathic doctor named George Zohorian. He'd started as a house doctor for the McMahon's league and then became one of the chief state athletic representatives for Pennsylvania. He was required to examine every wrestler to see if they were healthy enough to perform. The allegation made later was that Vince, who was alleged to be a stellar steroid user himself, would not so subtly encourage wrestlers to get bigger. This didn't take much of a push since it was obvious that only the monsters got the choice roles. So doctors, Zohorian would go through wrestlers one by one to check them out. He brought a doctor bag full of steroids, painkillers, and valium with them and would ask, is there anything else you would like? If it isn't here, I can get it for you and send it to you. I cannot imagine a more corrupt job than WWF house doctor. No, you just say that and you're like, there's not a person in the world that doesn't immediately know what that means. I will note, this is not an allegation that Vince or the WWF broke any laws because steroids are not illegal at this point. Like by just handing them out candy, you're not necessarily breaking the law as a doctor. Maybe the type of credit goes. Maybe the type of credit goes. We can argue that on a personal level, but this is not like illegal drug dealing in the 80s. Listen, it's my sworn oath to make every one of these wrestlers asses as hard as a concrete dip horse. So Terry Bolley. That makes statues. That is, that is Sean. That's why Peter hates statues so much. Every one of them, even the ones not of horses. Look, right. You go to the Washington Monument. That's full of horses. It is horses all the way up that side of the fish. 58,000 horses stacked on top of each other. That's what happened to all of the horses from the south that we captured in the Civil War. That's how we punish them. Terry Bolley. Your betrayal will be remembered by the horse. It would be very America if we just punished the horses for the first time. Just punish the horses. Well, there wouldn't have been a horse that hadn't carried them down. Those horses were no angel. Till it to God. So Terry Bolley is going to become the poster child of the success that steroid use could bring one of Vince's wrestlers. He could not have succeeded in the business during an earlier era. Hulk Hogan, as he came to be known, was not a good technical wrestler. He never gets very good at the technical stuff. He's good at number one. He's a good performer and that he's like good at presenting an appealing personality to the fans. And he's good at being a gigantic muscle freak. Matches with him had to be kind of scripted to avoid some of the choreography that guys like Brett Owen could have done. Or Brett Hart could have done. He's no Hulky-talk man. Yeah, he's simply a man. He was pretty great. Yeah, again, wrestling is, but this has always been the case. We talked about this in that earlier age. You don't have to be a great technical wrestler to be a good wrestler. It's different kind of things. Hogan, though, a lot of his early success comes from the fact that he is just so fucking big. Ten years after their meeting, superstar Graham met Hogan again at WrestleMania 3. And he later told Inside Edition, we went off to a shower stall and Hogan pulled down his wrestling tights. I injected him with 600 milligrams of testosterone in the right buttock. He had scar tissue on his butt from so many injections over the years. And it was hard to shove the needle in. She's got that leathery dinosaur skin. He does have skin like a fucking leather jacket. Like he has a complexion of Indiana Jones' jacket. Oh, he's sunny. They had that bit where they said he had the skin of a hot dog. Yeah, perfect. Perfect analysis. Yeah, I'm genius. It's a deal. So by the late 1980s, Hogan was the WWF's biggest star. Andre still drew crowds, but his body was by now very much failing him. Vince became aware that his former main draw was on the way out. Now, previously Andre had been treated like a supernatural force. No one was ever allowed to actually beat him. And again, careers were made by just getting hits in against the giant. He was beloved. He was cheered every time he came on. It's kind of the ultimate babyface, but now Vince engineered a storyline to turn him into a heel. Andre was somewhat uncomfortable with the whole turn, but Vince executed it effectively. Having the giant betray Hogan and turning him into an object of disdain for the audience. At WrestleMania 3, they cheered as for the first time. Andre was beaten in the ring by Vince's new Golden Boy. Oh, Kogan. From here, Andre's career descended rapidly, and his last match is where he's a desperating series of villainous appearances. For the first time in his life, he was booed and jeered as he entered the stadium. And experience that his friends say caused him some amount of anguish as his body continued to fail him. That's nuts. Yeah, making a big sweet man feel bad is given the crimes this guy commits is low on the list of Vince McMahon evil. But the way this all goes down says a lot about him. I found a documentary. There's a documentary, it came out in 2018 by Bill Simmons, just titled Andre the Giant. I have a lot of criticisms of the documentary. There's a degree of whitewashing in it that's pretty significant. But they get Vince to talk for it. And there's a moment in this that is extremely revealing. And I'm going to play that for you now. His career was over. He had no value to himself. No longer am I going to be around the boys and socializing and things of that nature stuck here in old Carolina. And how was responsible for the fact that business was going on. Everybody else was going on that. I'm pretty more or less wanted to blame me. And presented me a bit because he knew the business was going to go on about him. I think Andre presented that a little bit too. This time was up to him. And I was going to continue on. And sometimes it can even be a situation whereby what you used me the longer when I was not raised president, no longer was it this loving warm admiration to be after each other. It wasn't there. Now there's something real telling about that because he's characterizing something that is a normal practice in wrestling where you can't stay on top forever. The guy on top has to pass the belt on to the next guy is going to be on top. That's just how the business works. However, events in this clip is ignoring the fact that Andre's career is ending because Andre is literally dying. Yeah. Like this is this is a unique situation. Like you didn't have to put the strap on Hogan like that. Yeah. By making Andre end his career as a bad guy. So he's that's so man. There's no real fucking way to spend this. Andre hates me and there's a lot of good reasons for him to hate me and yeah, I really kind of owed him. There's also that very beginning line where he's like Andre was like he had no value and then he pauses a second and goes to himself. To himself. That's how Vince feels. Can't wrestle no more value. And he has to be like, oh no, to himself. He's no value. Let me fix it. He's worthless and has no self esteem. All right. Fix it. That's for your legacy, my good friend. What a piece of shit. I love you. I choose this. Andre wasn't drawing anymore. Yeah. This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp. How much time do you spend on yourself in a given week? And how much time do you spend on other people? How do you balance the two? These are questions we all have to answer and therapy can help you get those answers. When we spend all of our time giving, it can leave us feeling stretched and burned out. Therapy can give you the tools to find more balance in your life so you can keep supporting other people without leaving yourself behind. 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That's why even when I'm at home, I use a VPN and one of the very best VPNs is our sponsor, ExpressVPN. It's an app that reroute your internet connection through their secure servers so your ISP can't see the sites that you visit. They keep your info secure by encrypting 100% of your data with the most powerful encryption available. ExpressVPN is available on all your devices, phones, computers, even your smart TV, so there's no excuse to not use it. Protect your online activity today with the VPN rated number one by Business Insider. Visit my exclusive link, slash bastards, and you can get an extra three months free on a one-year package. That's slash bastards. slash bastards to learn more. Hi, I'm David Eagleman. I have a new podcast called Inner Cosmos on I Heart. I'm a neuroscientist and an author at Stanford University, and I've spent my career exploring the three-pound universe in our heads. On my new podcast, I'm going to explore the relationship between our brains and our experiences by tackling unusual questions so we can better understand our lives and our realities. Like, does time really run in slow motion when you're in a car accident? Or, can we create new senses for humans? Or, what does dreaming have to do with the rotation of the planet? So join me weekly to uncover how your brain steers your behavior, your perception, and your reality. Listen to Inner Cosmos with David Eagleman on the I Heart Radio app Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Now, I will say this is not in that documentary because again, it white washes some shit. But there was something else in Andres, the fact that Andres in his late life seems to have hated Vince McMahon, something else besides the fact that he'd been made into a heal. Because Andres was very close to one of the earliest actual crimes that Vince has been accused of committing. Rita Chatterton was born in Albany in 1957, and she fell in love with wrestling as a little kid through her little brother Christopher. He was obsessed with the past time, and his life ambition was to go into wrestling. But in 1979, he died in a tragic car accident. Rita decided to become professionally involved in wrestling as a way to honor her younger brother's memory. She was 22 years old, working as a driver for Wonder Bread. Now, she'd had a lung injury earlier in life, so she was unable to actually be a female wrestler. But she realized that pro wrestling had never had a female referee. So she set herself to the task of getting that job. She gets licensed as a ref in the state of New York in 1984, and she almost immediately starts to work repping small regional shows. She's really good at this, and she develops a reputation for being competent and a good performer. And she's soon making a decent sideline doing these kind of three and four thousand fan little venues. So she's doing okay. She's supplementing her income. When in January of 1955, three years in events taking over the WWE, he gives her a call. Now, at this point, Vince is kind of in the middle of his quest to take out the regionals. And he's launched a super storyline in his own in the WWE F, involving a pop star named Cindy Lauper. And Cindy is like, she's kind of a regular character in WWE F events at this period of time. He's got her managing a lady wrestler, and he's also got her engaged in a K-fay battle against a wrestler who's kind of like he makes a misogynist so that it can be kind of a... Because women's rights is big at the time and the news, right? So Vince is like, we'll have Cindy Lauper be representing the ladies and we'll have this wrestler be a big hit. And you know, it's all be all that story. That is why that is where it came from. That's how the E.R.O. that passed. Robert, I am white knuckling through this story. Yeah, do you know what's coming, Tom? I don't. Oh boy. Oh boy. It's not good. So Vince heard there was a young female ref that was working, you know, some regional shows. She done, I think, a couple of W smaller, W-W-F affiliated gigs. And so he's like, hey, we've got this kind of feminist storyline going on. Let's bring in this lady ref that will probably put some butts in seats. So far, this is all fine. Obviously, it's a little bit cynical, but nearly all social progress in this country involves cynical entertainment people, increasing representation in order to make money and whatever. So, okay. So sure, he calls Rita up and he asks her to work at Madison Square Garden the coming week. She took the job and she did it quite well. McMahon called her afterwards and she later claimed he said he was impressed with what I did, impressed with my work and he wanted me to go full time. He promised me half a million dollars a year at a time. I knew that's a huge amount of money, but I didn't know what the wrestlers were making. And obviously she knows that guys like Hulk Hogan are rich as shit. So she's like, I don't know, maybe if I become a star referee, I could make that kind of money. Obviously, very few people involved in wrestling made anything near that much money and Vince had no incentive to give a shitload of cash to her. But she doesn't know that she's making the choice that seems like the best choice for her at the time. I'm going to quote next from a write up in New York magazine. I don't want to see you messing around with any of the wrestlers, you keep it professional. Look. Yeah, so that's not great. Not a great sign for where things are going. What the fuck? So I'm sorry this is as a ball. This is going to get a lot of less. Yeah, okay, okay. Yep, that's just like first 20. So Rita's excited. She thinks she's going to be the start of like a career and money and you know, it's this is great, right? She reaches out to a friend of her. She's got two good friends in the wrestling business. And one of them is a wrestler. His last name is Inzatarri. And she tells him, hey, I'm going to be on the cover of Women's Daily and Time and all these other magazines. And Inzatarri is like, what do you think that's going to happen? And she's like Vince promised it to me. And Inzatarri has been in the business long enough. And he's like, oh, Rita, please, if you do anything with him, you're going to be gone. Stay away from Vince, right? Like that's his advisor is like, keep doing the job. Don't like do not like avoid Vince McMahon at all fucking costs, right? And I think it's one of those things he had heard rumors. It's not, you know, at this point, there's not anything kind of publicly out about Vince being a sex weirdo. But you know, you work in the business you hear and he tries to warn his friend away. He's like, look, this is a bad guy to be fucking in business with. As a casual time magazine reader, he knew that they don't do a lot of cover features on WWE referees. So if you're in Rita's position, working as the first female Reff and Pro wrestling, and it seems like starting to succeed in a massive scale though, like how can you not move forward with this, right? And for a while, Vince kind of kept his promise. She kept getting brought in for very big matches. She gets a kind of a small part and a spread in Cosmo. So she's like, it sort of seems like this is starting to happen for her. She's optimistic enough about the future for good reason that she quits her job as a delivery driver. McMahon also had her on his unsuccessful cable talk show Tuesday night Titans. She wore a loose-fitting white dress and McMahon praised her in ways that were vaguely off-putting, saying, you have been accomplishing things that certainly women have never accomplished before. I mean, you weigh approximately 120 to 130 pounds, not getting personal somewhere in there. And for you to step into the ring with the giants, I mean, you realize what can happen to you. Do you not? Now, what does that mean? You can go with crushed and not. Yeah, I mean, you can go with crushed. I think he's trying to sell the danger of it because he's always that carnival barker. But also, I don't want to be recorded giving Vince McMahon the benefit of the doubt. No, like people at the time, you could give him the benefit of the doubt. It's going to become very clear later. Right, out of free of any context. Yeah, let me, let me rephrase it. Free of any context that context, that is how I would interpret that. Sure, absolutely. Yeah. Now, for the most part, Vicki's pretty happy. But week after week and eventually months go by and the contract that Vincent promised her didn't show up. That half a million dollar. That half a million contract didn't happen. Sure it happened. So Vicki, sorry, Rita, I don't know why is it Vicki. Rita claims that she asked McMahon for an audience and he agreed to meet with her after a show. When she arrived for the meeting, a bunch of other industry people were there meeting with him. She tried to start a conversation during dinner, but he kind of brushes her off. And then he catches her as she's leaving the bathroom. And he's like, hey, I don't want to talk to you about your career in front of all these other people. It's none of their business. Why don't we go to a second location and you get in my limo with me. Yeah, I'd read it. Yeah. Bring in nice. Yep. Yeah. Nice, maybe like some kind of, I don't know, gun that launches mace. Yeah. Any of that. Good idea. Obviously, I look, I'm not going to like beat her on the bus here. Vince unzips his pants. And he propositions her. This is how Rita later describes what happens. Vince continued TNO, if you want a half a million dollar contract, you're going to have to satisfy me. And this is the way things have to go. Vince grabbed my hand, kept trying to put my hand on him. I was scared. At the end, my wrist was all purple, black and blue. Things just didn't, he just, God, he just didn't stop. This man just didn't stop. According to Chatterton, the next thing that Vince says is, how's your daughter going to go to college? Of course, she doesn't have to go to college. That means, yeah. Yeah, I guess that she's not going to be able to afford it if she doesn't, you know, and it's like, obviously, this is both sexual harassment and also physical. He's bruising her hand, right? This is not just even, like not that it's okay to be creepy. Like this is also physical, directly physical violence. Both of these things are occurring here. So Chatterton later claims, I was forced into oral sex with Vince McMahon. When I couldn't complete his desires, he got really angry, started ripping off my jeans, pulled me on top of him, and told me again that if I wanted a half a million dollar a year of contract, that I had to satisfy him, you could make me or break me. And if I didn't satisfy him, I was blackballed. That was it. I was done. One of the things that sticks with me and always will was after he got done doing his business, he looked at me and said, remember when I told you not to mess with any of the wrestlers? Well, you just did. Oh my God. Yeah. What the f***? Yeah. Psychopaths, man. He's a fucking, yeah, he's giant, I mean, he's a fucking massive piece of shit. That's why we're spending six hours talking about him. Jeez. It's nice. Yeah. Giant piece of shit. So that's terrible. In the immediate wake of this assault, of this alleged assault, Rita reached out to two colleagues in Zatari. I mean, these are like the two guys that are her friends within the business. One of them is this guy in Zatari and one is Andre the giant. So he is like one of the two people that she feels confident confiding in about what has happened to her, which I don't know, might play into some of the reason why Andre hates Vince McMahon late in life. Oh, that's true. Yeah. Yeah. She also speaks, yeah. Anyway. So she talks to a lawyer to kind of decide, can I sue Vince McMahon? Can I like press charges against him? But it is, he is very powerful and wealthy at this point in time. It is not an easy, it's not an easy thing to do when like it's the guy is like a fucking gas station attendant, right? It's especially hard when it's fucking Vince McMahon. And she's not sure if it's like worth the risk. In part because both of her parents are in poor health at this point. She's helping to take care of them. She's worried about the effect all of this will have on them. So she works, keeps quiet for a while. She keeps working as a ref in smaller venues, often on through the early 90s. When her father dies in 1992, she makes her first public allegation. So like publicly alleges that Vince McMahon sexually assaulted her. She goes on, she's on a couple of different like TV shows and stuff talking about this. She makes this as public as she possibly can. We'll talk about this a little more in the next episode, but for Rita, her wrestling dream finally ended in 1993. After she attended Andre the Giants funeral, Vince was also there and she recalls quote, Vince walked up to me and said, it's nice to meet you. He knew exactly who I was. She adds, I said, it's nice to meet me. I told him to go fuck off and walk away. That seems. Yep. The least of what he deserves. Yeah. Got off very light in that exchange. Yeah. Yep. So it's perfect time to plug. It's yeah. Vince McMahon. It's pretty bleak. It's bad times, all bad times. And we have one more terrible story about Vince McMahon and this kind of occurs contemporaneous to the other stuff. A lot of bad things are happening at once here. So should have just told really happy Andre the Giants stories. That would have been a more fun podcast. My buddy Tommy wrote for WWF a while and he used to tell Andre the Giants stories. I don't want to like tell any of his, but he had one where ultimate warrior got him some wine and Andre's like, this is not French. War. And so he sent warrior like to 7-11 to get French wine. And it was like so close to the show that he was already in his full ultimate warrior makeup. He was all sprint. He like went into 7-11 to get a bunch of French wine. And so this 7-11 clerk watched the ultimate fucking warrior like burst into his store and rummage through the liquor and come out with all this wine. And again, I don't remember how that story ended, but I just remember it was like 20 people laughing at this. Yeah. He just got a million. Like that's all Andre the Giants did was fucking drink and make awesome shit happen. Yeah. There's there are a couple of funny stories about him getting like drunk enough that he passed out, passes out in like hotel, lobbies and stuff. And then just having to be like, well, let's put a blanket on him. No, you can't move him. This is a real problem. He is. He is an impassable. It's like a head throw. Yeah. Yeah. We need a bangle or a torpedo to get through him. So at around the same time. I would just curl up. It's snuggling on it. Obviously. I know we're on sleep in the night. At around the same time, Rita was starting her career as a referee. Vince got himself into an even worse situation. Maybe. I don't know. It's a bad another terrible situation. Let's put it that way. One of his top baby face wrestlers was a guy named Jimmy Superfly Snooka. Snooka had started dating a young Brooklyn girl named Nancy Argentino. She was working as a dental assistant, a friend of hers that started dating another wrestler. So she goes to shows with them and she meets Snooka. So she winds up becoming Snooka's driver as well as his girlfriend because Jimmy was hooked on every drug conceivable and was never in the same galaxy as sober enough to drive. He's a massive mother thing. Yeah. He's a most extreme woman. In very short order, the two start fighting. And on January 18th of 1983, the police are called to a hotel in Selina, New York for a domestic disturbance between them. It wound up taking a whole team of cops to subdue Snooka who was at that point, about 85% trend and cocaine by body weight. Now Snooka, kind of like one of the things that happens during this fight when the police show up is that Argentino runs out of a room to like tell the cops what he's been doing. And while the cops are there, he grabs her by the hair and drags her face across the dry wall. Her, the injuries that she's got include she's got a contusion in the neck. She has possible fractured ribs. Her lower back is injured. Snooka gets initially charged with assault and resisting arrest. Obviously Vince, you know, this is a problem. Snooka is a fairly prominent wrestler. He's got to deal with this. He does not care that this guy has just beat the absolute shit out of a young woman. And yeah, he's like kind of his immediate plan is I have to go into damage control mode. And according to an investigation by wrestling journalist David Bixen span, Argentino was initially trying to pursue criminal charges against Snooka, but she kind of suddenly makes a change to signing an affidavit claiming that she was in no way seeking prosecution against him. We don't know exactly what happened, but a police report was covered uncovered fairly recently that shows that Vince, I think this was a part of Josie Riceman's reporting that shows Vincent McMahon tried to talk around of making a complaint against Snooka in the first place. And as a result, Snooka winds up pleading guilty to harassment, but has his other charges dropped. He makes a donation to the Ronald McDonald House charity, but otherwise suffers no consequences. Later that year on May 10th, Snooka called the paramedics to his hotel room because Argentino was Argentino was unconscious and obviously dying. Snooka first claimed that they had a fight. He framed it as a playful thing that they had been play wrestling and she'd hit her head. And he thought she was okay until she had trouble breathing the next day. She gets taken to the ER where she dies the next day at 150 AM. The coroner sees enough evidence of violence to suggest a police interview. He believes it's a homicide. So they take Snooka in for questioning. Don Maracco, another wrestler staying at the same hotel claims that he has a call with Vince at the same time. Vince says, have you ever heard anything about Snooka and his girlfriend? Maracco says, I said, as a matter of fact, I am here with Lieutenant So-and-so, so I put him on the phone to Vince. Now this is the same time that Vince is in the final stage of taking ownership of the WWF. He has reason to fear that a murder scandal involving one of his top wrestlers could grow at blow everything up. We do not know what he said to the cops or to Snooka, but the next day Snooka changes his story instead of this play wrestling bet. He tells cops that like they'd been driving and she'd gotten out to pee in some bushes and she'd slipped and hit her head on the pavement. And that's what caused the injury, right? Riceman in her book notes that decades later, a wrestler who was trying to defend Snooka in a documentary interview would tell the crew that he had been in a car with them that morning and had no memory of any injury that she suffered by the roadside. He kind of accidentally blows up one of Snooka's claims. Snooka holds to that story forever though that she just hits her head in a freak accident and that's what causes all this. The WWF does cooperate with the investigation and eventually Snooka is released. He has not charged with any crime despite the fact that the coroner had advised the case be investigated as a homicide. Josie writes, Argentina's younger sister, Luis Argentino, would later recall that Vince or one of his proxies. She didn't remember the name and just called him Snooka's promoter, called Argentino's mother not long after her daughter was buried. In this Argentino, I'm so sorry for your loss. The sister remembered him saying, do you think $25,000 would help you? The mother hung up on him. Gross. Yep. Now, I mean, we live in a universe where cocaine filled Jimmy Snooka might accidentally kill somebody by shoving them in the hit their head on something. And I'd be like, that's within the wrong possibility. But then he's like, oh no, no, no, it happened earlier when she got out of the car and slipped out and felt like, okay, you're a murderer. Like that sort of clinches it. Yeah. Yeah. And the history of, they had a long history of domestic violence and it doesn't help either. I'm saying, there's a world where that story didn't exist and you're just saying, hi, I'm a gigantic dude and yeah, we were making love and I hit her head on the border or whatever. But yeah, that didn't happen. I don't know why I'm even bringing up hypothetical. That's the murderer. Yeah, you're obviously a murderer. Yeah, you know, this is very, very clearly a fucking murder, right? There's a little more to it in terms of Vince's sketchiness here. We know that Vince walked into a meeting with Snooka and the DA, the medical examiner and several cops on June 1st, which is the same day he makes his final payment to his dad for the WWF. Now, the DA at this meeting later recalls that Vince did all the talking. After himself later wrote this cryptic paragraph about the meeting for his autobiography. At one point I went with Vince McMahon Jr. to either a court or a law office. I don't remember which because I was still in shock. All I remember is he had a briefcase with him. I don't know what happened. I think Vince Jr. picked me up from the hotel and took me there. He didn't say anything. Maybe it was a bus. Maybe it was a spaceship. Yeah, I'm a maniac. No, no. No, no. There are a lot of conspiracy theories about that briefcase because Vince doesn't carry a briefcase, right? Everyone who's been in meetings with him says that this is a weird thing for him. That's kind of why Snooka wrote it, right? Is that Snooka's known him a while? He hasn't seen him do this before. We don't know anything more than this. There are a ton of conspiracy theories that, oh, did he have a bribe in the briefcase for the cops or whatever. There's not evidence of this. It's just something there's a lot of theories about, right? I think that there's plenty without him bribing the cops. There's plenty of shadiness here to make this be a mark in the bastard column for Vince McMahon. Yeah, sure. He didn't even need to do something as ostentatious as bring a briefcase full of money. He had plenty of power and influx to make something happen. Pat Patterson had a long-running prank where they were tricking each other into looking at each other's poop. So there could have been a human turn in that briefcase. Right. It had just completely unrelated to these. You're just getting this show, Pat Patterson is shit later. I was head out of it. You thought I'd do a fake thing? You wouldn't do it here, but I got you again, Pat. Yeah, you thought I wouldn't do this when trying to talk a wrestler out of a murder charge, but by God, I got you again. That does remind me of a, I have a good poop in a suitcase story. So I'm at this big outdoor party, this big like festival event in Texas near Texarkana one time. And I've got some friends who are part of this group at this festival that like their primary thing is doing like light terrorism, right? Where they just kind of try to mess with people while they're on drugs and having a good time. And a couple of them would go around the event with a suitcase full of peanut butter, trying to get people to eat out of the suitcase full of peanut butter. It was offered to me several times and I knew them well enough to be like, I am not going to eat out of that peanut butter suitcase. And sure enough, it later comes out that somebody had shat in the peanut butter suitcase. Oh. And you call that light terrorism. Light terrorism. That is a fucking six out of 10 terrorism to me. Yeah. Oh boy. There's a couple of people in Texas that are going to know what I'm talking about. And they're going to be shocked that that wasn't even better. Yeah. Hope you didn't eat the fucking peanut butter. Uh, good stuff. You're ready for a comeback. And with Purdue Global, you can do more than take classes. You can take charge of your story, of your career, of your life. Earn a degree you can be proud of and get an education employers respect. It's time, your time, not just to go back to school, but to come back and move forward with Purdue Global, Purdue's online university for working adults. Start your comeback at Purdue For the best TV viewing experience, witness the coziest maroons, the most vibrant and brightest moons, the areas and darkest tombs and radiant and vivid hues in any type of room with the Neo QLED and OLED TVs by Sam Sum. We're supposed to say Sam Sum, but that didn't rhyme. So you're welcome. Sam Sum. More wow than ever. Hi, I'm David Eagleman. I have a new podcast called Inner Cosmos on I Heart. I'm a neuroscientist and an author at Stanford University and I've spent my career exploring the three pound universe in our heads. On my new podcast, I'm going to explore the relationship between our brains and our experiences by tackling unusual questions so we can better understand our lives and our realities. Make does time really run in slow motion when you're in a car accident? Or can we create new senses for humans? Or what does dreaming have to do with the rotation of the planet? So join me weekly to uncover how your brain steers your behavior, your perception, and your reality. Listen to Inner Cosmos with David Eagleman on the I Heart Radio app, Apple podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Well, speaking of co-bravenom, today we're about to, right now we're going to talk about a man who could drink raw co-bravenom and feel nothing. A hero I think we're all familiar with. Jesse, the body of Inchira. We all know Jesse. Everyone loves Jesse. There's very few people that Jesse hates more than Vince McMahon. So born, yeah, and this is as a result of it being a story about Jesse, the body of Inchira, this is going to be a story about Vince McMahon as well. And a story about unions. So yeah, strap in here. Born James George Janos, which is not nearly as good in it, I can see why he went with Jesse Ventura. James George Janos, just not the same kind of, but it's also not a wrestling name. No, no, for sure. Yeah, yeah, JJ. I'd go with JJ. Janos? That's Janos. Janos, the hands of fate, you know, there's a lot of name of a champion. So born in 1951, Jesse is the child of Minneapolis. His parents were World War II veterans, both of them, and his older brothers served in NAMM, Jesse opted to join the Navy in 1969, rather than be drafted. And he was, you know, you've seen, if you've seen Jesse, the body of Inchira when he was young, he's a very fit guy. He's pretty large in frightening. So his superiors are like, this guy, we should maybe, you know, put in for some more intense training. So they wind up sticking him in a program called Buds, which is like underwater demolition. Underwater demolition. Yeah. Janos. Yeah. Janos. So without getting into like too much military nerd stuff, this is Buds is what becomes the Navy seals, right? Like the Navy seals kind of evolve out of this elite underwater demolition program. There will be some conflict later with Chris Kyle, the American sniper guy who is kind of a dick. And he'll accuse Jesse, the body of Inchira, of lying about having been a seal. Basically everyone agrees it's fine for him to call himself a seal. Like they turned into the Navy seals right after he was in there. It's whatever. It's okay. That's a real technicality. Yeah. I'm not going to call that one ever stolen valor. Right. Really splitting hairs and Jesse doesn't have that many of them. So yeah, exactly. He doesn't have any room for splitting. Yeah. It's got to keep what he's got. So he's stationed in Vietnam. He's like, he is a Vietnam veteran, but he never, he never winds up in like combat or anything like that, which is, which is good. It's combat's bad. He's kind of a boy. It is a general rule. He is able to transition to civilian life. And he does so with the help of the Mongols motorcycle club, which is based out of I think San Diego at the time. And kind of not long after he's in there, they wind up in this like really bloody gang thing with the hell's angels. Jesse actually winds up testifying on their behalf. At one point to be like, when I was in them, it wasn't like a criminal gang. Whatever you want to say about them, like they didn't start out as like part of a criminal enterprise, you know, they really had my back. They helped me transition into civilian life, which is like, that's why motorcycle gangs start up by the way. Like the first of them come up after World War II as like a thing for vets who can't really fit in with the rest of society. Whatever. That's how Jesse gets out of being in the military. He transitions, you know, back to civilian life. And he decides like, well, now that I'm back in, you know, the normal world, nothing makes more sense than getting incredibly jacked and working as a bodybuilder. And after getting incredibly jacked because he's this huge dude who has military training, he's able to get a gig working as a bodyguard for the Rolling Stones. He's like, whenever the Rolling Stones come to Minnesota, Jesse Ventura is watching their back. Get me jattos. Yeah. Get me jattos. That's, I mean, that's a pretty cool gig except for. Rolling Stones bodyguard is a job with a body count. But that's not his fault, right? Sure. That's the Hells Angels, you know? Yeah. So because he's, you know, this giant guy who's great at fighting, it kind of increasingly becomes clear to him that the real way for him to make some money off of his most evident assets is to get into pro wrestling. Now he knows that Janos is not the best name he could possibly have. Hard to agree. Wow. Wow. Do you want it, do you know why he picks Jesse the body Ventura? Probably to sound more like Hulk Hogan or more Californian. Yes. Yes, more California. That's exactly right. He wants to his like initial, like the kind of like theme of his character is he's like a Southern California muscle beach body builder guy. And so yeah, that's why that's why he does it. Better than a Minnesota maniac, I suppose. No, no, no, no. Better than a, and this is the real stolen valor. There's a lot of muscle freaks. Southern California that Jesse's taken work from. This is neon shorts or the stolen valor. Kind of guy who's fine with him calling himself a Navy seal, but live it about the last name Ventura. You're not from Ventura Beach. Come on. You've never rollerbladed in your life. So he gets involved in wrestling in the early 70s. And at first he's kind of like, he's basically like starts off his favorite. This is again a pretty common story. His favorite wrestler is superstar Billy Graham, which is the same guy that like Hulk Kogan, you know, learns, learns to be Hulk Kogan from. Great wrestler, superstar Billy Graham. If you want to look at pictures of him, incredible looking fellow. Like he's he's really one of the, he's really, if you want to pick one wrestler as like the physical dividing line between like huge guys, pre steroids, huge guys, post steroids, superstar Billy Graham is about your best bet. He's a cool looking dude. So he's a really slow at the timeline. Yeah, really slow at that timeline. Yeah, he's like the, the, the, the fucking the KT boundary for wrestling and steroids. So yeah, his career goes pretty well until 1984. Jesse's like steadily moving up at his peak. He's like a rival to Hulk Kogan. He has like these three consecutive matches against him and he loses them. But like obviously the fact that you're like build next to Hulk means that you're doing pretty good, you know, in 1984. And then kind of at the peak of his wrestling career, he has to quit because he nearly dies. He develops like a series of nearly fatal blood clots in his lungs. His like wife has to fly in because she thinks that he's like not, he's like about to die. It's very, he comes very close to like leaving this earth as a result of it. Now, one of the interviews I read with him, Jesse claims that his navy training taught him how to deal with the trauma of imminent death. He's he snuck inside his own lungs and stabbed the blood clots to death. Um, I, yeah, it's fair. I had a, anyway, so he thinks that the blood clots that he nearly died from were caused by his agent orange exposure in Vietnam. I mean, I have no way of proving that, but maybe it, it, it, it, it, it wasn't good for him. I mean, he's got to be able to help some like, something to help people die from age in orange. So, you know, pretty, pretty decent chance actually. Um, and this may explain why he becomes an anti-government conspiracy theorist in the, in the not too distant future, not a bad reason to become an anti-government conspiracy theorist. Absolutely. I mean, it may, it may explain it in more than one way. His government literally tried to kill him. Yeah. It's, it's, it's a, it's a genuine conspiracy. also his brain was poisoned. Yeah. It is one of those, we'll talk about this more, but like there's the 30,000 foot view of Jesse Ventura where it's like, wow, that guy looks like a cook. And then in most situations, the closer you get to him, the more you're like, no, I mean, I kind of get where he's coming from. I understand you, Jesse. There's a few exceptions to that, but less than you'd think. He's never a guy that I'm comfortable getting, totally getting behind, but sure. Yeah. I always got the idea that he was a reasonable man and like he could correct mistakes and sort of shoot straight, but he's such a monster that like who's going to correct him. I feel like that's like where he landed, where he's capable of being wrong and fixing his behavior, but who could possibly stand up and do that. I described him recently as a basically decent man who read too many books about Atlantis to be truly sane again. That's kind of where I find Jesse. I told you what, man, they've got a city down there. It's called Lemuria. He just needs to know that Lanyan, everybody says straight. Jesse's probably be like, I met someone from down there. I had a lot of wrong impressions. I tell you what, Macman, if you can find Poseidon's Trident down there, you can breathe forever. He's slow enough now that we can make these jokes. He's not catching us. 1984, he's out of commission because of this lug thing, but he's still pretty popular. Vince, say what, there's a lot. We are saying what we will about Vince. He's pretty good at recognizing talent and he's like, well, this guy can't wrestle right now, but I don't want to just throw away money and he's got some skill. He's really good at talking. People seem to like enjoy his personality. As Jesse later said, I was out of commission, but Vince doesn't want you not working, no matter what ails you. So he came up with the idea and asked if I could do color commentating. And I said, sure, he deserves the credit for thinking it up. I've always given the man credit. He's the PT Barnum of this generation. I give myself a lot that PT Barnum comparison. Yeah. I don't know that. That's actually an interesting question because I would argue that Vince might not necessarily be the best at picking talent. He's always, I feel like he's always been a guy that's best at noticing marketability, which is different. Yeah. I mean, that's fair. I think they wind up like sometimes working somewhere. Of course, of course. There's a, there's testimony that I read through where Vince is testifying to the Waxman Committee in 1996 about a bunch of shit that we're going to talk about, the steroids and safety precautions and stuff. But they ask him during this, how talent gets picked and like the way in which it works when like someone is a new wrestler at what point does Vince come in and start having an influence on their career and kind of shaping their storylines. And it's, he seems to use kind of the rest of the company and lower level employers as like a talent filter. And by the time someone's kind of proven themselves, he seems to be pretty good at like figuring out what about them is working and then exploiting that in order to make more money out of them. That's something he sure. Yeah. And he, you know, he's got scouts and managers and everything to watch that stuff for him. It's just I say that just because Vince is, I mean, we've already identified a few but has very famously backed some terrible. Yes. Yes. I mean, it is, it is like, like with Steve Jobs, you know, like the man had some good ideas, but we've got the Newton in there too. You know, like there's a lot of crap that white stuff getting out. And you know, Jeffrey Katzenberg was behind some stuff that worked and also Quibi. So, you know, mixed, mixed bags all around with entertainment people. Everybody's got their Eugene. Yeah. Great. Oh my God. And Lauren's. Yeah. Yeah. Great stuff. Man, Tarzan, 10 out of 10. Yeah. Man, Tarzan, you can actually go back and appreciate Eugene. Those, those tapes cannot see the light of day. The day Eugene walked out for the first time I said, there's no fucking way they're doing this. So that might actually be the most defensive wrestling story. Well, we may get to that one. Maybe when may young gave birth to a hand. Wrestling. We're actually about to talk to one that might be close to that. So Vince, this says a decent amount about the man before Jesse goes out for his first night doing color commentating Vince gives him some advice that I think kind of lays out how Vince McMahon sees like life in general. Like I think he just kind of inadvertently gave Jesse the body Ventura like his his perspective on on the world. Quote, the first night I was going to broadcast Vince pulled me aside. Vince said, Jesse, here's your thought process and here's the best way for you to operate. He said very simply, if you believe it, then it's true. Beautiful. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Sure. Yeah. Vince could have wrote the secret. Yeah. That I mean, that is how like, you know, if you're if you're like the job as we said of like the reps and the commentators is to sell fantasy to the audience. But also like that's kind of how being an entertainer works a lot of the time. Right? Like that's like acting advice. Yeah. It's acting. I mean, honestly, like there's a degree. It's like writing fiction to a degree. Like you're sitting down with a blank page and you're like inventing a guy in a world that shit happens and like you've got a kind of sell it to people. You have to make them feel it. Yeah. Yeah. If you're not buying it, like everybody can tell immediately. But it's also exactly how a con artist has to think, right? Like Jesse's or I'm Vince is kind of at the intersection of of all of the creative arts, but he definitely lands more on like the cult leader con artist end of the scale. Yeah. That's that's kind of at least the the the the way and I mean, it's also you see like kind of shades of his dad here, right? Where like I'm sure when his dad is with these wrestlers being super nice, getting them on his side, there was a degree of him that like believed what he was saying that like could commit to the act. And then as soon as he's away from those wrestlers, fuck them. Let's get every dime out of them we can. You know, it's it's compartmentalization. You know, anyway, that's that's that's that's another that. So Jesse did eventually recover enough to wrestle in the ring, but he was more popular as a commentator after this point. Probably the weirdest example of this came in December of 1985 when he and Roddy Piper attacked a wedding between two characters affiliated with a group of wrestlers known as the hillbillies for reasons that are I shouldn't have to explain. Next in our five part series of the handling. Yeah. So for reasons that have not I have read several explanations of this, none of them make much sense to me. The new Jersey state athletic control board will not allow the WWF to stage a fake wedding. I don't know why they get to make that decision that doesn't seem like it's in their wheelhouse, but they're not allowed to wear the overlap there. Yeah. Yeah. Why not? What's the problem with the fake wedding? What did you marry Vince? Yeah. One of these people married a horse and it was a fault and your Jersey knows it. This is an area where I will say like the regulators were maybe getting a little bit getting a little bit handsy here because that doesn't make much sense to me. But the two characters getting married for this fake wedding are also fiancees in real life. So they agree to have an actual in ring wedding that will be broken up by a mass wrestling melee. Now, Ventura insists that he's under orders from Vince during this to bury the two hillbillies getting married. Vince is basically like I want you to make like insult them as badly as you possibly can. Like really hurt these people when you're out on stage. Like fuck them up with your voice as badly as possible. And so Jesse makes a point of insulting them as badly as possible. Kind of the line that everyone takes out of this is he says that when these two who are actual fiancees, he says that when they kiss quote, it looked like two carp in the middle of the Mississippi River going after the same piece of corn. It's beautiful in its way. It is poetic. Yes. That's not a bad line. But that's also pretty mean. It's very mean. But whimsy, it whimsical enough that like it's like to take personal, right? Yeah. Yeah. It's like he's the bad guy in the situation. Yeah. He's a heel. Yeah. It's cruel in a way that's impressive. I don't know where you want to mark that on like the bastard scale for Vince, but it's not a married inclusion. Anyway, in terms of the actual real bastard shit, Jesse became acquainted with Vince's dark side after he made the transition to being a movie star. Next to his memorable role in the 1987 classic predator, a film that contains the only lessons a young person needs to be successful in life. Don't send kids to school. Make them watch predator. Yeah. Just watch predator enough. Step one, make sure you don't got time to bleed. Yeah. Exactly. Step two, find something that will turn into a sexual tyranosaurus. That's more stolen valor from Jesse because he did take almost a year to bleed. Wow. That's fucking meaner than the car. That is pretty bad. So since he was now an actor, Jesse qualified for the screen actors guild and he joins SAG and he's like, man, there's there's a lot of nice stuff about being an Indian. This is full of benefits for me. And then he kind of looks back at his previous career in wrestling and all of his colleagues. And like they're desperately low pay. Like there's zero benefits. The fact that they are all destroying their bodies at like a pace hero in addicts would consider excessive and goes, maybe we should have a union. This might make sense. I bet Vince love that. Yeah, Vince is going to handle this well. Vince and the Hulkster both are huge fans of this idea. That's so cool. So WrestleMania 2 comes around. And Jesse kind of gets everyone together in the locker room when they're getting ready. And he's like, hey guys, he characterizes this as a speech to the boys. And he's like, look, we need a union. We're getting fucked. Here's the different things I think we should go for. And the only thing to do is to like threaten to work stopters. Say this is what we want. And we won't go out there. Like the whole business at this point in WWE history relies on WrestleMania. If WrestleMania is a flop, like Vince's fucked. Like Vince's maybe irreparably fucked. Like the first WrestleMania was like really a gamble that he bet the whole fucking house on. And it WrestleMania 2, like it's still one of those things. If they were to like just not go out and the event collapses, that's like they really did have a lot of leverage. And he's like, look man, we should go. We should threaten a work stoppage. If we don't get, if Jesse doesn't agree to recognize our union and come to the Kett table and let us negotiate for a better deal, right? And he's also like, and I think this is pretty smart, Jesse. He's like, look, and while we're here, there's all these locals in Charlotte who are fans of us. They're not fans of just the WWE. They love us as wrestlers. We can get them on our side. We can get all this local support. We have the ability to really put Vince over a barrel here. Let's fucking do it. You know, there's at least some interest from people in the night when they're talking about it. Jesse's basically like, don't bring this up to Vince. We're talking about a thing that could get us all in a lot of trouble. And then he goes home feeling pretty good about the meeting. But the next day, he gets a call from Vince and says, quote, he basically threatened to fire me if I ever brought it up again and read me the riot act. So when I came back to Vince, I told him point blank Vince, I want ever bring up union again. I said, if these guys are too stupid to fight for their rights, I have my union now. He's talking about sag there. So basically, he gets called by Vince, which lets him know somebody ratted me out. And so Jesse's kind of like, well, fuck it. You know, I guess that's the shot. Jim the Anvil Knight Heart. Oh no, he knows what he did. Um, tragically no. This is going to hurt a lot of us who were children with hearts in the late 90s. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. Comedia. Yeah. Yeah. It's the hoaxer. Yeah. Cause if they get a union, he makes way less money. Yeah. It is in fact the holster. So for years, Jesse knew obviously he knows immediately someone ratted on me, but he doesn't know who. And this is kind of a mystery for him. You know, as he leaves, he stops being, you know, in the WF, um, he starts to do another shit. In 1991, he finds out that Vince McMahon, he's, so it becomes out that like Vince had told his wrestlers that they would be getting like royalty payments, I think from videotape sales, but he like, fucks them in a way that's illegal. And Jesse finds out and he sues and he wins the lawsuit against Vince over these royalty payments. But as a result of that, there's a deposition. And I'm going to quote now from a write up on this deposition in the sportster. Vince McMahon admitted under oath that Hulk Hogan had snitched on his fellow wrestlers in 1986 and he came away to Vince McMahon and informed him about Ventura trying to get people together to form a union. Um, so you know, it comes out that the holster has betrayed Jesse Ventura. And on a pretty recent podcast with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Jesse said, it was like someone punched me in the face. This was my friend. And I thought Hogan betrayed me. Hogan called Vince and ratted me. It's a, it's a tragic story, you know. Uh, it's, it's a real bummer, uh, bummer about the holster bummer that that Jesse got betrayed. I do feel like if you're a wrestler, you shouldn't compare betrayal to getting punched in the face because getting punched in the face is like things working well. Like, that is the job. Is it normally? It's like not getting punched in the face. Yeah. Um, the good news on this story at least is that unlike every other wrestler we've talked about, Jesse has about as happy ending as it can have because he's actually lived a pretty amazing life. Um, he goes on to be elected in 1999 the governor of Minnesota. He's not a bad governor. It's not like Arnold where like he's this kind of right wing. Goal for, you know, or at least like normal right wing governor and then kind of becomes a, a more progressive person afterwards. Jesse, despite being like a hardcore libertarian, like immediately his, his, so he number one, because he wins this kind of surprising victory. The Republicans and immigrants hate him. But the thing that he makes like his central campaign issue is establishing a light rail system from Minnesota and like connecting the Twin Cities via light rail and he has to like go to fucking war in order to push this light rail system through. But he's like why they have it, which is pretty dope. Um, he also overhalls the property deck tax system to reduce the tax burden on poor people, which is also pretty cool. Um, he's surprisingly progressive on gay rights for a governor in the late 90s, early 2000s. And he wrote, it, one of them is interesting. I checked in on like his opinions on some recent stuff because I was like, man, there's no way Jesse the body van Chura, Ventura has like a good take on, you know, like the trans, you know, stuff going around on the right right now. But in, in 2016, he actually wrote a whole article on his blog about the, the bathroom bills going around and was like, you know, I think this is bullshit. Uh, you shouldn't be fucking with people like this. Trans people have enough problems to deal with. And then he explained that when he was a wrestler, he doesn't say who it was, but one of his best friends in the W. W. F. was a gay guy who had a partner who got really sick. And he was like, and, you know, my friend couldn't visit his, his partner in the hospital. And that really broke my heart. And it was like the thing that caused me to realize, you know, that this was a really unjust system. So that's kind of, that's, that's nice. Yeah. Jesse. Yeah. Yeah. It gets all right here because Jesse also becomes a professional conspiracy theorist. At one point he hosts the TV show conspiracy theory with Jesse Ventura, which is quite charming. He also guests on info wars several times, although this is, this is during the era when like no chomp skis on info wars. So it, you didn't have to be like a howling fascist to be on the show. And he's usually talking about, so like the specific thing that Jesse is really into is the conspiracy theory that the CIA uses harp, the high frequency act of a rural research program to control the weather as like a super weapon. Um, it's, it's pretty funny. That's harmless fun. Yeah. It's pretty funny. There's some like good. There's, there's a really funny clip from the, oh, I thought I'd had it in here. But I, I, I, oh, wait, no, no, I think it's a, ah, shit. Uh, one sec. Teased me like this, Robert. Yeah. Okay. There's a clip. I just had, I had it in the wrong position. So I want to play you a clip from, um, or at least for Sophie to play you a clip from, um, this, uh, this episode of conspiracy theory where he talks about the CIA weather control machine. Sophie, will you play that first daily motion link? Yeah. Glory. So funny. That's all I wanted to show you. He floats that. No, absolutely not. I could go inside. I'm pretty harmless conspiracy theory to believe in. I encountered a conspiracy theory about this conspiracy theory on Twitter. And I forgot who told it to me. I apologize for stealing from you, but it's too fascinating not to say. And this, this guy's theory was that Jesse became a believer in like the CIA weather control weapon conspiracy theory because he watched an old GI Joe cartoon. Um, yeah. And yeah, it is true in 1984, the same year that Jesse spent a bunch of time bedridden and sick because of his blood clots. GI Joe, the revenge of cobra, a TV miniseries aired, which focused on a cobra plot to control the world using the weather dominator. So it is not impossible that Jesse's like hallucinating and like sick and thinking about agent orange when he like flips past this GI Joe miniseries on TV. It could be true. He's a dream of his viewers and Vietnam. Look at the joy he must feel every day if he thinks GI Joe is real. Yeah. He's not a slaughter was in it. He probably knows. Yeah. And sliver killed. I don't know that we've tested to see if like that's not a side effective agent orange exposure. It's well, believing GI Joe is real. Yeah. It's possible, Tom. You can't prove it's not that. Listen, if we can't, we can't test for stuff. We don't know what we're testing for. So the DOD is trying to keep a lid on this shit. We got to blow it open. But one of the things that I can't, so again, what kind of Jesse being the guy that he is, you get a lot of like people who kind of just sort of assume, especially because he's been on Info Wars that he's like, he's in sort of the Alex Jones sphere and that he probably has a lot of really bad takes on a lot of things. I'm not going to say he doesn't have, we all have some bad takes, right? But he actually has a lot less of them than you'd expect. And I think some of like what people expect of him is based on shit. He did a very long time ago. For example, in July of 2021, a post went viral on Facebook with the text Jesse Ventura warned us since 2009, which is about the COVID-19 pandemic. And it's a clip from this episode of his show. Basically, it's a clip of him in his 2009 show being like, visiting a builder bird group meeting and being like, they're going to make a bio weapon to kill people, right? So you can see how it like, like a lot of COVID people will be like, Jesse was warning us that like the elites were going to make a bio weapon. And I can see how seeing that, you would assume that he was just kind of involved in the anti, like lockdown anti-masks shit. That is not the case. And in fact, in October of 2020, Jesse Ventura made a public statement claiming that modern America based on his experience in the COVID-19 pandemic, he believed modern America would have lost the second world war. Quote, this country sacrificed in World War II. Do you think there would have been any argument over wearing a mask for the people of World War II? I'll tell you if we behave like we are right now, Hitler would have won. He'd have won because this country won't face any type of, they don't want a sacrifice. What is wearing a mask? That is nothing to do for it to be required to do that. And yet we have half the country who won't put it on because they got egos. We got a president that won't wear one and even get sick and he still won't wear one. I'm just glad that this generation wasn't around with my mom and dad fought in World War II because we would have lost. Had we had the same type of response we're having today to simple things of sacrificing a little bit for the common good. That's some real shit there. He's not wrong. No, he's very right. But I mean, you can look back at like the Spanish flu at the beginning of the 20th century. And there were people who had a similar response back then. Sure. What he's saying is historically debatable. But in terms of like, yeah, what it says about him as a person, I think the thing you have to conclude really looking into it, which is not to say he's not wrong about stuff. But like he's maybe he's like up there with one or two other people as like the most consistently reasonable politicians with meaningful electoral success in the United States. Just always during the invasion of Iraq, he was really consistently anti the invasion of Iraq. My favorite Jesse Ventura moment is he goes on the view when the stuff about the Bush administration's torture policy comes out. He goes on the view and they're being like, well, you know, they're saying, you know, this is waterboarding. I you know, maybe it's not really torture necessarily. And he's like, no, look, when I was in Buds training, we had like, you know, capture a vision resistance sort of like training. And I got water boarded and I'll fucking tell you it's torture. Right. I don't know. I think Jesse the body Ventura kind of kind of all right guy. There's a quote I remember from him where like someone was snowmobiling in Minnesota and they like crashed through the ice on a lake and died. And they came to Jesse Ventura who's the governor of the time. They're like, yeah, we need to change the regulations to make like snowmobiling safer. And he said where TV cameras could see him. He's like, you can't regulate stupidity. I mean, those guys, I mean, you can die. I mean, what? Yeah. God, man. Like what a like what a normal guy thing to say as a politician. It is he has a couple of those that my other favorite Jesse moment is when he's governor of Minnesota, the state of Virginia, every so often, there's this Confederate battle flag that got captured by a Minnesota infantry unit during the Civil War. And periodically Virginia will be like, please give us our flag back. And when they did it to Jesse, his response was why we won. Come get it. If you have response is anything other than to do the jerk off motions hard as you possibly can. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, that's that's our very long Jesse the body ventured aggression. And also how Vince McMahon and Hulk Ogan killed the WF Union. Now I feel like this episode is full enough for you and probably several human beings as a result. Yes. Almost certainly Tom. If you're including the lack of medical care as an act of murder, I sure am. A non zero body count. Listen, if Hulkster didn't stop wrestlers from unionizing, we would have never got no holds barred. You may. Mr. Nanny, suburban commando, none of these things. Well, okay. Now that you mentioned suburban commando, I've come back around any body count is worth having that movie. Anyway, speaking of body count, I got two high body count guys, right? Why don't you plug your plugables? I don't know where I'm going with this. All right. You are right. We have murdered scores of people. Yeah. You could all either interpret it as murdered or as sex in the way that the kids today are. Anyway, that's that's got to do it for all of us here at behind the WWF. Yeah. Having a having a good day. Tom, Sean, you got a plugable to throw up in here? Go ahead, Tom. Oh, sure. Yeah. I have a podcasting and streaming network with my buddy Dave Bell, both of us, also from Cracked, like everybody here. It's a game plan employee. You head over slash game plan employed. You can also find us wherever you listen to podcasts and check it out. We have a lot of cool original shows and you can commission your own podcast. It's pretty neat. Check it out. All right. Well, three years ago, I started one 900 with the legendary Robert Brockway. Oh, yes. And we are. It's kind of as close to Golden Age Cracked as anything I imagine. The last comedy website. We got words and jokes just like the good old days. Yeah. It is, it's like the comedy equivalent. If you guys seen the second planet of the Apes movie where there's that society living underground, worshipping nuclear weapons. Yeah. Going for it. Yeah. It's exactly. It's the that of internet comedy. And eventually, something confusing is going to happen with Charlton Heston and you will bring about the end of days. Which is why everyone needs to get to one 900 hotdog right now. Because if you give them enough money, we can avoid the 2024 election or accelerated or accelerate it. One of the two. And that's the podcast and Robert, if people liked this episode, but said, hmm, there were a lot of ads. What could they do about that? They could go to Apple premium. And Apple premium can figure out their fucking problems. Yeah. You can get all episodes completely ad free with cooler zone media subscription available exclusively on Apple Podcasts. You didn't see what I gave you a really charming smile with a big thumbs up. I didn't. I was scaling the whole plug. Oh, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Good balance. See, this is what makes you a pro. It's really sending out rage vibes to try to carry on cool zone media. Visit our website or check us out on the iHeart radio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Robert Evans here. And almost a year ago, I got LASIK from LASIK Plus. And I'm still seeing 2020. There's so many little irritants that I just don't have to deal with anymore. Because I'm not wearing glasses or contact lenses. If you want to experience that for yourself, give LASIK Plus a call. LASIK Plus is a leader in laser vision correction in the United States. They have more than 20 years of experience in the industry in LASIK as all they do so they can focus their expertise. Right now you can get a thousand dollars off LASIK when treated in June. That's five hundred dollars off per eye. Visit for a free consultation. Hi, this is Bridget Todd. Discover the transformative power of psychedelic medicine at psychedelic science, June 19th through 23rd at the Colorado Convention Center, presented by the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies. Enjoy fascinating talks by hundreds of experts, amazing workshops, exciting events, and hundreds of vendors and marketplace opportunities. Use code iHeart to get 15% off registration today at psychedelic Hi, I'm David Eagleman. I have a new podcast called Inner Cosmos on iHeart. I'm going to explore the relationship between our brains and our experiences by tackling unusual questions like can we create new senses for humans? So join me weekly to uncover how your brain steers your behavior, your perception, and your reality. Listen to Inner Cosmos with David Eagleman on the iHeart Radio app Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.