Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part Three: Vince McMahon, History's Greatest Monster

Part Three: Vince McMahon, History's Greatest Monster

Tue, 23 May 2023 10:00

Robert, Seanbaby and Tom discuss the time Vince McMahon tried to maim Muhammed Ali with a razor blade, and how he killed old school wrestling in order to remake it in his own fetid image.

Behind the Bastards is once again funding the Portland Diaper Bank! You can donate here to make sure families suffering financial hardship have one less thing to worry about:

See for privacy information.

Listen to Episode

Copyright © 2023 iHeartPodcasts

Read Episode Transcript

Seeing is believing, and you're not gonna believe how bright and vivid the colors are on the Samsung Neo QLED and OLED TVs powered by the NeuroQuantum processor. Because this is an audio ad, unless you can't see it, which means you already have one. Nice. Samsung, more wow than ever. 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 and LASIK is all they do, so they can focus their expertise. Right now, you can get $1,000 off LASIK when treated in June. That's $500 off per eye. Visit for a free consultation. Hi, I'm David Eagleman. I have a new podcast called Inner Cosmos on I Heart. 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 I Heart Radio app Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Remember to have an experience 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 fund razor 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 Dipper Bank or just type in BTB Fundraiser Dipper Bank, GoFundMe, Indigoogle, 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. What's Vincent My McMahon's? And that's great. Yeah, courageous, courageous. This is behind the bastard's podcast about the worst people in all of history. And today I've got two McMahon's here to talk with me about Vince McMahon. Did you did that work? Let me tell you something brother, that's the best intro I've ever gotten. I'm Sean, maybe from the internet. Good news, Sean, baby. We will be talking about whole Coke in today. Yes. Let me tell you some dude. My name is Tom Reiman. And do you do you both have a lump of scar tissue in your asses from injecting steroids the size of a softball? I do. And seven on my forehead from cutting it up with razor blades. How you know a brother? Yeah, my forehead looks like a grotesque topographer of map. It looked like a look of duel of the butcher. We call that the holster. When you can when you can read and braille on my forehead scar. Yeah, you might be a wrestler under a napkin brother. No one knows about it. Terry, Terry Bolia, holster real name. You know, when I was a little, little kid, you know, before I made my friend and watched wrestling in the attitude era, I was not a fan of wrestling because I don't think we got any of the channels that it was on. But I loved whole Kogan because I would watch almost every single day when I was like sitting in the back room of the donut shop and my parents worked. The movie suburban commando. Absolutely a fucking legendary. I have long stretches of that movie memorized. Oh, okay, again. So we are back for part three. We're talking about Vince senior still because he is still the one running the wrestling business. When we left off, Vince Jr. had just started using the name Vince McMahon as he got sent to a military school, possibly for being too racist to be in an integrated high school, but it's unclear. So more likely than him beating up a Kumite full of marines. Yes, that is probably true. You have to separate him from the general population after that. He's far too dangerous. So Vince was well regarded. Vince Sr. was well regarded as I said in the national wrestling business. His company was an affiliate of the NWA, the big wrestling organizer union that ran most of the country, but he wasn't a member at first. And when he became one, he very quickly fell behind on his do's and threatened to resign. He seems to have understood the value of such an organization, but dislike the fact that being a member of it would mean he had to inevitably seed some of his control over how story lines of his wrestlers proceeded. Vince Sr. was also different from most of the other promoters and owners across the country. While his competitors generally booked technical wrestlers above all else, guys who were really good at the kind of the choreography of ring work, Vince Sr. grew increasingly obsessed with bringing in giant musclebound monsters and was willing to sacrifice ring skill for having the absolute biggest dudes that he could hire. Now, this actually worked out really well for everyone for a while because by this point, the government had slapped the wrestling industry with some anti-trust regulations, which meant that owners had to let their play their wrestlers travel around the country more or less at will. This was great for everybody because it means that audiences got a lot of choice in variety and even the whims of a guy like Vince Sr. couldn't exercise total control even in the region that he owned. So, Vince preferred to hire musclebound giant guys and because they got to start with him, those giant muscle freaks would get to travel around the country and wrestle at other places. But also, Vince would have to hire people who came in from other regions of the country, so he got a lot of technical wrestlers and worked out really well for people who liked to watch wrestling, right? You got a lot of variety and the kind of people who were taking part in wrestling matches. In 1962, Vince Sr. wanted to keep the national championship belt on his champion, Nature Boy Buddy Rogers. And I believe Ric Flair also gets called Nature Boy later, right? Isn't that? He sure does. Yeah, he sure does. There's a couple of Nature Boys in wrestling histories, what I'm saying. At this point, Nature Boy Buddy Rogers, who's Vince Sr.'s wrestler, he wants to keep the belt on him. But the cartel, the NWA has other plans. And there's this big dispute between the cartel who's like, we want to give this to Luthez, you know, who's their big wrestler and Vince Sr. who's like, no, I want to keep the belt on my guy. And this argument between the NWA and between Vince Sr.'s kind of wrestling syndicate actually puts the future of K-Fave at risk for a while. There was a fear that capital wrestling Vince Sr.'s company might take the belts that they could keep it on Buddy Rogers and leave the NWA putting belief in the reality behind established K-Fave to risk, right? If like, he's able to just like leave the NWA and keep the belt, then it means that wrestling's not really a sport. So eventually, they came to an agreement to kind of rescue K-Fave that Rogers would in fact lose to Luthez after all. But the next year, Vince Sr. and Tuts Maun, who's his business partner at this point, decide to leave anyway and launch an independent wrestling federation of their own. They call it the WWWF or Worldwide Wrestling Federation. They eventually drop one of the W's giving us the WWF that most people listening grew up with. It's called the WWE now, but we're just going to call it the WWF for our purposes today. While all this was going on, Vince was acclimating to military school and the departure of his stepfather Leo, who bounced and got divorced from Vincent's mom around the same time. She got remarried to some other dude about a half year later, but this doesn't seem to have impacted Vince as much. He was old enough now, he's spending all this time with his biological father. And to his credit, Vince Sr. seems to have legitimately committed to being a part of Vincent's life, even though he never kind of got over his awkwardness with his son, who he doesn't really seem to have fully understood. It's worth noting that four years later in 1966, Leo Lutton would marry Vince's cousin, the young kid he put leaves in his early childhood. He was 28 years older than her. So that's, that's good. That's good. That's the four D-chest of troubling. But they marry in Florida. So at least this one's not on North Carolina. So hey, you know, that's good. You didn't even have to tell us that. I knew from the story where they got married. I assume most of these stories take place in Florida because it's pro-wrestling. It is prominent in nearly every wrestler's life. Those dry Florida leaves when you're stuffing leaves into your bride. You're 28 years younger cousin, Brian. Oh, my God. Some details in the story. It's fine. Anyway, every one of those details is significant. Back in 1962, 11th grade Vince tried his first attempt at becoming a wrestling promoter. Now, he's in military school at this point. He's become pretty muscular. You know, he's working out with the the wait set that Dr., Dr. Graham gave him. And he's, you know, he's done some football. He's an okay defensive tackle. But he doesn't really like actual competition sports. He doesn't seem to like super engage with them. Wrestling is what his bio dad did. And so wrestling is what Vincent Jr. loved. He decided to create a youth copy of his dad's league at Fishburn Military School. Now, Vince McMahon's first shows were carried out in a high school gym after hours and included the costumes and ring stunts that were already such a part of the past time. Vince wrestled himself as ape man, McMahon. One friend at the time explained, there's not a bad name to be honest. Like, it's a solid wrestling name. Yeah. It's, you know, you, you, you graduate from that. You evolve, but it's not bad for a first, first try as a high school wrestling starting point perfectly acceptable. You become a real monsoon. Some of the people listening think girl, I'm on soon as a joke that you came up with. He is not. That's a real guy. That is, that is an absolute real guy. One friend at the time explained, he was just in to dress up putting on masks or something. And he would wrestle just to have fun. Sometimes people would participate. Sometimes they'd just come watch. Vince was Vince. He left the situation. He's the first part of it, just fighting himself. He's just choke, poke gouging his own eyes out, throat punching himself. This is what I did to those marines. They never saw coming. This is, I have to say, one of the things that's actually really interesting about Vince McMahon. He is a cutthroat businessman. He is like, it does a lot of terrible things in the name of profits. But he's also not one of those bloodless weirdos who just lives to soak money out of wrestling. He loves to wrestle. He becomes a very prominent in-ring character because he just can't stop himself from being physically involved with it. A lot of people argue he ruined wrestling. And there's certainly a case to be made there. But you can't really argue he's not enthralled by everything that is involved in pro wrestling. This is an obsession for him and it kind of always has been. Kids who wrestled with him would later talk about his strut, like the strut with which he walked into the ring, which you can still see in videos of him from the 90s and early 2000s. They describe him as walking like baby Huey. It would still be part of his ring presence half a century later. That is a great way to describe the way he walks. Like one of the kids from duct tails. Well, baby Huey is a different character. We're not talking about Huey, do we in Louis? No. Oh, okay. But baby Huey is a great big one. I don't know who that is. See, this is me learning something. I'm gonna Google it. Yeah, Google it. Google, maybe. I assume this was a duck. Oh, oh, my God. Okay, no, I do know this guy. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. The gigantic, weird baby duck. Yes. Okay. That also works. Look, both of these work is what I'm saying. Cartooned cartoon duck generally a good thing to compare to Vince McMahon. Yeah. That's never been a more apt comparison. No. Interesting. So wrestling was not the only kind of performing that teen Vince was into. As Josie Riceman found when she interviewed his friend Dutch for her book, quote, we would go over to Fairfax Hall, the girl school across town. And he would put on a healing show over there. He had a fella named Dutch Lindsay, Charles Lindsay. Dutch was kind of short stocky guy. And he grabbed Dutch by the head and he do this healing routine. And Dutch would fall to the ground. And Vince would heal him. What the fuck? I did not call medicine shows being part of his early life when I started doing this. But yeah, neither did I, but of course, yeah, absolutely skats. I love that it's a girl school. So there's this implied motivation that he was doing it to get laid. He's like, yeah, ladies love. Yeah. Well, that's interesting. That's interesting. Because and this is something that the, when Josie talks to other kids at the military school, they'd bring up is that like, you know, we're men in a military school, our access to women who are our age was very strictly curtailed at this point, right? So these performances at the women school was kind of like one of our few chances to mingle with with other, you know, girls who were kind of in our same age group. But Vincent doesn't seem to have been into this. He is at this point in love with the woman who will become his wife Linda McMahon, a guy I can already see the scene where she's like watching from her dorm window. This maniac in the parking lot, like, feeling a spread from a wheelchair and thinking, yeah, I'm going to I'm going to murder that man one day. And then I'm going to somehow become a member of Donald Trump's White House. My God. So they had very specific dreams. Yeah. Friends recall that he talked about Linda constantly, even though he generally didn't talk about girls. Wrestling was pretty much all events chatted about like they thought they they noted that he talked about Linda and that it was kind of weird because he otherwise did not seem to notice that female people existed. Maybe she had a real crisp DDT. I'm telling you, this Linda man, she plants your head in the canvas like you've never seen. Now, as we have come to expect to make on your own conscious, always keeps a razor blade in her palm. Now, as we've come to expect from our boy, adult Vince would later claim to have been a bad dude at school, constantly in trouble in committing crimes. I wasn't caught for some stuff that would have been immediate dismissal, like stealing the common Don's car. He also had a dog he was nuts about. I love animals, but one day I couldn't resist giving that dog a laxative. I put the laxative in some hamburger and the dog did his business all over the common Don's apartment, which thrilled me greatly. Now, it's a real me greatly. Yeah. What's the story? No, he absolutely did not have this. When did he, when did he give this interview? This was decades later. It's in the 90s, right? Yeah, the 80s. I think this is the 18. He chose to describe giving a dog a laxative. Right. All over a guy's apartment was quite thrilling. We got crazy. Me and my friends were all on our hand. We make a girl with a computer. Our friend, Pluto, you should have seen the way that guy could drain a whole handle at once. Anyway, it thrilled me greatly. It is also interesting to me. We're focusing on the even weirder things that he wants us to believe about him, but he really wants us to think he stole a lot of cars. That's such a strange thing to do. Yeah. It's cool, bro. I don't know. Cool. Okay, man. He claims that he was the first student to be court martialed at Fishburn over depending on the interview, either in subordination or a threat he made that he might somehow sabotage, sabotage finals week. Yeah. A threat of a bomb threat is what he's claiming. I think it was more like a prank. Okay. Yeah. So he says that basically the administration thought I was going to sabotage finals week. So they court martialed me and they were going to kick me out. But then all of the other students and teachers rose up and threatened to leave the school if they didn't clear me of all charges. There was a rebellion. No way. No, absolutely none of this occurred. They didn't fucking dead poet society for this is ass. You are accused of of threatening to shut down the entire finals week with your pranks. What's this clapping? Oh, what everyone is in support of you. There you go. Captain my captain. He wants to be a... As a feeder dog laxative. I was on a diarrhea. Everyone, all Mr. McMahon, I know this is you. Man. The dumbest shit. Yeah. He wants to believe it was dead poet society, but also animal house. Yeah. And yeah, it's it's it's very funny. He is such a liar. So fishburn the school has like a Josie Reisman again, the author of Ringmaster. Talk to a bunch of his former classmates at Fishburn. And none of them recall any of this happening. She also like reached out to Fishburn and was like you he says you court marshaled him. You guys keep records. Do you have any records that he was ever court marshaled? They did not have any records and Vince has never presented any. Instead, interviews with his peers portray him as a decent student who simply wasn't a great student because he wasn't that interested in the school, right? He was one of those kids who was like he was smart so he could do okay if he didn't work too hard at class. And so he devoted, you know, he kind of scraped by and spent most of his time on wrestling, right? That I'm sure that kind of dude is actually pretty familiar to our listeners, right? Like that describes me without it wasn't wrestling for me, but that describes me in high school pretty well. Yeah. So once again, Vince lied to make himself look like a badass. The reality is that he was a nerd. He was a wrestling nerd. And he was more jack than we tend to associate with that term. But like most nerds, he kind of did what he had to at school, avoided trouble and spent all of his free time on the stuff he was obsessed with, right? Like for me, this was Warhammer, but it's the same pattern, you know. He graduated and he got into college at East Carolina University. And around the same time his dad took on a new championship wrestler, a guy named Bruno Semartino. Still regarded today as maybe the greatest pro wrestler of all time, although there's a couple of people who folks wind up throwing out, you know, in that in that category. Bruno conversation. He's in the conversation, right? Yeah. He was a, obviously he's huge. And he was an extremely skilled technical wrestler. Bruno was also the kind of person who trained like a world class athlete. And as a result of how careful he was about his training, he was able to remain a high skill technical performer for more than 30 years, which is a lot of longevity, especially for this period of time in pro wrestling. With Bruno, Vince senior pioneer to strategy totally new to the field. And I'm going to quote now from a book called Death of the Territories by Tim Hornbaker. The central idea was to build up a succession of threatening challengers for Semartino and Bruno would show his vulnerability in near defeats only to rise up in the end to conquer his opponents. His performance never failed to capture the imagination of audiences among his villainous rivals with a 350 pound gorilla monsoon, the six foot five mill miller, and the six foot three two hundred and seventy five pound bill Watts as Semartino worked through one feud. McMahon pushed several other prominent challengers at the same time to keep the cycle going all over the circuit. Now, while this is all going on in the wrestling world, you know, uh, Linda graduates high school about a year after Vince and the two of them get married when they're both in college in 1966, which is interestingly enough, the same year that Leo marries Vince's cousin. Linda joins him at ECU and because she's an excellent student, she qualifies for an accelerated program in French, which is what I wouldn't have called as Linda McMahon's focus in college, but there you go. They graduated in 1969, which is the same year that she got pregnant. Now, Vince tells another possible lie about his time in college. He claims that his grades there were so low because he was spending so much time fighting, I guess, that he ended up talking several professors into bumping his grades so he could get a 2.001 and graduate. Now, I will say of all of the things he's told us that might be lies, I think this one might be true because this relies on him being good at like manipulating people and that is his actual skill. So yeah, I could see him manipulating his teachers to giving him a passing grade. I'm not going to say that one's definitely fake. The year after he left college, Vince got a job working for his father at the then WWF. He'd initially wanted to be a wrestler, but again, his dad sees what happens to wrestlers when they age, right? Like he knows that this is a job that kills you and he's like the fuck no, you are not going to do this for a living. At the start of the 1970s, Vince Jr. joins his dad's company anyway. At this point, the WWF's territory had 11 states, basically the whole northeast and pieces of the Virginia's and Ohio. It's the largest wrestling federation at the time, but it's also very much integrated with the others, right? The heads of the different syndicates would change sometimes, but the actual territory wouldn't because everything was kind of spoken for. So nobody can really expand without somebody else losing some ground. And for all of that, he is a pretty cutthroat businessman. Vince Sr. was one of these guys who's like, look, these other people are my peers, these other owners of syndicates. And we have a handshake deal, right? Like I'm not going to fuck too much. I'll be, I'll fuck around a little bit sometimes to get into advantage, but I'm not going to fuck with the overall system too much, you know? Yeah. So at the very beginning of his career, Vince found a place for himself as a referee. Now, in this stage, wrestling refs were legitimate sports referees. They were licensed by the states and they had to have specific training in order to do the job. This is, again, wrestling is not an actual sport still at this point, but the referees do all of, but they're lying about that, right? Like, wrestler, like the company, promoters, everybody pretends it is a real sport. And so the government's like, well, then you have to have actual refs, right? Like, you know, we'll go along with it. We'll go along with this, but you got to do the thing other sports do. Wait, we can't just like pretend that you're a real sport would be like for no reason. They're exempt from all the rules. Right. Now, obviously, so eventually becomes the whole thing behind sports entertainment, right? Yes, yes, yes, which we will, that will be a major focus of part four. So the main job of refs at this point is to act as storytellers, right? They kind of, you, honestly, there's a lot of similarities between wrestling and dungeons and dragons. The refs in a lot of ways are kind of acting like DMs, right? They're making it clear when someone's won or lost. Sometimes when you have to like, you know, somebody gets out of pocket and they're not willing to like actually take a fall when they're supposed to take a fall, you find ways to like, de-cue them or call them match for the other guy in order to make sure things still in the way that they need to. The ref has actually a lot of power. And so do the announcers. It's kind of the two of them together are helping to sort of tell the story to the audience of what's happening in the ring, right? And it's also part of their job and part of the announcers job, what Vince Jr. is doing, to sell what's happening to the audience. So maybe sometimes you've got like a wrestler who's not as technically skilled or just somebody's off and a hit doesn't really, you know, land the way that it should have. It's your job to kind of hype that hit up so that the audience, you know, gets carried along in the enthusiasm and doesn't notice. One of the funniest things clips you can watch on YouTube are blown spots like that where somebody misses like a drop kick or a hole doesn't go right or they screw up a special move and listening to the announcers trying to sell what happened as if they didn't just fuck up. Yeah. It's an incredible genre of YouTube video. Yeah. Yeah. It is interesting. Like the more I get into it, the more I understand why, like all of the kids that I played Dungeons and Dragons with when I was 12 were into pro wrestling. I was like, oh, I get, I actually, this makes complete sense. These are extremely similar in a lot of ways. It's just a lot of it is make believe in choreography and kind of high fantasy, a weird kind of fantasy storytelling. I love the theatrics of when the referee like tells like in a tag team match, he'll like tell the good guy tag team member like, hey, I want to just turn and start yelling at him for no reason. And then the bad guy tag team guys will like be shit out of the other guy and then he turns around and he has to act like what happened to me? How dare you? I just love that. Yeah. We have new object permanence. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You know who else has no object permanence? I love where this is going. Yeah. The sponsors. Look, we have one simple rule for the sponsors of behind the masters. And it's that none of them can be above the age where they understand object permanence. Every one of our sponsors, the one guarantee I'll make is that if you put your hands over their eyes, they will freak out because they don't know that you haven't just disappeared from existence. Support these babies. And goldfish I guess? Yes. Goldfish as well. We do take a lot of money from the goldfish industrial highlights. Big goldfish. Big goldfish. They can get quite large if you keep feeding them Tom. It's all about the size of the bowl. Same is true of wrestlers actually. Yeah. All right. 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. If you're thinking of starting therapy, give BetterHelp a try. It's entirely online designed to be convenient, flexible, and suited to your schedule. Just fill out a brief questionnaire to get matched with a licensed therapist and switch therapists anytime for no additional charge. Find more balance with BetterHelp. Visit slash behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better, slash behind. Robert Evans here, and as I'm working on the sequel to my novel after the revolution, I've found up googling a lot of stuff that maybe I don't want in my search history. You know, it's an unavoidable consequence of writing about insurgent groups and their tactics. And I know what you're saying. Robert, why don't you just use incognito mode? Well, let me tell you something. Incognito mode doesn't hide your activity. It doesn't matter what mode you use, or how many times you clear your browsing history. Your internet service provider can still see every single website you've ever visited. 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 podcast or wherever you get your podcasts. Ah, we're back. Yeah, brother. So in 1972, Vince Jr. starts working as a referee. Now there's nothing that Vince McMahon hates more than being called Vince Jr. And it is true. He's not a junior, right? He and his dad have different names. Like they're not actually Vince senior and Vince Jr. But because they are both of Vince McMahon, everyone they worked with at the time. And this I get this from Tim Hornbaker's book. Everyone they worked with at the time in the wrestling world just called them Vince Senior and Vince Jr. Because like I found out writing this podcast, that's just the easiest way to talk about the both of them. Anyway, Slayer was not sticking as a marine slayer. Yeah, that doesn't work as well. Anyway, Vince McMahon hates it when you call him Vince Jr. So the job Vince Jr. took preview had previously been done like this, this announced or referee, you know, announcer job that he gets. Sorry, this announcer job that he gets had previously been done by a renowned sports broadcaster named Ray Morgan. He was a very good announcer, but he was also a union man. And both Vince McMahon's hated unions. So one day can't have that. So there's a couple versions of the story. One of them is that one day Vince is backstage with his dad and Hamburg, Pennsylvania one night. And he sees his dad having this really mean nasty argument with Ray Morgan over the fact that Ray wants to raise. Ray is like, I'm not going out and announcing tonight, unless I get a raise and Vince seniors like fuck you then you're fired Vince Jr. then later claims, quote, I'm sitting in this cloakroom and I'm saying to myself, wow, that was awesome. I was just proud to be there and listen to all that and proud of my dad or proud of the fact that he told this guy to take off. And so, you know, his dad gives him the job to because he'd fired this guy for, you know, trying to trying to get a raise. Now that's the Vince McMahon version of the story. Josie Reisman's research includes uncovering arbitration documents from a separate legal case at around the same time. Before you review, I just want to say real quick that my prediction is that those things happen is just not on the same night. Yeah. That's actually Tom. You, you have gotten it completely right. That is literally what I'm about to say. So he was not masturbating in the closet while his father finds somebody. Well, yeah, that, that, I didn't, I never said that. I've never said that, Sean. So basically what happens based on these arbitration documents is that Morgan had previously negotiated a pay raise and Vince senior had agreed to give him a pay raise. And after they have the face to face meeting where he agrees to a new contract in a pay raise, he fired Morgan, like when they're no longer in a room together. So he doesn't have like the guts to get up in front of him and tell him he's fired. He pretends to agree to a raise to avoid a conflict and then fires him later. And then he hires his son for the same rate that Morgan had just signed at. Now, basically he's doing this to be like, Hey, anybody who tries to like argue for a better steak like fuck you. It's not about the money to me. It's about winning, right? If you get a raise, that means that you beat me and I won't be beat. That means your son gets your job. Yeah. My fucking kid gets your job. Now, again, this is a little confusing. This story is a little confusing. If you kind of buy all these recollections of Vince senior that you get from other wrestlers that talk about how honest he was. And it is true. You can find a lot of positive accounts of Vince senior as a boss from wrestlers from this era. And in fact, some of these accounts sort of verge on adoration, but that affection to the degree that it was. I'm gonna remember not everyone's an asshole all the time. Exactly. Exactly. And it's also there's a lot of dudes that love Vince McMahon. Yeah. Yeah. Cause he's nice to them in person. Yeah. And that's what that's what Jesse the body Ventura said that like you would always feel good after a talk with Vince, but you wouldn't get a dime, you know. And it's what's I think it does seem to me that the affection a lot of his wrestlers had for him was honest, but it was not reciprocated by Vince senior. Any warmth he showed to his employees was K-fabe, right? And here's the book Ringmaster describing a conversation between ex-wrestler JJ Dylan and Vince junior. Vince the younger told Dylan about a conversation he'd had with Vince senior. The father's wisdom as imparted to the son was wrestlers are like seagulls. All they do is shit eat and squawk all day. Dylan was taken aback and never forgot it. Even went so far as to name his memoir, wrestlers are like seagulls from McMahon to McMahon. They'd give an insight there into how his father truly felt deep inside Dylan says though he never spoke openly that way. And yeah, I think that's that's that's interesting. Accurate probably seems like Dylan's got his number. Now the fact that Vince senior gives Vince junior this job is probably the most obvious example of nepotism that he shows his son. Junior was expected to run himself ragged though driving across the country to call shows from Maine to Georgia. He kind of breaks into the business really because his dad gives him this impossible task of like bringing up numbers in Maine and he's good at it. He's able to actually promote. He gets more people coming in. So he's not paid an enormous amount of money. Like I think it's a reasonably comfortable living once he really gets in there. But his dad also he's not grooming his air right. He does he Vince is not going to inherit the business and his dad is like open with him that like no nobody I am not giving the business to you. He's not in fact going to give the business to anybody. So in order to prove himself Vince junior decided that like while he's sort of building his career as a wrestling promoter he's going to try and get independently wealthy by engaging in a series of business schemes with his wife Linda. So the first thing they do is they buy an old cement plant and a horse farm to try to make money. Both of these collapse. I see where this goes. cement and horse go you know you've heard that phrase they go together like cement and horses right? You got horse in my cement. You got cement in my horses. Did your horse in cement is delicious. Delicious. Everyone loves a good cement horse. So Vince is heavily reliant on Linda as his money manager while they attempt to you know remain solvent. But even this early in their relationship he cheated with enough regularity that his friends warned him about it. The general just was Vince this woman is way too good for you. Why are you being an asshole like this? And you have to assume the kind of people that Vince McMahon has at friends at this point for them to be like you're not treating your wife right. You've got to be really cheating. You've got to be cheating like a limpic grade cheating. So because Vince you got to be fucking women in the next room. Yeah. Yeah. It's got to be bad. It's got to be like a guy is in North Carolina in the 1970s go. I don't think this guy respects women. So Vince Jr. is not set to inherit the WWF outright. And so again he's going to ultimately he's going to pay his father like for the business. He's often tried to describe this the fact that his dad made him pay for the WWF is sort of like a a kind of like ode to self-reliance right. But the truth is that he did still get a lot of help from his father. In 1974 Vince Sr. got his son an unpaid gig with a boxing promoter top rank that was meant to teach him the ropes of the industry. Less than a week into this job Vince went to his boss and said quote, I've got this great idea. I know a guy who's been jumping over trucks with a motorcycle evil can evil and now he wants to with a space rocket jump over the snake river canyon. Now did really well. Thank you. If you're a if you're a young. He didn't quite make it. He didn't quite make it right. I'm going to guess most of our Jinziers don't remember evil can evil. If you've ever watched the Simpsons episode where Homer falls down that canyon twice the stuntman in the beginning of the episode is based on evil can evil. Evil was a famous stuntman who jumped things and occasionally got badly hurt right. Real quick. I want to point out Robert that your touchstone for people who are too young to remember evil can evil is a 33 year old the Simpsons. The good Simpsons episodes are eternal Tom. They never die. They never die. Still a touchstone to kids. I have to believe that Tom. I have nothing else. Sure. It's I showed Garrison Starship Troopers the other week. All of all of the the icons of my childhood have died and faded. It's tragic. I never thought it would happen to me. I thought no. I thought those movies would be forever. Anyway, evil can evil famous stuntman jumped things occasionally hurt himself. At the day, I remember as a little kid knowing about evil can evil. My cousins and I, he was this superhero figure to us. But the reality is he was giant piece of shit. He was a mad at jumping motorcycles as well. He was not good at any of this. Like more modern motorcycle jumpers talk about them. They don't talk about his technique. He just got on a Harley and just held the throttle down. He did not pitch that motorcycle. He was generally thought he would die. He just hanged balls too big. He just didn't care if he lived. Yeah. He's like, whatever. If I die, fuck it. Cool. He's just Johnny Knoxville. Yeah. 40 years earlier without the sense of humor or charm or skill or any of the things. Honestly, I think like 50% of his appeal was the fact that evil can evil is a pretty cool name for a stuntman. Super cool name. You might see a man die. Yeah. That was the big appeal to all of his stunts. Is that like, it's pretty good chance he doesn't live through this. Yeah. So obviously it won't be a gentle death. No, no, you will watch a man come apart on landing. Crash test dummy. So, you know, he was a giant bigot. He was very sexist. He was there allegations at least that he was abusive to his children. But Vince didn't care about that. Although he may not have known any of that at the time. But I don't think he would have cared either way because he wanted to get people to pay for like pay. There used to be a thing called pay-per-view kids where you would pay to watch things like all a cart that weren't cable TV. I know that's basically how all television works now for most people. But at the time, this was special things, right? So his goal is like, I want to get people to pay for pay-per-view so they can like see if this guy is going to die live on camera. Vince works out a potentially sweet deal with evil can evil and ABC where he's like, hey, we'll do this on pay-per-view while it's live. But then after it airs, ABC will get the exclusive right to rebroadcast it. And so we'll get even more money from this thing. But when he sits down with evil can evil in a meeting with his boss, who is a Jewish lawyer from New York, his boss at this promotion company, the first thing evil can evil says is there are three kinds of people I can't stand. New Yorkers, lawyers, and Jews. Oh, so the meeting went well though. Yeah, the meeting went great. So it gradually becomes a lawyer joke. Yeah, that's just the industry. Yeah. Evil can evil. I don't believe in the Holocaust. How are you doing? They all haven't even sat down yet. Yeah, he's showing off his SS tattoo. So it's just brought a brief case of Nazi paraphernalism. I bring this to all my meetings. So it gradually became clear that evil was not a good person to be in business with. Now his boss, whose name is Arum, Vince, you know, the decent thing to do when you realize that like you've got that there's two decent things to say when you realize that like you've brought this guy in for a meeting with your boss and he's being really racist to your boss. The most decent thing to do would be just like, fuck you, get out of here. We're not doing this deal. The second most decent thing would be like, hey, boss, really sorry, I didn't know he was fucking big it. I will take point on this. So you don't have to interact with him and I'll get, you know, get this thing done and we can move on with our lives, right? Vince does neither of those things. Instead, he abandons his boss and his unpaid job at the agency and leaves them to clean up the mess after they've signed a deal with evil. The canyon jump is a disaster and a room had to spend the, yeah, again, his boss, who is a Jewish lawyer, had to spend the summer promoting it with evil, can evil, who won one memorable occasion while they are together at a hotel gets angry and a bunch of off-duty soldiers and their families swimming at the hotel pool and pulls a gun and threatens them out of the hotel pool. So they'll be quiet. American hero, evil, con evil. Great guy. So the jump is a flop. Yeah, I was wondering what I was like, man, I didn't know Vince was involved with the snake river canyon jump. It's like he wasn't, he invented it and then he abandoned it. He's fucking left. He just was out. We're spoiling your future evil con evil episode. There's still plenty for the heat. Don't worry. We'll make it work. I do like it's the snake river. It's not even, it's not even like an entertaining catastrophe. No, no, he just doesn't make it in his parachute open. No, it's not the side. It's really a diplomatic depression. It's a very less jump. If you just type base jumping fails into YouTube, you will find more impressive fails of reckless human beings. If you catch trying to circle around a full bathtub, you'll get more impressive balls. More thrilling videos than evil, enabled jumping snake river. So it goes really badly. And I will say even though Vince abandons the entire effort, he and his wife are heavily invested in this stunt for some fucking reason and they do lose a quarter of a million dollars on it. She has very loyal. You got to give her that in normal people world. Being responsible for the snake river canyon jump and then losing a quarter of a million dollars on it would be the end of your big industry dreams. But that would be like opening Al Capone's vault. There was nothing inside. Yeah. But unfortunately, you imagine if that guy was still in media, I have to century later. But Vince Jr. is Vince Sr. Sun. So a room wound up reaching out again to Vince Jr. when he had another idea for a stunt promotion. Now, this one involved a guy you might know called Muhammad Ali. Ali, we are talking the mid 70s here. Ali is a big name at this point in time. He is, he is, he is fucking a big, big, big dude. And he has been approached by the Japanese to fight a famous Japanese wrestler in like a big show match. Now, there's a lot of money in getting Muhammad Ali to fight the most famous wrestler in Japan. You can make, you're going to make a shitload on that if you can, if you can pull it out. But Ali wasn't, Muhammad Ali is Muhammad Ali, right? He's kind of hesitant. He doesn't really get why anyone would want to see this. So Vince Jr. made a plan that he thought he could sell to Ali. And I'm going to quote again from Josie Reisman here, dying to hear what this is. Oh boy, Tom. So I got a hold of Vince Jr. And I said, how do I do this? A room says, and Vince, of course, had brilliance when it came to wrestling and gave me the scenario. He recounts Vince's plan, which involved a well-worn wrestling practice known as blading, and which a wrestler will covertly cut their own skin to make it look like they've endured enormous damage. The scenario was, and I'll never forget it, that Ali, after two or three rounds, was going to be ostensibly pounding the hell out of a noke for fake, but make it look real. And a noke was the kind of wrestler that had a razor like you shave with in his mouth. And he would take the razor out and slit his own eyebrows. And as Ali was punishing him, the blood would be falling down. And Ali would turn to the referee, please stop the fight. The referee wouldn't. And Ali turns around and says, you got to stop the fight. And noke would jump on his back, pin him, one, two, three count. And noke would win the fight. Everyone would be happy. And Ali would win with a big paycheck. Okay. Okay. Yeah. That sort of works. That has like a wrestling logic to it that like, yeah, he lost, but like it's not a clean pin, you know. Yeah. It's the thing that theoretically could work. Although I might add that having somebody take a punch from Muhammad Ali with a razor blade in their mouth seems reckless. Yeah. And that fake punching is not, it's like a specific thing you trained for it. That like when you watch the rock and Steve Austin throw fake punches, you're like, God, that looks really close to real. Yeah. They're quite good at it. It took probably 40 years of wrestling before anyone like landed on that. Like you watch Hulk Hogan punch somebody. He'll like put his hand over their forehead. Dogs and punches on his hand. You're like, I know how you did that trick, Pat. Yeah. Um, I counterpoint have you seen an okay? I feel like that dude's face can take a picture with the camera. Well, you gotta get laughing. You do have to give him. He is, he is one of like three people who have lived on this earth who looks like he could take a punch from Muhammad Ali. Yeah. For sure. Um, dude, it looks like a very serious statue. Yeah. Um, very, very large man. Um, so actual wrestling people. Uh, so again, this is like, this is a problem for Ali because I'll, Muhammad Ali, I don't know if you know this about him, not a loser, right? Not part of his brand. Doesn't really have anything to prove by doing this weird exhibition work. Um, so they may, they do make a tentative agreement. Um, and they haven't, like Ali hasn't agreed to the plan, but he's like, well, we'll figure out something. So they start promoting the match as they're still kind of working behind the scenes to figure out exactly how this is going to play out. The actual wrestling people, both, you know, on the US side working with Ali and the people who are in Japan working with a no key, both agree that Ali shouldn't beat. Like, he can't win, right? Because this is in Japan and an okey is a Japanese baby face. And you're not going to bring in a foreigner and have him win on an okey's own turf, right? Um, kind of famously the only wrestler who regularly got to do that is Andre the giant, but we're, we haven't gotten to him yet. Um, so I like and no key is like hugely, hugely famous. He is, he is massive. It's just, he's got to win, right? But Ali isn't really willing to budge on losing, right? He doesn't, like, because he's Muhammad Ali. Um, Vince Jr. is ordered to Tokyo to like figure this out to like, because they, again, it kind of gets close to the wire and they still haven't figured out how they're going to do this. So Vince Jr. according to one version of the story flies down to Tokyo to figure this out. And here's what Josie says. And I'm going to quote her here because this is fucking unbelievable. And Vince is telling he went to Ali's room and discussed the matter with him. Ali refused to play ball. So Vince lunged forward and grabbed Ali in a wrestling home by surprise. This took him to the floor just to demonstrate that in no key, my abs, there is, that is physically impossible. Absolutely not. If you lunged at Muhammad Ali in the 1970s, you died in the 1970s. I, my only disagreement is you would die in like the 1870s. He would punch you so hard. You would go back and die. He did not. Oh my God. Okay. We've gone from stuff in leaps into my cousins vagina to I took down Muhammad Ali in a hotel room. You'll see in a way you'll saw. Just me and mom. Yeah. That left my life. Absolutely not. There are other people who were there who recolvants being in a room with Ali, but that he never touched him. You know, I feel like they remember that. I do feel like they'd remember that across the room from Muhammad Ali, like him getting taken to the ground by some fucking guy's kid. Just I want you, I want you listeners go to YouTube, look up any interview with Vince McMahon and try to imagine that dude taking down Muhammad Ali in his prime. It's simply inconceivable. The greatest strike of all time versus the leaf molester. Close. I mean, that's a good style, but a leaf molester. Like, absolutely not. What an insane thing to lie about spoleness of telling that lie. So he did that. Like, if he's to be believed, he did that to prove to Muhammad Ali, like you can't deal with a wrestler. No, no, just to show him like how it would work, right? As if he's had this conversation 200 times a day since he started being a boxer. Yeah. It's incredibly silly. So in any rate, Vince does allegedly cook up a plan. So his partner on this fight is a promoter named Michael Abel, who I believe is the brother of Judo Jean Label, who has come up in both of the bastards episodes that you've done with me now. I love Judo Jean. Judo Jean's a fucking hero. So Jean was going to be the referee of the match. And Vincent's Vince McMahon's plan is that he was going to sneak Judo Jean a razor blade, which Jean was supposed to use to cut Muhammad Ali's forehead and force it into the match. Holy shit. They were going to do this without warning. With Muhammad Ali's, they were pulling the knife on the man in the middle of the match. They were going to surprise blade Muhammad Ali. Now, one of the greatest athletes of all time. I will get, I will say one thing on the shirt list of people who might not die after blading Muhammad Ali. Jean Label is on that list. Sure, but that's it. I still don't favor him. It's, sure, but I'm, I'm reacting to like the insanity of doing acid like, this is insane. Muhammad Ali with a razor blade without telling him, what if he gets to suck and understand it's, it's what's happening. So what if you fucking miss and cut his eye out? Yes, like, there's so many things that can go wrong with this. Not only is this unethical, this is illegal. Like, this isn't illegal by the rules of wrestling. This is a crime in Japan and the United States. That's, that's actual assault. Yeah, that is just a straight up criticism. A very legendarily hard maniac. You give him a knife. I think he can take the whole of it. Ali is crime three times that a 10 four times that a 10 maybe three maybe four. So you know who would never agree to slash Muhammad Ali in the face with a razor blade. The sponsors of this podcast, the fine toddler baby goldfish. Yeah, yeah. Toddlers and goldfish never gets caught up in schemes like this. Working from home and on the road, get it all done wherever you are by turning your vehicle into a powerful, reliable, fast Wi-Fi hotspot with AT&T in car Wi-Fi on the network that covers more roads than any other carrier you can take your work on the road and AT&T will be there to keep you connected even up to 50 feet away from your vehicle. With up to 10 devices, extreme conference calls, finish up that presentation or answer last minute emails. Go to slash in car Wi-Fi to see if you're eligible for a free trial today. Based on nationwide, GWS test drive data. GWS conduct paid drive tests for AT&T and uses the data in its analysis. Number of devices varies by manufacturer. Always pay careful attention to the road and no drive distracted. Wi-Fi hotspot intended for passenger use only when vehicles and operation compatible device and vehicle required. Are you ready to move your career forward? Make your come back 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 come back at Purdue 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. We're back. So again, the plan is judo jeans can blade Muhammad Ali and then use that as an excuse to stop the fight, right? And basically the idea is he'll make it look as if Ali's bleeding because it could have got to hit by the other guy. No one else else together that the referee just lunged it. Muhammad Ali was a knife and suddenly he's spurting blood and Muhammad at least very, very mad at him. And they'll say that that injury must have been from the unrelated thing happened earlier in the fight. I think it's a believable story. This is whoever came up with this plan is no, probably a genius and not a sponsor. So there's there is I will say a pretty good chance that what I've told you is true that Vince McMahon goes to Tokyo and comes up with this insane plan. Mike Libel, no, there's no doubt in my mind that this plan was true. Totally. We're gonna roll past it. Yeah. 100%. Mike Libel claims that Vince never even went to Japan. Again, everyone involved in this are like liars. So hard to say what went down. You have to consider none of it happening at all. That's true. Antonio and Okie might not exist. Yeah. I never met her. Whatever there's our notorious liars. So whatever the truth, Vince is definitely not there at the day of the fight, which is again a debacle. They have kind of a brief unsatisfying skirmish. And then in Okie kicks Ali with cleats and cuts his leg, which gives Gene Libel an excuse to call the fight. So this fucking file. A disaster. Wonders after him while he like throws. Antonio and Okie kept throwing himself on the mat and throwing like leg kicks from like a butt scoot position. So it just it felt like an eight year old who heard the rules of the match. And he's like, huh, technically I know how I can defeat you. And there's nothing you can do. It's so so funny and stupid and pathetic and boring. And everybody lost. Yeah. Yeah. Really. We all lost. We all real real alien versus predator situation. Yeah. So at this point, Vincent's career as a promoter is not looking promising, right? And in fact, two months. I mean, he's do sound like ideas that came from the guy who invented XFL. They certainly do. They certainly do. The body. The organization. Yeah. Two months before the Ali and Okie fight, he and Linda go bankrupt to a million. They're a million dollars in debt. And then right after well deserved, well deserved. Right after the fight, they have a kid. Now for most people, this would be an impossible to recover from situation, right? But Vince Jr. is Vince Jr. son using the connections that he had made through being the kid of a rich and successful guy. He and Linda while dealing with bankruptcy are able to put together enough investment money to buy the Cape Cod Coliseum, which yeah, yeah, they're playing again, they're rich people, right? It's fine. So their plan is to turn this into a modestly successful venue for concerts and the like and kind of get their bones about how to do this business through it. By this point, by the time they're up and running with the Cape Cod Coliseum, they've got two kids, Shane and Stephanie. Both of them will go on to work in the WWF, but since Vince started having them work clean up at the Coliseum. As a parent, he described himself as a disciplinarian, telling Playboy, I'm real big on respect. I was on the road a lot. And I'm sure that when I was at home, the kids wanted me back on the road. I do not doubt that. That's yeah, that's scared. I should have hated me, Playboy magazine. What a weird fucking story to share. He brags about the strangest things in that interview. It's a remarkable document. I was real over a real monster. They lived in terror of the sound of my voice anyway. That's like love my kids. Cape Cod is not a big party town. And the previous owner of the Coliseum had banned Rockshows after a disastrous Ted Nuget concert. It was going to be anyone. Yeah, I'm surprised it was the news. The new. Yeah. That's a broken roll says town. Yeah. Ted Nuget comes. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Ted, I will say Ted Nuget, if he were to tell me that he stole a bunch of cars, I would say that does sound like you, Ted Nuget. Thank you. We're still a Ted Nuget episode, right? One of these days will that got that one loaded up in the hopper. So the town did not love the McMahon's plans there. And the local government decided to go after them by modifying their license in order to restrict the alcohol that they could sell at the Coliseum. The McMahon's were sure that this would sink the business. And they decided the best response was to fight the local government head on. The way that they do this is like they show up at a hearing with all of the the select men, which is the town legislators. And they bring a bunch of supporters, right? They get a bunch of like local fans, people who want to like go to shows and be able to drink and think that their plans for the Coliseum are good. And they have like 150 of these people swarm the meeting so that it's crowded out with the people who support them. And basically they kind of bully their way into convincing, you know, the select men to give them the votes that they need in order to reduce the restrictions on their operations and allow them to sell all the hard liquor they want, right? Occupy the board of selectors. Yeah. This is the first time that the McMahon's ever used the political system for their own profit, but it would not be the last. So as the 1980s dawn, the WWF was a more successful business than Vince Sr had ever dreamed. There was no more penny penching for him at least. He was wealthy and beloved. But he was also old and mostly spending his time chilling out in Florida. He also saw trouble on the horizon for his business. By this point, Ted Turner had launched TBS, which I'm gonna guess 90% of our listeners don't remember, but was the first super channel, right? It was a big deal at the time. And Ted hosted wrestling from another company that was not affiliated with Vince McMahon. Sam Muchnik had retired from the NWA at this point and it was teetering. Vince Sr knew that he didn't have the health or the energy to navigate yet another era of the business. But he also didn't particularly want his son to follow him. He didn't want any of his kids to follow him and most of them seemed fine with this because they were rich, but Vince Jr was still obsessed with wrestling and wanted more than anything to own his dad's business. Still, Vince Sr refused to give it to him. So eventually they worked out a purchase deal on extremely strict terms. Vince would need to pay $1 million to his dad and several shareholders in just a year's time. If he missed a single payment, they got back control of the WWF and got to keep all of the money that he'd paid them. Now, it is somewhat unclear how he managed to make these payments. He told one reporter that he did it by quote, using mirrors and getting the help of a guru. I don't know what the fuck that means. Nobody seems to. He used a mirror. You've turned 10 bucks into 20 bucks. No, no one seems to know what he's talking about. I don't have trouble believing that he was involved with some weird cult leader who helped him out on the plane. That would not be beyond Vince McMahon. Whatever, however, he did it. He buys the WWF in 1982 and he pays it off before the end of 1983. At this point, most people would have described his position in the industry as solid, but challenging. Ted Turner's rising up. We're kind of entering a new era. Vince has a plan, though. He's got a plan not just to kind of keep the business going as his father had, but to destroy all of the other regional syndicates and make himself the undisputed king of wrestling nationwide. He later said, I knew my dad wouldn't really have sold me the business had he known what I was going to do. I believe that part of the story. I believe that's true. Yeah. So yeah, this could have to say here, when it comes to how he destroyed the regionals, this is probably going to be one of the longest scripts we've ever done. It might buy the end, wind up competing with the fucking Kissinger episodes for length. At a certain point, I have had to decide there are chunks of the Vince McMahon story that we are going to have to blow through in order to avoid driving people insane with a series that's just far too long. What you need to know is this, after Vince took over from his dad, he shredded the gentleman's agreement that the promoters had had previously and he set to work destroying the NWA and as many of the other regionals as he could by spreading WWF events across the country. And most of the regional powers die one by one during this period. He doesn't totally wipe them out, but he he spreads the WWF to be nationwide and most of them die kind of as a result of this or get acquired. If you want more detail about how this process went, the most accessible and detailed account is in Ringmaster, Josie Riceman's book. If you are a huge wrestling nerd and you want forensic detail about how this went, the book Death of the Territories is the best resource by a mile. Now, a big part of the weakness of these kind of regional syndicates is that they didn't understand TV the way that Vince McMahon did. For them, wrestling TV was big business, but it was kind of a normal TV business. You get paid. Did Vince understand TV? Yeah, yeah, yeah. He's good at this. What have they meant? They've sprained brother love. He's been a disaster before, but he figures something important out, which is that most people in the biz are using TV the way that normal people use TV to make money, right? Where you put on a thing and it attracts advertisers and you make money, right? Vince was willing to give his shows to broadcasters for free, because he realized that whatever money he could get from ads on, especially in these local TV networks is pennies next to the value of promoting live shows and filling stadiums with fans. Vince was the guy who realized televised wrestling doesn't exist because TV is a good business, televised wrestling puts butts in seats and sells merchandise, and that's how you make the big fucking bucks. And he's very successful at this. Now Vincent Sr. is not proud of what his son's doing here, because he's kind of doing this as he's using TV. He'll basically give broadcast rights to a bunch of local TV stations that he's not currently, the WF isn't currently in this town or this state or this part of the country. And he'll use that to build up interest so that he can then bring the WF to this new state, start hosting shows and slowly choke out another regional competitor, right? Like that's the actual fact. Yeah. Yeah. And assuming a lot of the other promotions aren't rich enough to do the same thing. Yeah. Exactly. He's got the size, he's got the money to use as a base to kind of conquer from. And Vincent Sr. is kind of horrified by what his son's doing here. For all that he could be ruthless. He was also kind of a team player with the guys he saw as his equals. And some of these guys are also his friends, right? These are his like buddies that he's been in business around for years. So some of these guys call Vincent Sr. in a panic once it becomes clear that his son is on the cusp of destroying them. He complained to his son. He apologized to them, but it didn't matter. He wasn't in charge anymore. And there was nothing he could do. Hey, everybody, Robert here. This wound up running long like two hours long. And so we just needed to roll some of this episode into part four, which we're going to do so that this is not insane and a wieldy for our editing team and for us. Since we don't have a normal outro for this one, I'm just going to let you guys know that you can find, you know what? I'll do, I'll I'll fake their voices while I do their pluggables. I'm shown, baby, you can find me at one night. Okay, that's actually kind of disrespectful since this is their plugs. You can find Sean, baby, at one nine hundred hot dog, the last comedy website, tragically pretty close to true. And you can back them on Patreon as well. That is again, one nine hundred hot dog. And of course, Tom Reiman, you can find on Gamefully Unemployed, which does podcasts and all sorts of great content there, everything from like movie reviews to, you know, watch throughs of shows like X files. And yeah, a lot of great content. Gamefully Unemployed on Patreon, you can find them there. I apologize for not doing a fake Tom voice, but let's all be honest, it would have been almost identical to my fake Sean, baby voice. Behind the bastards is a production of Cool Zone Media. For more from Cool Zone Media, visit our website or check us out on the iHeart Radio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Grab a shiny new pair of mouth sears for you and the kids because as a Walt Disney World authorized seller undercover tourists, let's you enjoy the most magical place on earth and save up to $82 per ticket. That means more pirates, more teacups and more magic moments together. For less, you know you just can't wait to go. Visit now to book your hotel in Carrentle and enjoy 30% off your Walt Disney World experience. And with a 365 day refund guarantee, there's no excuse. The impact of climate change demands urgent action and the folks at Panasonic are making the well-being of the planet a top priority by launching the Panasonic Green Impact Initiative. A company commitment to achieve net zero in-house carbon emissions by the year 2030. And that's just the beginning. Through this initiative, Panasonic is making the systemic changes necessary to combat the climate crisis, creating next-gen battery storage, leveraging renewable energy and driving EV solutions. Join Panasonic in helping to create a greener, more equitable future. Learn more about Panasonic Green Impact at In the iHeart Radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.