10 Times Vince McMahon Sold His Soul

9. Payfabe


Most 1980s promoters considered Vince McMahon the devil himself when he steamrolled through their territories en route to global domination, but they presumably had to sink even lower than Satan in assessing him after an infamous conversation with the New Jersey Senate in February 1989.

It was in this formalised and documented discussion that he admitted once and for all that pro wrestling was pre-determined. And he only lifted the lid to save a few quid. Representing himself and his company, McMahon committed to record that the industry was "an activity in which participants struggle hand-in-hand primarily for the purpose of providing entertainment to spectators rather than conducting a bona fide athletic contest."

Hard, mechanical facts for an equally business-like reason, the revelation was part of a successful campaign from Vince and wife Linda to have wrestling deregulated by the state's sports commission. It saved the company having to go to the trouble of acquiring medical clearance and various legal registration for the talent, and reduced fees and taxes on venues levied at other 'sports'. Whilst it only really confirmed suspicions rather than confounding consumers, it was considered watershed amongst the few promoters that had survived every other effort made by McMahon to attain a monopoly he'd long strived for.


Square eyes on a square head, trained almost exclusively to Pro Wrestling, Sunderland AFC & Paul Rudd films. Responsible for 'Shocking Plans You Won't Believe Actually Happened', some of the words in our amazing Wrestling bookazines (both available at shop.whatculture.com), and probably every website list you read that praised Kevin Nash.