13 WWE stars Vince McMahon liked, but the fans rejected
Over the years, Vince McMahon's preference for certain WWE Superstars has led to moments where the heel/face personas take a backseat. A certain 'chosen one' of the former Chairman is tagged as the crowd favorite, but the heavy boos and silent responses say otherwise.
Several WWE legends have been a product of Vince McMahon's creative direction. Stone Cold, The Rock, The Undertaker, and John Cena have all been successful due to their caliber as well as Vince's support. However, there have been times when he took the shortcut and assumed that the WWE Universe would immediately take a liking to a heavily pushed superstar.
Let us take a look at the list of thirteen WWE superstars Vince McMahon liked, but the fans rejected:
#13. Batista 2014
After four long years, Dave Bautista returned to WWE in 2014. Ruthless Aggression fans were curious as to how he would adjust to the PG Era, but concerns became different when the former Evolution member got pitched against Daniel Bryan.
Despite being a face, Batista's win at the Royal Rumble was heavily criticized. The "Yes! Movement" was in full force at the time, and Vince was forced to pull the trigger on Bryan's main event push due to the fan reception. Meanwhile, the jeers of 'Bluetista' gave the Rumble winner a hard time.
#12. Baron Corbin
The most tragic case is that of Baron Corbin. Once the favorite of the Executive Chairman, it was almost guaranteed that he would become a world champion when he won the Money in the Bank briefcase. However, due to reported altercations with an official, McMahon decided to punish the star with a failed cash-in attempt.
Constable Corbin's run was lackluster. It was hinted that he was destined for great things when he won the King of the Ring 2019 finale against Chad Chable. However, fans were incensed that Vince McMahon continued to push him rather than put their faith in Gable. Corbin went 'Broke' and fans enjoyed his suffering.
#11. Jinder Mahal
The Modern Day Maharaja's title reign can be subjected to much debate. Some consider Randy Orton putting over Jinder Mahal a good surprise. Others criticized the booking vehemently due to his sudden shift from the undercard to championship status.
Mahal won the WWE Championship at Backlash 2017. Vince McMahon pushed him to be the top heel at the time by giving him wins with the assistance of the Singh Brothers. When even that didn't work to get him over, he gave the green light to a controversial promo on Shinsuke Nakamura. This left a bad aftertaste, and Mahal dropped the title to AJ Styles in a SmackDown show.
#10. Nia Jax
Recent WWE returnee Nia Jax considers herself a 'Vince Girl.' This was clearly the case when McMahon decided to put the RAW Women's Title in the early stages of her main roster career. However, her monster heel role didn't connect with fans.
Jax lacked pace in her high-profile matchups, and it was a constant struggle for the company to keep her on top. The WWE Universe also called her out as careless and an unsafe worker. Despite the criticism surrounding her run, Nia enjoyed her stay in the company and is now back.
#9. Bobby Lashley (first run in WWE)
WWE boasted of Bobby Lashley's accolades to gain reactions for the babyface. It was just one part of Vince McMahon's elaborate plan to push him to the main event status. However, the run wasn't as impressive.
Although Lashley defeated JBL for the Intercontinental Title, the top heel at the time, fans didn't consider him a major player. He also battled during the Battle of Billionaires and won for Donald Trump. McMahon pitched a heated feud with him to get Lashley over, but even that couldn't help build his persona. However, the second stint of The All Mighty in WWE has been fruitful.
#8. Seth Rollins (2019)
Vince McMahon's stance on Seth Rollins was clear the moment he deferred from The Shield and eventually won the WWE Championship. Fans loved his run, but in the fall of 2019, they developed a loathing for the former Universal Champion when he bested The Fiend at Hell in a Cell.
Fans rallied behind Wyatt's alter-ego while the 'Beastslayer' run of Rollins grew increasingly monotonous after his feud with Brock Lesnar. A heel turn was imminent when he dropped the Universal Title to The Fiend a few weeks after the controversial ending to HIAC.
The man to end Goldberg's undefeated streak had all the reasons to be a WWE Champion. However, a portion of fans believed he was over-pushed. Diesel's Big Daddy Cool character developed as a crowd favorite in 1994, but he couldn't pull off the traditional smiling babyface persona.
There have also been some debatable moments in Diesel's run. He defeated legendary champion Bob Backlund in an eight-second squash at Survivor Series and followed it with a win against Mable, who was fresh from a King of the Ring win.
#6. Roman Reigns (2014-15)
Roman Reigns' babyface run from late 2014 onwards was nightmarish. He is arguably the least charismatic face in the company's history. Thus, when Reigns got over top stars like Randy Orton and Big Show and won the Royal Rumble the next year, fans were left fuming.
Vince McMahon wanted Reigns to be an overnight sensation rather than build his character. The result was that the increasingly loud boos and jeers for The Big Dog had to be edited with applause. He demands acknowledgment to this day, but his heel character now runs the business.
#5. Lex Luger
Former world champion Lex Luger had a brief run in WWE spanning 1993-95. He debuted as a narcissistic character, with a metal plate inserted into his forearm that made him knock out superstars and pin them with just his pinky finger. Despite all the suggestive villainous antics, he was a babyface.
The rookie Luger's constant KO victories confused fans. However, the problems started when he took over the 'All American' role after Hulk Hogan's departure. He had big shoes to fill, and instead of creating his own identity, he was seen as a knock-off Hulkster. Vince McMahon wanted to give him the World Heavyweight Title but changed his decision due to the fan reception.
#4. Charlotte Flair
13-time Women's Champion Charlotte Flair is often termed empowered. From breaking Asuka's winning streak at WrestleMania 34 to promptly winning the Tag Titles alongside her rival at TLC 2020 following a five-month hiatus, some of Vince McMahon's decisions were apparently uncalled for.
Flair won yet another SmackDown Women's Title last year after returning to WWE from a seven-month hiatus. The move received a lot of backlash, but it was part of the 'Mania plans. Charlotte is one of the most capable superstars, but her constant push to the title scene, while others remain unutilized, infuriates fans.
#3. Lacey Evans
Evans had all the characteristics that Vince McMahon desired in a Women's Champion. With an attractive look, promo skills, and the charm of an All-American woman, fans were still not impressed by the Southern Belle when it came to her in-ring abilities. Vince McMahon eventually gave up on the star.
She regularly lost in high-profile matches. Following her return after pregnancy, it was decided that a military role would connect with the audience. However, WWE couldn't decide whether to push her as a heel or a face, hampering her prestige. Lacey Evans recently left the company upon the expiration of her contract.
#2. Ronda Rousey
Rousey was one of the most notorious fighters in the UFC, and her personality naturally transitioned into the squared ring as well. Yet, she lacked the ability to connect with the crowd. Her babyface persona fell flat after some time.
Becky Lynch outshined Rousey as a fan favorite in 2019. The Man overcame various obstacles to get to the gold while Ronda faced the brunt of the audience. To top it off, The Rowdy One's last run as champion was panned as she beat Liv Morgan and Shotzi despite her consistently poor performances in the ring.
#1. The Miz
The Grand Slam Champion has been a mainstay of WWE since 2004. He has been the go-to man for Vince McMahon, particularly due to his 'awesome!' heel character. However, some of his pushes didn't make sense to the audience.
To begin with, Miz won the Money in the Bank from Otis after WWE failed to put over the latter as they hoped. He also retained his Intercontinental Championship against Apollo Crews in 2016. The A-Lister has put over talent countless times, but some decisions made no sense to the fans.