Several WWE legends have formed a bond with Vince McMahon over the years.
For example, WWE Hall of Famer The Undertaker has a close friendship with the Chairman. With his hard work and dedication to the company, The Deadman earned the 76-year-old's respect and trust. McMahon was even the one who inducted The Undertaker into the Hall of Fame earlier this year.
A few current superstars have also earned the WWE Chairman's respect and trust over the past few years. These wrestlers have impressed McMahon with their hard work, storyline ideas, and passion for the business.
Here are five current WWE Superstars who have reportedly earned Vince McMahon's respect.
#5. WWE NXT Women's Champion Mandy Rose
After participating in Tough Enough in 2015, Mandy Rose signed with WWE. She spent nearly two years in developmental before making her main roster debut in 2017.
Rose's main roster run lasted for about four years, during which time she worked on both RAW and SmackDown. While on the Blue Brand, the 31-year-old participated in a love triangle storyline alongside Otis and Dolph Ziggler. She later revealed that the angle was her idea.
In an interview with the Fighful podcast, God's Greatest Creation disclosed that pitching that storyline earned her more respect from Vince McMahon:
"When you had a creative idea and you wanted to go right to Vince, I would wait by his door, obviously, just like everyone else and hopefully get in there. (...) With the Otis storyline, I actually went in there and pitched that whole thing. I think that's when, coming from the reaction I got from Vince, is when I think that's when he finally was like, 'Wow, that's an amazing idea. I took the initiative to go in there, come up with this idea, have a plan for how it ends, the whole storyline, and how it leads up to it.' I think he really gained a lot more respect for me in that sense because he loved the idea, but he also thought it was really cool," she said. [H/T: Essentially Sports]
The storyline was one of the most popular angles in late 2019 and 2020. Rose later moved to RAW in September 2020. She spent less than a year on the red brand before returning to NXT in July 2021. She is currently the NXT Women's Champion and the leader of Toxic Attraction.
#4. Former WWE United States Champion R-Truth
In 1999, R-Truth joined Vince McMahon's company. However, his first run ended after nearly three years when WWE released him from his contract in 2002. Six years later, he re-signed with the company. The 50-year-old has now been with WWE for about a decade and a half.
Truth is one of the hardest working superstars on the current WWE roster. He is also an honest man. In an interview with HOT 97, the former United States Champion revealed that his hard work and honesty brought him close to The Chairman:
"I remember Vince saying that he liked me because I just treat him like Vince and he said 'you're just as honest as you wanna be, you don't bulls**t me,' and our relationship just started from there and doing the handshake tours with him. (...) We've had some good, fun times, some crazy times but it's like, we've always respected each other but he's helped me out. He has a way of teaching you without teaching you and if you pick up on that, he's attracted to that, he likes that and our relationship just built over the years of me growing and him growing," he said. [H/T: The Sports Rush]
Truth is now active on Monday Night RAW. He is currently chasing the 24/7 Championship.
#3. Former RAW Tag Team Champion Riddle
Two years after signing with WWE, Riddle made his main roster debut in 2020. Less than a year later, he won the United States Championship. The King of Bros held the title for 49 days before losing it to Sheamus at WrestleMania 37. Riddle later joined forces with Randy Orton to form RK-Bro. Together, they won the RAW Tag Team Titles twice.
The 36-year-old's hard work and confidence have helped him become one of the fastest rising stars on Monday Night RAW. They have also earned him Vince McMahon's respect.
"I am extremely confident, but I've also put the work in to be as confident as I am in what I say. I do think Vince respects it. I think he likes me a lot, but I do think that I've overstepped my boundaries a couple times and he has definitely told me that I have," Riddle told Out of Character [H/T: Wrestling Inc.]
The King of Bros and Orton recently lost their RAW Tag Team Titles to The Usos. While The Viper is currently out of action due to injury, Riddle defeated The Miz last Monday on RAW.
#2. Former SmackDown Women's Champion Natalya
Seven years after kicking off her professional wrestling career, Natalya signed with Vince McMahon's company in 2007. She is now one of the most experienced superstars on the current roster.
Natalya's hard work and dedication have earned her Vince McMahon's trust. Last year, the former SmackDown Women's Champion spoke about her relationship with The Chairman in an interview with the Out of Character podcast, disclosing that he has always given her the proper respect:
"In my entire time being in WWE, Vince has always made time for me. Being as busy as he is and being in the position he is, he's always heard me out. He's always listened, said 'yes,' said 'no,' said why he liked it or didn't like it, but I always felt I had a voice. I would go through the proper channels. (...) I know that takes time to build that relationship, but it's always been that mutual understanding. Vince trusts me and trusts that I won't let him down. He's there and accessible if we need to talk to him. That's been something I've kept through my whole career. I don't want to abuse it, but when I need to go to him, I know I can," she said. [H/T: Wrestling Headlines]
Natalya is currently active on SmackDown. Last Friday, she became the number one contender for the SmackDown Women's Championship after winning a six-pack challenge.
#1. Former WWE Champion Randy Orton
Like Natalya and R-Truth, Randy Orton is one of the veterans on the current WWE roster. The Viper made his main roster debut 20 years ago and has since accomplished almost everything in Vince McMahon's company.
Orton's relationship with The Chairman has changed over the past two decades. Although their relationship initially started on the wrong foot, The Viper and McMahon now have mutual respect.
Speaking to Metro, Orton had this to say about his relationship with his boss:
"It's totally changed over the years. We had a weird – not weird, but a different kind of relationship. Early on, I was getting in trouble a lot and there were a lot of times I had to go to the principal’s office. I used to dread it. For some reason, I'd always leave that office and I’d go back to the locker room and I'd be on the show that night. He had no reason to keep me around with some of the s**t that I was pulling. (...) Now that 20 years has gone by and I've slowly got to know him, I think there's more of man-to-man respect there of a husband and a father, and he's seen that I've matured as well," Orton said.
Orton is currently active on Monday Night RAW. He is now recovering from a back injury.