5 Times Vince McMahon fell out with top WWE Superstars (and the reasons why)

Vince McMahon and The Undertaker usually have a good relationship
Vince McMahon and The Undertaker usually have a good relationship

Regardless of who leads the creative direction of RAW and SmackDown these days, even the most casual of WWE viewers will know that Vince McMahon ultimately approves the majority of storyline developments that we see every week on WWE television.

The Superstars of RAW and SmackDown are often asked in media interviews about their relationship with Vince McMahon, and whether they have the courage to knock on his door to present ideas to the man who is essentially in charge of their characters.

While the younger crop of Superstars are unlikely to speak out of line in front of their boss, the same cannot be said for veterans of the business who have worked under Vince McMahon for several years.

In this article, let’s take a look at five top WWE Superstars who had a real-life falling out with the WWE Chairman, as well as the reasons why.

#5 Vince McMahon and The Undertaker


The inspiration for this article came from the fourth episode of WWE Network series ‘Undertaker: The Last Ride’, which featured The Undertaker discussing his falling out with Vince McMahon over his Starrcast booking in 2019.

The Starrcast wrestling convention, run by podcast host Conrad Thompson, took place in the same area and on the same weekend as AEW’s first pay-per-view, Double or Nothing.

Explaining the situation in his documentary series, The Undertaker said a social media group made the booking for him and he was unaware that Starrcast had a minor affiliation with AEW.

Vince McMahon pulled The Undertaker from the event, as well as WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle, which led to the two men briefly not speaking to each other.

"Vince and I had a little bit of a falling out over it, and I understand where he was coming from. He’s got a business to run. I understand his position. But I also had a position of my own that needed to be understood. We didn’t talk for a little while and then we both let our guard down enough to talk and then we got things worked out.” [H/T Fightful]

The Undertaker jokingly added that his relationship with Vince McMahon has been “sunshine and rainbows” since their Starrcast disagreement.

#4 Vince McMahon and Steve Austin


In 2002, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin walked out of WWE after Vince McMahon booked him to lose a King of the Ring qualifier against an up-and-coming Brock Lesnar on an episode of RAW.

Austin has said on numerous occasions that he would have been happy to lose to Lesnar, but he felt that a match between the two men needed to at least have a storyline build-up.

Speaking on NotSam Wrestling in 2017, the WWE Hall of Famer revealed that he did not have any contact with Vince McMahon for several months after his walkout. Jim Ross, a long-time friend of Austin, then encouraged him to talk with the WWE Chairman.

“He put me back in touch with Vince and me and Vince buried the hatchet. Had it not been for Jim Ross, I had already basically told the company to go f*** themselves without saying that. I was just not going to have anything to do with them.” [H/T Wrestling Inc.]

Austin received a $650,000 fine from Vince McMahon for his walkout, but he was able to lower the figure to $250,000.

#3 Vince McMahon and CM Punk


Based on various interviews over the last few years, it seems that Vince McMahon had many brutally honest conversations with CM Punk in WWE.

One of the most extreme examples of this came in 2013 when Punk told Sam Roberts on the weekend of WrestleMania 29 that Vince McMahon once said he was more difficult to deal with “than Shawn Michaels when he was on drugs”.

Punk ended up leaving WWE in January 2014 when he walked out on the company after a meeting backstage with Vince McMahon and Triple H.

The former WWE Champion called out both men for numerous reasons, including Vince McMahon for making false promises and Triple H for not allowing him to win when they fought at Night of Champions in 2011.

Punk explained during his infamous appearance on Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast that he received confirmation of his WWE firing on his wedding day – something that Vince McMahon later apologized for.

Although Punk began discussing the modern-day WWE product on FOX show WWE Backstage in 2019, he has still not made a televised WWE appearance since 2014.

The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer reported in 2020 that Vince McMahon has even labelled Punk as “the one man he can’t do business with”.

#2 Vince McMahon and Brock Lesnar


Brock Lesnar has had a number of real-life disagreements with Vince McMahon throughout his WWE career, dating all the way back to his first main-roster run with the company between 2002 and 2004.

Speaking on The Stone Cold Podcast on the WWE Network in 2015, Lesnar confirmed that his middle-finger gesture at WrestleMania 20 was aimed at Vince McMahon and not the fans inside Madison Square Garden who hijacked his match against Goldberg with boos and derogatory chants.

Lesnar also said in his autobiography, Death Clutch: My Story of Determination, Domination, and Survival, that he got the sword tattoo on his chest as a permanent reminder of how he felt after leaving WWE.

“I felt like life was holding a sword right up against my throat, so I went under the ink gun because I never wanted to forget exactly how I felt at that time. The tattoo on my chest has so much meaning to me. In some ways, it’s funny, because the period of my life that I’m talking about is a time I so want to forget, but I know I can use this memory as motivation.”

The strained relationship between Lesnar and Vince McMahon even featured on the WrestleMania 34 edition of a ‘WWE 24’ documentary.

When Lesnar returned backstage after his match against Roman Reigns, he threw the Universal Championship across the ‘Gorilla Position’ and straight at Vince McMahon.

The WWE Chairman responded by saying, “Hey, a**hole,” but Lesnar walked away.

#1 Vince McMahon and Bret Hart


Vince McMahon was at the heart of one of the most controversial moments in the history of WWE at Survivor Series 1997.

Heading into the event, WCW-bound Bret Hart thought he was going to lose against Shawn Michaels via disqualification in front of his adoring fans in Canada, meaning he would retain the WWE Championship.

“The Hitman” had refused to drop the title against Michaels in Montreal after his long-term rival made it clear that he would not be prepared to lose to Hart in the same way if the roles were reversed.

This led Vince McMahon to change the finish of the Survivor Series main event, with referee Earl Hebner being told to award the victory (and WWE Championship) to Michaels when he locked in the sharpshooter on Hart.

A furious Hart knocked Vince McMahon completely out cold backstage and the two men were not on speaking terms for several years.

In 2020, Hart said in an interview with ESPN that his relationship with Vince McMahon got back on track after the WWE Chairman phoned him in hospital following his stroke in 2002.

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Edited by Raunak J
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