WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is one of the greatest minds in the history of the wrestling business. After purchasing the company from his late father Vince Sr., he turned WWE into the global phenomenon it is today.
Vince McMahon has been responsible for the success of almost everything that has come out of WWE; from popular gimmicks and storylines to major events such as WrestleMania. The former WWE Champion also has the final say on everything that is presented on his wrestling shows.
The perks of being the boss allow Vince McMahon to take credit when something succeeds and blame someone else when it fails. While The Chairman of the Board has been the mastermind behind wrestling's most iconic moments, he has also come up with a lot of crazy ideas that people still talk about today without resisting the urge to cringe.
Thankfully, some of them didn't make it to TV because several superstars were brave enough to say no to the boss. Here are five times WWE stars turned down Vince McMahon's pitches.
#5 Stone Cold Steve Austin refused to face Brock Lesnar on WWE RAW
WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin is one of the biggest names in wrestling. In 2002, he was supposed to have a match with Brock Lesnar, which would've attracted a lot of viewers with the proper build-up. Vince McMahon, however, wanted Stone Cold to put over The Beast on a normal episode of WWE RAW.
At the time, Lesnar was a new face on the roster and he was being pushed as the next big star. He was scheduled to win the King of the Ring tournament by running through all the other participants, including Steve Austin. The Rattlesnake, however, declined to take part in the bout. Vince McMahon, on the other hand, was insistent on getting Austin to agree.
Former WWE commentator Jim Ross revealed on his podcast that Stone Cold Steve Austin had an argument with Vince over the situation and proceeded to walk out on the company. During an interview, Austin shed light on why he refused to wrestle Brock Lesnar on RAW:
"Because it wasn't time for me to do the favours yet for Brock in an unadvertised match in a tournament-style TV match whereas hey, man, I love Brock Lesnar, I'd lose to him any day of the week, but build it up so we can all make money off of it and it's going to mean something."
Stone Cold Steve Austin admitted years later that he regrets not having the match with Brock Lesnar. He had to retire prematurely from in-ring competition the next year due to a neck injury he sustained in the ring in 1997.