WWE's infamous backstage stories have circulated on the internet for years. A lot of times, Vince McMahon has been the focal point of many backstage incidents. After all, there are several unbelievable backstage stories about the Chairman and CEO of WWE.
Professional wrestling is often an industry fuelled by egos. As a result, there have been inevitable instances where WWE Superstars confronted McMahon for various reasons.
Some popular stars have unloaded their frustrations on Vince McMahon over the years. Whether they were right or wrong, here are five instances where current and former WWE Superstars confronted McMahon backstage.
#5 Two-time WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart knocked out Vince McMahon after The Montreal Screwjob
At Survivor Series 1997 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Bret Hart lost the WWF World Heavyweight Championship to Shawn Michaels. The circumstances surrounding the title exchange were scandalous, to say the least.
Due to the disparaging comments that Michaels made towards him weeks before the event, Hart did not agree to lose his belt to HBK at Survivor Series. But since The Hitman was WCW bound, Vince McMahon planned a secret finish behind his back. During the match, the referee called for the bell when Michaels locked Hart in a sharpshooter submission hold. Hart wasn't aware of the finish and hadn't even tapped out in the first place.
The Montreal Screwjob went down as one of the most controversial professional wrestling stories of all time.
After Bret Hart lost the title, he was clearly unhappy with how things had turned out. As a result, he went backstage and did the unthinkable — Hart attacked Vince McMahon with an uppercut and knocked him out. During an appearance on Broken Skull Sessions, Bret recalled the general feeling around the locker room after he knocked out Vince:
"I remember sitting there in the dressing room. Everyone’s just sitting there. We’re all looking and it’s like stunned, including me, I’m going, ‘I can’t believe I just knocked out Vince McMahon. I would’ve done anything for this guy.’”
All parties involved have squashed their real-life beef since the aforementioned events unfolded in 1997. But even today, the Montreal Screwjob is a relevant topic of discussion among WWE fans.
#4 Hardcore Holly confronted Vince McMahon about WWE's dress code policy
In 2004, WWE had a meeting about a dress code policy. The reason behind the implementation of this policy was to add more professionalism and credibility to the dress code of WWE Superstars.
Not everyone in the locker room was happy about it, including Hardcore Holly. This particular incident was detailed in his book, The Hardcore Truth.
Apparently, the only stars who didn't have to follow the code were wrestlers whose gimmicks wouldn't make sense for them to wear business attire. John Cena, Mick Foley and Stone Cold Steve Austin were exempt from this rule.
At the meeting, Holly stood up to Vince McMahon and confronted him about this policy. Holly argued that his gimmick didn't fit the dress code, but McMahon still wanted him to dress professionally. The two got into a lengthy debate on the topic.
However, at the meeting, only Holly stood up to Vince McMahon about the rule. The former WWE star was unhappy because no one else apart from him confronted McMahon about the aforementioned dress code.
In the end, even names like Kane, Chris Jericho, and Eugene had to dress up professionally despite their onscreen gimmicks. The Undertaker didn't have to follow this rule, but he did so to set the right standard for everyone else in the locker room.
#3 Brock Lesnar has confronted WWE Chairman Vince McMahon more than once
Brock Lesnar has been a mainstream WWE talent for years, even though he isn't signed to the company as of this writing.
With huge fame comes huge controversies and Lesnar has been in the headlines for them, more than once. Unlike many WWE Superstars, Lesnar has barely suffered the consequences of his confrontations with Vince McMahon.
One such confrontation occurred before WrestleMania 31. Lesnar reportedly walked out of Monday Night RAW on February 23, 2015, after having a "shouting match" with McMahon. Professional wrestling legend Arn Anderson was a WWE producer at the time. He revealed that The Beast wanted the best deal - between WWE and UFC - for himself during that period. Arn even credited Brock for being a smart businessman in that context.
Several years later, Lesnar confronted McMahon after the main event of WWE WrestleMania 34. He had just defeated Roman Reigns to retain his WWE Universal Championship. After a successful title defense, The Beast Incarnate went backstage and launched the belt towards McMahon. The latter shouted back some expletives.
Although their backstage confrontation at WrestleMania 34 was short, the situation became intense for everyone present around the two.
Brock Lesnar and Vince McMahon's business relationship wasn't deterred by the aforementioned incidents. The Beast Incarnate went on to perform at WrestleMania 35 and 36 to put over stars like Seth Rollins and Drew McIntyre.
#2 Kevin Owens confronted Vince McMahon about WWE's COVID-19 situation
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of many industries, including WWE and professional wrestling as a whole. In 2020, COVID-19 forced WWE to exclude fans from their weekly shows. After this development, WWE's weekly episodes initially emanated from the Performance Center.
Soon, the absence of live fans was filled with the inclusion of developmental talents, who cheered on the performers during tapings.
This raised concerns regarding COVID-19, as some people weren't wearing masks or following social distancing norms. As a result, a developmental talent tested positive for the virus. The incident prompted Kevin Owens to skip a set of television tapings.
On July 3, Owens reportedly raised concerns about the lack of people wearing masks and social distancing not being followed during these tapings. He confronted Vince McMahon about the issue. Owens also told McMahon that he was going home, apparently due to COVID-19 concerns. In the end, both of them came to an agreement that stars should be fined for breaking COVID-19 safety protocols in WWE.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Kevin Owens revealed that he had convinced Vince McMahon to implement a new mask policy in WWE. After the rule was established, Owens stayed back for the week's tapings.
#1 Braun Strowman confronted Vince McMahon about his creative direction in WWE
After the 2019 Royal Rumble, Braun Strowman was quite frustrated about his creative direction in WWE.
The Monster Among Men was "mad about everything". He felt that WWE’s creative team kept teasing great opportunities in front of him, only to later take them away. This was the main source behind Strowman's frustrations.
Upon witnessing Strowman's confrontational mood, McMahon told everyone to leave the production meeting. This way, McMahon was able to talk to him for 45 minutes and straighten things out. According to Strowman, the two had a "heart-to-heart" conversation before RAW:
“I walked into a production meeting one day and I was all but… I’d had enough. I was mad about everything. He [Vince] kicked everybody out of the production meeting two hours before Raw was about to start – the show wasn’t even done – and talked to me for 45 minutes, heart-to-heart, man-to-man conversation, and it opened my eyes to the big picture of, ‘Wow, why am I worrying about this?’”
Unlike many real-life confrontations, Braun Strowman's encounter with Vince McMahon immediately led to a productive outcome. It opened his eyes to the "big picture" as well.
More than a year later, The Monster Among Men defeated Goldberg and won his first world title at WWE WrestleMania 36.
In the video linked above, check out five WWE Superstars Vince McMahon reportedly doesn't believe in.