In the ever-evolving world of professional wrestling, the influence of WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon is immeasurable. Vince McMahon’s larger-than-life personality and distinctive approach to running WWE have shaped the industry for decades. However, as the landscape of WWE undergoes significant changes, many intriguing stories have begun to emerge from the days when McMahon was at the helm.
One of the latest and most revealing anecdotes comes from Mace, a former WWE talent who found himself released from the company in September. During a candid Q&A session on Reddit, Mace and fellow wrestler Mansoor engaged with the r/SquaredCircle community, shedding light on a backstage moment that provided a unique glimpse into Vince McMahon’s personality during WWE Hell in a Cell in 2019.
As the conversation turned towards their favorite matches that they had the opportunity to provide commentary for, Mace embarked on a trip down memory lane, reminiscing about his time as a commentator on Raw. He collaborated with the likes of Vic Joseph and Jerry Lawler, making a noteworthy reference to the October 2019 edition of WWE Hell in a Cell. This particular event saw Mace providing commentary for the highly controversial and infamous Hell in a Cell bout between Bray Wyatt and Seth Rollins.
What sets this encounter apart was the unexpected intervention of Vince McMahon himself. Mace recollected a moment when Vince McMahon, known for his passionate involvement in WWE’s creative process, shouted at him to cease his attempts to explain the match’s finish to the audience. This unexpected involvement of the chairman in the commentary booth added a unique layer to the story, underscoring the hands-on nature of McMahon’s approach.
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“I remember Vince yelling at me to stop trying to explain the finish and then the crowd threw trash at us as we left lmaooo.”
However, the most memorable twist in this tale lies in the audience’s reaction. As Mace and his commentary team exited the arena after the match, they were greeted by a shower of trash and debris hurled by passionate, and evidently disgruntled, WWE fans. This incident serves as a vivid reminder of the passionate, sometimes polarized, nature of WWE’s dedicated fan base.
The match itself had generated a predominantly negative reception from both fans and wrestling critics. Seth Rollins, who had been an integral part of the bout, openly discussed his emotional reaction to the match’s conclusion during an appearance on the highly-regarded interview series, The Broken Skull Sessions, in September 2021. In a candid moment, he shared that he was “ready to strangle Vince McMahon” following the match, a situation that only calmed down after Tyson Kidd intervened to prevent a potential confrontation.
Even the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, a prominent figure in the wrestling journalism world known for his match ratings, gave the bout an exceptionally low rating of -2 stars. The match’s closing moments had seen Seth Rollins deliver a relentless series of attacks on Bray Wyatt, utilizing a slew of objects including his signature stomp, a pedigree, and an array of weapons such as a steel chair, ladder, toolbox, and even a sledgehammer. After this relentless assault, the referee rang the bell, signaling the end of the match, only for Wyatt to be stretchered away and subsequently return to continue the assault on Rollins.
As Mace and Mansoor embark on their respective journeys beyond WWE, the wrestling world eagerly awaits their future endeavors. Their time within the company has undoubtedly been a trove of unforgettable experiences, and the tales they have to share promise to captivate fans and enthusiasts alike. These stories shed a unique light on the backstage dynamics of one of the most influential periods in WWE’s history.