Is Vince McMahon’s Preference of Buff Wrestlers a Myth or Reality?

Published 12/09/2020, 11:02 AM EST
LAS VEGAS – AUGUST 24: World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Chairman Vince McMahon is introduced during the WWE Monday Night Raw show at the Thomas & Mack Center August 24, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)


WWE has been the land of giants since Vince McMahon took over from his father. The visual of big muscular men grappling and wailing away at each other put butts in seats and made the WWE a very profitable company. It almost makes people believe the notion that Vince McMahon prefers his wrestlers big and buff, instead of small and agile.

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Vince McMahon has played favourites with buff wrestlers

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The David vs Goliath concept has made for some incredible underdog victories. But before CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and even Eddie Guerrero became successful, only bodybuilders and true giants were guaranteed any sort of success. The notion that big men sell tickets is an outdated one, but Vince has not been able to let go of it.

The most successful WWE Superstars have been men who weigh more than 220 pounds and are shredded to the bone. Hulk Hogan main evented nine WrestleManias. John Cena is a sixteen time World Champion, and Andre the Giant was the first wrestler to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The problem isn’t Vince’s obsession with the big and muscular. It was the shunning of wrestlers who are smaller in size and stature. The odds of Daniel Bryan being featured on Raw, let alone receive title shots in the 1990s would have been close to impossible. There was a specific reason why names like Stone Cold, The Rock and Triple H hogged the main event for so long.

Did the New Generation change the scenario?

It is argued that Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart ushered in a ‘New Generation’ in WWE. Gone were the days of Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior. Smaller, more nimble wrestlers were in the main event. That notion is not entirely correct, as Michaels and Bret Hart were mostly playing second fiddle to men like Diesel, The Undertaker and Steve Austin.

Michaels and Hart stood at 6’1″ and 6′ respectively. They were comparatively larger than the Johnny Garganos and Daniel Bryans of today. CM Punk was another wrestler who suffered due to his stature. He was one of the first to call out Vince McMahon on his bias.

Vince McMahon’s wrestlers have faced steroid related issues

“Hulk Hogan testifies at the drug trafficking trial of Vince McMahon after McMahon was accused of obtaining anabolic steriods for WWE wrestlers. McMahon was later acquitted. July 14, 1994. (Photo by Mary McLoughlin/New York Post Archives /(c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)”

The WWE even faced a ton of flak due to the issue of steroid use. This led to the creation of the Wellness Policy which led to the ban on steroid use completely.

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Names like Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior have been users of steroids and muscle enhancing drugs. Vince himself was on trial in 1993 in a steroid trial that almost shut down the WWE.

Eddie was a pioneer for smaller wrestlers who felt they would not succeed in Vince McMahon’s land of giants.

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The way was then paved for the current crop of WWE Superstars like AJ Styles, Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano and Kofi Kingston. WWE seemed to have come to the realisation that talent outweighs a Superstar’s look. The odds of Roman Reigns, Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton receiving a push above might still be higher than the aforementioned superstars, but it is fair to say that we’re living in different times.

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Nathan Fulgado

1050 articles

Nathan Fulgado is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.

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