Vince McMahon is a big influence in the Pro-Wrestling business who changed the course in its entirety, for better or for worse…
He seems like an individual who rarely lets his guard down in front of his talent. But there was a time when things got out of hand, and the story seems superficial at first. However, “The Excellence of Execution”, Bret “The Hitman” Hart recalls this hilarious story from his autobiography: “Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling”. The exact timeline of this incident just so happens to be around when drug testing was about to be implemented in the then-WWF. You might want to pay close attention here, because this story is one great ride that should be passed down to future generations!
“I had been to El Paso, where some buddies I called Cheech and Chong had given me a giant baggie filled with Mexican dirt-weed…
So, of course it figures that before the tapings in San Antonio, Vince called a meeting to inform all the wrestlers that in a few weeks drug testing would be expanded to cover any and all non-prescription drugs, including marijuana. Vince said that with the FBI and the media waiting to pounce on him, the WWF couldn’t take a chance on another scandal. I believed – and still do – that Vince’s decision was short-sighted. With weed taken off the menu, even more wrestlers wound up as alcoholics; instead of smoking a bit of weed holed up in their hotel rooms talking about the business, they roamed hotel bars drunk and on downers.
I handed a big, fat joint to Owen and explained that it was probably the last time we’d be able to smoke pot for a while. Owen, so strait-laced most of the time, let his hair down, and we both took a few hits. We pulled up to the strip bar feeling good.
Inside, a bunch of wrestlers crowded around Hulk at the far end of the room. Beefcake was there, having recovered enough from the parasailing accident to come back to limited duty. Unfortunately, with steel plates holding his face together, he could no longer wrestle in a serious capacity. Standing off to the side were Hawk, Animal, Curt, Bossman and Ray Hernandez, a muscle-bound Tampa powerhouse who worked a Hercules gimmick. I introduced Owen around, spotted Jim and Davey at a table, and ordered beers for us all.
Vince came in around midnight. That was unusual enough because Vince didn’t make a habit of hanging out with the boys. But what really turned heads was that Vince was shit-faced, his tie hanging loosely around his neck. Pat Patterson tagged behind him trying to persuade him it was a bad idea to be there in his condition, but Vince had decided he was going to have one last party with the boys before the new drug policy went into effect. Sergeant Slaughter offered to keep an eye on him and act as his designated driver, so Pat fled through the front door, as though he’d been chased out by the sight of all those naked women.
Then I heard Hogan daring a wild-eyed Hawk into doing the L.O.D. finish on Vince right there in the bar. Suddenly Animal crouched behind Vince, stuck his head between Vince’s legs and lifted him off the floor. Vince was laughing as Animal walked him over to all of us. Hawk had already climbed up on the bar, gripping a stripper pole, assuring Hogan he was going to take Vince’s head off. I thought, wow, he’s actually going to do it, but at the last second Hawk thought better of it and leapt off the table, gently hitting Vince with his arm. Hulk and Beefcake caught Vince and set him on his feet to a round of golf claps from an assortment of ass-kissers who seemed to materialize on cue. I rolled my eyes at Jim, who boldly declared, ‘The Hart Foundation would have had the balls to do it!‘
‘Damn right!‘ I had a beer in one hand and a shot of J.D. in the other, but was conscious enough to think, My God, what did I just say? Owen’s eyes got big. I considered running out of the place as I watched a determined Jim nonchalantly pick up a grinning Vince like he was jokingly hugging him. The boys parted before me, and Hulk stared as if there was no way I had the balls to do it. I set my drinks down and before I could even think about it I leapt high in the air clothes-lining Vince with a thud! His head bounced off the carpeted floor, his skinny neck stretched out like a turtle’s. There we both were laying on our backs, and I thought, what have I done?
‘You owe me a drink, Hitman!‘ Vince drunkenly slurred.
‘Don’t worry, I’m buying.‘
‘Double Dewars on Ice.‘
We tossed them down.
Last call came and went and the lights came up, but nobody was leaving. Davey had Vince over his shoulder and was running around looking for a place to power slam him! The police were called to clear us out. With Owen and an assortment of strippers in my car, we joined a train of about thirty cars about to head downtown for a party in Flair’s penthouse suite at the Marriot. The procession couldn’t get by a police cruiser, parked in front of a strip bar, so Slaughter, with his big chin sticking out, burned the rubber off his tires as he pushed the cop car to the side of the road.
At about 3 a.m., the drunken mob descended upon a young male desk clerk to call Flair’s room. No answer, so Vince demanded a key. The flustered clerk said it was against hotel policy, but Vince cut him off – ‘I’m Vince McMahon. Give it to me right now!‘
He got the key.
We all packed the elevators and headed up to the fortieth floor. We piled into Flair’s room, waking Earl Hebner, the referee, who was asleep on the rollaway bed. Flair hadn’t yet returned from his own night of misadventure, so we made ourselves at home.
It was a beautiful suite with a full-sized bar, but the bar was only stocked with only one full bottle of vodka. The party was about to die when a bag of dirt-weed mysteriously appeared and joints were rolled and lit. I saw first-hand what the boys thought of Flair when everybody used his king-sized bed as a urinal. Even Vince, stripped down to his boxers, black shoes and socks, and his tie. I remember Hercules and Curt laughing as they hosed it down, and for some reason, I thought nobody would have done this to Harley Race!
Then Vince got it into his head to have some fun amateur wrestling with us. When he came to me I was careful and playful with him, as was Curt. Then Vince took Hawk down and pinned him to the floor. When he grabbed Herc, Herc hurled Vince upside down into the air, but Vince somehow bounced off Earl’s rollaway and landed on his feet. Vince gave Herc a sober glance that said, ‘In the morning, if I can remember any of this, I’ll fire you!‘ (In fact, only days later, Herc was released.)
Then Vince sized up Jim: ‘Ya big rhino, you’re the only guy I haven’t tried yet!‘ Jim twisted the tip of his beard and asked Vince whether he’d ever seen that scene in Die Hard where the villain falls forty floors down. Vince nervously glanced at the window knowing Jim was crazy and drunk enough to do something like that.
He decided to leave Jim alone.
By sunrise Flair still hadn’t made it to his own party, and I was drunk and leaning on a stripper as she helped me get my room key in the door at the Crockett Hotel…”
In my opinion, the whole incident seems as if it would make for a great TV Episode. There are a lot of amazing Pro-Wrestling stories out there, and this one belongs right at the top of the shuffle. Enough said…