I found the discussion of Vincent's early life in Sex, Lies, and Headlocks to be very fascinating and eye-opening. And also really kind of heartbreaking. He spent his childhood in a small town in North Carolina with his mom and an abusive step father while his biological father, Vincent James McMahon, was in Washington running Capitol Wrestling. Eventually, his wife Juanita convinced him to go meet his boys. Vinnie says he immediately fell in love. (When your dad has a flashy, stylish life, how could you not?) In that moment, I actually pitied poor Vince. His father didn't genuinely seem to care about him or his brother, but he was so ecstatic to have such a cool dad. Someone he could look up to that wasn't trying to beat him. Someone who was making something of himself. It did appear, however, that his father started paying attention once Vince started becoming obsessed with the wrestling business. It was in his blood, after all.
What really struck me was that Vincent actually asked his son if he wanted to buy the company once he was ready to retire. I had always assumed that is was just a family business that was passed from one generation to the next. (Look at those McMahons, always trying to make a buck.) It had never previously occurred to me (before this class) that Vince actually bought the company. Is he going to make Stephanie pay for full rights before he dies, I wonder? (Might as well keep the tradition going. Haha.) Regardless of how he acquired the company, he did really great things with it. He definitely tripped up a few times along the way, but he's a man that knows how to make money. I feel as if Verne Gagne didn't make it because, while he may have been a good businessman, he didn't seem to care about giving the audience what they wanted. He wanted to keep Backlund the champ instead of passing it on to Hogan. That's why he left; that's why people stopped wanting to watch. He wanted the show to go his way or no way. And Vince knows how to entertain people; he may not give the people what they want right away, but he knows how to work them. He knows how to always keep them coming back for more. And this same trait is one I believe Stephanie also inherited. The McMahon's are a devious, but brilliant bunch.