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Vince McMahon interview on The Pat McAfee Show: full coverage

The Pat McAfee Show

The Pat McAfee Show

Vince McMahon will do his first long-form interview in years on today's episode of The Pat McAfee Show. The expectation is that McMahon will do an angle on this show to set up a match with McAfee at WrestleMania 38 in Dallas. It was hinted during Monday Night Raw that Austin Theory might be appearing on today's show as well. WrestlingNews.co will cover the interview in real-time. Refresh this page for updates.

Live notes/recap:

- The interview was originally scheduled for 2 pm eastern and then it was pushed to 2:15 pm eastern.

- At 2:03 pm, McAfee said that he isn't sure if McMahon has landed yet but he is going to be in the studio at some time in the hour. McAfee said he can't wait to pick his brain to talk about some of the decisions he has made and he wants to ask questions about things that we haven't heard answers from.

- McAfee said he got a call and was told that McMahon doesn't need any prep time. McAfee said he has no clue what is going to happen, despite what has been said online and there are no time restrictions. McAfee says he genuinely has no clue what is happening ahead of time on SmackDown and what you hear is his genuine reaction.

- Vince showed up at 2:23 pm. McAfee said he appreciates Vince appearing in-studio because this is big for his show.

- Vince talked about not believing in ceilings. Vine said everything he and his staff do is calculated and he listens to them before making decisions. On the decision to move to streaming, Vince said lawyers try to tie your hands in terms of creativity and owning you and for him, it's more about creative control and creating your destiny.

- Vince stays out of the conversation when people try to pat him on the back. "I'm just who I am." He says if he listens to the positives then he has to listen to the negatives and he's not big on negatives. Vince says the members of the media will say what they want to say. "If people think you're an asshole, you can't change that. I'm a good guy, I love my family." He said you can't change perception when you are a public personna. He only cares what the general public thinks. He said it took a while to stop caring about the critics. Vince said he can't care what the media says or what people who don't understand him say about him.

- On not liking the word "wrestling" Vince says he wanted to separate from everyone else. He said his dad has his own brand, the World Wide Wrestling Federation and it was brilliant. Vince joked that "the panda got us" and he didn't know that the World Wildlife Fund existed and it was a "no win" lawsuit because the company was tried in England so he decided to "get the F out."

- Vince said he has a lot of creative people in the company and he listens because you can't learn if you're talking...sometimes.

- Vince announced that he will induct The Undertaker into the Hall Of Fame.

- McAfee talked about competition and specifically mentioned AEW buying ROH. Vince said he loves confrontation and he says that he lived "through the beating" as a kid so he has nothing to be afraid of. Vince said there was never a conversation about Taker going to WCW, not one.

- Vince talked about growing up in the trailer park but he didn't think he was "somebody" until around WrestleMania 4 or 5 but he said he's just like everyone else but he's fortunate to do what he does and he is fortunate to be alive.

- McAfee asked him to follow up on the statement that he's lucky to be alive. Vince said that he's just lucky to do what he loves.

- Vince said that it's just business when he lets people go and sometimes people need to look in the mirror but they like to pass blame.

- Vince named WrestleMania 1 as one of his favorite moments. He talked about not having the money he said he had to fund the first WrestleMania.

- McAfee asked if he has seen the person who plays him on "Young Rock" and Vince said no. Vince talked about the territory days and said that there were times when people threatened him. He recalled a story that Jim Ross told him about Bill Watts trying to figure out what to do about Vince going national. Vince said that four promoters were in the restroom talking about how to take out Vince and JR happened to hear this in the restroom stall and pulling both feet up so he couldn't be seen and "mother nature is calling at the same time."

- On Saudi Arabia, Vince says the people there area just like other people and WWE has had a presence there for years and the fans there are enthusiastic about western culture even though they don't love our government. He said WWE fits in everywhere. Vince said, "people are people and cultures are cultures and you have to respect that."

- Vince was asked how he finds time to do so much. Vince said he's not like anybody else in the world. He finishes training around 3 am and he starts around 1:30. He says he overtrains even though it's not good for him but it's the only socially acceptable way to let out aggression. He does it for his head more than he does it for his body and he tries to eat right. "It really helps me more mentally and psychologically" so he can handle the things that come at him. Vince said he hasn't had doubts about what he's wanted to do but sometimes he'll make decisions and he learns from mistakes. He said he doesn't have a down day.

- On starting the WWE Network before streaming was a big deal, Vince said he makes decisions based on common sense.

- Vince was asked how much he thinks about the future. Vince says he loves branding and marketing and the word "stupendous" is not used much in everyday speak and things like that is what he thinks about.

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- Vince says he is "wide open" in regards to being creative and you have to be able to accept whatever comes in from whatever source. He feels that he has a "second wheel" going on in his brain and sometimes a third one but sometimes it can get very confusing.

- In regards to balancing thoughts about the future and the current product, he said he doesn't always know where things are going to go but if something becomes available, he figures out how WWE will fit. Vince said when someone graduates from WWE you know how to treat people and you show respect because "respect is huge in everything we do." Vince said people hug each other and shake hands backstage and the basis of that is that wrestlers have to work with each other to avoid serious injury.

- McAfee says Vince always listens to him during their chats. McAfee says everyone sees Vince as a "robot as a person" and people think he will live forever. Vince said before he dies he wants one second to say "thank you" and he wants to be thankful to be alive. McAfee said he has about 26 years left to live until 101, the same age that his mother lived to.

- On talk about WWE no longer being his one day, Vince says if you build something he wants it to prosper and grow with or without a family member and he wants it to prosper even if you are not part of it. Vince said he has always expected more from his family members and you have to do the right thing for the business and if things are not working out then you shouldn't he part of the company.

- McAfee was about to end the interview but Vince was willing to stick around to answer questions from McAfee's staff/co-host.

- Vince said he wanted to offer something to McAfee. Vince said he wanted to offer an opportunity to wrestle at WrestleMania. Vince did not say that he would be the one to wrestle McAfee.

- Vince was asked if it's harder to create Superstars. Vince said it's a team effort when creating Superstars. Vince then went into a story about The Undertaker being pressured to do the spinarooni and almost breaking character. Vince said uses the term "Superstars" instead of wrestlers because "anyone can wrestle" and "do you want to be a professional wrestler or a WWE Superstar" and "WWE Superstar sounds better than a professional wrestler." He said you have to have acting talent and the want to grow because if you are not growing then you're dying and you have to really get into your character in the ring and some people are confused and act the same way in their private life. Vince said "the really good ones" are all in with their character but they can shut it off after the show. Vince said it's important for mental health to not be the same character out of the ring.

- Vince said during COVID he never wanted to miss a show and he credited the performers for working hard at what they do. Vince acknowledged that things were different with the NFL because they are a little more higher profile. Vince talked about doing shows at the Performance Center with no audience and how difficult that was for the performers.

- Vince said WWE has a focus group every night (the fans at shows) and it does not matter what he wants if the fans say otherwise. Vince said "you can tell" when something is working or not and a portion of the internet audience can be biased and he doesn't listen to those people.

- Vince said that he has to overcome the stereotype that he's not cool or hip and he tries to give people as much creative ability as possible but "you don need to lead, you can't just wait."

- McAfee praised Vince and said that he learns from him and said that Vince, since the beginning, has let Pat just do his thing. Vince said that if he didn't like what McAfee was doing then he wouldn't be doing it. Vince said McAfee appeals to the audience and he has fun.

- On Brock Lesnar, Vince said he is an extraordinary human being and a "smart son of a b*tch." He says people think he's a neanderthal but "he's smarter than you pal."

- Vince was asked if he keeps in touch with his top guys like Steve Austin, Goldberg, etc. Vince said he keeps in touch with "some" and he'd love for them to stay in touch with him but he's busy but he tries to have the company stay in contact with them.

- Vince talked about the Attitude Era being so much fun and the 80's was the wild west and they had a blast. Vince talked about the bedpan skit with Stone Cold and Mick Foley. Vince said Austin came up with the idea to hit Vince in the head with the bedpan and it was fun to do that.

- Vince said live TV is when you're on the edge and nothing can go wrong and it's exciting, despite the pressure and he lives for that.

- McAfee mentioned Michael Cole Vince joked that Cole is a "horrible human being." McAfee asked if Vince still gets excited before shows and Vince said he does. Vince said if the vision of a story comes out the way he wants then it's awesome and he gets chill bumps like everyone else.

- Vince talked about the travel and sometimes it's difficult for the corporate types to grasp what WWE does because they are like no one else. Vince said it takes a grind and a toll to leave your home and be on the road all the time. He said that it's extraordinary that so many people want to do this together and he doesn't see this as a grind, but he sees it as a privilege. Vince said no one will ever know when he's tired. Vince said he can have a horrible meeting or phone call but he won't bring that emotion into his next meeting.

- McAfee asked if he looked at books or other leaders. Vince said his grades weren't good enough for college and he is sure he had every learning disability there was and he was expelled for fighting and he never learned how to study. He said he needed summer school to get into college and it took 5 years for a 4-year curriculum in East North Carolina College. Vince said Linda got through her curriculum in 3 years. Vince said he didn't have the grades to graduate and he found out where the professors lived and he knocked on their door and he got his grade changed from a B+ to an A- but the other professor wasn't so nice and there was a confrontation. He said he graduated from college because the first professor changed his grade.

- Vince was asked if he ever considered himself a WWE Superstar. Vince said he had to during the Attitude Era and he said "I'm really Steve Austin" and he understood the underdog philosophy. Vince joked that it's easy to get people to dislike him. Vince said he would much rather be on the other side of the camera.

- McAfee asked if Vince has had injuries other than his blown quads. Vince said he had no use of his legs when that happened at Royal Rumble 2005 and he had to learn how to talk again during rehab. He says he had neck surgery, triceps surgery, spinal surgery and the injuries came from a combination of a lot of things. Vince talked about squatting 1,000 pounds and he only does that once a month. Vince put over his staff as good people and quality human beings.

- McAfee talked about the heat he got a few years back for wearing shorts during a WrestleMania pre-show and Vince appreciated that he wore the shirts. McAfee said Vince has been genuine and cool with him.

You can also watch the interview by clicking below: