When Vince McMahon was in charge of WWE, he loved to pull pranks, or ribs, on the talent. Whether it was mocking them onscreen, subtle digs via commentators, or even work behind the scenes, Vince would get a satisfying reaction no matter what. There was a time Mr. McMahon went after an employee by using a celebrity magician.
When speaking in a new interview with Chris Van Vliet, the former WWE Writer Freddie Prinze Jr. recalled being pranked by McMahon while working on SmackDown He explained that McMahon was aware of his dislike for celebrity magician Val Valentino who found fame on television when he exposed how magic tricks were performed.
When Valentino made an appearance with WWE, McMahon made sure that the writer was the man to produce the segment. Apparently, Vince got a great reaction.
“I don’t like all the behind the scenes stuff, you know, there should be magic left in it, otherwise everyone feels like they can do it and everyone can’t. I don’t like all the behind the scenes stuff in movies, I don’t like the masked magician, screw that guy Val Valentino or whatever his name is.
Vince made me produce a damn segment with him when the show, when Smackdown was on the UPN, and so was his [Valentino’s] show and he [Vince] did it just to rib me. And I was like you know I hate that son of a b*tch. He just laughs like ha ha ha and I’m like son of a b*tch, and had to go and produce that schlock. So I wanted all his tricks to fail. Screw that guy, man, all those YouTube videos. ‘Here’s so and so did this…’ Screw that video, man.
Like you’re taking away someone’s livelihood when you do that. You know what I mean? Just so you can make a couple bucks? That seems dirty and shady to me. Everyone’s got to hustle, I know that, but I don’t have to respect everybody’s hustle.
So yeah, man, I’m not, I’m not about that. So it’s gonna be different and people see it [Freddie Prinze Jr’s promotion] and then they can judge for themselves. They can click with it and love it, or they can not click with it and hate it, and you’re both right.
However you feel about art, you’re correct. Because it’s art. It’s never going to be viewed the way three plus three is viewed. Because it’s not, it’s not science. But uh, but yeah, man. So I’m not as concerned with that as I am. I want to execute this the right way. And I want it to be my vision, not anybody else’s vision. And the proof will be in the pudding man.”
No prank ever went over the line for Vince McMahon, even though this one was kind of tamed. He used to love pushing people into a swimming pool with all of their clothes on. One time he had former WWE commentator Jonathan Coachman arrested as a joke.
Sure, Vince McMahon’s antics were kind of annoying when he ran the company. We’ll have to see if WWE is more corporate and professional under Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, and Nick Khan.
Was McMahon in the right to prank Prinze Jr.? Sound off in the comments!