Vince McMahon is the Executive Chairman of WWE and has accomplished a lot in his career so far. McMahon is larger than life and he truly embodies the essence of pro wrestling, but that doesn’t mean everyone likes his methods. That said, it appears Matt Hardy recalled how Vince McMahon was fearless after the 9/11 attacks.
The tragic event of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks will never be forgotten, as WWE was set to tape an episode of Smackdown right after the attacks. The episode would air on September 13th and it was the first public gathering after the attacks.
While speaking on the Extreme Life podcast, Matt Hardy talked about the WWE locker room’s reaction to the attacks at the time. He would then detail Vince McMahon’s fearlessness in running the show right after the attacks.
“I remember we were waiting like, ‘What is going to happen?’ because we have ‘SmackDown’ [in Houston, Texas],” Hardy said. “This happened at what 9 [or] 10 o’clock is when the planes hit the buildings, right? Early in the morning. Our call time is noon, 1 o’clock. I know we’re on Central Time in Houston. We’re just like, ‘What is going on about the show?’ We were trying to find out, and then there was a company-wide email, and they were texting people, whatever. And they said, ‘We’re not sure what we’re going to do; just everybody stand by. Everybody stand by. We’ll have you an answer by this afternoon.’
So we don’t know if the show was [going ahead], whatever. And then, obviously, everything shut down, so the show was not a go. And they said, ‘So we’re going to get back with you.’ I remember me and Jeff [Hardy], we just wanted to drive home. I just wanted to get home and be with my dad, be with my family, because we didn’t know. And everybody was like that. Shane [Helms] was like that. Nobody knew what was happening or what was coming … Everybody wanted to go home.”
Vince is a fearless human being. He wasn’t afraid of stuff. There were so many people that were just worried, like, ‘If we’re the first big public gathering, does that make us a target?’ I felt like that. It was very strange. I was very concerned and worried during that day, but Vince had his mind made up. He was like, ‘Nobody stops me, nobody stops World Wrestling Entertainment, and we’re going to do the show, dammit.'”
There will always be some mixed feelings regarding WWE holding Smackdown right after the attacks, but many fans believe that it was a triumphant display for the company at a time when the world needed it the most.
What’s your view on this story? Do you think WWE did the right thing by holding Smackdown after the 9/11 attacks? Let us know in the comments!