|Vince McMahon on the cover of Muscle & Fitness from 2006.
Q: You're involved in a hair vs. hair match at Wrestlemania 23. Your representative (Umaga) vs. Donald Trump's representative (Bobby Lashley). Either you or Trump gets shaved. How would your wife Linda feel if your head was
A: I don't think she'd be pleased. I've always had hair ... lots of it.
Q: Your roots are as a ringside announcer. You morphed into a power-walking, carny-like, larger-than-life character on WWE programming. Do you need the spotlight?
A: I far more enjoy producing and directing than being the talent. If I'm out there, it's taking away from someone else.
Q: Your reaction to the Sports Illustrated story which names wrestlers that purchased steroids.
A: The incidents occurred prior to the institution of our wellness policy in February of 2006. I can tell you it's not proper to do business with some idiot over the internet, some guy who's never met you. As far as I know, that's illegal at both ends.
Q: You at one time (1989) admitted to using steroids prescribed by a doctor. Your opinion on steroid use?
A: I am anti anything to do with them. That's why we have a wellness policy.
Q: What about all the wrestlers and former wrestlers who have died at a young age?
A: You have to understand back in the 1980s what the wrestling business was. Some wrestlers had difficulty dealing with success in an ego-driven business. We are in the entertainment business and I would suggest in that era, it was literally sex, drugs and rock and roll. You could compare us to a rock and roll band in the early '80s. The performers were making exorbitant amonts of money. Not all of them took steroids. But, later, if you added prescription painkillers to the mix of sex, drugs and rock and roll, it was a deadly cocktail. For some, habits never changed. They continued with the same lifestyle. You can't do that at age 40.
Q: Why did the XFL fail?
A: For a lot of reasons. In some respects, it was a big successs. But in the end, it was about TV exposure. One year was not much of a test. We just didn't have the opportunity to continue.
Q: You tried to buy the entire Canadian Football League in 1999 (the CFL
initially approached him about buying the Toronto Argos), right?
A: It's true. I was going to start with the CFL and I was going to have it migrate south. (while some CFL governors were interested, others shot down the idea ... the XFL was born soon after).
Vince McMahon in 1999.
The Vince McMahon we see on TV is pompous and arrogant. Would we be surprised by the "real" Vincent Kennedy McMahon?
I think you'd find in real life that I'm far more pompous and arrogant than you see on TV. (He laughs.)
Q: Do you regret any storylines we've seen in WWE?
A: None I regret. We live in a country where there are no boundaries for the freedom of expression. Sometimes we go too far and sometimes we don't go far
enough. You can't remain on top for as long as we have if you're not pushing the
boundaries, if we're not living life. I don't mind if I'm stepping on my
Johnston now and then.
Q: Bret Hart was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame prior to Wrestlemania 22 last year. Was that closure enough for the fans?
THE DEAL WITH ...VINCE MCMAHON
Name: Vincent Kennedy McMahon
Born: Pinehurst, N.C.
Resides: Greenwich, Conn.
Claim to fame: Chairman of the board and majority shareholder in World Wrestling Entertainment. WWETV shows include Monday Night RAW, ECW and Friday Night Smackdown!
Outside of wrestling: Created the World Bodybuilding Federation in 1990 and it lasted two years. Created XFL in 2001 and it lasted one season. Went to trial in 1994, accused of distributing steroids to wrestlers (he was found not guilty).
Controversy: Sometimes refers to himself as The Genetic Jackhammer. Started his own religion, McMahonism. Also formed Kiss My Ass Club.
In-vincible: At the age of 60, he appeared on the cover of Muscle and Fitness magazine.
Family: Married to Linda with two children, Stephanie and Shane.
It was so cool to induct Bret. He deserved to be in the Hall of Fame. But Bret did not want to walk out with us at Wrestlemania and take a bow. I tried to explain to Bret that it was what his fans wanted to see, a Wrestlemania moment. But he was vehement he wouldn't do it.
Q: Triple H (Paul Levesque) is married to your daughter Stephanie. Does he have political stroke because he's your son-in-law?
A: If your last name is McMahon, or in this case Levesque ... I'm much harder on my family. The poor bastard married into the family. I have to say, though, that he's a wonderful human being.
Q: Other than WWE programming, what might you watch on TV?
A: I hardly watch any TV, I work so late.
Q: What about music, what do you listen to?
A: When I'm training, I like good basic rock. U2. And something with a heavy metal sound. AC DC, Back in Black. I crank it up when I'm working out.
Q: Do you set any limits on what you might do?
Vince McMahon biography and story archive
More on WrestleMania 23
A: There's absolutely nothing I wouldn't do for the business.
Tim Baines is the sports editor for the Ottawa Sun and is in Detroit for WrestleMania 23.