McMahon held the chief role of professional wrestling’s largest organization from 1982 to 2022 and is widely regarded as one of the pioneers when it comes to developing sports entertainment into what it is today. But while that success has drawn praise, his exit from the WWE has come with the presence of a grim spotlight shone on him.
Last Friday, McMahon announced his retirement off the back of the ongoing investigations into reports that the North Carolina entrepreneur has paid millions in order to cover up accusations of sexual misconduct.
Since the 76-year-old took to Twitter to confirm his decision to hang up his WWE business gloves, a number of fans, pundits, and those related to McMahon’s career have reacted to the news.
The latest to do so is his combat sports counterpart of sorts, Dana White.
White: I Have Nothing But Respect For McMahon
During a recent press conference following the season-opener of Dana White’s Contender Series, the UFC president was asked about his thoughts on McMahon’s career and retirement.
While he noted that he’s taken the brunt of McMahon’s “hatchet” in the past, White insisted that he has nothing but respect for what the former WWE chairman accomplished during his time at the organization’s helm.
“Oh, I got stories about Vince for days, but yeah, what that guy built and what he’s done is incredible. He’s been doing it for 50-plus years. I watched that stuff as a kid, and then to still be here and doing it now, is phenomenal,” White said. “He’s a killer, he’s buried the hatchet in my back a few times, but that’s what you’re dealing with. You don’t deal with a killer and not expect them to try to kill you. Yeah, I have nothing but respect for Vince.” (h/t Fightful)
The relationship between renowned promoters White and McMahon has certainly been a turbulent one throughout the years, with their back and forth even reaching the point where McMahon was pushing for a fight back in 2011, which marked a time when the UFC was beginning to pose more of a pay-per-view threat to the WWE.
The pair have, however, showed moments of mutual respect, with the WWE even permitting Brock Lesnar to return to the Octagon at UFC 200 against Mark Hunt, going as far as to advertise it during their own weekly shows.
With that, White clearly appreciates McMahon’s business acumen, having had a similar challenge himself in building a sporting brand.
Most recently, the pair held events in Las Vegas on the same night during International Fight Week, with Vince and daughter Stephanie McMahon heading to the T-Mobile Arena for the UFC 276 main event.
Although, Dana clearly feels he hosted the former WWE head better than when he headed to WrestleMania for Ronda Rousey’s debut…
What was your reaction to Vince McMahon’s retirement?