The world of professional wrestling is known for its over-the-top drama and intense emotions, and no one embodies this more than WWE executive and co-founder Vince McMahon. This is a journey through his meme history.
Back in 2002, professional wrestler and model Stacy Keibler, who later dated George Clooney, performed a striptease onstage. The recipient of this performance was none other than WWE Executive Chairman Vince McMahon, whose reactions during this moment were destined to become meme material:
In November 2013, an old video of Keibler and McMahon resurfaced, this time intercut with footage of pro bodybuilder Gary Strydom. The revamped video was initially posted to YouTube and quickly turned into a gif for easier sharing on Imgur and Reddit.
This GIF’s popularity led to the creation of a new subreddit, /r/VinceMcMahonGIFs, dedicated to all things related to Vince McMahon memes.
The reaction meme, featuring McMahon, became widely popular. It followed a format similar to the later ‘Galaxy Brain’ meme, starting with a first reaction and escalating in intensity.
Later versions even had McMahon with red eyes in the final panel.
A notable event in 2007’s WrestleMania 23 was the mock feud billed as the “Battle of the Billionaires” between Donald Trump and McMahon. The match’s outcome would determine who would have their head shaved.
Trump ended up fake-tackling McMahon, and in 2017, a gif of this takedown with the CNN logo superimposed on McMahon’s face was reposted to Reddit and retweeted by @realDonaldTrump, causing a mix of concern, applause, and internet chaos.
In the fall of 2023, another Vince McMahon meme emerged: Vince McMahon crying. This meme originated from the 2020 docuseries Undertaker: The Last Ride, specifically an episode focusing on the friendship between Mark Calaway, a.k.a. The Undertaker, and McMahon.
A clip of McMahon getting emotional was reposted to Reddit’s /r/SquaredCircle. It gained further traction in October 2023 when a TikToker posted a short version of the video with a relatable caption, leading to widespread popularity on various platforms.
Vince McMahon, with his larger-than-life persona, has become synonymous with a set of equally grand memes. It’s no surprise that for a man who built a career on entertainment, spectacle, and controversy, his personal foray into the internet’s collective attention was nothing short of spectacular.