Vince McMahon may have owned WWE, but he apparently wasn’t familiar with some people that worked for him as Road Dogg revealed on a recent podcast.
Prior to his WWE retirement on July 22nd, Vince McMahon led a busy life running the company as the Chairman, CEO and the man running WWE’s Creative Team for the last 40 years. In his role running WWE Creative, Vince had the final say on what happened on Raw & Smackdown while Triple H was running NXT for most of the last decade.
On a recent episode of Road Dogg’s “Oh You Didn’t Know” podcast, they talked about the NXT invasion of Smackdown that led to the Survivor Series 2019 which was a Raw vs. Smackdown vs. NXT show. Road Dogg talked about how Vince didn’t watch NXT, so he didn’t know about Walter, who is now known as Gunther, the current WWE Intercontinental Champion.
“Vince didn’t watch the (NXT) program. Vince heard the social media reports about the program, he read the emails about the ratings. He got the information, but he didn’t know who Gunther was. He didn’t know what Gunther, then Walter brought to the table. He very much was not the guy out scouting talent and independent shows in other countries. That’s not Vince McMahon. And so he didn’t know what Walter brought to the table, excuse me, Gunther, I want to say it correctly, Gunther brought to the table.”
“So he would feed stuff like that, thinking that the layperson may not know him either. And I don’t think that’s wrong thinking, you know what I mean? Like, I don’t think it’s wrong to think there are people watching the show who do not know who Walter was, you know what I mean? I think that makes perfect [sense].”
When it was mentioned that many WWE fans that watch Raw and/or Smackdown likely don’t watch NXT, Road Dogg agreed with that.
“Exactly, exactly. And then we literally have the analytics to prove that and what the percentage of the show that they do watch is so minuscule usually, that it’s hard to get a read on whether they know the talent or not. Because they may watch 70 minutes of Raw, you know what I mean? Or 62 minutes of Raw and 33 minutes of, you know what I mean, of NXT? And so, did they see superstar X? Or did they turn [the channel] before he was [on], you know what I mean? So it’s, I understand his thinking of they, they may not know who Gunther is at this point.”
In the main event of Survivor Series 2019, it was a 5 vs. 5 vs. 5 Raw vs. Smackdown vs. NXT match where Walter was the first man eliminated in the match after just 2:57. It was very different booking compared to how strongly Walter/Gunther was booked in NXT UK as the longest reigning NXT UK Champion of all-time.
GUNTHER has been the Intercontinental Champion since June, which was when Vince McMahon booked him to beat Ricochet for the title. However, there have been recent reports that Vince wanted to “bury” GUNTHER in July, but it didn’t happen and the big Austrian is thriving in WWE with Triple H running the show.