Former WWE star Jonathan Coachman has recalled how saying no to Vince McMahon left him at the mercy of two of the company’s biggest stars.
Jonathan Coachman was part of WWE between 1999 and 2008 and again in 2018. For much of his time in the company, Coachman was a broadcaster and is best remembered by some for being the fall guy for many of The Rock’s antics during backstage interviews.
His first run in the company also saw Coachman become a villainous character and in-ring competitor but much of that saw him as the butt of even more jokes.
Having such a long tenure in the company means that anybody could run foul of Vince McMahon during that time and such an incident occurred for Coachman when he refused to go to a Tribute To The Troops show in the Middle East.
Speaking to Chris Van Vliet on his Insight podcast, Jonathan Coachman recalled getting in serious trouble with Vince McMahon after opting out of the supposedly optional show in the middle of a warzone:
Real trouble? Yeah, there’s one story that still kind of rubs me the wrong way to this day. And back between, you know, after 9/11, unfortunately, there obviously was a war. We started going to Afghanistan in the Middle East or Iraq, and it was supposed to be a volunteer trip.
So I went, I actually wrestled Ric Flair in Afghanistan, one particular trip. And again, I was right next to Vince. It was three groups of six and man I never said no, I took pride. I never say no, I’m the ultimate team player.
So I get married and my wife is pregnant with our first child. They said, ‘Hey, if you don’t feel comfortable going, there’s no pressure whatsoever.’ Like do you believe that? So they didn’t believe it, I told them from the jump. I never said I was going, I said no.
I show up on the day and they take your bags, and because it has to go through screening at the Pentagon or whatever, and they’re like, where’s your bag? And I was like, I told you, [they said] we thought you were kidding. I said, at what point did you ever think I was kidding? Did I ever laugh? Did I ever not look you in the eye I say, I’m not going. They’re like you’ve never told us before [because my wife’s pregnant] and she didn’t feel comfortable.
So they had to scramble at the last minute. You got to get passports. It’s a whole big thing. I think it was actually Chris Masters that took my spot on that particular trip if I remember correctly, but I should have known. I should have known that it wasn’t just going to end there.
Vince McMahon Used WWE Icons To Punish Jonathan Coachman
And end there, it did not. Jonathan Coachman then explained that as a form of punishment, Vince McMahon had him sent to the ring to be at the mercy of The Undertaker and Batista, something that left him in tears of rage:
So fast forward a week and at that time, I was out doing commentary, and the show ends and The Undertaker ends the show, and he’s getting ready to walk up the ramp, and the referee comes over, and the music’s playing. He’s like, go hit Taker from the back I’m like, why would I do that? That makes no sense.
They’re like Vince’s is telling you. There it is. So he was angry that I told him no, and that I went against – God forbid you say no to anybody, especially Vince. And so like the team player that I am, I go over and attack The Undertaker he turns around apologises to me, and says, I’m sorry, I don’t want to do it and throws me for Batista to beat me up.
As he gets done, Batista’s, music hits, down comes Batista. He does the same thing. Does his 3 finishes, I was so irate, you know that few times in life where you get so angry, you start to cry, like it’s just your emotions are just overwhelming. That was one of those moments. And I didn’t sell. I mean, I just took like five finishes from two of the biggest stars of all time.
I got up and walked to the back, just completely disrespecting them. But I wasn’t thinking about that. At the time, I was thinking, how could I get beat up? When for all these years? I was completely loyal. But yeah, that was that was one of the times where I was so angry because I didn’t deserve it. I didn’t deserve it.
Vince McMahon is no longer in charge of WWE but despite that, Coachman also said he never wanted to work for the company again.