The Story Behind Vince McMahon’s Son & Limo Explosion

One of the most iconic angles in the Ruthless Aggression Era involved Vince McMahon‘s explosive death.

The cancelled 2007 angle should be talked about as an all-time great angle. It was a classic “whodunnit?”, mixed in with an illegitimate son storyline, and a battle for the succession of the company.

However, if we look back, it is met with ridicule. People don’t look back and thinking “wow, that was awesome”. They think, “what the hell was that?”.

That is for good reason. The storyline was abandoned very early on. McMahon was “dead” for just a week, before showing up the next week on Raw. Of course, that was due to the death of Chris Benoit, but the storyline could have been so much more than it was.

It all began on the June 11th, 2007 episode of Raw, when Mr McMahon died live on television.

Mr McMahon Died In A Limousine Explosion On Raw

Vince McMahon struggled after losing his ECW Championship to Bobby Lashley at One Night Stand 2007. He lost his confidence, was stumbling his words and put people in matches out of spite. This included forcing John Cena to face Umaga and The Great Khali in a triple threat on Raw.

Just a week later, Vince McMahon exploded.

At the end of a mixed episode of Raw, he walked solemnly through the arena, exiting past a series of WWE Superstars as he walked to the parking lot.

The Chairman and his wrestlers all looked sad as he left (except for Paul London). It was like they knew something bad was going to happen, but not quite what.

Well, that was revealed rather quickly.

McMahon entered his limousine in the car park, taking one final look at the wrestling empire he created.

But as the door slammed shut, the car exploded in a huge fireball. McMahon was presumed dead, and the most shocking moment in wrestling history ended that episode of Raw.

His death came as a huge shock. Nobody expected this to happen, regardless of the insanity that had occurred in the wrestling business in the years before.

Journalists called local hospitals to check if he had been admitted. The WWE stock price dropped, with many not sure if McMahon’s death was real or a work.

Donald Trump, Vince’s close personal friend, frantically tried to call him on the phone to make sure his death was a hoax.

Vince McMahon’s funeral was planned for the following week, but something much worse happened in the interim.

Chris Benoit’s Death Forced Him To Cancel The Storyline

The Funeral of Vince McMahon was set to be one of WWE’s biggest storylines of 2007. His death shocked the wrestling world, and everyone was on tenterhooks to see what would happen next.

The week after the tragic limousine explosion, the WWE advertised a funeral for Mr McMahon. On Smackdown, wrestlers like William Regal and Carlito paid tribute to the WWE Chairman, mirroring the Eddie Guerrero tribute show two years prior.

The McMahon memorial would have been a historic piece of television. Everybody would have appeared to pay tribute to the boss. Current stars, legends, event Vince’s brother Rod McMahon, who never appeared on TV for the WWE, were set to make appearances.

McMahon wasn’t even present at the Vengeance pay per view that weekend, in order to sell the angle. However, neither was Chris Benoit. He called in sick to the show, claiming he had to look after his wife and son instead.

However, that weekend, Chris Benoit murdered his wife and son, before hanging himself in his garage.

The Funeral Would Have Kicked Off The Illegitimate Son Storyline

Vince McMahon’s funeral would have kicked off a huge year-long storyline, culminating in Mr Kennedy vs Triple H at WrestleMania 24. Kennedy was meant to be named as Vince McMahon’s illegitimate son, an accolade given to Hornswoggle after Chris Benoit’s death.

According to Figure Four Weekly, the angle was to take inspiration from the “Who shot JR?” storyline from the TV Show Dallas. WWE would explore who killed Vince McMahon and would be as much of a whodunnit show than a wrestling show.

The entire McMahon family was set to get involved, including the lesser-spotted brother of Vince, Rod McMahon. Rod has never been seen on WWE TV and would have been a huge surprise. Sadly, Rod McMahon passed away last year, never getting the chance to appear at Vince McMahon’s funeral.

Vince McMahon looked set to take his inspiration from Eastenders’ Ian Beale, by growing his hair, beard and fingernails out, like Ian Beale did when he was homeless.

Mr Kennedy would inherit the company and run the WWE as a benevolent dictator. The former Mr Money in the Bank winner would use his new-found power to book himself as a top star in WWE, including winning the WWE Championship from the champion at the time, likely John Cena or Triple H.

The feud would lead to WrestleMania 24, where Mr Kennedy would battle to keep his company and his championship belt, as the top heel in the WWE.

Sources on what the match would be would vary, with some saying that Triple H would face Mr Kennedy, whilst others say that Shane McMahon would wrestle him for control of the company on behalf of his sister Stephanie McMahon.

What role, if any, Chris Benoit would have on the storyline is unknown. He was due to win the ECW Championship before his death, so it is likely he would be wrestling the likes of CM Punk, John Morrison and Tommy Dreamer rather than fighting Mr Kennedy.

However, Vince McMahon’s funeral episode of Raw was cancelled, as the body of Chris Benoit was found that morning. The episode was announced as a tribute to the former World Heavyweight Champion, with McMahon returning to television and stating that his death was in character, and he would not be continuing the angle for the foreseeable future.

It later came out that Benoit had murdered his wife and son. This showed the tribute episode quite the blunder for WWE.

WWE Superstars recorded video tributes for the man to be shown during the show, but some, like William Regal, were reserved in the comments, implying they knew what was likely to come out about Chris Benoit’s death.

The next night on ECW, Vince McMahon once again appeared on camera in front of an empty crowd. He explained what really happened with Benoit, and vowed to never mention him ever again.

This is a promise that they have kept. However, Mr Kennedy didn’t get to be Mr McMahon’s son.

Instead, the former Mr Money in the Bank holder was replaced as the newest member of the McMahon family by Hornswoggle. The Leprechaun was named as Vince’s son on an episode of Raw just weeks after Benoit’s death.

This did not kick off the power struggle angle between Hornswoggle and Triple H. Instead, it was mainly played for comedy, before eventually revealing that Finlay was his real father.

But why was Mr Kennedy replaced as the newest McMahon? Because he was suspended less than a week before the big reveal.

Mr Kennedy Was Taken Out Of The Angle Because He Was Suspended

Mr Kennedy recently spoke in an interview about the circumstances surround being Vince McMahon’s son. After suffering an injury that cost him the Money in the Bank contract and World Heavyweight title just weeks prior, he suffered more heartbreak for this angle.

He revealed that just days before he was set to be revealed as “Kennedy McMahon”, he was suspended for breaking the WWE’s Wellness Policy.

“The only reason that I didn’t end up becoming the son was I got suspended literally like five days before they were going to do the reveal in Green Bay, because the reveal ended up happening in Green Bay.

“I got suspended. I was part of that Signature Pharmacy (story). There was like, nine or ten of us that got busted for getting performance enhancing supplements off an internet website, which kind of wasn’t how that all went down.”

“I remember that particular instance. I came home. They had already told me a few months before, Stephanie had come up to me and said, ‘Hey, we’re gonna do this thing. I want Vince to tell you. Vince thinks this is going to be good. He’s excited about it. I went in and he pitched me the whole idea.

‘We’re gonna have this big investigation and you’re gonna be my son.’ I flew home on a Wednesday. I got a call from Johnny’s secretary in the office. ‘Hey you need to come to the airport to come to Stamford.

Vince wants to talk to you.’ I go back to the airport and fly back to Stanford. A car picks me up and I go to Titan Towers. There’s eight other guys in the office. He said, ‘We instituted this Wellness Policy. On such and such a date, it says here that you received some growth hormone.’

I was like, ‘It says in our policy that you’re not allowed to order this stuff off the internet. I didn’t order it off the internet. I saw a doctor.’ Well, the doctor ended up ordering it off the internet, so they suspended me for 30 days and fined me $10,000.” 

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