In an era of domination by reality TV, Vince McMahon could be considered the pariah, manning the defenses for scripted programming. The awful truth, of course, is that McMahon’s product is meant to seem unscripted. For years, though, McMahon’s been behind that script, building a carnival side show into a cable ratings mainstay, a publicly traded company and a global brand. But this is not an empty corporate suit. McMahon, like cable, exists on the edges and enjoys it. How many other 63-year-old chairmen of publicly traded companies regularly climb into wrestling rings on national TV to slam and get slammed by chairs, tire irons and other paraphernalia? And how many would agree to "die" in a limo explosion to boost ratings? Hey, McMahon’s only following the script, right?

Fast Fact

  • McMahon’s biggest gamble, PPV event WrestleMania, celebrates its 25th anniversary next year in Houston.

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