WWE’s Vince McMahon on Wanting to Fight Bob Costas During Infamous Interview, Costas Responds

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Vince McMahon’s hostile interview with Bob Costas back on the On The Record HBO series in 2001 remains one of the most awkward moments in the WWE Chairman’s career as a public figure. In a new interview as part of Jim Miller’s book “Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers,” McMahon openly admitted that he wanted to fight the legendary sports broadcaster. He said, “Once we were doing the interview, he kept interrupting me and interrupting me, and bringing up topics that had nothing to do with what we were supposed to be talking about,” McMahon said. “He kept trying to do the ‘I gotcha’ kind of thing. It was clear he didn’t want to hear any of my answers.

“The other problem was that Bob is so freaking pompous,” he added. “The entire time he acted like he was above me and was just using me to show how great he was. I was sitting there really pissed off and started thinking, I wish he wasn’t 5-feet high and 140 pounds. If he was 6-5 and 295, he would deserve to get the s–t beat out of him. I could have really given them some great television.”

After the quotes from the book started making the rounds, Costas was asked to comment while on STWeekly. He found McMahon’s comments to be “idiotic.”

“Here’s my answer to this. Let’s test Vince’s premise,” Costas said (h/t Fightful). “He probably outweighed my two to one. I weighed around 150. He might’ve weighed, especially then, certainly 275 minimum, maybe 300 pounds. Who knows what might have enhanced that physical standing. In any case, his premise is, ‘if Bob and I were closer in size, his line of questioning was ticking me off and we would’ve come to blows and I would have beat the crap out of him. Let’s test this premise. Let’s suppose somebody is on Meet The Press and they don’t like Chuck Todd’s line of questioning. They are a congressman or senator, and like Chuck, they are roughly 5’10” to six feet tall and weigh between 175 and 185. They are in the same weight class. It would be entirely appropriate for the senator from whatever state to just go to blows. Think about that. Think about this premise. ‘I don’t like your line of questioning, but as long as it’s a fair fight, I should be allowed to kick the s– out of you.’ Brilliant. Do you really have to respond to something that stupid? On its base, it’s idiotic.

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“What really ticked him off was this…it’s obvious he was getting angry,” he continued. “It was great TV and people are still talking about it. I didn’t expect it to go this way, but when it did and he went off, it didn’t throw me off. He’s not dumb. If you look at a transcript of this, it might’ve been a draw. On tone, he’s losing his s– and I’m like, ‘Okay, let’s proceed.’ If this was supposed to throw me off, it didn’t work.”

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