Vince McMahon can be considered a lot of things but one of the more positive traits about him is that he’s known to not make a wrestler do something he wouldn’t do himself. At times, McMahon has taken that literally. Whether it was demonstrating Shawn Michaels’ zip-line entrance at WrestleMania XII or getting his face shoved up Rikishi’s ass, Vince wasn’t afraid to lead by example if anyone was hesitant about doing anything.
This was apparently the case for Rob Gronkowski as he was hosting WrestleMania 36. While doing press for her guest starring role in Billions, Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch revealed that she watched the 74-year-old McMahon “demonstrate falling off a tower…without a bother, brushing his shoulders off and standing up again.”
While many assumed Lynch was referring to someone getting “thrown off the roof” at the Money in the Bank ladder match, she was instead referring to Gronk diving off the tower to win the 24/7 Championship, even though Rey Mysterio and Aleister Black were thrown off the roof at Titan Tower.
According to Fightful, they were told that McMahon took a dive off the tower to demonstrate to a “nervous” Gronk that the stunt would be safe. That report was corroborated by “half dozen people within WWE, as well as some that have since left.”
Gronkowski is coming back to the NFL but he has had back issues in the past so jumping off an elevated stage isn’t really ideal. At the same time, despite it looking devastating, it’s pretty much a trust fall featuring a bunch of pro wrestlers catching him. It’s probably as safe as taking a bump in the ring.
Reportedly, because of Gronk’s hesitation, that was the reason why WWE had to shoot from such a low angle. Fightful was told that the Buccaneers tight end was “terrified” and still “took a significant amount of time” to do the stunt. So “like a toddler jumping into the pool for the first time,” Gronk bent his knees and kind of fell off instead of jumped off. Kudos to WWE’s production team because you couldn’t tell.
The visual of a 74-year-old Vince McMahon jumping off a tower to get a “terrified” Rob Gronkowski to do the same had to be something. Now, the 24/7 Champion (or Tom Brady) will need to watch out for R-Truth.
[Fightful/Photo: WWE via YouTube]