It’s not unusual for a company to have its own private jet. After all, if you have a global business, you have to have a way to get around the world for business meetings and conferences. While many only think of the WWE as a form of entertainment, it’s also a highly successful business and as such, it has its own private jet. But traveling on board the plan comes with a set of rules, and not all of them make a lot of sense. Here’s a closer look at some of those rules.
Better Pop Some Sudafed
Most of us can relate to getting on a plane when people are coughing and hacking all around us. It’s an uncomfortable feeling, to say the least. It’s especially uncomfortable if you happen to be traveling on board the WWE plane. You see, Vince McMahon, the WWE Chairman, has a thing about sneezing.
Simply put, no one is permitted to sneeze in his presence. He believes it’s a sign of weakness (bizarre) and that it can make those around him sick (not so bizarre, but still a bold request). The rule applies everywhere, not just on the plane, but it can be especially trying if you happen to be flying with a case of the sniffles.
Personal Conflict Is Not Permitted As Carry-On Baggage
Here’s a rule that actually makes pretty good sense. The WWE stars are expected to be on their best behavior while traveling on board the WWE plane. In a sport that’s full of competition, testosterone, and brawling, there are bound to be personal feuds between the stars.
While much of the drama we see unfold on TV is strictly for entertainment, it can develop into real issues, but the stars aren’t allowed to bring the tension on board the plane with them. This rule was broken once by Brock Lesnar and Curt Henning—better known as Mr. Perfect—on a flight back from London when a fight broke out between the two. As a result, Henning’s career as a professional wrestler was over.
Only A Select Few Got To Fly
While the WWE does have its own plane, it’s important to remember that it’s by no means giant. It’s certainly not large enough to fly all of the stars and administrative staff around from event to event. In fact, only the legends of the industry were actually allowed to travel on the plane, once upon a time.
The rest of the full-time wrestlers who were expected to be in multiple cities each week were required to take care of and pay for their own travel. There’s no reimbursement, which can quickly take a toll on those who grind away each week. Then, a decision was made that left even the superstars high and dry
No More Talent Allowed On The Plane
Years ago, a few of the WWE superstars of the time showed that they didn’t exactly know how to behave appropriately on board the plane, so Vince McMahon had no choice but to ban the talent from flying on board. We’ve already mentioned what a toll it can take being on the road all the time.
It’s no less grueling for the top stars. You would think that after all this time, the travel policies could be looked at and reevaluated. After all, when someone sees that WWE plane, they probably suspect there’s an actual WWE wrestler on board.
Prank With Caution
As you might expect, the WWE is a pretty closely-knit fraternity. Like any close group, the members tend to get bored from time to time and that’s when the pranking starts. While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional practical joke, it can go too far if you’re not careful.
That’s what happened once on board the WWE plane. Superstar Randy Orton decided to cut off fellow wrestler X-Pac’s ponytail while on board the plane. Later, he pinned the ponytail to the wall of the stadium they were appearing at. This, of course, didn’t stand well with X-Pac.
Better Rest Up
We’ve already established that Vince McMahon is pretty eccentric and no stranger to coming up with bizarre rules. If the “no sneezing” rule didn’t convince you of this, consider his standing rule that no member of his staff is allowed to sleep on board the company plane.
He is notorious for being a workaholic and getting very little sleep and he expects his staff members to put in the same kind of effort. Making an enemy of Vince McMahon is never a good career move when you’re a professional wrestler, so falling asleep on board the company jet is certainly not advised!
No Leisure Trips
Now that the WWE talent is no longer allowed to use the plane for traveling, the question remains as to what the plane is used for. One thing is for certain, the plane is NOT used for vacations of any kind. If you’re on board the WWE company plane, you’d better be working.
The business continues to grow all over the world, so the plane has become an official WWE office in the sky. If any of the WWE bigwigs want to take a vacation, they’d better find another mode of transportation for getting them to their destination.
We’ve mentioned that the company jet is officially off limits to the talent in the WWE. When you’re responsible for booking all of your own travel, you quickly become an expert at planning trips. Still, how are they able to keep track of all their flights, rental cars, and lodging while on a long road trip?
It’s a bit surprising that a company as big as the WWE can’t provide transportation for its wrestlers. They put in a lot of work, only to have to book planes and cars after a long night of entertaining the crowds. We really wish that Vince can cut these wrestlers a break.
Better Keep The Booze To A Minimum
In the glory days of wrestling, the stars were known to live a lifestyle that was heavy on partying. After a long night in an arena, wrestling legends like Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair were known to head back to a hotel and party themselves to sleep. The epic stories that came out of these nights are still talked about today.
Under Vince McMahon’s regime, those days are over. He is first and foremost a businessman, and if you want to operate a successful business, you need your employees to be clean and sober. It’s another rule that actually makes sense. At the of the day he needs his wrestlers in tip-top shape.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have helped build the WWE brand into what it is today. Triple H helped create products like WWE’s NXT and 205 Live and that requires a lot of business meetings in cities all around the world. That means a lot of flight time.
Stephanie McMahon is required at just as many meetings as Triple H. She also works with most of the WWE’s charity and fundraising partners. She has a passion for helping people in need, so it’s no wonder that she and Triple H get the lion’s share of use out of the company jet.
Breaking The Rule
Occasionally, Vince McMahon sees it fit to break his own rules and allows some of wrestling’s biggest stars to travel on board the plane. But it’s only allowed when there is some serious promotional work to be done. The rules aren’t being broken for no reason at all.
For example, Vince once sent an entourage of superstars to Saudi Arabia on a publicity tour and sent them on the company plane. It’s certainly not an everyday occurrence these days, so when the stars are treated to plane ride on the company jet as opposed to booking their own travel, you can be they jump at the opportunity.
Image Is Everything
The WWE logo has become one of the most recognizable brand images in the world. That’s why Vince McMahon wants it on virtually everything his company is involved with, including the company plane. Any time the plane is taxiing around an airport, fans and non-fans alike will know exactly who is on the plane.
And to Vince McMahon, that’s everything. It’s another one of the “rules” that actually makes a lot of sense. Successful companies all around the globe know the importance of putting their logo on all of their company assets.
Strange Parking Spot
The headquarters for the WWE is located in Stamford Connecticut. You would think that’s where Vince McMahon would keep the company plane. After all, it would only be a short drive from the company’s board rooms and head offices. It wouldn’t even be a far form where McMahon lives.
But the plane is actually stored at a small county airport in White Plains New York. It’s believed that the decision was made because the airport has greater safety measures than the local airport in Connecticut. It’s also much less crowded, so they don’t have to deal with as many prying eyes from fans.