Teddy Long Speaks Out About What It Was Like To Work For Vince McMahon

WWE Hall of Famer Teddy Long was interviewed by News 4 Jacksonville’s Scott Johnson about his career, his days working with big names like Batista, John Cena, and The Undertaker, as well as his experience working for Vince McMahon.

On what he does these days:

“I’m semi-retired from WWE. I still have a Legends deal with them. I’m doing a lot of Comic Con’s…I just stay busy man and I enjoy going out and seeing the fans..”

After years in the NWA/WCW, Long joined WWE as a referee and later as a manager before becoming General Manager.

Long on transitioning into the GM role: “That was all Vince McMahon. All I know is this. They didn’t tell me that I was gonna be the General Manager. They never said one word to me about it…The discovery was Sgt. Slaughter, Earl Hebner, and Michael Hayes. They were looking for a manager and they were having this production meeting and Michael Hayes, Sgt. Slaughter, and Earl Hebner brought my name up and Vince they sent for me. I came back to work. I walked out, did the first promo with D’Lo Brown. That was the first guy I walked out with. I come back through the curtain. Vince McMahon looked at me and said I can’t believe I’ve had you here right under my nose all this time. Those were his words.”

On what it was like to work for Vince McMahon:

“Vince was a man that didn’t play. He was serious about the job and he wanted you to be serious. There’s nothing wrong with that. When you’re doing your job, you should be out there and you should be serious. If you lacked or anything, Vince would get right in you. He didn’t waste no time…I saw him leave the Gorilla position and walk right down to the ring and make guys get out of the ring right on TV…He did that one night with Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston, I believe. I think they were going to a pay-per-view. Seth was supposed to be looking good for the pay-per-view and I think Kofi was eating him up out there. Vince couldn’t take it. He jumped up, got out of his chair and went down to the ring and made them get out in front of all the people. He took them back, talked to them, told them what he wanted and then sent them right back out there.”

Rollins talked about this in 2019 on E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness. Rollins said, “One time on SmackDown, I had this match with Kofi. It was when they were still taping SmackDown, I had this match with Kofi. And it was meant to be a get over match for me. Now, Kofi’s someone that I have a lot of respect for and someone I would never – even in a match that is meant for me to look good in – I would not want to just squash Kofi. I just wouldn’t want to do it. I would want to give him something and that’s just my nature.

“So we went out and had this – it was literally three minutes long probably, start to finish, bell to bell – three minutes long and I give Kofi a little bit, and made him look good, and then beat him. And I remember coming to the back thinking, oh, okay, that was alright.”

“And Vince was furious about it! Like, furious! Just, ‘Get over here!’ And he’s yelling at me, and he’s just like, ‘If you’re gonna be my guy, you’re gonna be my guy, that’s not what I want!’ And he shooed me out of the gorilla.”

“I didn’t understand, I didn’t get it and Michael was trying to explain to me what Vince wanted out of the situation, and they ended up making me and Kofi have to go out and redo the match. And I remember the feeling when they told me that. I was so angry and embarrassed, and just ready to just walk out and not do it, cause I was like, never in my life! Never should this happen to me!

“But it was such a learning experience in retrospect that it’s okay to screw up sometimes. That it’s okay to try things and fail and learn from your mistakes, and as long as you improve your second time around, and don’t make the same mistake twice, you’re gonna be alright.”

Long also discussed his experiences working with Vickie Guerrero, managing Rodney Mack and Mark Jindrak, The Undertaker, John Cena, Batista, CM Punk, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, and much more.

You can check out the complete interview below:

(h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription)