Shelley Brown details interviewing Vince McMahon & WWF talents in 1984

Originally published at

The interview segment aired on PBS39. 

There’s a feature on that writer Corky Blake published about Vince McMahon and WWF talents being interviewed by PBS39’s Shelley Brown in May 1984. 

Brown was interviewed for the piece and gave a detailed account of what the experience was like for her as a show host and Executive Producer. She hosted a show titled ‘Your Turn, Lehigh Valley’. Shelley’s husband, who was a director at PBS39 was not crazy about the idea of inviting Vince McMahon and company onto the show. 

She had one rule going into it and it was that she could not be touched. She went on to state that everyone was professional. WWWF, which was ran by Vince McMahon Sr., would tape at Ag Hall in Allentown, Pennsylvania. For a period of time, PBS39 collaborated with Vince Jr.’s WWF on post-production aspects of their ‘Championship Wrestling’ shows. 

Right before we went on (the air), I said to the wrestlers, ‘I only have one rule, and that is you can’t touch me.’ I didn’t know what might happen, but I had a dress on, I was wired to hear the director. I told them you can do anything, say anything to me, but don’t touch me … Fortunately, they were very professional.

I decided I was going to ask Vince McMahon to come on the show. My husband wasn’t crazy about the idea, and I said, ‘What’s the worst thing that can happen, he says no?’ I talked to Vince about the show. I explained the (Phil) Donahue format and asked him if he could also bring along some wrestlers. And, he said yes.

The night before McMahon and the wrestlers were supposed to come in, McMahon called and said he would no longer be appearing. Shelley assured him that she does not bring guests on to embarrass them. McMahon called again the following morning and reiterated that he was not coming.

She then told him that when it came time to take questions from the audience, she would hand him the microphone and let him field questions. The next time she spoke to McMahon was when he showed up at the studio. 

I’ve never told this, but I guess it’s OK to tell it now because it was so long ago. The night before we are scheduled to tape the show, Vince calls me and says he’s not going to do it, he’s not going to go on the show and take questions. I told Vince I don’t invite guests onto the show to embarrass them. I said we have to do it; we have an audience coming.

I told him when we got to the part of the show when we took questions from the audience, I told him he could have the microphone and take the questions. The next time I talked to him was when they showed up in the conference room at the station.

The guys were hilarious. They weren’t quite in their personas yet, and they couldn’t have been nicer. This was going to be a big deal for our little station. It was exciting, and I was sweating bullets. I was going to be out there, the only woman, in a dress and high heels.

Among the wrestlers in attendance were Sgt. Slaughter, Captain Lou Albano, Roddy Piper and ‘Classy’ Freddie Blassie. During the Q&A, an audience member asked Piper what was under his kilt. Shelley repeated the fan’s question and Piper looked at her and raised his kilt. The article notes that Shelley ‘played along’ and still does to this day. She won’t say what she did or didn’t see, but it happened so quick that she transitioned to the next question. 

Brown gained fan fare within the local wrestling community in Allentown after the show aired. 

I went one time to Ag Hall after our show aired, and the crowd recognized me and started chanting, ‘Shelley, Shelley, Shelley! When are you going to do another (wrestling) show?’ That was awesome.

The final ‘Championship Wrestling’ show that WWF taped at Ag Hall was in June 1984, a month after the interview. They moved their tapings to the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York.