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Vince McMahon

Mr Wrestling X

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This is something i've been thinking about a lot recently. Although this is something people are sick about hearing, with WWE's so called 'Expansion' annoucement, it got me thinking about how Vince's greatest success has seemingly become his most embarassing achievement.


Now before I proceed, I want to iterate that I'm not going to be focusing on Vince himself, I do not know him personally so I will merely be writing about his character from a public perspective, anyway. No one can deny that Vince McMahon is the greatest Wrestling Promoter of all time, he saw things the business was lacking and had the balls to go all in. A lot of people resent his actions in the early 1980's, he broke territorial agreements and incurred the ire of many an old school promoter, but Vince was right to do so. I'm not saying it was morally acceptable to break agreements, I think Vince should have voiced his intention publically to create an International Product and maybe come to some sort of agreement with the territories, perhaps a talent exchange? Just anything to offer some level of compensation. Anyway, Vince and the WWF, set the benchmark for Professional Wrestling in general, it was as much about Entertainment as it was 'Rasslin'. Vince took an already established product, poured some sugar on it and used his business savvyness to take it to an International market.


This level of success has obviously influenced Vince, in such as way that he feels he could duplicate the success in other ventures. We saw Vince try his hand at promoting Sports Events, starting a competitive Bodybuilding organisation, a professional American Football league and most recently with a Film Production studio. Whilst WWE Films is reasonably successful in the Home Video market, the Films have recieved critical panning, bomb in theater sales and now Wal-Mart has become the sole stockist. While disguised as an 'Elusive Contract', the Wal-Mart deal is in fact meaningless. The way I see it, Wal-Mart offered WWE a sum for the contract, because the DVDs sell at the prices Wal-Mart set and bomb at other retailers. I feel that WWE films will eventually dry up, with their PG initative, they have restricted the variety of movies they can produce, limiting it to a family audience.


And thats another thing I'd like to bring up. Whilst I think WWE's PG initiative is a good thing, I think they've gone overboard in applying it to all their subsidaries. The success in a Entertainment Corporation, depends on whether the Corporation is able to create multiple facets that are aimed at all demographics. Take MTV for example. MTV show television shows aimed at Family Audience, Pre-Teens, Teenagers, Young Adults and Mature Audiences. Similarily, the range of their music videos follow this pattern. At the moment Vince has been going on about WWE creating their own Network. If WWE want their 'Cable Network' to succeed, they will have to apply this type of MTV approach to their programming. Whilst I can see Raw staying on a prime time network, if this idea comes to fruition, I imagine all other programming will be moved to this network (its possible Smackdown may stay with a prime time network also, but with its erratic viewing figures, it doesn't seem likely). I know a bit about the Entertainment Industry and like I said, If WWE plans on doing this they will NEED to aim their network at multiple demographics.


The most worrying thing about Vince McMahon in my opinion is his often bizarre view on his product. WWE is no longer classed as Wrestling, despite the fact nobody will ever see it as anything but Wrestling. I can understand that Vince, in the 1980's slightly rebranded his product in order to differentiate it from his competition and bring it to a wider audience, but nowadays it seems as if he's become obsessed with rebranding. In the last few years, WWE personel have gone from being known as Superstar's to Entertainer's to Performer's to Superstar's again. It seems that Vince gets pissed off with some facets of his product, changes the lingo and then realises how silly it is and changes it again. Vince is looking for mainstream acceptance in the Business and Entertainment industries, but it seems he doesn't realise that this sort of obsessive rebranding is making his company and indeed, himself, seem like a joke.


A lot of Wrestling Journalists and Dirt Sheet Writers follow similar opinions on Vince. Matthew Randazzo for example, refers to Vince as something along the lines of a "Coke'd up, Roid addict who can still be a genius on a good day". Other writers seem to think that only Triple H, Stephanie and Pat Patterson are able to make Vince see sense. Jim Cornette and others who dislike Kevin Dunn, seem to think that its Kevin Dunn (who apparently can't stand Wrestling) and his followers who are influencing Vince by using his disdain for old school wrestling to encourage him to rebrand. Whatever the case, it seems like WWE is in danger of alienating their fanbase.



On Tuesday night, Randy Orton defeated Christian to win the World Heavyweight Championship, a mere 48 hours after Christian won the title

On one hand, to me this seems like WWE are creating a unique situation in order to turn somebody Heel. On the other hand it seems as if WWE are just taking the "Now thats out of the way, lets get back to the way we do things" approach. The amount of fan backlash in the last couple of days has been phenomenal. Whilst I think its a silly idea, I'm not upset by what has happened, rather as I said, I see the potential for WWE to alienate a large portion of their fanbase, by pulling off stunts such as this, for no apparent reason, as of yet.



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