wrestling / Columns

Vince McMahon Rises Again

April 15, 2020 | Posted by Steve Cook
WWE Vince McMahon, Samoa Joe WWE

It’s been pretty easy to pick on Vince McMahon lately.

Things haven’t been going well for everybody’s favorite pro wrestling billionaire. WWE’s television ratings haven’t been great. The whole business with Saudi Arabia put money in Vince’s pockets but crushed WWE’s public image. His obsession with spring football led to another XFL re-launch that ended the same way the first one did, even if hardcore football fans thought it was an improvement.

Then there’s this whole business with running shows in the middle of a global pandemic. It’s been a pretty haphazard operation throughout. First they were doing live shows. Then they taped a bunch of shows. Now they’re going back live, because Vince has to be able to change things constantly. Oh, and something about putting smiles on peoples’ faces or whatever corny phrase they’re pushing this week.

He’s been an easy target, honestly. Vince is seen as the person making every key deicison for WWE, whether its on or off screen. Anything we don’t like that happens on Raw or SmackDown is Vince’s fault. Any NXT creative difficulties are due to the fact that Vince pays more attention to the show now.

People are wondering, rather loudly, if the old man has lost it.

It wouldn’t be shocking. Vince McMahon is seventy-four years old. He’s been running his company for almost forty years. I get yelled at for being mean whenever I suggest that septuagenerians shouldn’t be running large corporations or governments, but the evidence speaks in my favor. More experienced folks tend to make decisions based off the past. The future isn’t something they have a lot of interest in. Granted, there are some very intelligent seventy-four year olds out there. I feel like most of them didn’t spend their fifties and sixties getting their head bashed in with steel chairs.

A few days ago, some were even wondering if this was the end of the empire. I would never go that far. Not with Vince McMahon. When you think Vince is in trouble is when he’s at his most dangerous. Every once in awhile, the man shows his brilliance again.

He shows that not all of the old ways are doomed to failure. Some methods will always work, no matter how much things have changed. Even if many things have changed about America in the past forty years, one thing remains true: It’s all about the money.

Maybe it’s a sign Vince is losing it that he didn’t think of it sooner. What’s the best way to solve your problems if you’re wealthy? Throw money at them! Governors want to institute stay at home orders and close non-essential businesses? Convince them you’re essential. They have a price.

Vince, or Linda, or their super PAC managed to meet the Florida Governor’s price. Turns out the Governor doesn’t believe in all this virus stuff anyway and wants to re-open his state as soon as possible, so it probably didn’t take too much effort on Vince’s part. Vince’s efforts have led to the Governor allowing all sports leagues to operate in Florida as long as there aren’t any fans in attendance. Great news for Dana White & the Grapefruit League. Add in the fact that the XFL has declared bankruptcy, allowing Vince to reorganize things so he won’t lose money, and you have to say that Vince McMahon is having one of the best weeks ever.

Listen, I love this pro wrestling stuff as much as any of you reading this. But the idea of pro wrestling being an essential business isn’t something I can wrap my head around. Not when it makes more sense logistically to tape a bunch of weeks at once than flying everybody in every couple of days for live programming, in an era where being live makes no difference in TV ratings or viewership or general interest. There’s no good reason for any of this to be happening.

Well, there is one.

That reason? Because Vince McMahon wants it to happen. As much as we all want to bag on him for any number of reasons, we can’t deny the fact that he gets things done. If you’re wondering why Wall Street is so infatuated with Vince and can’t stand the idea of anybody else running WWE, that’s the reason right there. The kids are trying to learn from the master, but they’ve still got a long way to go. They’ll probably never quite get it the way Vince has.

Anybody that can get their wrestling company declared an essential business & slip out of losing millions of dollars on a failed football league in the same week has to be applauded. At least that’s what America tells me, and frankly I’m too tired to argue with them. Is running live wrestling shows safe these days? Nah, but it’s a thing that’s going to happen. Vince McMahon made it so. Illnesses will not stop this man.

Vince was down, but he’s not out. As the kids say…all hail.

article topics :

Vince McMahon, WWE, Steve Cook