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WRESTLING COLUMNS

I GOTTA SAY THIS
I'm Vince McMahon Dammit!
December 2, 2004 - by Brad Dykens

I Gotta Say This: I'm convinced that Vince McMahon has lost his mind. I would be extremely interested to see the results of a psychological analysis of Mr. McMahon's evil mind. I'm sure it would reveal a severe case of delusional schizophrenia! It's been 9 months since the McMahon's produced "Wrestlemania: Where it all begins.... Again!" and for the first time in years, Vince showed a measure of dignity by acknowledging the effort to steer the direction of the company into another direction. We were treated to more wrestling-oriented matches, with less garbage; T&A was still on the show, but NOT the focus. Your champions were Chris Benoit and Eddy Guerrero, arguably the two greatest active technical wrestlers on planet. For a brief moment in time, I respected Vince McMahon. His speech at Wrestlemania was classy and time-honored.

Over the past 9 months, the WWE has struggled to prevent the continual drop in ratings. Of course, the change in style was quickly blamed and it seems as though they're going back to the way things were. I blame 1) the WWE, for not giving it a chance, and 2) the fans, for not giving it a chance! What the WWE office doesn't understand is that there is a long delay in public reactions. To put that theory into prospective on a smaller scale, imagine that on any given Monday, WWE may produce the greatest RAW in its history. However, the ratings for that show shouldn't reflect the success. It's the following weeks, which tells the story. Fans will talk about how good RAW was, and unfaithful and hesitant fans will become interested and tune in. That's why it's important to follow up that 'greatest RAW' with an equally great RAW. So on a grander scale, the ratings that you get today probably reflect the product that you produced 3-6 months ago. The 'new direction' was a good direction, you just have to educate the fans, and let it sink into their minds until they sit up and take notice and say "hey, this is still the greatest show on earth".

Ok, so just last month I wrote an article about Vince McMahon letting more than 12 of his wrestlers go. They were Billy Gunn, Test, A-Train, Chuck Palumbo, Gail Kim, Nidia, Jazz, Rodney Mack, Johnny Stambolli, Rico, Desmond, Thompson, and Linda Miles. They (Vince) explained their (his) actions by saying it was a cost-cutting measure. Next order of business.... Give Mr. McMahon a raise! Yes, he got a raise. AND, he went out and hired six new divas, and gave them fake jobs on the shows. They are RAW interviewer Maria, RAW make-up artist Candice Michelle, JBL's image consultant Amy Webber, SD!'s fitness trainer Michelle McCool, SD!'s Joy Giovanni and most recently Melina Perez on RAW. If that isn't bad enough, five of those new employees have NO wrestling experience whatsoever. Yes, they got rid of Gail Kim for that. Melina, however, is a welcomed addition, because she can actually wrestle!

Maybe I was stretching the truth earlier when I said I respected Vince McMahon for the 'first time'. I respect Vince McMahon a lot actually. I have since I was six when I first tuned into his brand of sports entertainment. He IS a genius, but I just question some of his decisions and motivations sometimes. It's all business, I guess; and trying to figure out the fans. It's got to be difficult. He needs to learn to take criticism, though. Case in point #1 is Tom Prichard. Case in point #2 is Pat Patterson. Both were extremely loyal long-time employees of the WWE, whose knowledge and understanding of wrestling and psychology far surpasses that of Mr. McMahon, who is essentially a businessman. It's well known that Vince has surrounded himself with yes-men who continually go along with whatever he says and do not speak up when something is wrong. Well, right now in the WWE, there is something wrong. And both Prichard and Patterson spoke up, and they left the company shortly after. They covered up Patterson's departure with a 'retirement' story, but everyone knows the truth. There was no talk of a retirement until after Patterson spoke openly about the amount of power Triple H has on RAW. Pat Patterson is a great man, and can now leave the world of professional wrestling with his head held high.

I feel that Vince McMahon has to listen more. To listen to the fans, and listen to the men who are out there performing in front of them. Vince has to use those grapefruits that god gave him, and stand up to Triple H. The writing is on the wall, ratings have been crashing, and the whole time Triple H has dominated RAW week-after-week. I can hear the late Owen Hart screaming, "Enough is enough and it's time for a change" from the heavens.

Nothing has ever been so obvious in the history of EVERYTHING. Tone down the HHH contest, immediately! Everyone who has read my columns in the past knows that I do my share of HHH-bashing, and recently I've done a little praising. Because I realize Triple H IS one of the greatest sports entertainers there is. Triple H deserves to be on the top, but not on top constantly. The last time someone did that and made money, Hulkamania was running wild. Triple H is NOT Hulk Hogan. What annoys me the most about HHH, is that he tries to be Race, Flair, Hogan, Austin and Rock all wrapped into one mega-star. Just because you won the World title nine times, doesn't mean you're as great as Harley Race; You, sir, are NOT Harley Race. Just because you bully the GM, doesn't make you Stone Cold; you sir, are NOT Stone Cold. Just because you're in a movie, doesn't make you The Rock; you sir, are NOT the Rock! Just because Ric Flair manages you, doesn't make you Ric Flair; you sir, are DEFINITLY NOT Ric Flair! All those guys had greatness above and beyond the industry, which cannot be duplicated. Ever since Hulkamania died in the early 90s, there has been a cycle of wrestlers on top. Instead of one wrestler headlining the show for extended periods of time, there has been between four and six wrestlers headlining any given show; taking turns in the main event programs.

Hulk Hogan drew crowds for years because he didn't have to go out and perform on Television 52 times a year. He was on television maybe 25 times a year; the rest was house shows. So today's wrestlers have a disadvantage and need to exchange positions to keep themselves fresh. No wrestler can sustain a 52-week schedule main-eventing 52 TV shows and 100+ house shows a year; not to mention 10 PPVs. Not even Triple H.

The good things Vince McMahon has done for me lately. I love that John Bradshaw Layfield has been champion for so long. I am a huge fan of the JBL character and I hope he's champion until Wrestlemania; I definitely hope he is still champion after Armageddon! Randy Orton has been a great success in the star-making department. His slow rise to the main event was surprisingly not detoured by his short reign as World Champion. You cannot make a star over night, and Randy Orton is doing a great job during his elevation period. I love watching Eugene pull the little kids out of the crowd into the ring to play with them after the match. Nice touch, and good job on JR to honor the memory of Junk Yard Dog each time. Edge is finally getting his due. Edge's journey has been a long one. The John Heidenreich stuff is really well done. The Gene Snitsky stuff has also had its moments. During the battle royal this past week, we saw Gene Snitsky and Batista butt-heads, which got a huge reaction from the crowd. I think we have our first match for Wrestlemania 21. By the way, this is usually the time of year that Wrestlemania matches begin to take form. That's why Wrestlemania matches are so great, because they put 3-months of preparation into the storylines. There's a lesson to be learned there. There are many lessons to be learned, and we can only hope that Vince McMahon is listening.

by Brad Dykens


zac jensen wrote:
this past nine months in the WWE has been a bad point for the WWE. when i watched Wrestlemania 20, i thought that the WWE had turned around from their slump that they had fallen into the last couple of years. when Benoit won that world title, i was exstatic but i should have known from past experiences that in the world of Vince McMahon, the feel good sensation doesn't last for very long. the trouble with Vince McMahon is that he only sees what he wants and not what the fans want. there is a problem there that no one has been able to garner but i think i have. the thing with Vince is that he needs competition to fully be challenged to have the best tv that can happen and be the best Vince that he can be. for example, look back to 1999 and 2000, when WCW and ECW were still around and in full swing. the WWE, then WWF, was being pushed to have the best promotion and they did the best tv. now because they have no competition, they suck.

what i would do think they should do is put the belt on somebody else. so see it go from somebody, Trips, somebody, Trips, somebody. it's excruciatingly predictable and i hate that in wrestling. Vince will pick up one day, if the NWA TNA becomes a major threat, Vince will realise and start to get better but it may be too late by then. only Vince can change his own company, i just hope he realises what he is doing to the WWE before it is too late!
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