Vince McMahon: Is He Needed Now"
June 16, 2004 by Keiran Holmes
Vincent Kennedy McMahon Junior, or, Vince McMahon to us, or even Mr. McMahon to his employees is most known for his business, World Wrestling Entertainment.
Vince is a tremendous businessman and one of the greatest heel characters in the world. He's been booed more times than I've probably blinked to be honest! A fantastic businessman and a loving father and giving husband (or we like to think).
Since Vince arrived in the world of wrestling not too long ago, in fact it was 1982, only 22 years, he has changed the face of wrestling and created Sports Entertainment. He has shaped an American culture into one of the most thrilling endorsements and best-known household names in the world.
He's done it all, WWE Champion, 1999 Royal Rumble winner, WWE Owner, and is also an accomplished athlete. Who can forget St. Valentine's Day Massacre when Austin slammed Vince's head on the steel cage, sending him back into the Spanish announcers table" Pure class there, and total respect from the OWNER to do that!
I guess what I'm trying to say is, does the WWE, or the world in fact, need Vince anymore"
I know what you might be thinking. What"! Of course we do! Hell no! All different opinions, and I will stress this through the article. This is a opinionated column, okay" That means, you should not get offended by it!
Throughout this article, I will be asking a lot of, and answering probably few questions as to why I have chosen this particularly relevant subject.
Let us start when little Vinnie was all but 12 years old, when he met his biological father, Vince McMahon Senior, a promoter for CWF (Capitol Wrestling Federation). To me, this is where it really started, when Vinnie was introduced to the glory and the bight lights, this was the beginning of Mr. McMahon.
Soon after, VM Snr. had an opening for an announcer on his team and chose his son for the job. VM Jnr. was now in the world of wrestling as a worker, and could call the action and learn from the vast experience of the other superstars. This isn't the second beginning yet though, that comes next.
Vince inherited his fathers business and quickly began making some dramatical changes, changes that shaped and changed the world. Now you can say "No it didn't" or "What are you talking about"" but just take time to read this carefully and observe. You will soon see where I am coming from.
As Vince created the WWWF, he started to expand to National instead of regional. Most people think he just promoted to more places. Wrong. He sought out the popular franchises in territories and bullied them, engaging in hostile takeovers and attacking them until they eventually sold out to VM.
When Vince changed to WWF: Attitude, it was considered a fresh perspective on the word "Sports Entertainment". No longer was there this "family wrestling show" where you all sat down together and watched Hogan do the impossible and lift Andre the Giant. Now, it was sitting on your own or with your friends, baggy black t-shirts on, swilling Coca-Cola cans like they were Steve-weiser's, flipping people off down the street, pretending to be your hero, or shouting "It doesn't matter what your name is!"
Yes, Vince did bring a new generation to the form WWF, and for that I personally thank him, but now he seems to be going off the "fresh" and new ideas and trying to recreate and bring back old ones that people remember from their childhood as fond memories.
Now, with the WCW, I have to say, this one is NOT Vinnie's fault. WCW, when it brought in the NWO, were concentrating 100% on that particular storyline, and ignoring the others. The WCW downfall was down to themselves rather than Vince and the WWE! And Charles Bickford should agree, he wrote an article about the NWO being poison!
Now, as well as the NWO, the storyline was famous in WCW, but when they brought it into the WWE, HUGE mistake!!! The angle totally flopped, Scott Hall was rubbish and was the first to go, so they had to bring in X-Pac, who, after the success of D-Generation-X was going no-where in WWE fast, hence the reason he left before, then Hogan "rekindled" his relationship with his fans, which I admit, if you're going to retire soon, that's the best thing to do, go out the way people remember you. Then Nash went on the injured list. Only two good things came out of the NOW angle, and that was Hogan becoming Red and Yellow again and the return of HBK Shawn Michaels. Other than that, pathetic!
Now I loved Hulk Hogan. Some of the clips I've seen of him were amazing and I've always wanted him to come back to WWE, in fantasy. Fantasy is something that should stay just where it is, in your mind. When Hogan returned, he should not have wrestled. Seriously, because the Hogan that returned was not the Hogan that threw Andre the Giant around, he wasn't the guy who leg dropped Yokozuna for the WWE Championship. This man, although still Hulk Hogan, was older, slower and not the same man I remember seeing in the clips. In essence I got my wish, and saw my second greatest match in Hogan and Rock at WrestleMania. But it won't be 100% perfect, because it's not Hogan in his hay-day. It's not Hulk Hogan at 30 vs. The Rock at 32 years of age! It's Hogan at 50-something vs. a REALLY young superstar! A huge mistake for Vince to do!
Still on the subject of Hogan, Vince, I hope you read this and want to explode with anger, because you did not create Hulkamania!!! You gave Hogan a gimmick, it was Hogan that appealed to the fans, Hogan that kept the gimmick running and Hogan, which became a fan favourite. I'm not saying you aren't responsible, you gave him the matches, you gave him TV time and the title shots, but you are not solely responsible for creating Hulkamania. I say this because Vince actually believes that he did create Hulkamania without Hogan or anyone else! Hogan created Hulkamania, the heels and fan favourites that worked alongside Hogan helped push the angle, so it wasn't entirely Vince now was it" One thing about Vince though which he should never have done when Hogan was still in WWE, I still think Hogan should not have wrestled, and should have been a General Manager or something with power, or help the younger superstars as a manager, but no for wrestling. Another few errors with Hogan, and there are a-plenty, was screwing the WWE fans at No Way Out at Rock/Hogan II. Yes it was for storyline purposes, but there are things you do, then there are things you don't do.
There should not have been a Rock/Hogan II really, sequels always bring the integrity and goodness of the original, look at Scream 2, Star Wars Episode 1 and 2, total flops with the audiences, and so was this. Making The Rock go heel for this was another mistake. He was good as a heel true, but what really gave him his charisma were his mic skills, and that could only have been attained with Rock being a face, which over the years he has been best at. When Hogan left the WWE in the middle of the Mr. America storyline, Vince should first of all asked Hogan to play it out, then asked Hogan to be a backstage power. Even if Hogan turned Vince down, it would have been a nice gesture. But now, my memories of Hogan are damaged, and I don't think a third stint for Hogan in WWE will change that to be honest, poor Hogan. Mind you, the 17-minute promo with Hogan shedding tears was very emotional, I myself almost cried!
The Vince/Hogan feud was also very interesting, although it could have been pushed a little more, the end result included, a street fight. Something McMahon had been in for the last three matches. One against Shane at WrestleMania 17, which was quite good, I knew Linda would get up, but Shane leaping all that way to hit his father in the face with the trash can"! WOW! He also had one with Ric Flair on RAW in a "Loser gives up ownership" match, which, let's face it, was a squash match anyway, Vince would never lose the company, especially not on a house show! He's done about four or five of these matches in the last 5-6 years, and quite frankly, they are getting a little dull. If we were to see Vince actually JOB the match and have someone rule for a couple of months then have Vince take it back it would, although still be dull, be a little more interesting, maybe have Shane do that angle" Cause Vince and Shane have tremendous heat! I loved Shane's matches, they were awesome, and the angle where Shane hates his dad is very well done, unlike the Vince/Linda or the Vince/Steph angles, which sucked.
Vince did though, contribute almost entirely to Stone Cold Steve Austin. Steve's previous gimmick sucked. He sucked as a heel and he sucked as a slow talking evil man. So when Vince offered this gimmick, Austin jumped at the chance. The bitter war with Vince is considered one of the greatest of all time, and in my opinion probably is as well, and helped Steve to become what he is today, so Vince can actually look back and say "Yes I did create Austin there", but he can't say he did 100%, because it simply isn't true. He could also say, when he looks back through 2001 he can say "Yes. I nearly killed all that Steve and me worked for there. I nearly destroyed Austin." I'm talking about Austin turning heel. The worst angle in the world, why" Because let's face it, although Austin was considered a face, he was a neutral, a combination of both heel and face. He would stun Vince one minute and if The Rock gave him a dirty look, would stun him as well, and STILL get a crowd reaction from it! But when Vince tried making Austin 100% heel, it was immediately rejected from the fans and turned into one very upsetting and emotionally frustrating year for all, including Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Whilst we are on the subject of 2001, let us address another topic, the Alliance! This has to be the worst storyline in the history of the WWE! Yes, It finally allowed Jericho to win "the big one", yes it allowed WCW superstars to cross over and not be left without jobs, except for Buff Bagwell, who debuted and was released after one match, the worst WCW Championship match ever!
I'm saying far too many negatives aren't I" Okay, well here are some good things for you then. When September 11th came about, the world was stunned. On Smackdown! In Houston, Vince McMahon delivered a speech wishing the families well and their condolences. Vince is generally a good guy, and I can see why he is still in WWE, but as a businessman, he's pure evil.
The Brand Extension was also another good idea. It allowed lower card talent to move up and step forward a little, without the top superstars always on both shows, it was better, and there were fewer top superstars on shows. Better that way, but the second brand extension sucked! It was meant to "shock the WWE to it's very core", if most, it gave the WWE a little tickle.
Only a few superstars moved shows. Most notable, Tajiri to RAW, Dudley's to Smackdown!, Booker T to Smackdown! And Nidia to RAW, who got the better deal there then"!
Though, as far as the first brand extension goes, General Managers were a good idea. You couldn't have Vince run BOTH shows now, too much for poor old Vinnie! So, we bring in for RAW, and this was a great move for RAW, Eric Bischoff! Eric is a fantastic GM, he's evil, sly and was the former WCW owner. He was perfect, and seeing as he contested in the "Monday Night Wars", RAW was like a bitter irony for him, managing the show that destroyed Nitro.
Vince, as a character, has had some pretty hilarious moments. Who can forget Vince opening the "Vince McMahon Kiss My Ass Club" and William Regal being the first member" I won't, no matter how hard I try! Also, The Rock making Vince kiss RIKISHI'S ass!, giving thanks to the WWE fans at WrestleMania XX.
Backstage, Vince is a great guy. A man who throws a party for Moolah's 80th has to be not all that bad!
Another good move, was bringing Paul Heyman back, but the bad move was as Smackdown!'s General Manager. He's good now he's the manager of the Dudley's, but Heyman was terrible as a GM. His voice irritated me too much. And Heyman being hired for the very same company that he tried to "kill", seemed too stupid to me. I think mostly what contributed to me hating Heyman so much were his commentating skills during the "Alliance" storyline, it just pissed me off! Screaming all the time, shouting "The Alliance this" or "The Alliance that", it takes it's toll on you over the duration don't you agree" Hell of a manager, Hell no to a GM!
Another good thing about Vince is, he always employs new talent, but never pushes them. Zack Gowen was pushed a little, but dropped off the face off the Earth until we found out three weeks later that Zack and WWE parted company, in the two months Zack was there!
Vince did do a good job by bringing Undertaker's old gimmick back, but, now this isn't Vince's fault, although he should have said something, Taker's appearance looks the same. Vince should have said "When you return, wear the same clothes you wore for our match, but have them covered in dirt, so it looks like you have actually risen from the dead. And put some pale make-up on, and get some contacts like Kane's so we don't see your eyes very well."
Vince should have really gone over board with Taker, made him look REALLY dead. It not only would have made the gimmick more believable, but would have changed Taker to make him more like he actually DID crawl out of a crave!
Vince has also hired some rubbish superstars, Scott Steiner, Brock Lesnar and Ernest Miler are prime examples. Steiner's injuries made him seem like he was incapable of wrestling, Brock was too young, and was pushed too much. He was like a one-man NWO! It was boring, and speaking of boring, Ernest Miller! I cringe at his promos on Smackdown! whenever I see them!
Vince also made a mistake with cutting Rhyno and Tajiri's match on August 31st 2003 for a bikini contest. It showed total disrespect for the superstars who worked for McMahon and showed Vince to be more interested in boobs and skimpy bikinis than the fans, even though all they came for were the boobs and skimpy bikinis!
Vince has made a lot of mistakes, the 1997 Montreal Screw job is a prime example, which I won't go too much into detail about, considering every wrestling fan knows about this.
Vince is a tremendous heel, and should stay that way. But one will always wonder that if Shane or Steph ever DID become the owner, would it be better without Vince around"
The evidence is there, examine it, study it and have a look yourself, come to your own conclusion.
by Keiran Holmes..
I agree with many of your comments, Vince is great as a heel. But I think he went through a phase of being on the T.V every week and over-exposed himself, i much prefer him now taking more of an off-screen role. I have to disagree with your point that the Montreal Screwjob was one of Vince's biggest mistakes, it was quite the opposite that single action got Vince over as a real heel and sparked one of the greatest rivalries in the history of the WWE. Also this single action opened the door for Steve Austin (a superstar that has grossed more money for the WWE than any other superstar in history), and helped the company become the dominant force it is today, from a business perspective it is probably the single greatest action Vince has ever done.
Scott J. Criscuolo wrote:
I agree with your points about overexposure...he, and his whole family for that matter, need to stay where they belong. But, he is indeed a genius, and the greatest heel in the history of wrestling. The alliance was a flop, as was the Steve Austin heel turn in 2001, but Austin's best matches were in that year (Jericho, Benoit, Angle), than in 1998-99 (Rock, Mankind, Undertaker). He gave Hogan, Austin, Rock the ball. Those superstars ran with it.
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