“Michael Barton Looks At Standing Up for WWE”
By Michael Barton
World Wrestling Entertainment recently launched a campaign called “Stand Up For WWE”. It is designed as one more vehicle to help Linda McMahon in her senate run against Robert Blumenthal in the state of Connecticut primarily, but it is also more propaganda for the company itself. In the bubble known as corporate headquarters, there are those in power (mainly Vince McMahon) who have always thought that the WWE has been unfairly and unjustly criticized in the media. Until this inititave was launched, I took everything with a grain of salt, for just as Vince may live in a bubble, the entire professional wrestling business does as well in regards to mainstream press coverage, as seen by the downright awful coverage of the Benoit murders. Considering the readily available wealth of information that could be found with a few clicks of a mouse that no one seemed to care about, the entire situation was misrepresented by both sides. But, until recently, it was Vince against the world. Now, Vince wants you to do his dirty work along with him. Sadly, millions will, but they really should educate themselves before they get into this arena.
There are always two sides to every story. Having listened to both sides, only then can one begin to find the truth in regards to any given situation. On the 10/18/10 edition of Monday Night Raw, the WWE presented their side, a three to five minute puff piece about all of the positive things the company does. I do not want to get into a detailed description here – I am sure that if you look for it, you can watch the video for yourself. Surprisingly, I did not hear any mention that the WWE also sponsors company paid drug & alcohol rehabilitation (as well as providing a talent liason for follow up care) for anyone who has ever worked for the company. And, while it was all true, it really only presents half of the story – the story they want you to know about. I want to make some bullet points about the other half of the story here before I go any further. Consider this as a did you know segment, exactly like the little blurbs that get mentioned each week on Raw.
– You are standing up for a company that continued on with a show after one of it’s own performers, Owen Hart, died after falling to his death into the middle of the ring.
– You are standing up for a company that has continued to act as if they do not have a steroid, drug and/or drinking problem, regardless of the mountain of evidence that says otherwise.
– You are standing up for a company that once gave long thought to doing an angle where Vince McMahon would be engaged in an affair with his own daughter, Stephanie.
– You are standing up for a company that puts profits before people.
There are so many other examples that I could provide, without even doing any research on the matter, that I would be here for a long time explaining all of this to you. This gives you a general idea without getting into volumes upon volumes of material.
I think the greatest tragedy of all involves the deception of the fans by Vince McMahon himself. This is not the first time he has attempted to portray himself, or the organization, as a victim of outside forces. Vince McMahon spent the 1980’s buying up territories and changing the entire landscape of professional wrestling in the United States. He did take wrestling to unforseen heights, but did so at the expense of many hard working people in this business. While he is not fully to blame in that regard, you have to remember that this is the same man, who when his company was in financial trouble during The Monday Night Wars, tried to do something similar. In his mind, he wasn’t losing the war because of anything he was doing wrong – he was losing the war because Ted Turner had more money than he did. And he attempted to portray his company as one of the people, for the people and by the people. He is a man who, when backed into a corner, is an intelligent human being as far as manipulation goes. He was not a victim then anymore than he, or his wife or WWE for that matter currently, are now. One of Vince’s goals in life has been to take his company to another level, away from the carnival show atmosphere that it has for so long been associated with. Yet everytime push comes to shove, he uses deceit, lies and blatant deception to paint a different picture than is actually so.
So, before you decide to take a stand for the WWE – who is being abused and manipulated by the media, remember that this is nothing more than a shell game Vince McMahon is playing with all of you, right out of a scene of a carnival. Until next week….