While he doesn't get the credit he deserves, Vince McMahon is one of the greatest impresarios of his generation.
After Gorgeous George, nobody believed wrestling would ever see grand heights again, but McMahon made sure that wasn't the case.
He popularized the World Wrestling Federation (now the WWE), assimilating it into mainstream culture not once but twice.
Today many would argue that the UFC has replaced the trend-setting dominance last set by WWE in the late 1990s.
Whereas WWE has settled into a niche territory, the UFC is considered a socially acceptable form of "sports entertainment" supplemented with, ironically, WWE-esque promotional tactics.
Some pundits would even go as far as to claim the UFC is the evolution of pro wrestling.
Don't mention that within earshot of the WWE Chairman, though, because he would ruthlessly reject the notion.
In an interview conducted by The Hollywood Reporter, McMahon not only makes it a point to completely differentiate the two companies, he takes an unprovoked shot at the UFC:
Their ratings are abysmal. They are in the pay-per-view business, and they do reasonably well there. We just set a record for WrestleMania. We had 1.3 million buys for this year's WrestleMania, and our pay-per-view numbers for our shows have been up 30 percent since then.
Either McMahon is consciously aware of his biased stance or he truly is degenerating into a deluded shell of the man he used to be.
The UFC's ratings are not as 'abysmal' as the WWE's head honcho would have you believe; though they're not in Raw's class, they're right on par with SmackDown.
And since when has being in 'the pay-per-view business' been a bad thing? The majority of profits flow from pay-per-view revenue, not ratings.
Of course, in an effort to justify WWE's flagging pay-per-view business (sans WrestleMania), McMahon has been working diligently to do away with it, subsuming it under the WWE Network umbrella.
If McMahon's company had been doing as 'reasonably well' as the UFC in the pay-per-view sphere, the WWE Network would constitute very different parameters.
Nonetheless, as reality sets in, the WWE Network may never see the light of day anyway.
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