Linda McMahon Loses Senate Race Again: Will WWE Get Its Attitude Back?
It is no secret that Linda McMahon, of WWE fame, has been persistently seeking a spot on the United States' Senate roster since 2010. And this election season, her effort has again hit a brick wall in her loss to Christopher Murphy.
In what The New York Times has described as Connecticut's most contested race, McMahon has also managed to break some records in spending nearly $100 million total (most of it her own money) in these last two races.
What is likely of most interest, however, is that her association with the WWE did not seem to help her chances. Although McMahon used the "successful business owner" angle, it seems as though voters simply could not shake the image of her getting slapped by her own daughter on Monday Night Raw.
While this might seem like a crude joke, McMahon's aspiration for a political seat deserves further examination.
Her senate race helped to raise an important question: How does mainstream media view the WWE and anyone associated with the company? It would seem that the answer is, "Not too seriously." Arguably, the WWE's goal, as a professional wrestling entertainment company, is to blur the lines between reality and fiction.
It would seem that the WWE did its job too well. So well that McMahon wasn't able to change voters' perception and take her candidacy as more than another marketing tool for the WWE.
But perhaps that isn't fair. Perhaps she really did have a genuine desire to become a public servant and help the people of Connecticut. But regardless of her intentions, one cannot help but view her candidacy as random in light of WWE's reputation for controversy and mayhem.
One of the other larger issues has been the impact that McMahon's senate race has had on the WWE itself. Many other writers have drawn attention to the possibility that McMahon's indulgence into the political world is to blame for the WWE's much-maligned "PG Era."
Whether there's truth to that is debatable, but such an accusation cannot be ignored. McMahon's senate race most definitely would have some impact when the McMahon family holds 70 percent of the WWE's economic interest and 96 percent of the voting power in the company.
One cannot help but wonder if perhaps the WWE did tone down its program to cater to children and parents. If the WWE product was a concern in the senate race, the McMahons certainly have the capability of making such a concern known and acted upon.
Moreover, while such campaigns like anti-bullying and cancer awareness/prevention are good causes in themselves, one cannot help but wonder whether such initiatives were politically motivated by the senate race as well.
And now that McMahon has lost, what does it mean for the company? Will she throw in the towel on her political aspirations? Will WWE revive a new Aggression or Attitude Era? What is the fate of a program like Susan G. Komen for the Cure within the WWE? Only time will tell.
As a fan and writer, it is my hope that now that it's over—if this senate race did in fact have an impact on the product—the WWE decides to keep the good and eliminate the bad.
Keep public service initiatives like Susan G. Komen and anti-bullying. They help keep the WWE relevant and involved in the issues that affect its viewers.
But please trim the fat. Stop obsessing over "PG."
Of course, institutions like the Parents Television Council have gotten much stronger over the years, but the WWE has always been a popular program among children and adults. Kids watch whatever they think is cool; WWE cannot control what children watch.
Although I respect that the WWE takes some responsibility over their viewership demographic, it is not helpful to censor a program to the point of giving unrealistic messages. So please, don't be afraid to push the envelope.
Now that the race is over, what are your thoughts on its impact on the WWE? Please comment below!
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