Vince McMahon may be the most powerful man in wrestling, but he possesses a surprising lack of self-awareness when it comes to his own family and the fans' interest in watching them.
The recent McMahon family storyline is not doing anyone any good in the WWE. In fact, it's damaging the company.
The victims: Curtis Axel, AJ Lee and our intelligence.
The first question the McMahon's need to ask themselves is, "What is all of this TV time leading to?"
It's incredibly doubtful that it will lead to HHH vs. Vince McMahon vs. Stephanie McMahon in a match (though that would be strangely entertaining). It's hard to think of any satisfying payoff that will have been worth all of the TV time devoted to it.
This storyline surely didn't sell any extra pay-per-views for Payback, nor will it for Money in the Bank.
It's just three high-profile characters reduced to bad comedy segments. HHH and Vince should be above this. When they appear, it should mean something.
What makes this so hard to care about is that WWE has never explained the company's power structure. Without knowing, there's nothing to feel invested in. Vince McMahon was removed from power, and HHH took over for him. Then, Vince returned and seems to be in charge once again.
Who is your favorite McMahon?
No explanation whatsoever was provided. That makes following the product closely very difficult.
Now, instead of watching HHH battle Curis Axel in a ring, we're watching HHH battle his father-in-law with overzealous hugs.
But within the world of WWE, what does HHH really do? On Raw, he said he negotiated a contract with RVD. That's cool and all, but could Vince veto that if he felt like it? It would be nice to know.
He also made his cute joke when he asked Vickie what the main event would have been had CM Punk not confronted Alberto Del Rio. Sure, it makes sense, but it also points out how the company does that every single week.
Hunter then took a dig at the 3MB, three guys that he presumably employs. But if he didn't want them on the show, why didn't he just book something else?
Really, if Hunter has such little faith in Vickie, then why doesn't his character just book the entire show himself? Why doesn't Vince? Or Stephanie? Are they too busy playing in the pool at their mansion?
And speaking of Stephanie, she's just insufferable as a character.
It's impossible to tell if she's supposed to be a face or a heel. On Raw, she confronted AJ, towered over her and ridiculed her. She also damaged her gimmick by saying how much crazier she is than her.
Then, in the very same segment, in a very heelish manner, she told Kaitlyn to never interrupt her again. She rudely pointed to all the other babyface Divas and told them the same.
What did that accomplish?
A group of characters who compete every week and go to house shows had to look like cowards in front of their boss. It may have made Stephanie look tough, but that shouldn't be high on the company's list of priorities.
She's the third-most entertaining McMahon on the mic, but there's a huge drop off from Vince and Shane. Just listen to the tepid crowd response she got last night for further proof.
The McMahon variety show just isn't that interesting. There are much more entertaining stories going on. Punk has turned face, Ziggler may have too, Christian has returned and Mark Henry put on a performance for the ages.
That is what the shows need to be about: the wrestlers. How many Stephanie McMahon T-shirts have you ever seen in your life? Who buys a ticket to a house show to see if Vince will show up? Who wants to watch HHH bury his own talent every week?
The McMahon family saga was immensely entertaining in the late '90s. But it was novel at the time, and they had Steve Austin, The Rock and The Undertaker as major characters in their stories. Now we're stuck with the McMahons hogging the spotlight and sucking all of the oxygen out of the room.
Even this brief reunion has overstayed its welcome. It's time for them to go away.
Unless the McMahons (including Hunter) have something important to say, then they just shouldn't say anything at all. At the very least, whatever airs on TV won't be as painful as watching Stephanie attempt to cry.