Summertime in WWE means experimental champions, low ratings and a Vince McMahon storyline. And why not? WWE's annual post-WrestleMania drop-off has become an unavoidable and unenviable pastime. In the minds of WWE and/or USA Network, McMahon-related appearances are the only remedy outside of HLA to stimulate viewership.
In 2006, the McMahons' feud with the new and impaired D-Generation X dominated the summer. This gave WWE fans the stunt in which Vince and Shane McMahon were doused in poo as part of a nostalgic gag. 1997 shed a tear of joy upon watching its aging degenerates defiantly fight Father Time by playing with poo.
In June of 2007, Vince McMahon's limousine exploded. In fake death, Vince was prepared to fully embrace his lot in life as a born-again provocateur as real-life controversy ensued over the integrity of a dead WWE chairman, storyline or not.
But following Chris Benoit's tragic double murder-suicide, McMahon blew his second coming to address the touchy issue front and center. To his credit, most other CEOs would have opted to continue faking their deaths, considering the congressional and PR catastrophe that ensued.
McMahon found time to squeeze in another major storyline that summer, as he launched a company-wide search for his real-life son. That angle was also cursed, as the rumored payoff, Mr. Kennedy, was popped for violating the wellness policy shortly before the reveal. WWE fans would have to settle with Hornswoggle. The tadpole jokes wrote themselves.
McMahon literally paid viewers to watch Raw in 2008 as part of McMahon's Million-Dollar Mania. His obsession with death once again surfaced when the spending spree ended with McMahon being (kayfabe) crushed by a scaffold.
Vince sold Raw to Donald Trump in 2009 for that summer's storyline. He was tearfully fired by Triple H in 2011. He stayed uncharacteristically low-key with the firing of John Laurinaitis around the summer of 2012.
Which brings us to present day.
This summer is set to feature more McMahons than a Linda McMahon concession speech. Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Paul McMahon all interchangeably swinging their junk around in what has become an uncomfortable game of "whose is bigger?"
Oddly enough, Stephanie McMahon may own a slight lead.
Raw's Managing Supervisor, Vickie Guerrero, has willingly sacrificed her productive brand of cougar moxie to kowtow to a revolving door of one-ups-McMahon-ship. Brad Maddox is content flashing concerned facials since one beta (Vickie) clearly wasn't enough.
And to think it all started with such promise. With Triple H's career winding down, Vince McMahon would protect WWE's future by forcing him towards retirement. The proud warrior would have none of it, showing an admirable willingness to die on his sword. That's the type of power struggle capable of selling pay-per-views.
This power struggle sells cotton candy, popcorn and whatever goods live audience members choose to buy once their attention spans begin to wane during these vignettes.
Next week's advertised job evaluation will be a study in diminishing marginal returns. Too many cooks in the kitchen will seem like a well-oiled symphony compared to too many McMahons in the ring.
The Holy Trinity has arrived in the WWE with a shell of an agenda. The father, son-in-law and holy spouse seem to be in a holding pattern to staple the ratings together until the SummerSlam spark.
McMahon summer storylines have been hit or miss since they became an unofficial tradition. This time around, Vince McMahon's pretend afterlife can't come soon enough. .