Having people pay to see a McMahon in a match is always successful business.
The live reaction and social media response to the announcement of Stephanie McMahon versus Brie Bella has been largely positive. The reaction makes sense, because a McMahon in the ring has never been unentertaining or unmemorable.
I think the Mr. McMahon character is done. Sure, we'll see Vince every so often in front of the camera for one reason or another. But the days of him playing the evil boss in the storylines are over. Stephanie is now playing the role.
Vince, Stephanie and even Shane have all proved they can hold their own in the ring when called on. When I say hold their own, I'm talking about being able to take a beating and entertain the people. This fits for them.
Whenever a McMahon is in the ring, it's because the conflict has escalated to an extreme level between a wrestler and management. Naturally, the encounter shouldn't be a wrestling match; it should be a fight, a contest where the three most needed moves are punch, kick and hit them with whatever you can find.
There is a mixture of simplicity and difficulty in the McMahon fighting formula. The simplicity is the story to tell is so easy and is usually the evil boss finally getting what he has coming to him. Just look at Vince McMahon's record in matches. He always takes the biggest beating and usually loses.
The difficulty is because of what's called upon and the McMahon drive to take it as far as it can go, which results in a painful night. I want to watch the McMahon matches next to a critic of wrestling and ask him to explain how what he or she is watching is fake or doesn't hurt.
We haven't seen Stephanie in an official match since 2003. I think I have a pretty good idea how this SummerSlam brawl with Brie Bella will unfold.
The two are coming in with an easy story. It's been a rivalry going on for a few months. It works in their favor that the feud branched off from the long rivalry their husbands were having leading into WrestleMania 30.
I can picture Stephanie offering the same instruction and encouragement to her opponent as Vince has been attributed to doing against his classic rivals. The final words before going through the curtain being something to the effect of “Don't take it easy on me because I'm not going to take it easy on you.”
That was the basic quote—minus some language I can't type—Shawn Michaels has said on DVDs that Vince told him just before their classic hardcore battle at WrestleMania 22. Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Hulk Hogan and others have all commented in the past how Vince will take the beating and wants it to look as good as possible.
Another thing commonly seen in McMahon matches that contribute to their success is the theatrics. The facial expressions and timing always seem to be on point. It makes sense—the family spends their entire life directing a brand and performers to tell stories. It doesn't surprise me this valuable talent in professional wrestling comes so naturally to them.
All of this makes the McMahon matches good investments. They can't be done too often, or they lose the novelty, and it takes a violent toll on the body. However, when the time is right, it makes a big difference.
The time is right. This is the second-biggest pay-per-view of the year. This is the early stages of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon as The Authority being the television heels running the company, so you want culminations to feuds like this to be memorable.
This is also the last pay-per-view event in the initial six-month commitment for WWE Network subscribers before they need to renew their subscription.
While Stephanie tells Brie not to take it easy, Vince might be right there in Stephanie's ear to add to the encouragement. “Hey Steph, I love you, take this one for the Network.”
Justin LaBar is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the creator of the Chair Shot Reality video talk show and Wrestling Reality radio show
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