We’ve all heard of it. Whether it’s the classic “Vince Promo” behind the scenes, or his refusal to push a certain star due to past issues, Vince McMahon has never shied away from showing who the top dog is. This is due, in part, to the ruthless demeanour that put him on top.
Vince McMahon has never let WWE be pushed around or seen in a weak and vulnerable light. His intolerance has been shown perennially to people that thought they were bigger than the company, and Vince has time and time again proven that they are not.
Spectators are swift to speculate that this is Vince’s ego, with some sectors saying it is just his way of showing he is top dog. Whatever the reason, Vince is very quick to ensure that he and WWE are always the upholding figure.
Change in tradition
As many of us already know by now, Brock Lesnar was offered a spot at this next year’s showpiece extravaganza Wrestlemania 27 to face The Undertaker in a proposal that was declined.
Immersed with the excitement that one of the fastest risen superstars could be about to make a return was greeted with the quirky skepticism that WWE would even contemplate branching out to a man who, in some quarters, is believed to have turned his back on WWE for greener pastures, despite his meteoric push.
Now as we have all seen over the years, Vince McMahon has all types of branches transmitting worldwide and in all types of flavours to suit different societies. But, we all know that one of those is not olive.
Ever since “That clause” in Brock’s contract that prohibits him from competing in any form of mixed martial arts or sports entertainment before June 2011, there is no doubt an air of friction between both parties developed.
You would think the veracity of this would puncture any harboured hopes the IWC would have of a renaissance.
With Vince McMahon sharing the view of many, do you really think he would have welcomed Brock back? Ask Jason Reso (Christian) and I’m sure he would tell you his utopia visionary comeback was not to be, as he finds himself in a lower position on the card than before he migrated to Orlando.
So it is clear Vince McMahon does not view anyone the same when they leave WWE family, so why the offer to Brock?
Is the ego of Vince McMahon finally in check? Is Vince McMahon getting soft with age? Would you really expect WWE to come crawling back to someone who turned their back?
I’m sure that WWE would not want to be seen in a dimmer light to anyone—you only have to look back to the “Denver Debacle” to see that.
Maybe it could be due to the product being in decline.
Running out of ideas
In recent years, we have seen WWE programming become frail in its television ratings. Whether that be on pay-per-view, or its weekly shows, the IWC haven’t exactly been able to compare the noughties to the nineties with such awe.
Combine this notion with various other factors—such as the economic downturn and Internet streaming—WWE has not been garnering the lofty profits they used to.
Vince McMahon has tried tirelessly to reignite this diffused light of the once-prominent wrestling show. The gimmicked pay-per-views have not lit up the wrestling industry as hoped, as buys have taken a downturn as opposed to the anticipated upturn.
Even the marketing ploy of having a world title change at every pay-per-view or featuring both brands still hasn’t been enough for consumers to part with their dollar.
From bringing back Bret Hart to the million dollar giveaway, ratings have just not reached the heights a market-leading sports entertainment company is supposed to attain.
WWE is pulling out all the stops to gain interest in the product; so far none seem to be working, and a worrying era where more consumers are investing in UFC; maybe the Brock factor may have something to do with that?
Is his link to a growing sport the reason why WWE tried to accrue Brock for the Atlanta extravaganza?
Not just the Brock Factor
People may be quick to speculate that Vince’s ego does not have a dose of tranquillity, or that WWE needs to replace the ring bell with a panic button, and can feel that they can divorce the Brock offer from these two factors.
However, it is not just the Lesnar proposal that has turned heads into speculating these theories.
WWE ceases to acknowledge TNA’s existence, and eviscerates any affiliation with anyone associated with the Nashville-headquartered organization.
However, ever since Mick Foley’s positive comments about WWE regarding Linda McMahon’s Senate campaign, Vince McMahon has given the green light to have Foley featured on WWE.COM, as well as his book being plugged on programming.
We understand how it helped Linda’s campaign, and Vince has been said to have had tunnel vision on making the failed campaign a success; therefore, you could understand the gratitude.
In hindsight, could you really see no matter how redeeming a TNA performer is to WWE, would you have seen them featured on WWE programming a couple of years ago?
This may have been designed as a possible unhinging of the door that was closed on a Mick Foley return.
After the lauding promo with Ric Flair, WWE would surely be enticed to bring Mick Foley back in a last-ditch attempt for ratings.
Apart from the infamous “Industry section,” WWE has refrained to mention TNA’s existence. But, with the recent developments, WWE is willing to go to all lengths to bring back interest to the product.
Does this mean if the right scenario occurred, that Jeff Hardy praised WWE as the Senate race neared its political finish line that WWE would have plugged his TNA title win?
It seems like WWE are looking everywhere for attention, as their product is similar to a high school clique pandering for attention. Even offering Jeff Hardy a new contract, and the chance to appear at Wrestlemania XXVI to face CM Punk portrays WWE’s decline in standards.
In years gone by, would Vince really offer someone a contract with a lighter schedule than two political powerhouses in The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels when they are going through a court case?
At the turn of the year, WWE announced that there wouldn’t be a Survivor Series this year. However, with another in the books, is the consensus that WWE are in mixed minds?
Are they just unable to find the tools to fix the problem? Are they even looking in the right places? Well a lot of people complained about an event with such a lineage being scrapped.
Well Vince has never cared about lineage before, or even casting fans opinions above his, such as scrapping the Cruiserweight title or fans' opinions on Christian. Therefore, is this a sign that Vince’s ego is in check and is now listening to the fans in terms of ideas?
Do WWE know how to rectify this?
SERIOUSLY? When you have to resort to having both of your commentators feuding in the main event, you know you are scraping the barrel.
TNA, for all its frailties and who are in worse creative shape than WWE, have never resorted to having Mike Tenay cost Taz the TNA title.
The fact that an even poorly creative TNA trying to pull this off would be disturbing in itself (trying to imagine that in your head wouldn’t even make you laugh for the fun of it, because it seems pitiful of the company).
People may blame the PG era for WWE’s decline, but if you have been to a WWE event, you will realize that most of the fan base is children. Therefore you can’t bite the hand that feeds you. WWE needs to cater to that audience, hence its PG stance.
From an overbearing standpoint, rifts with a UK magazine picturing Triple H looking weak on the cover, to featuring members of the competition to retain interest, shows how far the standards have fallen in Stamford.
It is blatantly obvious that the stardust WWE has is wearing off, and surely it’s nothing to do with TNA, but it is their own programming swaying it away.
From paying exorbitant fees for guest hosts, to limiting their cash cow's television time, to even having their commentators as the headline of the show, WWE still cannot find a way to prevent its decline.
Mr. McMahon once said in a promo to the WWE Universe “I tell you what you want.”
This was ironic, with Vince’s wily acumen where he would create a new innovation whether it be a superstar, pay-per-view, title stipulation, you name it, Vince would have pushed it so hard everything from ratings, merchandise sales to pay per view buy rates would have elevated.
His ego would have supplemented him the drive to eviscerate all boundaries to ensure its success.
Today it’s not the same story; is his ego softening and decreasing his drive? Or does his ego remain present, but he’s barren of ideas to sustain and augment his product?
Either way, WWE lacks its stigmatic lustre and does not seem able to re-invent itself anytime soon.