5 Ways Vince McMahon Can Make a Better Impact Ahead of WWE WrestleMania 35
Last year on the December 17 episode of Raw, the McMahon family (Vince, Stephanie, Shane and Triple H) headed to the ring and made an apology of sorts.
The ratings, which are never good during the NFL season, were at a record-breaking low. And the four of them told the WWE Universe they would be taking a more hands-on role with the product. More importantly, they said they would be listening to the fans and taking their opinion into increased account.
So how are they doing? Let's just say it's been a mixed bag.
Today, we're looking at Vince McMahon. He recently inserted himself into the drama behind the Ronda Rousey match at WrestleMania 35 by re-suspending Becky Lynch and slotting Charlotte Flair into the coveted No. 1 contender spot.
How can the WWE chairman best make an impact on the April 7 event moving forward? Here are a few ideas.
Stop Undercutting His Daughter's Authority
The segment in which Vince rebooked the Ronda Rousey match to include Charlotte Flair didn't go over well with the WWE fans for a few reasons.
First, it breaks the momentum of the feud and Becky Lynch's arc. In terms of the storyline, it's obvious The Man will be reinstated into the match. And thus, there's no suspense generated by removing her; it's just an unnecessary complication to a bout fans want to get excited about.
Instead, they're playing the "is she or isn't she" game, between her suspension, her knee and her inevitable interference in Ric Flair's birthday celebration on this Monday's episode of Raw. This is time that would be better spent promoting the actual match.
The other problem is more general; Triple H and Stephanie McMahon just finished forgiving Lynch in the ring before Vince interrupted and rebooked the match on the fly.
What does Stephanie's word even mean in the context of the story, if her father can just swoop in and undo anything she does? It becomes a catch-all fix if WWE Creative ever writes itself into a corner, and that's bad. And it also switches the focus of the story from the performers to a power struggle between the McMahons.
Moving forward, the goal should be to shine a spotlight on the in-ring action. The backstage palace intrigue should be a secondary concern.
Get Beat Up by Becky Lynch
One sure-fire way Vince can start undoing the damage he's already done is by humiliating himself; for over two decades, that's been a guaranteed pop for the WWE Universe.
The chairman has an unusually expressive face, perfect for broadcasting different levels of embarrassment and pain. Whether he's kissing Rikishi's ass, taking a Stone Cold Stunner or eating a Kevin Owens headbutt, the man knows how to put on a show.
At some point, Vince needs to take one for the team and get beaten up by Becky Lynch. A good old-fashioned Attitude Era beatdown will raise this feud to the next level and hopefully force it to its breaking point.
The parallels between Austin and Lynch are already being telegraphed—she was dragged out of the arena at Elimination Chamber with her hands behind her back.
WWE might as well go all the way with it.
Book a No. 1 Contender's Match at Fastlane
This connects to the prior point. If Lynch beats up Vince, it can't just be for a cheap pop; there needs to be some sort of narrative purpose behind it.
If The Irish Lass Kicker locks in a Dis-Arm Her on the company chairman, she can ask for whatever she wants, and she should demand a match at the Fastlane pay-per-view where if she wins, she's reinstated into the WrestleMania bout.
It's probably too much to ask that this reverts to a one-on-one fight between Lynch and Rousey—it's almost certainly going to be a Triple Threat—but the match needs to be set in stone by Fastlane. WWE cannot afford to drag it out even further.
Finish the Angles He Starts
It's important Vince is the one to book the Fastlane match since he was the one who created the problem to begin with.
There needs to be follow-through. The worst thing he could do would be to have Triple H or Stephanie do his dirty work for him—it won't carry the same sense of finality.
And lest you think WWE wouldn't do this, there are numerous examples of Authority storylines being started and then suddenly dropped for no apparent reason. When Triple H gifted Kevin Owens the WWE Universal Championship title, he then disappeared from television and never explained his actions.
When AJ Styles beat up Vince backstage in December, he made a boilerplate apology the following week and went right back to being a babyface.
Vince can't ghost on the WWE Universe until he ties up loose ends.
Stay out of the Storyline Moving Forward
Once Vince wraps things up and sets the Rousey vs. Lynch vs. Charlotte WrestleMania match in stone, he needs to disappear.
The feud has the legs to propel itself forward, and the three women were doing a fine job of establishing their animosity for one another without the chairman's help.
The McMahons are such major players, and they exercise such uncontested power, that anything they do becomes a storyline; using them is the easiest, most efficient way to establish stakes.
However, this is a double-edged sword; used wrongly, they can suck all the oxygen out of the arena and overshadow the performers. It's a delicate balancing act, for sure.
And that's what will happen here if they're not careful. The Rousey match is probably going to main-event WrestleMania and become the first women's bout to do so in the company's history. As a result, the focus should be solely on the women.
The best thing Vince and the rest of the McMahon family can do is get out of the way once they've undone the damage they've done. The more they try to control and micromanage something that developed organically, the more likely it is they'll overcomplicate it and muck it up.