Vince McMahon Is No Longer a Good Character on WWE Programming

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2021

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 08:  WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon speaks at a news conference announcing the WWE Network at the 2014 International CES at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on January 8, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The network will launch on February 24, 2014 as the first-ever 24/7 streaming network, offering both scheduled programs and video on demand. The USD 9.99 per month subscription will include access to all 12 live WWE pay-per-view events each year. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 10 and is expected to feature 3,200 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 150,000 attendees.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

"Vince McMahon is old."

"Vince McMahon is out of touch."

"Vince McMahon needs to step down."

You have heard all of it before, but the Chairman of the Board's most recent appearance on WWE programming is evidence that, at least in front of the cameras, McMahon is no longer a quality character for the company.

The lack of payoff, his oftentimes overpowering presence and, yes, his age have made him more of a distraction than anything.


What's the Point?

McMahon most recently appeared on WWE television touting a golden egg given to him by The Rock as part of crossover promotion with the Netflix film Red Notice. The payoff was the revelation that Austin Theory had stolen McMahon's prized possession, earning the boss' momentary respect and a WWE Championship match in the process.

Then, the threat of death.

Yes, McMahon imposed himself on the moment, ruining all potential goodwill that may have existed.

And therein lies two major points of contention with the McMahon character at this point: There is no quality payoff to anything he does, and he overpowers/overshadows every talent he shares the screen with.

Perhaps it is insecurity about his age, but no character who is ever on the same screen as McMahon ever looks better for it. This isn't the evil Mr. McMahon character willing to let himself be weakened by Stone Cold Stunners and beer baths. He is demeaning and bullying, oftentimes making the characters he intends to turn into stars look weak in comparison.

As such, his presence benefits no one. He is a burden more than anything, especially considering there is a whole generation of young fans who don't know him or his history with the company. To them, he is a curmudgeonly man in the same vein as Ebeneezer Scrooge before the ghosts.

This isn't the character who empowered Steve Austin's rebellious ass-kicker or enhanced The Rock's popularity. His presence no longer benefits the shows on which he appears because they don't directly enhance the men and women on them.

And, at 76 years old, it has become more apparent with every passing appearance that the show has passed him by.


Age is a Factor

As much as it may be low-hanging fruit, McMahon's age absolutely affects his ability to be a productive character in today's WWE Universe.

The roster is youthful and brimming with stars of the future. The days of familiar foes like The Undertaker, Kane, Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Austin are gone. The men he waged war with, and with whom he participated in his greatest feuds, are retired Hall of Famers. He is now popping up on TV in hopes of generating a television rating even though he has no established background with the men and women on the show.

Fans are less likely to drop everything and watch, knowing there is no rhyme or reason for what they are about to see or, worse, that there will be no direct resolution involving the heel they are about to spend their time watching.

The potential for physical involvement is nearly nonexistent, and the uneven, inconsistent and oftentimes unresolved nature of WWE booking makes whatever he's doing far less must-see than it was when he was one of television's great villains at the height of the Attitude Era.

He is out of place among the young talent, has no real prospects of getting involved in any extended storyline, and physicality is just not happening at this point. He is best left as the all-mighty Oz behind the curtain while the likes of Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville carry on the legacy of authority figures in WWE.