We’ve all seen numerous interviews over the years with people talking about Vince McMahon. When describing Vince McMahon they use words like genius, shrewd, stubborn, revolutionary, and competitive. What I want to know is, where has that legendary competitiveness gone? For years we have heard about what a competitor Vince McMahon is, but that has clearly come and gone. The Vince McMahon we see today clearly is not a competitor, if he still was, we wouldn’t be watching the garbage that has been on WWE television as of late.
As fans of the WWE, we have come to accept that the fall season means WWE storylines go to hell until December or January. This is all the proof you need to know that Vince McMahon has lost his competitive edge. When you take away all the pyro, suplex’s, elaborate entrances, and the ring, “Raw” and “Smackdown” are television shows plain and simple. We all know that, but I’m not sure Vince does. If he does, why would he be happy getting 2.7, 2.9, 3.1 cable ratings? If you have been watching “The Monday Night Wars” on the WWE Network you know that “Raw” was receiving 5.0 and 6.0 ratings back in the 1990’s. A lot of people say that wrestling can not get those kind of ratings anymore. Why the heck not?!?! Why not try to compete with “Monday Night Football”? I mean it makes all the sense in the world from a business perspective, higher viewership means you can charge advertisers more money and get larger television deals. Remember a few months ago when everyone flipped out because the United States television deal signed by the WWE was much less then expected? Want to know why it was smaller? The WWE has not grown its audience since the last television deal! Why on earth would the USA Network give them a huge deal?
Vince Russo recently wrote about a conversation he had with Vince McMahon during the Monday Night Wars about beating Monday Night Football in the ratings, and they did it! Instead of giving your fan base crap for four months, why not grow your audience by stealing viewers from the NFL by having amazing, weekly content? Right now the WWE’s roster is incredibly deep, possibly the deepest it has been in a decade. While it may lack star power, you have tremendous competitors. Cesaro, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, John Cena, Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Tyson Kidd, Paige, Bray Wyatt, The Uso’s, Big Show, Mark Henry, Goldust and Stardust, AJ Lee, Luke Harper, Sheamus, Damien Sandow, Paul Heyman, Natalya, and not to mention the tremendous talent waiting down in NXT all make up an incredibly talented roster that the WWE can utilize far better than they have.
As I mentioned, the WWE does lack star power right now, outside of John Cena and Brock Lesnar, they do not have any main stream names, but who’s fault is that Vince? You went out and proclaimed Drew McIntyre as “the chosen one.” Where is he now? There are so many times I look at WWE television and think to myself, “wow how out of date is Vince McMahon?” They talk about this all the time during “The Monday Night Wars” show, how the WWE took a long time to change with the culture, it appears we are witnessing that again. Think back to when CM Punk caught fire a few years ago, what made that angle work is how real it felt. Reality and sports entertainment intertwined. A few months ago leading up to “Wrestlemania 30” we saw an incredible storyline between Triple H and Daniel Bryan play out. What made that so great? It once again blurred the lines of what was real and what was not. Do acts like Los Matadores, Hornswoggle, The Bunny, and Damien Mizdow make you think Vince is up to date with what a modern wrestling fan wants? Of course not. However, when someone gets over organically like Daniel Bryan or Dean Ambrose, we read reports they don’t see them as main eventers. Well guess what, if someone gets over THAT much with the crowd, they’re a main eventer. When the WWE Universe is chanting their name, they’re a main eventer. At the end of the day Vince McMahon does not choose who are the main eventers, we do. Instead of fighting these guys, embrace them and see where things go, take a risk for crying out loud. Where is the risk taker that bet it all on the very first “Wrestlemania”? Why not try and take down “Monday Night Football” and the other popular shows on Mondays during the fall season? Literally the worst thing that could happen will be a slight increase in viewership and a far better product on television.
I hope this has not come across as a rant, but I just don’t see a competitiveness from the WWE anymore. It seems like they are satisfied where they are. We see them brag all the time about “Raw” and “Smackdown” being the highest rated show on cable on a particular week. That’s all well in good, but honestly, it’s not that difficult to be the highest rated show on cable, pretty much a lack of competition. I used to think the WWE held themselves to higher standard then that, but I’m starting to believe I was wrong. Is there legitimate competition from another wrestling company? Not even close, but why not compete against other television shows? At the end of the day “Raw” and “Smackdown” are television shows. Strive to be best. Strive to be the Vince McMahon of old. Strive to be the Vince McMahon who put numerous wrestling promotions out of business in the 1980’s. Strive to be the Vince McMahon that took down billionaire Ted Turner and WCW. Hell Vince, strive to get you balls back.
Vince McMahon, you have been Burned!
For more wrestling blogs from Bryant Burns, visit WrestlingOpinion.com or follow on Twitter @WrestlingOpins!