By now, just about every web-connected wrestling fan knows that there are serious backstage problems in the world of professional wrestling. Even the casual fans are now following one of the most despicable stories in our favorite sport’s history – the steroids scandal. While the story of steroids in wrestling is nothing new, the media light is much brighter these days and many hardcore web-connected fans are concerned that sports entertainment may never be the same again.
As I try to do in all of my columns, I want to engage you in an issue or question that may not be the first one to pop into your head. Most people are wondering whether or not Vince McMahon and Dixie Carter can successfully navigate their respective organizations through the pending Congressional hearings. Others are wondering if the weight of the media attention and the pending Congressional investigation will be too much for the wrestling world to handle.
I’m wondering something else.
I’m wondering if it’s time for someone other than Vince McMahon and the McMahon Family to be the leaders in the sports entertainment world. Weird thought, huh? Jess McMahon was a regional leader as was his son, Vince McMahon, Sr. The third generation of McMahon gave us the term sports entertainment and the amazing spectacle that is WrestleMania among many other positive additions to the wrestling world. The fourth generation of McMahons are currently working for Vince and while one is well-known for being too much of a businesswoman and not enough of an industry-woman, the other one is well-known for the amazing job that he’s done expanding the World Wrestling Entertainment brand around the world. The fifth generation of McMahons are largely still in diapers and will be people that maybe the second generation of TBLWrestling.com owners can write about someday!
But following the progression of the McMahon family through wrestling history cannot be done correctly without looking at the various characteristics of the time periods they were leaders during. For example, when Vince McMahon, Sr. was the leader he was in charge of an organization that existing during the Vietnam War, the Watergate Scandal, the cultural revolution, and the existence of 4 US Presidents within one 10-year span (WOW!). On the other hand, Vince McMahon, Jr. has run the organization during the Rock n Roll era of the 1980’s and guided the organization into the internet world while relying on the expertise of his son to navigate the sometimes unclear waters with respect to the online fans.
Truly, there are many more things that go into evaluating an organization’s leadership besides the way they run their company. You have to look at how they run their company relative to the world around them.
Could it be that Vince McMahon, Jr. was a great wrestling promoter and industry leader during the 1980’s and 1990’s, but has lost that certain something to lead his organization into the 2000’s and beyond?
The world in which WWE exists now is different than the past. This is a world that is hyper-politicized. For example, I run a blog where I can’t even post that I have an account at Commerce Bank without someone thinking it is weird because I generally support right-leaning candidates while Commerce Bank supports many left-leaning candidates! How asinine is that?! Today’s is a world where catchphrases dominate a media that operates 24-7 on the boob tube and forever on the internet. Indeed, today’s is a world where popular catchphrases have polluted the minds of our elders, young adults, teenagers, and children.
We live in a world where comedians call national leaders “stupid” and the masses react like sheep. This is a world where the hyper-politization of every single issue under the sun has resulted in an uninformed public (when you only know your side of the story, you’re uninformed) and Congressional hearings to investigate things that need no investigation. Our government generates reports on issues where they need not generate reports. What’s worse, each branch of our government is generating reports for the same issues.
Truly an excess, but also a reflection of the people.
This is the modern day world in which WWE operates. I have no doubt that Vince McMahon can successfully navigate WWE through the crazy Congressional hearings ahead, should they come to fruition. I have no doubt that the fourth generation of McMahons will be of great support to Vince during what could be trying times with the US government. However, I highly doubt that the insatiable appetite of the hyper-issued public will be satisfied without someone’s blood spilling.
An odd dichotomy isn’t it? The event that prompted the investigations into professional wrestling stemmed from Chris Benoit murdering his wife Nancy and his son Daniel. And what may be the ultimate downfall of Vince McMahon as the leader of the wrestling world? The bloodlust that runs rampant through the public, media, and government.
Makes you wonder who the killers are these days. Is it the young man who engaged in biological modification that resulted in pyschological mutilation and ultimately murder? Or is it the terrible trio of uninformed masses who would do and say anything to prove their catchphrases true, the national media who base their “news” on ratings, and the vote-hungry politicians who would sell their sole for another term in office?
Aren’t these monsters two sides of the same, disgusting coin?