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The Casual Observer: Vincent Kennedy McMahon- He’s What’s Bad For Business!

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Vincent Kennedy McMahon, with the greatest respect sir, I mean exactly what I said and I will explain to the best of my knowledge as a casual observer why I think you have no chance and no real future in the empire you built.

Building an empire from nothing but regional areas and talents takes a vision and for doing that and giving us the fans a place to call home and love to participate in; you’ve my utmost esteem and regard. But my dearest CEO- to myself it feels as though you’ve lost touch with your audience and the universe you created and frankly sir with respect it’s time for you to step down as a leader and overall control should be given to those that have demonstrated the same passion and work ethic you yourself demonstrated in building what you’ve built. You sir, have achieved your vision and no matter who would take the reins next- no one could forget the contributions and sacrifices you’ve made to see this universe come alive particularly during the attitude era. Yes, I know such times are over- but how long can you control an industry you yourself are no longer in touch with?

For instance, The Authority, I’m sorry to report has failed this fan base. I mean just to stay current for the moment having a Vigilante instead of Sting outright? Ridiculous! A large majority of your universe loves Sting because he’s the only hold out from WCW and when he made his debut at the Survivor Series to help Cena and company largely because of Big Show’s betrayal? Warranted and everyone was looking for bat versus sledgehammer as a result and that is something I hope we see at WrestleMania 31.

Mr. McManhon, I now wish to draw your attention to the formation of the Corporation and the iterations followed after it. As memory serves this was during the hay day of the attitude era (1998-1999) we all remember and loved so much. In fact, you could call The Corporation and those that followed an example that set up the Authority as we know it today, and it worked beautifully for a major reason; it created a feud between yourself and Stone Cold that one could easily say last until this day, evidenced by the podcast you had with him recently to answer the hard questions he posed. No, I did not listen nor do I need to because it that feud and its resulting fallout that made Stone Cold so popular: He rebelled vehemently against becoming a corporate stooge and that really connected fans to him and the brand you were selling at the time, because who doesn’t hate their overbearing boss?

And then of course there was the takeover of WCW by your son, Shane, in March 2002. Again, storyline…I know and it was well executed, but by posing that particular storyline were you in essence unaware of the fact that perhaps you knew the question I posed in the beginning was valid: Are you what’s best for business? I think perhaps that you’ve already agreed with me; and that makes this piece valid by itself.

Now to today and the recent “reinstatement” of your legacy via the Authority. I’ll be honest, it feels like an old plot and it treats fans as superficial and stupid. How? You used force against two former tag team champions one of whom was a recent Hall of Fame inductee, in 2012, Edge. Everyone knew you wouldn’t actually hurt these gentlemen no matter how much stage presence you pushed, and yet you made the Champ submit and give you back what you felt you had lost unfairly. No, sir. You yourself set the terms with your ultimatum before Survivor series and in my first issue I posed a far more feasible and entertaining scenario for the fan base. And the reason it felt old? You chose force over entertainment value just like you would’ve in the attitude era. In addition to this ploy, which felt old- you couldn’t use Cena as a stooge so you used Big Show both to cement the Authority with his WMD and sabotage Team Cena at Survivor Series. To say nothing of how you used Show to recapture your line and Authority power… Sad really.

The Attitude Era is done and for the right reasons as you try to draw in bigger fan bases as you are now a publicly traded company and need to appease your stockholders to a degree so that you don’t lose corporate sponsorships and cost investors- including fans, mind you- their hard earned dollars besides the ten to fifty five dollars you ask to attend pay-per-views never mind what you get out of merchandise sales bought by fans to support a brand they love. Despite your desperate attempts to stay relevant. In the Art of War, Sun Tzu once wrote: Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

Mr. McMahon, you have strategy and that’s obvious in the talent and stability in the NXT your developmental program, in Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn alone you’ve a great feud ready for a main event card. Now does that mean all those in development are ready? No, of course not. But your son-in-law has proven he knows how to run a business, even though it’s meant as a hashtag for the show directly, NXT Take Over is a telling sign of the truth, when to most avid fans I’ve talked with briefly argue NXT has better matches than WWE Monday Night Raw. You desire an example? In NXT the Divas are hailed as being some decent if not fantastic events. In WrestleMania I’ve heard them referred to simply as bathroom breaks? Granted every sport has them, but that’s during commercials, not the largest event of the empire you built both to honor your father and prove yourself as a competent creative leader who listened to his fans, and for a while dear sir, you did; but in a different time during a different climate in television media. So, from a casual observer to the man who loves being in control, feeling alive, and in charge?

Because perhaps you miss the bizarre beauty that is your Attitude Era? Your time, perhaps? Sir, put bluntly, because you hold back your strategy and use old gimmicks- your tactics will be the end of your era and any true contribution you make going forward in the WWE Universe will only harm the quality of the empire you helped build, almost by yourself, with help from Jim Ross, Paul Heyman-I did watch that documentary and despite the fallout? It’s clear you loved his product as for a time he was God to true hardcore fans of ECW. And outside of current creative, let us not forget the personas and stage presence of some now WWE Hall of Famers that helped bring credit to your vision and developing industry at the time. What you did at the Screw Job is beginning to feel relevant again because your ideas? Used. Your strategy? Too slow. And your tactics? A loud gong of your slow end. Trust in what you’ve created and the team you created, because again from the Art of War: Regard your soldiers as children and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own as your own beloved sons (and daughter) and they will stand with you even unto death.

The overarching point sir? Please retire. Not because I don’t respect what you’ve helped create for all fans, but just in case you aren’t a fan of Eastern philosophy, I pose this to you now: Ask not what the WWE Universe can do for you; ask what you can do for the WWE Universe. And to those of us that grow tired of seeing ideas of a bygone era? That means letting go and trusting a new generation who I’d like to point out aren’t children any longer, but are becoming the men and women you hoped to see take over and carry on your line. And when said dynasty is over-Shane is in telecommunications after all- no one will forget the vision and mark you’ve had. As you created it, be proud of that- but know when it's time to make a dignified exit from the writing room and behind the scenes and know that for every beginning there is an end and with regret sir? You’re what’s bad for business. If for nothing else than younger minds are scientifically proven to show greater neural activity in the brain both creativity and logistically and as a final example: NXT has ready talent and the fans of the Universe from the casual like myself to the hard core veteran fans know this and it’s time to either acknowledge this or step away and know you’ve done more than most will in their lifetime and have an empire to be proud of an empire that now belongs to a younger and more adept generation; filled with talent, passion, and drive that you’ve helped inspire. So please trust those around you for the sake of your fans and the future of the Universe itself. And for more along these same lines, Kayfabe Is Dead by James Peterson, and Hunter Makes Vince An Endangered Species by Lee Herbert.

“Subdue your appetites… and you’ve conquered human nature.” –Charles Dickens

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