Hello WNW people! Mitch “Big M” Adams here welcoming you to the now fortnightly feature on Wrestling News World called…THE HOUSE OF “M” This being my house, I get to talk about what I want to talk about and share my opinions on the art form known as Pro Wrestling. Although, I should point out that I’m only renting this house from WNW, so obviously the views I express here are solely mine alone!
If you don’t agree with me, I’m more than willing to hear you out as you are as entitled to your opinion as much as I am entitled to mine. But, just remember you're a guest in my house, so try to keep things civil!
Well WNW people, it would appear that for better or worse there is a new phrase becoming quite common in the modern lexicon! The phrase to which I am referring to is of course “Alternative Facts.” And as far as I can work out the phrase simply describes blatant and obvious lies that are believed by a certain demographic of people when told by an individual in power who has developed a cult of personality!
And we heard our first reference to it in WWE during the Elimination Chamber broadcast! JBL was doing his usual “Yelling at the other commentators like a loudmouth Texan” gimmick and said something along the lines of “Don’t try to sell me those alternative facts.” At first, I thought JBL would probably cop a severe flacking for making such a reference given the circumstances. But then JBL most likely saved himself from any repercussions by uttering an “Alternative Fact” of his own. Namely, he called Nikki Bella the greatest women’s wrestler of all time!
Now, I know Nikki is getting some praise for her performance in her match with Natalya (She can work at a decent level when she puts the effort in, as opposed to falling back on her “Diva” act). But I could give you at least twenty names, past and present, who Nikki couldn’t hold a candle over! And then it hit me like a bolt of Lightning! The realization of where the tactic is now known as “Alternative Facts” really comes from. The one man who has been using the tactic for years…Vincent Kennedy McMahon!
Vince McMahon has used “Alternative Facts” to convince Pro Wrestling fans, pro wrestlers, businesspeople and even, from time to time, the authorities of the most ridiculous things! All in the name of protecting and forwarding his vision of what Pro Wrestling should be. At times, this has been to the benefit of WWE and the industry at large. Other times, not so much!
Now, I could spend weeks researching and listing every “Alternative Fact” Vince McMahon has had uttered or had his employees utter in order to continue a particular narrative in WWE. But that would be boring for me to write, and for you to read. So instead, I’ll just list the four “Alternative Facts” Vince McMahon pushes on WWE television every bloody week!
1. WWE listens to the fans.
This “Alternative Fact” should be obvious to everyone by now!
Vince McMahon does not give a flying F**k what his audience thinks in any way, shape or form. If he did Batista wouldn’t have won the 2014 Royal Rumble, Roman Reigns would be a heel and Goldberg vs Brock Lesner would not be “the most likely” main event of Wrestlemania this year.
Vince still books WWE under the mistaken belief that he can manipulate the audience into buying anything. The problem is that only works when you understand and respect your audience! Something the former Vince used to be able to do, and the latter he has NEVER done!
I know what you may be thinking right now. You’re thinking “But what about changing the main event of Wrestlemania 30 and the whole Women’s Revolution?” I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but as far as the Women’s Revolution goes, that was Triple H, Stephanie, and the Twitter hashtag #GiveDivasAChance finally convincing Vince that despite what he thought, society (well, most of society) had changed!
With women like Ronda Rousey becoming the biggest draw in MMA and women taking a much larger role in popular culture, WWE fans wanted to see talented performers get significant screen time in the Women's Division! I mean, if Vince had his way Eva Marie would be the longest reigning Diva’s Champion right now. “Shudder”
And regarding the main event of Wrestlemania 30, Vince only changed that due to the backlash from both fans and people in the industry over not featuring the most over in-ring performer in the entire world in the main event of the biggest show of the year! Vince saw so little in Daniel Bryan (despite every single member of his audience and several people in the industry trying to tell him on a daily basis) that he had planned to book Bryan in an undercard match on the show of shows.
Vince did not want to change the main event, but he was forced to after the amount of fan protests became too much for him to justify keeping it the way it was. It was one of the first time fans had formed a “Resistance” to one of his more awful decisions!!! And it won’t be the last time.
2. All other promotions are not worth watching.
WWE is the biggest pro wrestling promotion on planet earth, and that fact is unlikely to change anytime soon! I do watch and always will watch WWE no matter what, and for the most part, I enjoy it. However, being the biggest does not necessarily make you the best. In fact, I’d wager that New Japan currently has the best in-ring product anywhere in the world right now. But still, every week on WWE TV it’s hammered into us that unless something happens in WWE, it just doesn’t matter.
The problem is, when Vince hires the stars of other promotions he claims we shouldn’t care about (A. Because he needs more bodies in his aging talent pool and B. because he does not want other promotions to grow any larger with said talents help and possibly become his completion) he completely destroys that narrative.
Think about it, if other promotions are not worth watching why would he hire their stars? If other promotions are not worth watching, why do “Indy Darlings” like Daniel Bryan or Seth Rollins have an easier time getting over than homegrown WWE stars like Batista or Roman Reigns? If other promotions are not worth watching, why were TNA originals like AJ Styles and New Japan originals like Shinsuke Nakamura the two most talked about workers of 2016?
The answer to all these questions is simple…OTHER PROMOTIONS DO MATTER! And the fact is companies like Ring of Honor, and New Japan have experienced significant growth in the last few years (despite Vince’s best efforts to slow it down) is proof that a lot of fans do, in fact, care about other promotions, and more importantly, they care about the performers from other promotions. Fans don’t care about where a worker comes from or what they look like!!! All we care about is if they are entertaining to watch.
3. Wins and losses don’t matter.
Now, I realize this particular “Alternative Fact” was actually first uttered by WWE Producer Road Dogg Jesse James! However, it is plainly obvious from the first moment he mentioned this belief on Twitter; he was towing the company line. I mean, the “wins and losses don't matter” line just sounds exactly like a Vince McMahon idiom in every way! At it’s one of the biggest “Alternative Facts” Vince tries to get us all to swallow.
I mean, really, does anyone actually think that performers like Hulk Hogan, Brett Hart, Steve Austin, The Rock and John Cena would be as big of stars as they were/are if they didn’t win ten times more often than they lost? Not only do wins and losses matter, how you book workers to win or lose matters when trying to get them over!
Now, I could use the fact that John Cena being booked to win so often and so overwhelmingly that it has come at the cost of developing new stars for years now! But instead, I think I’ll use the carrier of one Dolph Ziggler as my example! For years he has been busting his arse, putting on great performance after great performance. It’s obvious that he has the look, charisma, and in-ring talent to be a huge star in WWE! And yet he has struggled to get fans to care about him in recent years, why is that I wonder? It’s because every time Ziggler is given a push and looks to finally be reaching his full potential in WWE…he’s booked to lose the big match. They keep building him and themselves up, but they never deliver a payoff!!!
4. WWE’s numbers are great.
WWE’s profits have never been higher than they have been in the last few years. That is not an “Alternative Fact” that is the truth! WWE now has so many revenue streams that they can not possibly go broke anytime soon. However, if you look into the numbers a little closer, you’ll start to see that things may not be as rosy in Stanford as Vince would like us to believe.
Take, for example, the extra advertising revenue WWE receives every week with the third hour of Raw. The amount is without question substantial, but is it sustainable? I am in no way an expert in financial or business matters, but given the fact the third hour of Raw pulls fewer viewers each week than the first two…wouldn't companies much rather advertise their goods and services during the first two hours when viewership is highest?
Considering how the third hour has been consistently drawing less than three million viewers for months now, I can easily see the USA Network starting to have problems attracting companies to advertise during the third hour!
Another example I think I can give is the subscriber count for the WWE Network! Now while the latest count has indeed increased to one and a half million, it’s still nowhere near the three or four million subscribers Vince thought the network would have by now! Plus, am I the only one who has noticed the ever increasing amount of ads on the network? I mean, they are even running ads DURING live broadcasts now! If the Network was as big of a success as Vince and co claims it is, why did they start selling so much add space?
Add to the mix the constant accusations of fudging attendance numbers and manipulating merchandise sales, and one could draw the conclusion that eventually Vince will be pulling in less money than he puts out. And no one is likely to do well if they spend more money than they have coming in!!!
I could honestly keep naming all the “Alternative Facts” Vince McMahon tries to get us to swallow every week, but I think you have probably realized long ago that this article has a dual meaning! So instead, I think I will just leave you all with this “Legitimate Fact.”
History teaches us that you can only fool the people for a certain amount of time before even the dumbest of individuals realize that you can’t possibly deliver what you have promised. And eventually, they also see all the harm you have done looking out for vested interests while pretending to be looking out for the interests of everyone!