Vince McMahon Will Never Not Mean 'Money' For WWE
During the highest point of WWE’s ‘Attitude Era’, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin cemented himself as one of, if not the greatest superstar in professional wrestling history. He had several quality feuds during those few years of his career, but none more important to both Austin and wrestling in general than the feud he had with Vince McMahon. Since that era, WWE has been desperately trying to fill the void left when Austin called it a career. Many have tried, none have succeeded, with only John Cena and CM Punk coming close. The interesting thing, and one that is rarely discussed, no one has been able to step up and fill Vince’s spot either. HHH has tried, Stephanie has tried, Johnny Ace even made a valiant effort, but no one has been able to match that fire and venom that made Vince McMahon such a completely hateable character.
I don’t know how it’s possible to overlook the single most important figure in the history of the industry, but with regard to Vince’s talents, and I’m talking as a performer, not a promoter, this certainly seems to be the case. There is no doubt “Stone Cold” Steve Austin earned every last bit of adulation that gets thrown his way. Matter of fact, do yourself a huge favor and watch some of Austin’s matches in WCW before his knees were shot and you’ll get an even better idea of just how well-rounded a professional wrestler he truly was. By the time he made it to WWE, his body was so badly beaten up, he relied more on his brain than he did his body. He still worked some amazing matches, especially his stuff with Bret Hart, but he relied more on his quick mind, sharp tongue, and brilliant promo ability to make himself into a household name. Vince McMahon proved to be the perfect foil. No matter how evil Vince would get, Austin would find some way to overcome the odds. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more heated, Vince would turn up the gas just a little bit higher. As great as Austin was, credit should be given to Vince McMahon for being every bit as great, at least from a pure entertainment standpoint.
One of the things that plays in McMahon’s favor is, he is everything he plays on TV. He is a tough son of a bitch, he is cutthroat, he is a shrewd businessman, and he is tireless in his efforts to be the very best and will seemingly allow nothing to stand in between he and his success. These are traits which can be both admirable and despicable, depending on where you stand. McMahon’s willingness to step up time and time again for the good of the company, even if it means looking like a complete fool, sets the ultimate example for everyone else involved in the product. People talk about locker room leaders, and I certainly believe guys like Undertaker have been vital to the leadership structure backstage, but I don’t think there’s ever been any question who’s running the show when Vince is in the room. I don’t know if the same thing can be said when he’s not.
This past Monday on RAW, Vince made a return to television for the first time in quite some time. His appearance resulted in a nice ratings bump for RAW, up 600,000 viewers from the previous week, and shines a bright light on the fact that WWE simply has not given enough opportunity to its talented roster. For all the money and power it possesses, WWE still hasn’t found anyone, not even CM Punk, capable of tapping into the fans hatred quite like Vince McMahon was able to do. As time keeps rolling on by, I find myself more and more inclined to say Vince McMahon may very well be the greatest heel the business has ever seen. This much is certain: Whatever the amount of credit Vince McMahon is given for the success of professional wrestling, it’s still not enough.