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The Vince Problem

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Vince McMahon Stooge

In 1982, Vincent K. McMahon (commonly just Vince McMahon) purchased Capitol Wrestling Group and the WWWF from his father, Vincent J. McMahon. Between 1954 and 1982, the elder McMahon built his version of the WWWF around the old territory idea of how wrestling promotions were run. Business was good, as the WWWF had long been regarded as one of the crown jewel territories because it was among the first promotions to split gate dollars with talent and controlled the New York market, and Vincent J. McMahon was very happy to keep the status quo.

However, the younger McMahon had a larger vision for not just the WWWF, but for the wrestling business as a whole that his father could not or did not want to see. In fact, “Junior”, as his father’s friends called him, changed the business so drastically that even he admitted to Sports Illustrated in 1991 “Had my father known what I was going to do, he never would have sold his stock to me.”

As fans, we’ve been able to watch that vision turn into reality, as Vincent K. McMahon would turn the world upside down again and again, turning his father’s regional promotion into one of the largest entertainment companies in the world. Along the way, he has given us some of the most memorable characters, moments, and storylines in the history of the sport. He has also pushed the now WWE to the forefront of innovation, re-writing the book on how wrestling is marketed and produced.

Truly Vince McMahon is one of the most innovative, creative minds in the history of entertainment and the father of modern wrestling (insert genetic jackhammer joke here).

Except he’s killing WWE and needs to go.

Now, I know someone is rolling their eyes at this, frantically getting ready to type something about “WWE revenue year over year”, “#LOLZWUTAMARK”, “You don’t understand wrestling” etc. but just take a minute and keep reading.

Vincent K McMahon is 72 years old, 3 years older than his father when he passed away as a result of pancreatic cancer and 5 years older than his father was when he was bought out. Some of the same things in regard to presentation and being overly reliant on old ways of doing things that the younger Vince held against the older are now somewhat afflicting the current WWE.

Brock Lesnar as an attraction-type champion is a bad and antiquated approach. Attractions worked when the WWE didn’t produce so many hours of content each week. That’s not to say wrestlers as attractions can’t draw. Attraction matchups still work, look at the interest in the Undertaker or HHH’s yearly WrestleMania matchup, but it’s a really bad look to have all this content, but not be able to feature one of your top 2 champions.

The same can be said of the repetitive, dogmatic approach to Roman Reigns booking. I like Roman. I think he’s an excellent performer, good looking, popular with kids. He ticks all the “top guy” boxes. He is SUPER over without question. But Vince and creative have tried out every single approach to cementing him as champion without giving that character time to breathe with the fans. Think about it (or maybe, more appropriately, Always #UseYourHead): he’s tried the dominant Hogan booking, the bad-boy Austin booking, the screwed over by the Authority booking, and now the scrappy underdog booking with Roman all to NO AVAIL.

I could go further with this, but by now you are already thinking of other examples of the WWE’s repetitive approach to main roster booking and production.

Truthfully, the best parts of WWE right now are NXT and lately 205 Live, both Triple H’s pet projects. Triple H smartly seems to have built both to more closely resemble the style and tone of promotions like ROH, New Japan, and PWG which are currently popular among younger and international fans alike.

Perhaps most troubling is when NXT stars get to the main roster, many struggle because Vince’s approach is so very different. As de facto god of all things wrestling for the main roster, Vince has to be held responsible for the product’s inability to evolve.

It’s really simple business. Any business that can’t grow its talent to success will always have trouble on multiple fronts and eventually will endure long-term difficulty. Mid-level talent and below will continue to do just enough to stay around because they are just happy to get a paycheck. Good players who feel abandoned, mishandled, or ignored will leave, taking their talent elsewhere and succeeding when given a platform that is better suited to their strength (see also: Cody Rhodes).

When the growth problem becomes most debilitating is when the talent exodus eventually breeds a more competitive market. What’s worse is the eventual whisper campaign against your company which impacts the ability to attract new up and coming talent. Right now, WWE can still cover their imperfections with the promise of a bigger paycheck for young, starving performers eager to make it to the big stage.

But if what continually occurs is that they fail not because of their lack of skill or an inability to connect with the crowd but because of a failure to connect with a septuagenarian who rules with an iron fist, eventually the chorus of bad experiences gets loud enough to drown out the siren’s call of the money. The consequence becomes inevitable and your company goes from being stocked deep with young talent to having to hire the 3rd, 4th, and 5th best candidate in order to fill a roster (see also: The Island of Misfit Toys that was mid-90’s WWE or the later days of WCW).

Predictably the product suffers, market share shrinks, and one of two things happens: the company changes course radically and bounces back (late 90s WWE) or your former fans serenade you with a rousing rendition of Vince’s favorite song as the lights go dark for good.

A wiser man than I once said “Enough is enough. It’s time for a change.”

Vince has to go.

Just don’t blow him up in a limo this time.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Good, Bad and Ugly Preview: WWE Money In the Bank (2019)

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WWE Money In The Bank

Bobby is back with his Good, Bad, and Ugly preview for WWE Money In The Bank!

As the old saying goes business is about to pick up.  Money In The Bank is one of the premier PPV’s that sets a huge buildup for future storylines.  Title changes are eminent.  As a whole a lot of fans are fed up with the current product and with AEW kicking things off the pressure is on!  Let’s see how the card looks on the Good, Bad and Ugly!

GOOD

Cruiserweight Championship – Tony Nese (c) v Ariya Daivari

I wanted Oney Lorcan here but that doesn’t mean this match will suck.  The 205 Live crew is extremely underutilized and the lackluster fan following is criminal.  The talent there is just amazing and the cruiserweight division continues to leave fans in awe when they actually are taking the time to watch.  Our Chief Greg Demarco is a huge 205 Live fan and now that I finally jumped on board I can see why he has been such a proponent of the brand that no one watches.  The shows are incredible, the talent superb.  This match will showcase that.  Nese retains!

United States Championship- Samoa Joe (c) v Rey Mysterio

Holy Veterans Batman!  This is going to deliver.  I don’t expect a whole lot of surprises here.  Both guys can work anyone and complement each other very well.  A perfect speed vs power, this will be very Good.  The cherry on top, Rey Mysterio getting the last piece of Gold to add to his prestigious career.  Mysterio Wins the US Title!  Believe me he will have to earn it though. 

Roman Reigns v Elias

The biggest acquisition in SmackDown history is finally one of the most popular faces in WWE history and it was because he heroically represented so many who fight cancer.  Roman showed the world he is the Big Dog in real life as well as in the WWE.  His larger than life persona can only be matched by the tremendous talent and ego of the great performer of our time, Elias.  Both men get a real reaction from the crowd and both are very talented at what they do.  This should be a Good match all together.  Roman Reigns Wins!

Men’s Money In The Bank: Ricochet, Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin, Finn Balor, Ali, Andrade, Sami Zayn, Randy Orton

Although I have some other choices for participants over Corbin and Zayn (Rusev, Nakamura, Roode) amongst others this is a solid match and should be amazing.  Everyone here is crazy and will go out of their way to cause destruction.  We have so much here, power, highflying, and all around entertainment.  There will be blood, violence, and borderline torture.  I expect RKO’s galore but the winner who grabs the almighty briefcase of destinies is none other than The Scottish Psychopath Drew McIntyre.  He will finally have his time and with the MITB Briefcase his long awaited opportunity to get the gold he so rightfully deserves. 

WWE Universal Championship- Seth Rollins(c) v AJ Styles

This match is literally, Money In the Bank.  What a fantastic matchup of two very unique, and special talents.  Styles always brings his “A” game and Rollins is on fire.  He has so much heat and just keeps gaining momentum.  As great as AJ Styles is, and he is great, I see Rollins Burning it Down and retaining the red hot Universal Title. 

WWE Championship- Kofi Kingston(c) v Kevin Owens

Professional Wrestling is so personal to each of us, it is special in its own way.  Kofi Kingston winning the strap was one of those WOW moments and the after effect hasn’t disappointed.  KO can and will do amazing things against Kofi and this should be a spectacular showcase of their respective talents.  This will be even better than anticipated with potential to steal the show.  Not bad for a couple of former “Indie” guys.  Kofi retains.    

WWE Raw Women’s Championship- Becky Lynch(c) v Lacey Evans

All of that Lacey Evan’s teasing payed off big time.  Everyone wants to see this and it should deliver. Expect a physical match that will take a lot out of “The Man.”  There is some heat here, and both can go.  Expect the very best as this is unquestionably the biggest moment of Evan’s career and she will show up guns blazing.  This is some “O K Corral” shootout style stuff here.  A Good ole’ fashioned fight.  Girls fighting but far from a girl fight.  In the end, it will be the Lass Kicker who will stand tall and be “The Man.”  Lynch retains. 


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BAD

Women’s Money In The Bank: Nikki Cross, Naomi, Natalya, Dana Brooke, Bayley, Ember Moon, Mandy Rose, Carmella

The main reason this is in the bad column is simple.  What are Natalya and Dana Brooke doing here?  With all of the talent that WWE has in the Women’s ranks, these two have no business near this match.  Hopefully this will be Good on the show but so far it’s got a lot of catching up to do on paper.  Alexa Bliss being off now doesn’t help anything and really knocks it down a couple of notches.  We have some talent here but we also have some Bad stuff in the mix.  Also, let’s be honest, we all love Mandy Rose, and if not shame on you, but the wrong one is in the match, we need some more Sonya Deville and this would have been a great opportunity.  After the mayhem, Bayley Wins!  We need to see this girl back where she belongs.  In the hunt for Gold wrestling the top talent. 

SmackDown Tag Team Championship- Daniel Bryan & Rowan(c) v The Usos

So sorry but not sorry, I feel like this match is going to bomb.  I just don’t see the value here unless the Uso’s are getting the straps back.  This really made no sense the whole thing is just useless.  It’s not going to be ugly because there is obvious talent but that doesn’t mean anything Good will come of it.  Uso’s Win!  Hopefully!

WWE SmackDown Live Women’s Championship Becky Lynch(c) v Charlotte Flair

Okay, why Bad here?  Well enough is enough.  I know this will be a Good match, I know it but please for the love of God stop fighting each other so often!  We need some new blood and luckily as MITB always has it, we will get it.  Charlotte Flair Wins the SmackDown Women’s Title! 

UGLY

Shane McMahon v The Miz (Steel Cage Match)

Miz is angry, you won’t like him when he is angry.  This has been a bit played out and yes they have surprised many and had a lot of Good content but this bread is getting stale.  Stop the madness, you already had your exclamation point to the feud.  We already know Shane is going to be insane and do something extreme. Aside from that though, what do we have here?   Winner is The Miz! (in Maryse’s accent)

FINAL

  • Good- 7
  • Bad- 3
  • Ugly- 1

OVERALL

Good and it better be!  Wrestling fans are ravenous right now with fresh meat on the table. WWE product has been ridiculed for a long time however now the heat is on high.  A lot is at stake every week, every show, but at Money In the Bank, the key word better be Money. 

There we have it, this humble wrestling journalist opinion says we have some sunny sky’s ahead.  However a little rain may spoil the fun if WWE drops the ball.  Hopefully they bring the pain and the show kills it!  Money In the Bank will make and rewrite history as it always does!  Enjoy the show!  See you Sunday! 


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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NXT Minus 6: Ridiculous (5/15/19 edition)

Keith Lee makes his return and dominates this week’s column with not one but two GIFS. It’s time for the WWE NXT Minus 6 with Bradley Jay!

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WWE NXT Minus 6 Logo

Keith Lee makes his return and dominates this week’s column with not one but two GIFS. It’s time for the WWE NXT Minus 6 with Bradley Jay!

6. Angelo Dawkins opens up a commanding lead for NXT Burn of the Year. After Montez Ford lays into the Viking Raider War Experience, Dawkins pops in with “If that is your real name.” Day Yam! By the way, he hit a man-sized spear on Rowe.

Image result for angelo dawkins nxt

5. I got my 23andme results back. I am 97% NXT fanboy. It’s not pure. Somewhere in between the dopey skits on Raw and the weekly NXT “somebody gets jumped in the back,” there has got to be a better way to advance a storyline.  NXT, stop being lazy.

Image result for storyline flow chart silly

4. Welcome back Keith Lee. As you know, I rank Mr. Lee’s matches based on how many ridiculous moves he hits. His match with Cesar Bonini was short and sweet, but still achieved 3 Ridiculouses. His double chest slap seemed particularly harsh. I could watch him Poune fools all day long. The last one gets its own entry.

Image result for keith lee pounce gif

3. When I’m president, the Spirit Bomb will be more protected than the RKO. When a man that size slams you to the mat with a combination Last Ride-sit down powerbomb, you will NOT…KICK…OUT!  

Keith Lee GIF - Keith Lee Powerbomb GIFs

 
2. Kona Reeves can be a rock solid mid card heel. Damn right I said it. His new ring attire is a massive upgrade. He can work a good match & he knows how to bring the intensity. From the Big Bossman and Val Venis to Christian and Dolph Ziggler, wrestling needs guys like Reeves. Not everybody can be…elite.

Image result for kona reeves finest

1. Once again, the Viking Raiders (if that is their name) and the Street Profits (that is their name) showed undeniable chemistry. That’s what makes the decision for the Raiders to drop the belt so disappointing. I respect that it fits their character. They are honorable and noble. Now we won’t get what would almost certainly be a 5-star Takeover tag match and the Raiders don’t get the sendoff they deserve. From a fan’s standpoint, it’s pure ass.  

Related image

That’s right…I said it.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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