Vince McMahon Being “Out Of Touch” Is An Understatement
It’s time we talked about Vince McMahon.
Days ago, ahead of WWE’s Hell In A Cell event, one of the promotions many social media accounts posted a poll, as they often do. This poll asked the fans what they felt the result would be of the Hell In A Cell main event, featuring Seth Rollins defending his Universal title against the Fiend in the titular Cell match. The options were Pin, Submission or DQ. Those that noticed this largely blew it off. Laughed. A DQ finish in a Hell In A Cell match, what a joke! Had to be nothing but a silly mistake.
And then, it happened. After ruining his finisher in unprecedented fashion, hitting it 11 times in a single match to zero effect, Seth Rollins began throwing every weapon he could think of at the Fiend instead. Chairs, ladders, kendo sticks and a tool box. And then, he picked up a sledgehammer…
Earlier in the match, the Fiend had used a giant novelty mallet, one that the Bray persona had regularly used during the Firefly Funhouse. It was not only enormous but spiked, as though intended to murder him. Use of this hammer at no point looked as though it’d force a match to stop.
So it’s only logical that later, when Rollins used the comparatively small hammer, the bell rang. And the boos began to rain down onto the inexplicably red tinted ring.
This was perhaps the single most misguided, damaging match WWE has ever put forth.
It’s really hard to properly sell exactly how stupid this was. The Fiend debuted as a stunning revitalization of the long suffering Bray Wyatt, an easy chance to bring him back to prominence and achieve the otherworldly stardom he once seemed destined for. And even though the event itself was a major afterthought after the enormous week in wrestling that preceded it, the match itself was one that could’ve done in history as the great crowning of one of WWE’s most iconic characters of all time.
Instead… that finished happened.
Seth Rollins is a character that was in desperate need of rehabilitation even before this feud began. The angle leading up to the match did well to make the Fiend look frightening, but at the expense of Rollins. Seth was depicted as being utterly terrified of the monstrous challenger in addition to being laid out by him on a weekly basis. And then, as mentioned, they went and destroyed The Stomp/Curb Stomp/Blackout, whatever you wanna call it. I get what they wanted to do with the Fiend in that match. I didn’t mind it at first, nor did I mind much when he used them in rapid succession against Lesnar and Strowman previously.
But once we got to the portion of the match where he hit about six of the most lame looking Curb Stomps imagineable in a row, with the Fiend immediately starting to get up every single time, only to eventually kick out at 1 anyway, I began to wonder if I’d ever be able to see that as a legit finish again. Perhaps it could’ve been fixed if the match concluded with one last super curb stomp that finally did the job.
Instead… that finish happened.
Perhaps more damaged than either man is the stip itself.
The Hell In A Cell is WWE’s most storied one-on-one big feud ending stipulation match. Even when they became annual, and multiple Cell matches started getting held on the same night, and they began pitting rivals who had just started to feud against one another, still somehow this remained the case.
Last year at this very event, there was a no contest in the main event. And it was stupid and horrible, but it still wasn’t this bad. Because this was not an outside force, visibly and believably leaving both combatants unable to continue. This was one man assaulting another to what really looked like a DQ call from a ref trying to convince Rollins this was a moral quandary if he used this same sledgehammer that had been used in over a dozen of these Cell matches.
They’ve since tried to explain that this was not a DQ, but a ref stoppage, presumably to protect the defenseless Fiend. And that’s slightly more viable considering that the only way Foley could do his famous getting-off-the-stretcher moment is if he was being stretchered out in the first place; that match was supposed to be stopped. So in theory that explanation is fine, except for when the participant being attacked is AN INVINCIBLE HORROR MOVIE MONSTER WHO WAS TOTALLY FINE. And whaddya know, immediately after the match, the Fiend sprang back to life to lay out Seth again, proving this!
No. What we’ve established is that there is in a fact a “too far” with this match. You can actually get too violent, too brutal for a Hell In A Cell match now. Yep. Somehow, throughout everything, the Hell In A Cell still had some credibility.
And then… that finish happened.
I’ve never felt worse for a crowd. Those people at this show did not go there just to dump on the product. They didn’t buy their tickets ironically so they could rebel, this was not an attempt to hijack the show. They went there with hope that they would see a good wrestling show and above all else, hope that they might see something special in the form of the Fiend becoming Universal Champion.
This is evident by how hot they were for the first two matches. And then the show dragged something fierce, swapping between ‘stupid’ and ‘underwhelming’ until we got to the main event. They were mostly quiet for the match, but as the reaction to the finish showed, it’s not as though they didn’t care. On the contrary, they cared a LOT about seeing the Fiend win that match. Sadly they just couldn’t see much of the match thanks to the combination of the cell and the red tinting. Visibility had to be threadbare for this.
Yet even that probably wouldn’t have mattered so much if they just got what they came there for.
And then that finish happened.
Some said Vince McMahon knew that he screwed up. Others say that he was laughing at the reaction. Now, word is that Vince McMahon has been telling people that his product is “too pro wrestling”.
Yep. That’s his explanation. Here’s hoping the XFL doesn’t end up being too football for him.
Vince McMahon is a senile old man.
There’s just no getting around that. It’s been said that he’s out of touch for years, but I don’t think that really covers it any more. Sure, no one on this Earth can really relate to Vince McMahon that much, and vice versa. He’s lived in a self-made bubble since atleast the 80s. Every bit of evolution that’s occurred in the world has done so largely outside of his understanding. He is distant so far from not just the youth of today but from reality in general. He doesn’t get what people are like in 2019, let alone what kind of wrestling people want to see in it.
Now he’s lost his grip on even the simplest of rules. Ten years ago, the thought of a Hell In A Cell match ending this way would’ve been inconceivable. It’d have never even crossed his mind, and if brought up, he’d have shot it down in a heartbeat. Somehow he’s regressed into thinking this would be okay. And there’s really no ‘somehow’ about it. He’s feeling every one of his 74 years and his mind is going, has been for a long time. Despite everything he’s done, he’s unfit for the job at this point.
Vince McMahon has always been a stubborn sort. He’s always been slow to adapt, slow to admit when he’s wrong, slow to learn lessons. And these days it seems he’s stopped learning entirely.
And when you stop learning… you start dying.