Monday, August 24, 2015

Vince McMahon Is 70 Today

McMahon turns 70 today, God help us all
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Today marks the 70th birthday of the most important figure in pro wrestling in the last 30 years, for better or worse, Vincent Kennedy McMahon. The WWE chairman has a checkered reputation among the wide world of wrestlers, fans, and tastemakers, but anyone who casts as large a shadow as he does will polarize people to some degree. Believe me, McMahon's shadow looms larger than any single person in the industry right now. Whether one wants to believe it a good thing or not is up to them.

Personally, McMahon the performer is still pretty golden to me, but the baggage that comes with it is too much. His abuse of the independent contractor label, megalomania stifling the on-air WWE product, and his overarching representation of capitalism in corporeal form has made him perhaps the perfect wrestling promoter but also someone whose business practices end up leaving a bad taste in my mouth. One might ask why I continue to support his product, and well, life isn't as simple as that, especially when the people he employs are generally good at what they do and deserve the fame and attention and payment that goes along with their employment under McMahon. Life is a tricky game that everyone must play, and now I'm getting way too philosophical on this subject.

Anyway, McMahon's influence on the business is undeniable. He took his company national, spearheaded Monday Night RAW, was the promoter who sparked the first big wrestling boom of the last 30 years, rode the wave started by rival WCW and overtook them during the second one, and now has taken wrestling over-the-top with WWE Network. His contributions and the contributions of his corporation are not minimal, to say the least.

Of course, McMahon will probably outlive everyone on the planet with the exception of Keith Richards. HE seems like the kind of person who will never, ever die, for better or worse, and he'll still be rewriting RAW in 2045, when Aurora Rose Levesque is waiting for her turn at running the damn show that her parents never ever had the chance to do. I guess wrestling is stuck with the old coot.