Vince McMahon may have ruled over WWE since 1982, but with the catastrophic drop in stock value and questions being raised about his leadership by Lemelson Capital Management, Vince McMahon's position atop his kingdom seems as perilous as it has ever been. Ordinarily, this would have been a great week of celebration for McMahon and WWE with the increase in television rights fees, especially when ratings aren't spectacular, but WWE promised something they didn't deliver - that they would at least double their rights fees. Their brash arrogance has come back to haunt them as they set expectations to a ridiculous standard and now look incompetent - and it has to go on Vince and George Barrios.
The product, though improving, is still not great and the stagnant ratings reflect that. Creative has been flat, and WrestleMania aside, the direction has been confused, often illogical and so short-term in its vision. Vince McMahon is a creative genius and has survived for thirty plus years in the wrestling business because so, but I don't think anybody would deny that Vince seems very out of touch with what his audience wants from Raw. Until the support got deafening and was actively ruining shows, they weren't going to pull the trigger on Daniel Bryan, even though it was the most obvious thing to do (that I can remember) in a long time. CM Punk walked out and many talents are rumoured to be unhappy. The PPV bonuses are gone and replaced with exactly nothing at this time, and likely won't be in the foreseeable future, meaning there appears to be disarray in many corners of WWE.
The WWE Network, as of right now, has been a failure. Hopefully it improves in the future, but it just hasn't attracted the amount of subscribers anybody thought it would, and that's with the ludicrously low price too. The network appeals to die hard fans, and how many of that kind are there any more? Not enough appears to be the answer. WWE's future is invested in the network, so it simply cannot fail. Vince McMahon has to answer to every single stockholder in his company, and that's where he has been at fault. His estimates were wrong on the network and wrong on the TV deal, so something has gone badly amiss, maybe he's not cut out for Wall Street?
I can never envision a WWE that isn't being lead by Vince McMahon, but that is something that's going to happen, whether through death or sale. Vince will never sell, but something's up and nobody can afford that kind of hit without realising they screwed up somewhere. Vince is 68 years old and still travels on the road non-stop and that has to take its toll mentally and physically. I don't want WWE to be struggling, it's the last thing in the world professional wrestling needs, but later today WWE are holding a conference call for its investors and that is a test Vince has to pass with A grades because right now there are as many questions and doubts about McMahon since the steroid trial of '92, but trial by Wall Street could be far more damaging than trial by court.
Sam has been a fan of WWE ever since the first time he saw The Rock land The People's Elbow. He has a nostalgic fondness of ECW and regards Shawn Michaels as the greatest wrestler ever. Follow him on Twitter.
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