WWE, Vince McMahon have fans living in ‘Ready to Rumble’
‘Ready to Rumble’ is a ridiculous relic of WCW, but also holds the most apt comparison for WWE and Vince McMahon in 2017
There are many terrible movies in the annuls of history. Contemporarily, you have Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad to point to in this regard. However, long-time wrestling fans who recall the Monday Night Wars will most certainly direct your attention to the unforgivable Ready to Rumble. Even since WWE thwarted WCW, the homage to wrestling starring David Arquette lives in infamy.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, the quick synopsis goes like this. Two die-hard wrestling fans watch their favorite wrestler essentially get pushed out of WCW by the evil booker, Sinclair. They then go on a crusade to save their favorite wrestler and end Sinclair’s reign of tyranny.
Frankly, the entire plot of Ready to Rumble isn’t all that important. What stands out is one scene following the climax of the abhorrent film. After Arquette’s character’s favorite wrestler wins the heavyweight championship, Sinclair is ringside and is beside himself with anger. The fans are—shocked gasp—happy that the guy he hand-picked didn’t win. That brings about the following dialogue:
- Sinclair: I made wrestling! Me!
- Arquette (after axe-handle): You didn’t make wrestling, (gestures to fans) we made wrestling!
- Scott Caan: Yeah, geek. The people, the fans made wrestling
Man, that must be a hard world to live in as a wrestling fan when the promoter and booker has an attitude like that—oh, wait.
By some unfortunate occurrence, WWE fans have ended up in the real-life version of a promotion being run by Sinclair. Only it’s actually WWE and it’s Vince McMahon that are yelling “I made wrestling!” I, of course, am referring to his handling of Roman Reigns.
This deserves prefacing with the fact that I’m not as down on Reigns as an in-ring performer as many pretend to be. There are numerous matches involving Reigns that I’ve enjoyed thoroughly. In fact, it’s not out of the question to say that, if given the proper character and the right amount of time away from the ring, I think Reigns could be a star in WWE. The problem arises in the fact that fans are continually force-fed despite vigorously shaking their heads no. Vince McMahon is the frustrated mother feeding her child (the fans) mashed peas (Roman Reigns).
When Reigns’ music hit to come out at No. 30 for the 2017 Royal Rumble match, it was a punch in the stomach to any fan. Granted, any superstar walking through those curtains that wasn’t Kurt Angle or Finn Balor was going to receive a negative-ish reaction. However, Reigns was the worst possible choice to send out in that moment.
Regardless of any backstage push or anything of the sort, what WWE has to recognize is the fact that fans do not want to see any more of Reigns being given opportunities. So for Vince McMahon and the creative team to think it wise to send him out in that position after he already lost a title match earlier in the night is simply preposterous.
But it all circles back to the Ready to Rumble comparison.
McMahon is so stubborn and misguided in his attempts with Reigns that it’s clear he believes that he makes the stars. While that may have been true with Hulk Hogan decades ago, it’s not the case in the modern era. Think about the biggest stars in recent memories, your Daniel Bryans of the world. The fans made that happen organically because they found a guy to get behind and supported him.
Yet the WWE machine persists and keeps pushing Reigns down the throats of fans to the point that even supporters of him as a talent can’t support what the company is doing with him. It’s gross mismanagement of talent in egregious ways. They’re taking a talented professional wrestler and making him a pariah either out of blindness or stubbornness. In either case, it’s unfair to both fans and to Reigns himself.
Unfortunately, this isn’t Hollywood either. David Arquette and Scott Caan aren’t walking through that door with the WWE equivalent of Jimmy the King and saving the day and the promotion from our modern-day version of Sinclair.
What’s worse, though, is I’m not entirely sure what can be done to remedy the issue at hand. McMahon has the final say on everything that happens with the company. If someone breaks wind in his general area and he doesn’t like the flavor, he could fire them on the spot. It’s a dictatorship within WWE with subjects beneath him masquerading as if they have some semblance of power when we all know they don’t.
Maybe one day this version of Ready to Rumble that we’re living in will subside and we’ll all be free from the McMahon reign—pun intended. For now, though, don’t expect the relentless push of Reigns to stop. Vince McMahon made wrestling, according to Vince McMahon.
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