Guest Author - Vance Rowe
Vincent Kennedy McMahon ruined wrestling. Vincent Kennedy McMahon is a fink. Vincent Kennedy McMahon is a genius. Everyone has either heard these statements or made these statements about the head of the WWE. Vince McMahon is loved by some and hated by most. Hate him or love him and I do, you have to at least respect him for the business prowess that he has. He almost single-handedly brought a small regional wrestling company and turned it into a virtual printing press for money. In 1980, he and his wife Linda incorporated their fledgling company of Titan Sports and two years later used that company to buy the WWF from his father. He also eventually bought all of the partners out, including, the famed Gorilla Monsoon. Vince promised him lifetime employment with the company in some aspect and he stayed true to his word. Gorilla stayed with the company until his death. Vince’s father died in 1984 and this gave Vince complete control of the WWF.
Vincent Kennedy McMahon used this control to break away from the NWA and set the company running on a juggernaut that is still going today. A lot of people, me included, have always said that it was Hulk Hogan who put wrestling on the map today, and in a way, he did. However, it was Vince McMahon that gave him the opportunity. Vince McMahon gave Hogan the stage to perform his art on and within a couple of weeks of his entering the company; Vince gave Hogan the World title. Vince also brought people like Cyndi Lauper and Alice Cooper in to use them in some matches and this really started what was to be known as “The Rock and Wrestling Connection”. Vince even teamed up with MTV and had a series of matches shown on there. Matches like: “The War to Settle the Score” and “The Brawl to Settle it All”.
Vincent Kennedy McMahon followed this up with the first ever WrestleMania that featured the likes of Liberace, Mr. T, the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes and a host of other celebrities and fanfare. It truly was a spectacle like no other. Vince McMahon was then being dubbed as the PT Barnum of his day and he surely lived up to that. Vince’s WWF had a “circus-y”, “cartoon-y” feel to it that a lot of people liked but that many people criticized the product as well. Of course, Vince didn’t have an easy time bringing the company to where it is today though. He has been involved in setbacks, legal troubles and plenty of controversy. Ted Turner, media mogul purchased the NWA territory in Georgia and renamed it World Championship Wrestling and it pretty soon; they would give the WWE a run for its money. That is until it went nearly broke and Vince McMahon generously bought it up and then purchased Paul E. Dangerously’s company of Extreme Championship Wrestling.
Vincent Kennedy McMahon virtually monopolized all of wrestling in North America. I was sure professional wrestling as we knew it, was over. Wrestlers, who did not like Vince or just did not want to work for him, left the company with no place to go. However, that slowly began to change when companies like Ring of Honor and TNA began appearing; giving wrestling fans some more hope. They are both growing and if they keep growing like they are, well, Mr. McMahon had better watch out. Of course, being a billionaire, I think he has little to worry about in the grand scheme of things.