Hello and welcome to another edition of The Main Event. I am your host, Don Franc, back with another column that you’ll all hopefully enjoy. Long introductions aren’t really my thing, so let’s get right to…
– It would appear that Lacey Evans will be getting the first shot at Becky Lynch. As of this writing I’m not sure how I feel about this. What I am sure of is how high it seems WWE is on Evans. If that is indeed the case then it would be surprising that she’ll be losing her first major match. Although losing to Becky isn’t the end of the world. It would certainly put more eyes on Evans and of she does well in her match against Becky then that would be a good sign of things to come for her. This could also be a good thing to freshen up the Womens Division because as awesome as the Lynch/Flair feud has been, too much of it and it will become stale. Hopefully Evans can deliver as this will be the defining moment of her young career.
– According to reports, Sasha and Bayley were vocally upset about losing the WWE Womens Tag Team Championships to The Iconics. I can’t blame them for being upset after holding the belts for only two months; especially when factoring in how emotional they were after the match that crowned them inaugural champions. I, like The Boss ‘n Hug Connection, thought they would hold the belts for a lengthy period wherewith they would build the prestige of the belts. It’s imperative for new belts to have their prestige levels built up and become important, and Bayley and Banks were just the ones to do that. I just hope that the belts don’t become to damaged and that The Iconics will prove to be worthy champions.
– Recent comments from ‘Superstar’ Billy Graham has seen him throw shade at Kofi Kingston for being on the smaller side and even suggested steroids. I think these older wrestlers need to understand that times are changing and we are in an era where smaller guys are more universally accepted in WWE. Due to more focus being put on the in-ring product it would make more sense for guys who are more agile to take centre stage. By no means should Kofi allow those comments to enter his mind in any way because in this day and age it matters less and less. Hell, even Vince seemingly cares less and less each day that his champions are getting smaller and smaller. Which brings us to…
THE MAIN EVENT
In Vince McMahon’s old age it appears that he is getting soft. And at seventy-three years old and worth 3.5 billion USD it should come as no surprise. The things that are allowed to transpire in the current WWE product in recent years is surely evidence of that. Whereas before it was evident that Vinnnie Mac was ruling WWE with an iron fist it now seems that he is loosening his grip.
Perhaps it’s due to him becoming complacent considering he was at the helm of the two greatest boom periods in professional wrestling history. He defeated his arch-enemy and had a stranglehold on the professional wrestling industry ever since. From an achievement perspective, what more is there for him to do? Maybe Triple H even managed to soften him up even more with his views of how WWE should move towards the future. And little by little it looks like Vince is starting to give in.
And we should all be thankful for this.
Wrestlemania 35 proves my theory that Vince McMahon is getting soft. Eighty percent of what happened at The Grandest Stage Of Them All felt like it didn’t have Vince’s more conventional philosophy behind it. The Show Of Shows felt like WWE was starting to move into a direction that is completely out of Vince’s viewpoint. He has been stubbornly stuck in his ways for so long that it would make sense for you to believe that WWE would never change.
But yet the prospect of change was laid bare before our very own eyes and infront of the entire world.
Never in a million years would I have thought AJ Styles would defeat Randy Orton. We all know how Vince feels about wrestlers who come to WWE after making their names in other companies. Hell, not too long ago we saw HHH defeat Sting, one of WCW’s most notable stars, in a match that was for all intents and purposes WWE vs WCW: The Final Battle. That’s how ruthless Vince used to be. In fact, he buried WCW completely in the Invasion angle to prove his point that WWE was more superior than WCW ever was. So for AJ Styles to defeat Randy Orton, a born and bred WWE original from the famed class of 2002, was a bigger deal than you might care to realize.
How about Rollins becoming the WWE Universal Champion? Certainly Rollins is not what Vince would immediately go for when looking at championship material, but yet Rollins is carrying the belt. Granted, Reigns would have likely been in the Universal Championship match at Wrestlemania if not for his cancer returning, but my point still stands. Rollins is definitely the most worthy of the RAW superstars to carry the belt, but if you think Vince doesn’t dream of big, muscular wrestlers holding his top belts then you’re naive. Vince is clearly getting soft.
Let’s not forget about Kofi Kingston becoming WWE Champion. Yes, he got super over out of the blue and it can be argued that Vince didn’t have a choice because of that but it was still the CEO’s choice to put the belt on Kofi. How many African-American champions has there been over the years? The Rock? Classified as Samoan. Booker T? Respected for his years in the business. Mark Henry? Rewarded for his loyalty. The point that I’m trying to make is that Vince does not have a good track record for having black World Champions but yet we have one showing up every Tuesday. Yeah, Vince is getting softer than butter being too long in the sun.
And the icing on the cake has to be none other than Vince McMahon allowing three women to main event his greatest creation. The same guy who used to use the women as piss breaks for the audience before a main event. The same guy who forced Trish Stratus to strip on live television. The same guy who enjoyed bra and panties matches, mud wrestling, evening gown matches and bikini contests. Yes, THAT guy. He actually allowed women who he has been degrading on his wrestling shows for years and years to main event his biggest money maker. If that doesn’t show how soft he has become then I don’t know what will.
I will admit that each of the above-mentioned moments at Wrestlemania had mitigating factors as to why they should have occurred. But couple that with the increasingly smaller wrestlers getting the spotlight and that should prove my argument in it’s entirety. Shit, not even a big man who is actually over – Braun Strowman – can get love from this soft-as-a-feather Vince McMahon.
Could it be that Vince is finally realizing that his methods are outdated? That could very well be the case. He more than likely will never admit it but deep down inside he will know it to be true. With the help of a fantastic team back in the glory days he was able to take the wrestling world by storm but at this present moment those ideologies do not translate well in the current wrestling climate. Therefore it could be said that Vince gave HHH more freedom in creative as he is more in touch with the current wrestling landscape that what Vince McMahon is.
And with the arrival of Shane-O-Mac, who seemingly has his passion for wrestling reignited, things have most certainly gone down for the betterment of the overall WWE product. Maybe Vince is finally realizing that he needs to step down sooner rather than later and he feels comfortable leaving his legacy in the hands of Shane, Stephanie and Triple H. That would also explain why he would allow himself to become soft in the first place.
One could even argue that Vince McMahon lost his passion for wrestling which is why alot of what WWE does is business orientated. Whatever the cause of his ongoing softness is, nobody can deny that in the long run it will be great for all WWE fans. Because without Vince’s vice-grip over the WWE – and without Vince holding all the wrong people down – WWE will be allowed to grow in the right direction. And once Vince McMahon’s mentality has been wholly abolished, WWE will truly be able to get that greatness factor back.
Word Life Appreciation
One of the most memorable moments at Wrestlemaina 35 for me has to be Cena returning as the Dr. of Thuganomics to interrupt Elias. That return brought back some fantastic memories and it was a nostalgia injection of the amazing variety. Like most of us, we all loved John Cena during his rapper gimmick days. He created an abundance of memories and two of my favourite feuds came from Cena’s time as the Dr. of Thuganomics (against Undertaker and Kurt Angle in 2003).
So suffice to say I was over the moon when Cena came out in full Dr. of Thuganomics mode. However, apparently there were those who did not share my enthusiasm and for the life of me I cannot understand why. Look, I understand that the gimmick is thirteen years old but Cena going way back reminded me of how great the gimmick was back then. It also reminded me why I became a fan of John Cena in the first place. I get that it came off as a little cheesy, but that was the type of cheese that I enjoy.
Some have even been saying that Cena looked uncomfortable doing it. I could understand why he might feel that way but I didn’t feel like he was uncomfortable at all. In fact, he appeared to be in his comfort zone. He delivered his rap with conviction and stayed true to what that persona was to the point that he even remembered to pump up his sneakers like he used to. All I’m saying his that when good nostalgia comes along – and we know WWE don’t do well with nostalgia – we should sit back and enjoy it.
And that does it for this edition of The Main Event. Do you think Vince McMahon has gone soft? Please let me know in the comments section below. Any and all feedback is always much appreciated. You can also hit me up on Twitter @donfranclop or pop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. But until next time…
This is Don Franc signing out.