If there’s one storyline you can bet on seeing just about every year in the WWE, it’s some sort of power struggle involving the McMahon family.
Since the days of the Attitude Era, the WWE’s most powerful family has had an on-and-off battle over control of the company. Some of those battles were fought within the family. Others involved the family battling other people within the company.
Regardless, the McMahons have long been the common denominator, putting themselves front and center in some of the WWE’s biggest angles as they jostled over control of the pro wrestling empire.
Unsurprisingly, the McMahons are back at it again in 2013.
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, his daughter Stephanie and her husband, WWE COO Triple H, now find themselves in yet another power struggle—only two years after Vince and HHH did the exact same thing in 2011.
Of course, the latest version of the McMahon power struggle doesn’t seem much different from any of the previous ones. Although some of the specifics have changed, the basic concept is exactly the same as it always is.
Vince, Triple H and Stephanie now want to run Raw and the WWE as a team, but they have significantly different ideas of how that should be done. As a result, they’re going behind each others’ backs to try to run Raw the way that they want it to be run.
Once again, this is a McMahon storyline that doesn’t feel useful like it should. Instead, it feels like a monumental waste of time.
Maybe that wouldn’t be true if this angle were taking place 10 or 15 years ago. Perhaps more importantly, maybe this storyline would be beneficial to the WWE if it, you know, actually focused on the Superstars rather than the McMahons.
Really, that’s what pro wrestling should be all about—the Superstars, spotlighting those Superstars and making the fans want to pay to see them.
But this latest McMahon power struggle isn’t doing any of those things so far and, in all likelihood, won’t do so down the road either.
Just take this into consideration: Vince McMahon is 67, Stephanie McMahon is 36 and Triple H is 43.
Another thing to consider is that not a single one of them is a full-time wrestler these days, and Stephanie and Vince never have been.
Naturally, that begs a question: What is the point in pushing a major storyline revolving around these three if not a single one of them is a full-time Superstar?
Pushing non-wrestlers as one of the biggest aspects of WWE's TV programming is a completely backward philosophy. After all, this is professional wrestling.
While the WWE certainly needs to create compelling drama to keep the audience watching, nothing about the McMahon family power struggle is compelling, at least not yet. Perhaps more importantly, though, it doesn’t put the focus on what is truly at the core of the WWE, which is actual wrestling.
A wrestling company that puts most of its focus on someone who can no longer wrestle at all (or who can barely wrestle anymore) is a company that goes nowhere. Just look at TNA and the spotlight-hogging Hulk Hogan.
Hogan has been at the forefront of many of TNA’s major storylines for more than a year now. Not coincidentally, TNA Impact recently had its lowest rating in three years, and the show’s ratings have consistently dropped below the 1.0 threshold.
No, the WWE isn’t in TNA territory with its ratings, and it won’t be anytime soon. But what the WWE should learn from TNA is that on-air authority figures don’t draw ratings and pay-per-view buys. Wrestlers do.
The McMahon family power struggle was a huge part of the WWE’s success a decade ago. But the “we all want control of our company” act is wearing thin, especially when it’s benefiting no one but the McMahons.
Vince, Stephanie and Triple H are the ones in the limelight these days, and for what? To lead to a HHH/Vince match? To give HHH another win? To have Stephanie wrestle?
If, and only if, the McMahons' current battle ends up involving up-and-coming Superstars, it will be worth it. That way, it could perhaps serve as a means to elevate a rising star to the top of the card.
If not, this is nothing more than a meaningless storyline that will boost the McMahons’ egos by getting them on TV but ultimately will have no beneficial payoff for anyone else.
The McMahons can fight over control of the WWE all they want. Just keep it off our TV screens.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!
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