If you read wrestling blogs on the Internet, you're well aware that Triple H is a freeloader who simply married the boss's daughter to make himself champion.
Likewise, you would also know that the Kliq ran roughshod in the '90s over guys with talent, simply because it had the boss's ear.
Guys like Hulk Hogan and John Cena do absolutely nothing for the business, but Vince McMahon puts them at the top because they were and are his friends.
I can also show you blogs that insist that 9/11 was a government conspiracy, and that the best way of giving birth is in ocean waters with the assistance of dolphins. They would have about as much validity as those wrestling "truths".
Wrestling bloggers fail to realize two crucial points.
1. Vince McMahon Is, First and Foremost, a Businessman
If you're not familiar with the history of wrestling prior to the rise of the WWF in the 1980s, let me provide you with some background. Rather than one national promotion like the current WWE, you had several regional promotions (territories).
It was considered an unwritten law that you would not take your promotion into another territory. You had your good promoters, and your bad promoters. Your good promoters (like Vince McMahon Sr.) promoted good business ethics.
Your bad promoters were unsavory characters who would knife you if they thought you were about to cut into their territory.
In that climate, Vince McMahon bought out his father when his father got ready to sell the promotion, and proceeded to start building a national promotion, buying out his competitors left and right.
He bought other promotions, and continued to expand. He took a marginally decent promotion and turned it into a billion-dollar phenomenon that is recognized around the world. He did so in the face of potential bankruptcy, death threats, and the U.S. government seeking to shut him down on several occasions.
In short, he clawed his way to the top against every single imaginable obstacle put in his path.
Do you honestly think that he's going to let his business go to hell because one of the wrestlers is whispering sweet nothings into the ear of his daughter?
As a matter of fact, Vince, HHH, and family members addressed those concerns on the McMahon DVD. They were concerned about the appearance of impropriety as well.
In fact, HHH dating and marrying the boss's daughter was a potentially horrible career move on the part of HHH.
What if they were to break up? Would there be any animosity that would negatively impact business? And, if they were meant for each other, what would everyone say about HHH?
The fact of the matter is that many people who comment on their marriage, and on nepotism in general, usually have never been in such a situation.
While there are some notable examples of nepotism getting someone to a place they didn't deserve—Jeff Jarrett comes to mind—having a relative or friend in a position to influence your career usually is a hindrance, specifically because relatives have to be harder on you so that they don't appear to favor you.
Like I said before, Vince McMahon is a ruthless businessman. I can't doubt for a second that he wouldn't hesitate to show HHH the door if HHH didn't deserve his spot.
To put a finish on point No. 1, you have several well-known wrestlers and backstage personnel—Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Lance Storm, Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, etc.—who talk about HHH being in charge one day. They all endorse the idea, since they say HHH has one of the best minds for the business.
On the other side, you have Scott Steiner, B.G. James, Billy Gunn, and Internet bloggers—folks who have never drawn a dime and have about as much wrestling ability as myself. Case closed.
2. Backstage Politicians Are a Detriment to the Business, and Wrestling Ability Should Prevail Over Everything Else
On the Heartbreak & Triumph DVD, there is a good moment when Shawn Michaels talks about his early days.
In those days—and I would also assume today—Vince McMahon had a makeshift office in the day's arena, and if you needed something, you waited in line.
Usually, you never got a shot, because the stars of the company like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, etc., were notorious for ignoring the line and walking right inside.
One day, Michaels decided to do the same thing. When he went in, he asked McMahon what he needed to do to become a big star. He felt he was giving it his all but wasn't going anywhere.
He said (paraphrasing), "Anything I need to do, I'll do it. Just tell me what I need to do."
McMahon's response? "You just did it."
Vince is a guy who's drawn to guys with a passion for the business, and with the sack to see what they want and go after it no matter what the consequences.
Let me give you an example. Let's say you're running a business, and you have a top-notch promotion and premium clientele who are looking to use your business. You have to choose between two employees.
The first employee is a salesman who sits there every day, goes out and does his best, but never tries to help the business by giving ideas or imparting to you the passion he has for your business.
The second employee is a salesman who is eager, always has ideas on things the business can do to grow and bring in new customers, and shows you his passion through his words and deeds.
Which guy would you promote? I don't know about you, but I'm going to give the promotion to the second guy.
One of the reasons the Kliq was so big was because they were guys with a 24/7 passion for the business, and Vince saw it.
The four or five of them (Vince excluded) rode up and down the roads together. They flew together, they were always talking about the business, and they didn't hesitate to approach Vince with ideas, and Vince liked that.
Jericho's current—and most successful—character was his own doing, and simply having the balls to propose it to Vince.
When WWF hired Mick Foley, they originally wanted him to be Mason the Mutilator. Foley had the sack to propose his own ideas, thus turning the character into Mankind.
The Stone Cold character was a result of Steve Austin watching an HBO documentary on a serial killer and coming up with a "cold-hearted bastard" outlook on life. He proposed it to McMahon and the creative team, and the rest is history.
Many of the most successful gimmicks or lines were simply a wrestler who took the meager scraps from the creative team and ran with them.
While I think the creative team and WWE management might have a serious dislike for some of the wrestlers, they are usually willing to give anyone a shot, so long as they prove that they're serious, that they're good, and that they don't need to be held by the hand in order to be successful.
McMahon isn't going to put someone in there that can't draw money. As much as some of us "wrestling purists" would love to watch nothing but five-star classics, the fact of the matter is that WWE, like every other promotion, is a business. And the first rule of business is to make as much money as possible.
Whether you like it or not, John Cena draws money and crowds. Hulk Hogan drew money and crowds. HHH draws money and crowds. They are in those spots because they are the people the audience wants to see.
If there are no people paying no money, there will be no show, which then means no Kofi Kingston, or CM Punk, or Randy Orton, or any one of a number of other superstars who I consider to be great enough to make me willing to tolerate John Cena, thus proving that "backstage politicians" serve a purpose as well.
At the end of the day, it's McMahon's call, and it's McMahon's business. He's not going to put a jobber into a permanent main event slot simply because he knows a friend.
But, McMahon might be willing to give that jobber a shot at proving that he is more than just a jobber. The jobber simply has to be willing to go out on a limb and take a chance, and be willing to possibly fail in order to prove he can succeed.
Wrestling bloggers need to calm down. McMahon isn't always right, but he is right far more often than he is wrong.
Step back, calm thyself, and take a rational look at the situation. Then, if that fails, realize that you're sitting in your boxers writing words for an audience that is, at best, 1/1000th the size of Raw's viewership, and that McMahon will be swimming tonight in a pool of self-earned $100 bills, a la Scrooge McDuck.
I think Vince has everything under control.
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