There are lots of instances in which the kayfabe curtain is pulled back in the wrestling world and the real going ons backstage and at the homes of wrestlers comes into play in the ring and the audience is exposed to it. I do believe that Vince McMahon did something revolutionary by admitting that the business was entertainment. Basically he let the people who don't understand wrestling in, but the fans had always been in. So I think it made them feel like they were finally let in instead of having to know about it and read about it but not be acknowledged. We read about how angry the promoters were that McMahon did that and it is so funny how he would respond to later instances of breaking character and how dedicated he has been to staying in his Mr McMahon character.
I do wonder how the different instances where the illusion had to be broken or was broken unnecessarily would be like had McMahon not done this. The deaths of wrestlers like Owen Hart, Brian Pillman and Eddie Guerrero where always difficult situations and those were times when the public was let into the real lives of wrestlers. Wrestlers were allowed to were Guerrero shirts and say great things about Owen Hart even though they might have had a recent feud with them or they were opposites; Eddie a face, the person saying great things a heel, it is a different situation. There is no more suspension of disbelief, now it is real. But I wonder, what if there had been a promoter that did not treat this as entertainment but instead tried to keep the curtain down and would not acknowledge a death. I don't think that would be the case however, with the internet and all, but the way it is acknowledged would be different. Perhaps only faces would be able to say something nice at the time. I think that situations like deaths are something that the WWE has handled well.
But there are other times when backstage life has spilled over to the ring or vice versa. One of the moments that I have read much into has been the Madison Square Garden incident where Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall broke character. It was not even on TV but McMahon was angry and busted down Triple H to jobber. He did not want to recognize that this would be an emotional moment for the wrestlers and the fans who had cheered for them for years. I can understand that it might look bad but fans knew what was going on. They cheered when it happened! So why punish the wrestlers? It was not bad for business was it? I suppose it might be that the rules were not to break character and it was more about going against Vince than what it would do to the business.
I do believe that with finally admitting that it is entertainment, Vince McMahon allowed the people to become even more involved in the world of wrestling because they could cheer for their wrestler but also cheer, or boo, for the person. Does anyone remember X-pac? Case and point. In the end it ended up making superstars akin to movie stars and sports stars so it was a great business decision in the end.