Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bulldog O’Shea vs. Vinnie McMahon



As I read into more chapters of Sex, Lies, and Headlocks I could not help but wonder at this new death match between Vinnie McMahon and assistant U.S. attorney, Sean O’Shea. Vinnie was already wounded and suffering injury at a diminished gate attendance, and affiliate loss. This is the perfect wrestling scenario except it was a shoot—no one knew the outcome. O’Shea charged McMahon with conspiracy and distribution for selling illegal steroids and delivering them to Hulk Hogan and others.  

I mean this episode in McMahon and WWF’s history has all the markings of a great match. According to De Garis, author of the article "The Logic of Professional Wrestling, " in Steel Chair To The Head, we see suffering, defeat and victory, the text performances of the witnesses, the believability that O’Shea thinks of his case, and the continued outward confidence of McMahon and his legal team trying to get a “miracle moment.” We see the logic of the legal wrestling as O’Shea cannot explain the purpose or meaning of McMahon’s actions satisfactorily to the jury, and lastly, we see the storytelling of both legal sides where we have a building up of dramatic tension and final release where the stronger wrestler will win.

In the end, we see the performance process work of the legal process in the words of Jimmy Snuka, “Go out, get your heel heat, one big baby-face comeback and go home.” McMahon’s attorney was able to get the distribution counts dismissed due to a lack of evidence, so the first fall went to McMahon. The second fall would also be done without a script and again it was a shoot. No one could have predicted a better match, as the outcome lasted into the night and following day. As the tension built up again with the conflict, crisis, and now the resolution—not guilty. The epitaph of the match reads McMahon defeats Bulldog O’Shea in two out of two falls.

3 comments:

Marshall Metcalf said...

I can't help but to wonder what would have been the consequences if McMahon had lost. The whole WWE could be non-existent today. This is the same for most of the stunts that McMahon pulled. If any of them had gone wrong, the results could have been drastic. Maybe there would still be different federations across the states.

Gary said...

Yah, another one of those "what-ifs." I found it interesting that the book mentioned McMahon was already making arrangements for an internal successor to him who would take his orders from prison and carry them out so that his business would survive; but who knows how that would have turned out.

Sam Ford said...

Wrestling is certainly full of what-ifs all along the way. Ole would say, "What if he had gotten on that clause in his contract a year early and had kept Vince from putting Georgia Championship Wrestling out of business?" Verne would say, "What if I had gotten contracts in place earlier so that Vince couldn't take away my talent?" Ted Turner would say, "What if I had paid closer attention to what happened to my money?" Vince has had a lot of luck on his side, to be sure, but he's also had the aptitude to capitalize on that luck...