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.