Tuesday, October 7, 2014

          I found the discussion of Vincent's early life in Sex, Lies, and Headlocks to be very fascinating and eye-opening. And also really kind of heartbreaking. He spent his childhood in a small town in North Carolina with his mom and an abusive step father while his biological father, Vincent James McMahon, was in Washington running Capitol Wrestling. Eventually, his wife Juanita convinced him to go meet his boys. Vinnie says he immediately fell in love. (When your dad has a flashy, stylish life, how could you not?) In that moment, I actually pitied poor Vince. His father didn't genuinely seem to care about him or his brother, but he was so ecstatic to have such a cool dad. Someone he could look up to that wasn't trying to beat him. Someone who was making something of himself. It did appear, however, that his father started paying attention once Vince started becoming obsessed with the wrestling business. It was in his blood, after all.
         What really struck me was that Vincent actually asked his son if he wanted to buy the company once he was ready to retire. I had always assumed that is was just a family business that was passed from one generation to the next. (Look at those McMahons, always trying to make a buck.) It had never previously occurred to me (before this class) that Vince actually bought the company. Is he going to make Stephanie pay for full rights before he dies, I wonder? (Might as well keep the tradition going. Haha.) Regardless of how he acquired the company, he did really great things with it. He definitely tripped up a few times along the way, but he's a man that knows how to make money. I feel as if Verne Gagne didn't make it because, while he may have been a good businessman, he didn't seem to care about giving the audience what they wanted. He wanted to keep Backlund the champ instead of passing it on to Hogan. That's why he left; that's why people stopped wanting to watch. He wanted the show to go his way or no way. And Vince knows how to entertain people; he may not give the people what they want right away, but he knows how to work them. He knows how to always keep them coming back for more. And this same trait is one I believe Stephanie also inherited. The McMahon's are a devious, but brilliant bunch.

5 comments:

Timothy S. Rich said...

Vince Jr. made a lot of enemies of dad's old territory promoter buddies. I've often wondered that if Jr. had been groomed by dad if he would have been content just running wrestling in the Northeast. Similarly, if Jr. had been more vocal about his national (now global!) ambitions, I suspect dad wouldn't have been as willing to sell to him. Verne Gagne and some of the other old guard also may have taken the threat more seriously.

Gary said...

Personally, I don't think Jr. would have been content just in the Northeast, I just think he always had plans of grandeur.

Also, IMO, I think Verne was just too set in his old-school ways to have taken McMahon more seriously. Verne did a tremendous promotional marketing effort in the 128 areas with his local TV spots, but could never envision the steamroller of McMahon. Like all the other promoters, no one would ever see this coming, especially with McMahon working leverage behind the scenes giving cable companies ultimatums.

Sam Ford said...

I think it's interesting that Vince Sr. not only made Vince Jr. buy the promotion but also that Vince Jr. had that deal in place that, if he missed one payment, he'd lose what he paid thus far. That's far more cutthroat than just selling the territory to his son. You can see it painted as Vince Jr. not being a promoter of tradition, then, since he wasn't raised by his father for a good portion of the time and he wasn't just handed the business. On the other hand, he had great respect for many of the old-time acts of his father. Fred Blassie made appearances with WWE for many years after. Guys like Gorilla Monsoon and Pat Patterson were instrumental parts of the business, even as carryovers from his father's era. Vince employed scores of the old WWE guys over the years as his road agents. Etc. So I don't think it's fair when I see people say that Vince Jr. doesn't respect or care about wrestling tradition, either. It's much more complicated than that...

Melissa Smith said...

Where did that money go after Vinnie bought the company? How much of it did Vince Sr. himself actually get? What happened to that money after Vincent died? Was little Vinnie in his father's will? Do you think he got some of his money back? If he thought he was a part of Vincent's will, Vinnie could have viewed the purchasing of the company as an investment of sorts. He would jsut be freezing those assets for a few years until Pop kicked the bucket. I kind of doubt that Vince Jr. would have gotten a whole lot from Dear Ol' Dad (based on their relationship as portrayed in Sex, Lies, and Headlocks, as well as the turn that Vince led the business down before Vincent's death), but I do think that Steph might get some of her investment back if Vince did make her and HHH buy the promotion. It seems like their relationship is a bit closer than Vince's was with his dad. It's an interesting thought.

Sam Ford said...

I assume that the money stayed with Vince Sr.'s wife, Juanita, who I believe Vince Jr. had a good relationship with. She died many years later. But, to be fair to Vince Sr., part of the payoff also had to do with Vince Sr.'s partners, as he didn't own the business outright and had partners who owned a piece of the WWWF as well...