Jumping from playing 'booker' with rubber wrestling figures in my old plastic ring to playing Acclaim's Wrestlemania on the Nintendo (NES), to literally jumping on my Hogan and Warrior wrestling buddies -- they had my buy in, to say the least.
As I grew into my teenage years, even with the rise of WCW and ECW, and even with a growing love for puroresu (it took forever in those days to download just one Kobashi/Misawa match, but man was it worth it) -- McMahon ultimately still had my buy in.
However, the veil slowly started to lift on the Titan Towers as time would go on...
I was hungry, and consumed everything else I could find, especially aside from McMahon's lackluster product in the early 2000s. TNA, Ring of Honor, Shimmer, Dragon Gate -- I need to eat all of it -- because I could barely stomach watching WWE anymore. As I was continuing to expose myself to more and more wrestling, I slowly knew what WWE was, and what it wasn't - and what it would likely never be. But they were THE show in town, and where everyone wanted to be, right?
Even through the 'Summer of Punk' and the bright spot of Daniel Bryan, it wasn't a complete product. In the 2010s, the WWE suffered from the same problems as they do now: start-stop storytelling, low character development, and bad writing.
But unfortunately, the grass wasn't greener on the other side of the mat. TNA started to make mistakes that they could never recover from (Hogan/Bischoff), Ring of Honor started to falter a bit, and a lot of talent across the board was leaving for other promotions, both domestic and foreign -- especially this smaller territory called 'NXT'. In fact, it was NXT who got me back into Stamford's good graces.
WWE can't be that bad, right? Look at what's going on at Full Sail! PAC, Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Sami Zayn -- and FINALLY, after what seems like centuries, women's wrestling has a place in WWE? They aren't treated like sexual objects anymore? I watched Bayley, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and others grow into fully realized professional wrestlers. This was great, right?
However, by now the veil was lifted on Titan Towers. A dark cloud followed the company, even at its most enjoyable. By now it wasn't a secret just how dark Vince McMahon and the company he carries (with or without favor) on his back truly was. Eventually, I had to make a decision on whether or not I even cared about these damn fine people working for one of the worst human beings in all of humanity.
Just 'some' of McMahon's atrocities are listed below, and there are many more where that came from...
|Abuses employees as "independent contractors"|
|Neglectfully caused Owen Hart's death|
|Killed the territories|
|The Montreal Screwjob|
|Helped cover up for alleged murderer Jimmy Snuka|
|Covered up for sexual child predators Pat Patterson and Terry Garvin|
|Continued infidelity and multiple sexual assault allegations|
|Set women's wrestling back decades through exploitation|
|Various and multiple racist gimmicks/storylines through the decades|
|Rampant steroid abuse and following scandals|
|Mishandling death of Chris Benoit|
Yes, Vince McMahon is trash.
I never want to tell anyone how to conduct their time. I can pick holes in the WWE product all day and write at length of the continuity issues, lack of creativity and long-term storytelling, and the misuse of various talents. If you enjoy the programming from McMahon on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays -- you do you.
But in short -- Vince McMahon is killing the business so as long as he takes a breath on this earth. His past demons cast a shadow over the product, and even if it were enjoyable, it would still be hard for me to stomach watching. Because as much as the talent deserves better, and should be supported -- I cannot in good faith give my time or money to Vince McMahon in any way.
So when it comes to what I write - I want it to be focused on what isn't killing the business as much as I can. I want to focus on the wonderful things happening in this industry from All Elite Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, New Japan, Shimmer/Rise, Stardom, NWA and so much more. There is a life outside of the WWE universe, and quite frankly, it's much bigger. WWE is not the be-all end-all of professional wrestling, and as AEW and Impact continue their working relationship, I hope everyone can see the wider wrestling universe and fantastic talent that exists out there that isn't under the dark cloud of Vince McMahon.
Now is the time to move on from WWE if you think you have the urge to.
You can simply watch the recaps from YouTube if anything and best save your wrestling eye for other products. You can watch most of Impact Wrestling's product for free on their Roku App, and NWA Shockwave is offered in full on YouTube. AEW Dark (while developmental) is free on YouTube, as well as New Japan | Stardom | Dragon Gate | AAA content. -- and finding TNT to best spend your Wednesdays is fairly easy -- even for free.
There is a grand wrestling world out there -- you just need to step outside every once in a while.