Thoughts on Vince McMahon pretty much being back in full control of WWE for now

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Planet Kayfabe: McMahon, Rhodes and the future
By: Paul Matthews
Go Bruins.

Hello everyone and thanks for reading Planet Kayfabe. It is a warm, sunny morning in the Ocean State, Metallica has a new album out, life is good and with us being almost two weeks removed from Wrestlemania, that terrible Raw after, and WWE’s sale/merger thing with Endeavor I have a lot to get into. Here I will discuss my thoughts on Vince McMahon pretty much being back in full control of WWE for now, despite what their PR team and Triple H is saying on TV and Cody Rhodes’ future. It’s not all good, but it’s not all bad either and if you’re a long-time reader, you know I offer solutions, not just bitch about everything wrong with wrestling today.

Let’s get started with Vince McMahon.

We can all laugh at his current appearance and yes, he does look ridiculous with his black hair, thin black mustache, and black eyebrows over his soft, wrinkly face that looks like a rotting pumpkin, but I find it strange of fans and wrestlers alike just accept that he’s back. Sure, no one is really happy about it. There were reports of backstage morale with the talent being low again with Vince backstage and I believe it. However, is anyone speaking up? Is anyone saying it’s wrong that not only is Vince McMahon back with the company but he is also involved with creative again? No. No one is. Why?

Let me remind you as to why Vince had to do that mock retirement to begin with:

Sexual misconduct.

Allegations of rape.

Workplace sexual harassment or inappropriate sexual behavior.

Using his position in power as coersion for sex and in turn using that power to punish for refusal of sex.

Spending at least 20 million dollars in company money and getting NDA’s out the ass just to cover it up.

Interestingly enough at the same time, while this merger is announced, I’m reading the Providence Journal covering one of the biggest stories in the country right now. Former President Donald Trump was arrested in Manhattan over hush-money allegations that were to cover up his extra-marital affairs while campaigning. Now, let’s forget about the undeniable fact that this is probably something a large percentage of male politicians have done from city mayors to senators to governors all the way up to presidential hopefuls and just focus on the fact that a former leader of this country was arrested, booked and took a mug shot over hush money to cover up his sex life outside his marriage.

Now, how is that any different from Vince McMahon, I mean, fuck, I’ll go one further and say Vince’s allegations were even worse and more extensive, and while I’m sure many wrestlers have an opinion on what is happening with Trump it’s unfortunate that none of them in WWE or outside will take a stand and say Vince doesn’t belong heading creative or leading WWE in any form. The dude belongs in jail. There was a reason so few wrestlers buried Vince when he “retired” because they knew there was a chance something like this could happen and it did. He’s back and you’re not getting rid of him and you watching at home and everyone working for WWE is just going to have to deal with it. After spending all that hush money, Vince made it all back in spades with one deal — the deal that worked best for him and kept him in control.

Personal life aside, unless you think Vince is as sharp today as he was in 1985 or even 1997 or even 2005 and you also see nothing wrong with his sexual exploits in which he used his position of power to obtain then I guess I have no argument for you and there’s nothing that will change your mind. With an outlook like that, then you can spend good company with the likes of Kevin Dunn and Bruce Prichard because it seems like Vince’s own family doesn’t want to deal with him anymore and WWE fans shouldn’t have to either. Now we have to hear this asshole talk to reporters on CNBC saying things like “I’ve made mistakes and I’ve been accountable for them”. Has he? When has he once taken responsibility for his actions? All he had done is deny them and use his wealth to cover it up. He’s getting off like nothing ever happened and coming out the other end with more money and power than he had when he “retired”. That’s bullshit and if you think that’s ok, then I hope you aren’t married or related to one of the women who had to brush aside Vince McMahon’s jet-black dyed pubes before polishing his nob with their own livelihood hanging over their head as well.

Cody Rhodes’ situation in WWE

When Cody lost, I was a bit pissed and no, not in a  “oh the heel is such a meanie maybe NEXT TIME he’ll get his!” sort of way. I was pissed because I had that same feeling I had after Wrestlemania 17. That I just watched a great show but it felt like the program jumped the shark. They lost the story. They missed their peak. The magic is gone.

Last year in the NoDQ year-end awards I chose WWE as my promotion of the year and I thought it was well deserved. WWE had its best year in terms of shows and story-telling in a long time. Certainly longer than a decade. Maybe even 15 years! We went into this year’s Wrestlemania with multiple red-hot angles. Sami Zayn and the Bloodline, plus Zayn’s reunion with Kevin Owens made for great television. Rey Mysterio and Dominik was not just Dom’s biggest match yet but also one of Rey’s biggest matches in years. Topped off, we had Cody Rhodes finishing the story. A good tagline. Getting the job done. It’s all building to this. Roman Reigns’ 900+ day run as world champion on the line. Cody comes out to a massive ovation, fireworks, and fanfare.

And he loses.

What? Yeah. Wrestlemania ended with the once-ejected Solo Sikoa sticking his thumb in Cody’s throat and then getting pinned by Roman Reigns to end what was otherwise a great match. So, now the story must continue… but why?

I see some fans try to defend this, but to me, they just sound like Homer Simpson when his roasted pig is wheeling through town. “It’s just a little wet! It’s still good! It’s still good! It’s just a little slimy! It’s still good! It’s still good! It’s just a little dirty! It’s still good! It’s still good!”

It’s gone.

Face it. WWE missed their mark. Wrestlemania is the time to crown Cody Rhodes. Wrestlemania is not the time to add more heat on a heel who has been holding the belts for 3 years. Allow me to shoot down some bullshit I’ve heard since Cody’s loss.

“It means more if Cody beats Roman at WM40 or after he holds it for 1,000 days”

Well, I am sorry to say that unlike you I am not a mark for round numbers. If the plan was for Cody to win at 40 then he never should have had this match at 39. He could have been screwed out of the Royal Rumble by, say Brock Lesnar, and doing the Brock match then instead of now. Instead, Cody won the Rumble and despite Sami Zayn being red hot and losing in his hometown of Montreal, the fans still accepted Cody as the worthy successor to Roman Reigns instead, the WWE just over-thought it and over-booked it instead of just doing the simple and right move.

The match isn’t going to mean more by waiting long. The moment was Wrestlemania 39 and now that moment is gone. What’s the big deal if Roman holds the belt for 1,000 days? Its just more days. It’s nowhere close to the record. Why wait until Wrestlemania 40? A whole year? Just to sit on this story and hope and pray that it is anywhere close to as hot as it was at 39? I see some saying do it at Summerslam. Well, in that case, why not at Wrestlemania?

These people are missing the point. The point isn’t “Oh, Cody will win it eventually, just relax” Yeah, no shit. Cody could win it tonight on Smackdown. He could win it at a house show. He could win it in Saudi Arabia. That’s not the point. The point is timing. Timing is what would have made Cody’s victory at Wrestlemania 39 an amazing moment and cap off what would have been one of the greatest Wrestlemania’s ever, but that moment is gone. All it is is dust in the wind now.

Now they’re doing this run with Lesnar and I can’t find myself to care. Cody sure tried with a passionate promo but I just have this feeling like everything I watch Cody do now until his rematch with Roman Reigns is just a waste of time. I hear people say “Cody needs to face more adversity” — like he hasn’t already? Like spending 10 years in WWE’s mid-card purgatory only to leave, bet on himself, draw over 10,000 fans at the first All-In and later go on to start AEW and then leave, return, beat Seth Rollins, tear his pec, wrestle one of the best matches of his life with a torn pec and return to win the Rumble match. You’re telling me that guy hasn’t done enough to become a top babyface world champion? LOL Dude… Okay.

I can only imagine if one of these idiot fans were booking WWE in 1998 and said “ya know this Steve Austin guy has only been here for 2 years and hasn’t really struggled yet, so we should have him get screwed at Wrestlemania and maybe fans will be even more excited to watch him win”. See what I mean? Timing, people. You have to recognize the moment and capture it or else its gone. It’s not just about Cody winning — it’s capturing the moment in real-time and WWE dropped the ball when it mattered most. Plain and simple.

It’s not all bad though. For you round number marks out there, I’ll meet you halfway. If I were trying to salvage this story, I’d have Heyman and Reigns endlessly gloat about approaching 1,000 days and then Cody gets a title match on day 999 and WINS. Cody wins on day 999, robbing Roman Reigns of 1,000 days as champion the same way Cody was robbed of the title at Wrestlemania. This means Cody could win the title in May instead of dragging this out for another year and pad Cody with a bunch of “busy work” programs against whoever just to kill time before his next title match.

If you think May is too soon, then I guess there’s no convincing you. It makes logical sense for Cody to get another shot. He was screwed in his match. One thing that really bothers me about WWE these days is that heels cheat for heat like they always have, but the babyface just comes out the next day and accepts the loss as if it was his fault. It’s not like it was a no-disqualification match. It was a standard singles match and Roman cheated to win. Everyone saw it, but in WWE we have to hear the babyface go on TV and be like “This one’s on me guys, no excuses, I’ll get him next time”.  Even though we’ve been hearing “we’ll get him next time” for three years. Why even cheat for heat if the good guy is just going to sit there and accept it as if it was a fair, clean loss? It makes zero sense. If this were the old days I’d suggest Cody faces Roman in a cage match or a Hell in a Cell to ensure no interference but… yeah, you know it will still get gimmicked up and over booked into oblivion because that’s what they do.

There’s my solution, WWE. Day 999. Cody Rhodes vs Roman Reigns. A Wrestlemania rematch for the Undisputed WWE Championship. Cody goes over. Make good. Just like you made good on Rock beating Triple H at Backlash in one of the best PPV’s ever following a lackluster Wrestlemania 2000. In fact, just never have a heel win to close Wrestlemania ever again, ok? It doesn’t work.

That’s all for this week. Speaking of troubled dudes returning to the wrestling business, Jeff Hardy is back in AEW. Hey, I’m a fan of his going back over 20 years but I think its a bad idea. We’ve seen this movie play out too many times in the past. Jeff needs serious help and honestly, by this point, he’s another guy that should be serving time instead of getting his 20th chance or whatever. I hope for the best for him, but if I were in charge of AEW I wouldn’t have brought him back. I hear there’s any other guy they plan on bringing back to that I wouldn’t touch, but I’m sure I’ll have more to say about that person in the future. I’m sure 40,000 fans will enjoy watching CM Punk break his foot or tear a quad at Wembley for a few cool million.

Thanks again for reading. Enjoy the weather and regardless if what happens with Cody Rhodes, its going to be a pretty interesting year in wrestling history with everything going on. Just do the right thing WWE… On day 999 Cody Rhodes takes that title off Roman.

Do it! There’s your reset button.

Take care, everyone. For NoDQ, I’m Paul Matthews. Takes care, God bless, Go Bruins. Go Celtics. Try not to embarrass yourselves, Red Sox.