WWE Should Change Its Name

Scott Hudson

Vince McMahon is a marketing genius. A master promoter. A consummate businessman. The P. T. Barnum of his day

Heâ<80><99>s just not a wrestling guy. He pushes â<80><9c>superstarsâ<80> not wrestlers. He promotes â<80><9c>sports entertainmentâ<80> not wrestling. He hates the term â<80><9c>mark.â<80> Even though he is one.

He is, unquestionably, the biggest Vince McMahon mark ever to draw a breath. What else could explain the bizarre turn the WWE booking has taken since Wrestlemania? The unholy trinity of HHH, John Cena, and Randy Orton have headlined every pay-per-view. Their disciples, Batista, Edge and The Undertaker have admirably carried their water. The WWE has, easily, 100 â<80><9c>superstarsâ<80> under contract yet these six have been on top for over 2 years. But, like everyone else, they all bow down to their patron, St. Vince.

The WWE should change its name to the VKME, Vincent Kennedy McMahon Entertainment (or VuKME for short.)

This weekâ<80><99>s draft and Million Dollar Mania nonsense cemented the contention that this company, its marketing, its focus and its fixed and ruminated goal is singly to push Vince McMahon.

The draft special and the supplemental draft on Wednesday decimated the ECW brand. They lost C. M. Punk, Kane, Big Daddy V, Matt Striker, Shelton Benjamin, Layla and Kofi Kingston and gained Matt Hardy, Mark Henry, Super Crazy, Fit Findlay and Hornswoggle. Does that sound fair? Thatâ<80><99>s like the Yankees trading A-Rod, Jeter, and Abreu to the Braves for Mike Hampton and a bag of bats. Just a little one sided.

The loss of Joey Styles and the ascension of Mike Adumbass coupled with this talent shift appears to be the proverbial writing on the wall for the venerable ECW brand. Vince birthed it to kill it. And heâ<80><99>s drawing back the knife.

It is painfully obvious that the all VuKME efforts will be aimed squarely at the October 3 re-launch of â<80><9c>Smackdownâ<80> on MyNetworkTV. With Jim Ross and Mick Foley as the voices and with new talent in the persons of Jeff Hardy, Umaga, Mr. Kennedy, HHH, Trevor Murdoch, Big Daddy V, D. H. Smith (there goes the New Generation idea, by the way), Brian Kendrick, Maria, Shelton Benjamin and Carlito Colon – â<80><9c>Smackdownâ<80> is obviously being positioned as the flagship of the VuKME broadcast franchise. One quick glance at the list of new â<80><9c>Rawâ<80> talent (Rey Mysterio, C. M. Punk, Batista, Kane, Jamie Noble, Deuce, Chuck Palumbo, Matt Striker, Layla, Kofi Kingston, and Michael Cole) should tell you that â<80><9c>Rawâ<80> is NOT their highest priority.

If/when ECW goes the way of The Ding Dongs, I would not be at all surprised if VuKME begins to produce a new syndicated show to spotlight mid-card to lower-card talents.

The draft week also shown a spotlight on one of the biggest problems VuKME has – too many people. There are not enough broadcast hours or house show matches to give everyone enough work. When the inevitable downturn picks up speed, some â<80><9c>superstarsâ<80> will be wished well in their future endeavors. Already there are reports that some in-ring talents are being paid only their pitifully low guarantee with little or nothing added from other revenue streams. Could be cyclical or it could be a not so subtle hint to those pieces of talent to not let the backdoor hit ya where the good lord split ya.

But St. Vince is safe. His performance in â<80><9c>Limo Explosion 2: The Stage Collapseâ<80> Monday was reserved and nuanced. â<80><9c>Paul! I canâ<80><99>t feel my legs!â<80> Just like watching Olivier mourn Hamletâ<80><99>s eulogy for Yorick to Horatio. What, were Linda, Shane and Stephanie not around? God knows if I got paralyzed on national television, the very first person I would call out for is my son-in-law. To believe that some media outlets treated these shenanigans as legitimate boggles the mind. Listen carefully local Texas media, these things are not, repeat NOT, real: UFOâ<80><99>s, Bigfeet, weapons of mass destruction and Vince McMahon televised injuries.

But, we are talking about St. Vince again. It seems like we always do. Not as the head of a multimillion dollar company but at the most pushed piece of talent in that companyâ<80><99>s entertainment division. Yep, there is a sucker born every minute. And most of them watch â<80><9c>Raw.â<80>

COLUMN HIJACK: Wouldnâ<80><99>t it have been amazing if, during Mondayâ<80><99>s draft special, during a couple of the draft pick announcements the TNA logo flashed up on screen to indicate that Chris Harris had been drafted to â<80><9c>Smackdownâ<80> or Ron Killings had been drafted to â<80><9c>Raw?â<80> Or maybe flash the Ring of Honor logo and announce that Bryan Danielson has been drafted to â<80><9c>ECW?â<80> Or maybe flash both the TNA and Ring of Honor logo on screen with a current â<80><9c>superstarâ<80> to notify them they were being wished well in their future endeavors. But, we wouldnâ<80><99>t have been talking about Vince if that happened, now would we?

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