June 19, 2007
SLAM! Speaks - When will Mr. McMahon return?
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff
OK. OK. Everyone in the world, except for those in that big office building in Stamford, CT, knows that Vince McMahon is alive and well. But in the kayfabe world of WWE, he is dead. The flags at half mast prove it.
We here at SLAM! Wrestling all have our own opinions as to how the Chairman will make his miraculous return to WWE TV and play us all for fools. Our ideas range from the very funny to the downright creative.
But don't fret, SLAM! Wrestling readers - you'll have a chance to voice your points of view as well. Think of how you want Vince to return and email Matt Mackinder with your thoughts.
Here we go with the SLAM! Wrestling staffers' outlooks.
Since he was killed prematurely and still has issues on this mortal plane, I expect Mr. McMahon to return to WWE TV as a ghost, maybe within a week or so. Decked out in the finest talc WWE Creative can afford, he'll appear randomly, haunting arenas and flickering the lights, scaring divas in their dressing rooms, showing up in the background of interviews, all the while moaning about the lack of respect he got during his life.
Since we've already had God as a tag team partner, maybe now we'll see McMahon team with Casper The Friendly Ghost against his imagined killer.
Of course, all this leads to an exorcism of some sort, or a voodoo ceremony (paging Paga Shango) where Vince is brought back to life.
There's really only one way for Vince to be brought back and have it not be beyond the realm of impossibility in terms of storyline absurdity (okay, so a lot in WWE storylines have been absurd lately, but run with me for a moment).
If you recall a few years ago, Vinnie Mac was revealed as the "higher power" in an angle that involved The Undertaker. Given that 'Taker is on the shelf now and is at his most vulnerable state, after being physically decimated, he comes back to Smackdown, say around Survivor Series, saying he needs a higher power to guide him back to the title.
While most would assume this to mean Paul Bearer, it turns out to be Mr. McMahon, and the heel duo go on a rampage across the Smackdown locker room, eventually conquering Raw and ECW as well.
As I stated in my SmackDown report (June 16), I was sickened by the 10-bell salute and mainly serious style interviews with THE talent. This is a disgrace to the classy tributes put on for Owen Hart and Eddie Guerrero IN THE PAST.
That being said, his return could be preceeded by a "Who dunnit" manhunt, which could prove quite entertaining. The big question, though, is what is the payoff going to be at the end? What match can possibly come from this? In my perfect world I would have Paul Heyman behind it, with the motive being that McMahon has made a mockery out of ECW, and lead to an ECW invasion stable. It is later discovered that McMahon is not actually dead, but has been kept hostage by Heyman and this causes a WWE vs. ECW showdown at Survivor Series.
But I doubt that will occur, so my guess is we eventually start having McMahon sightings. This leads to the chairman returning underneath a druid's hood in some future major main event. It will be revealed that McMahon staged the stunt himself, and the angle in general will fall short of its major potential.
"Bloodthirsty" Bob Kapur
Seeing how the writers often borrow ideas from pop culture, I could easily see them taking a cue from Japanese horror/ghost movies.
During a backstage interview six months or so from now, someone does an interview and then starts feeling chills. The next week, the lights flicker on and off at random. A few weeks go by and the strange phenomenon escalate. There are scenes where people are talking in front of catering table - the camera pans away from them - and when it goes back to them, unbeknownst to them, there are a bunch of chairs balanced on the table (think of that scene from Poltergeist). This goes on for a while, and then people start seeing ghostly cloaked images in the backstage areas.
This all culminates in an exorcism. A few special effects, a huge lightning strike in the middle of the ring -- and tada! There's Vince in all his evil glory. Done right, it could make for some pretty suspenseful television. Done wrong (more likely), it would be the lamest thing ever.
Hmmm... maybe they should just go with the Dallas cliché: a bunch of Divas go to the showers, and as they walk in, lo and behold, there's Vince -- it was all a dream!
After watching Raw on Monday, we can see that other members of the McMahon family are going to be involved in this storyline. If WWE truly wants this plot to be soap opera-ish in the vein of such shows as Dallas or The Sopranos, why not go all the way? The culprits behind the explosion could be none other than Vicky Askew (Vince’s mother) and Rod McMahon (Vince’s older brother).
Vince has described how he grew up in a meager household as a child being raised by his mother before meeting his father. Therefore, Vicky could say how she always felt neglected by her own son even though she did her best to raise him. Rod could say how unlike Vince, he was born a McMahon. Vince was actually born with the last name Lupton before changing his name to McMahon after meeting his father.
Rod could go on about how he was jealous of the relationship Vince had with their father (Vince McMahon Sr.) and how seeing his brother profit by bastardizing what their grandfather (Jess McMahon) created makes him sick. Vicky could state how Jess is probably turning over in his grave as a result of today’s wrestling product, which is why they chose Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to put a stop to Vince once and for all – it was also the site of where Jess McMahon passed away in 1954.
This could all take place on a special live edition of SmackDown!, which would take place the Friday before SummerSlam. Plus, it also just happens to be Vince’s 62nd birthday. As Vicky and Rod attempt to lead the crowd in a very disturbing rendition of "Happy Birthday," Vince himself could walk out to end the show on yet another cliffhanger going into SummerSlam.
Of course, they could always pull a swerve and have Ed McMahon be behind the entire thing.
Actually, Vince already addressed his character’s demise in a February 2001 interview with Playboy:
PLAYBOY: When you do step aside, will you write a deathscene for you alter ego, the evil Mr. McMahon?
MCMAHON: A death scene? No, that wouldn't be reality. Unless...you know what? I believe in the laws of nature. When it's time for me to go, I would like to be devoured by the biggest, baddest carnivore that ever walked the face of the earth. And then I'd like that son of a bitch to get indigestion and vomit my remains back up.
PLAYBOY: A romantic finish.
PLAYBOY: And you know what you'd get----
MCMAHON: Great ratings.
That’s right, a dinosaur did it and will puke Vince back up.
Besides it being utterly ludicrous, I have no problem with the 'Vince Is Dead' storyline. What offends me very deeply is how the angle is playing itself out with the matches being dedicated in McMahon's honour, the 10-bell salute and all the rest of the shameful facets. Then again, this is the same company that sees nothing wrong with having a mentally-challenged character around to provide comic relief.
How will McMahon return? The "missing in action plot" is nothing new. Anyone remember Cactus Jack in WCW?
The pieces of the McMahon puzzle will be revealed bit by bit.
Firstly, the authorities discover the blast was not an accident, but an intentional attack. Secondly, it is proven that the McMahon family is not hiding him and has no idea where he is.
Thirdly, around the time of SummerSlam, McMahon is found homeless and living in Cleveland. McMahon has no memory of his past life and believes himself to be a sea captain. Fourthly, the WWE bookers want to sweep the whole mess under the carpet and pretend it never happened, but because it is McMahon's idea, we have months of Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman using an amnesia-plagued Vince to control the WWE. You know, rolling him to the ring in a wheelchair as he sings sea shanties and all that.
I don't know and I don't care. My personal opinion is that this angle so distasteful (given that they did the 10-bell salute and refused to call it off after the death of Sherri Martel) and so unnecessary in a wrestling product, that I don't want to even speculate as to how he'll return.
I'm boycotting WWE TV and the reason is Vince. Vince sucks. I don't care about Vince. I really, really don't want to see him at all. I mean, really -- this is a WRESTLING show, no? So wrestle already. His dumb gimmicks are just getting stupider. Yeah Vince, we all really think you're dead. Just because some like me wish it were true. WWE looks more like WCW at its worst. It's gone from "Must See TV" to "Who Gives a Tinker's Damn Sh#television." Even TNA is a little too close to WWE, no doubt thanks to Russo. But at least the in-ring product seems to count for something.
How does Vince come back? I'll answer that with a question: Does he really have to?
I think at some point, it'll be revealed that Vince is alive. Great. Just thank God the limo driver got that "call from his wife," eh?
Here's what will happen. John Cena and some no-talent "monster" (maybe Bobby Lashley) will be having a match at a pay-per-view, maybe SummerSlam, when from out of nowhere, the music of The Ultimate Warrior hits. And, to our chagrin, who is that running down the aisle in tassels and face paint? Why, it's Vince McMahon!
However, knowing Vince and his lack of class, he's more likely to run to the ring in The Blue Blazer get-up and music to boot. If there are any WWE fans left at this point, they will quickly leave the building.
Vince McMahon makes my job easy and a lot of fun. He is a walking cartoon right now. I just have to draw up what I believe he has going on in his "Chairman of the Board" head ... and because we are close to the same age, I find this a creative challenge. It wouldn't surprise me if he came back as a Sopranos TV character or just be a "Dead Man Walking."
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN!