Mac Engel says he normally doesn’t write articles about pro wrestling. Fair enough, I try to avoid articles that directly involve Jerry Jones and the Cowboys myself, but that’s going to be unavoidable for this article.
Finally, something GOOD is going to come to the monstrosity in Arlington. OK, maybe the NBA All-Star Game and the Final Four were worth it, but this is REALLY the big time. At long last, WrestleMania is coming to “North Texas,” to be held in JerryWorld April 3 of next year. This was only a matter of time, and I’m actually surprised Jerry got passed over for New Orleans for Mania 30 last year given the attendance potential we’ll get to later.
First, though, let me get this out of the way and preface this by saying this still does not justify putting Jerry’s monument to himself where it currently sits. This and those other events still would have made it to the area had he compromised and agreed to the Fair Park location, and it would have happened without all the complaints from fans and media about having to drive all the way to Arlington. Will the wrestling fans make those same complaints? We’ll wait and see.
In the wake of the big announcement being made on Tuesday, Engel wrote in the Star-Telegram how many similarities WWE head honcho Vince McMahon has to Jerry Jones, joking how they might be one and the same. And you know, he’s actually got a much better point than he even realizes.
Because just like Jerry has had for the past 15 years or so, Vince is growing a legion of detractors among his game’s fan base claiming he’s wrecking his own business for his own ego.
Already, people are predicting a possible crowd of 125,000 for WrestleMania 32. The current record for wrestling remains at more than 93,000 for WrestleMania 3 all the way back in 1987. But the main reason WWE (then called the WWF before the World Wildlife Fund stole the acronym from them) drew that many to the old Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit was because two of the greatest titans, Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, were the main event on that night.
WWE is clearly even bigger of an entity than it was three decades ago. But does it have the star power and the enthusiasm from its fan base to break that record? That may be up for debate.
Right now, we are two days from this year’s “Road to WrestleMania” beginning with the Royal Rumble, an event meant to determine who will be in WrestleMania 31’s main event. And to a lot of people who follow wrestling passionately, this event and the upcoming Mania need to be outstanding to make up for a less-than-stellar year they just had to endure.
Wrestling has always had those people griping among its fan base – what fan base doesn’t? – but they have been especially vicious this past year. Yes, let’s make this clear – wrestling fans for the most part know their sport is scripted and predetermined. That’s why they get especially angry – when something happens they don’t like, they know it was meant to happen that way and thus go off on Vince and others making it happen.
And make no doubt, just about everything is Vince’s doing. In the last four years, there have been efforts to cede responsibilities away from him and onto his daughter Stephanie and her husband, the former wrestler known as Triple H. Still, Vince has his hand in everything despite the belief of many that his kids are doing a better job. Yet the big kahuna still micromanages and controls pretty much everything. Sound familiar?
Not all of it is WWE’s fault. There was a huge buzz when fan favorite Daniel Bryan became champion at Mania 30 last year. But less than two months later, Bryan had to go on the shelf with neck sugary and only recently returned to action. With wrestlers like Bryan and Roman Reigns, WWE has almost been racked with injuries as badly as the Texas Rangers.
But to many observers, the problems with the current WWE product go beyond injuries. In their minds, poorly thought out matches, storylines that they have tired of (the biggest being the ongoing one about WWE really being run by an iron-fisted Triple H and Stephanie leading a dictatorial group called The Authority) and a refusal to let aging stars like John Cena (who already had a hate group among fans who never liked his good guy soldier gimmick) step away for younger performers have led them to declare 2014 was one of wrestling’s worst years ever. They compared it to what World Championship Wrestling was like in 2000 – the year before that company went belly-up and was bought out by Vince.
Can 2015 turn things around in time for the product to be something special once again when wrestling’s Super Bowl comes to JerryWorld next year? In the minds of many, especially after being so impressed with how well WWE’s development program, NXT, is being run under Triple H’s control, the best way for that to happen is for Vince to step away.
I am pretty sure many fans of Jerry’s team will claim that team’s recent turnaround is a result of Jerry finally letting people like Stephen Jones do their job with at least less micromanaging. Likewise, there have already ben articles posted begging Vince to retire by the end of the year at the latest.
Vince himself’s idea? He flat out told Engel that he plans to run things until he dies, “and seeing as how I’m never going to die…”
I think I just heard all my fellow wrestling fans cry out in agony. And many Cowboy fans nodding in understanding.
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