Thursday, October 18, 2018

"Sports entertainment"

[VIDEO] Before delving into how Vince McMahon created a "sports entertainment" empire I wanted to share this clip from this past week's episode of SmackDown Live. This was the 1000th episode and it started off with this offbeat segment known as TruthTV. While in his zany character R-Truth (aka Ron Killings if you want to find him on Twitter) he notes a lot of memorable moments on TruthTV over the years before Carmella his cohost reminds him that there have only been one episode and they got cancelled (which was the result of a match against The Miz).

Anyway towards the end of this segment they get interrupted by the McMahon family starting with Stephanie McMahon and then Shane McMahon and then finally by their father and the man who started it all Vincent K. McMahon. Who closed that segment with another trademark of the short-lived TruthTV, the seven-second dance break. LOL!

All the same this underscores the importance of McMahon's vision of a major nationwide - if not worldwide - wrestling promotion. While McMahon prefers the term sports entertainment he literally did bring pro-wrestling (which he might say was something his father Vincent J. McMahon was most associated with) into the mainstream. You might see that noted in the third video in this post.

I remember watching the first episodes of SmackDown. It was a special on the old UPN network (known for Star Trek & Black sitcoms mainly) and then later in 1999 became a long term program for UPN until it became the CW and then moved to MyNetworkTV then SyFy and finally USA Network. Next year SmackDown will be shown on the FOX network - broadcast TV again!

Meanwhile over the years Business Insider did two videos on Vince McMahon and his success in the arena of sports entertainment. Let's get to it!

[VIDEO] This video describes pro-wrestling before Vince McMahon took over his father's promotion then known as the World Wide Wrestling Federation. I'm talking early 1980s and before the first great period for McMahon's sports entertainment or "rock & wrestling".

It's fascinating to the anatomy of how a former territory as the WWWF was known became the international behemoth that is now WWE. It started off with McMahon making the newly renamed World Wrestling Federation into the premier wrestling company in the United States. And now WWE often holds shows overseas with a recent PPV in Australia and another in Saudi Arabia coming soon.
[VIDEO] In another video former WWE play-by-play man Jim Ross (aka Good ole JR) talks about what happens when McMahon either retires or is just unable to continue running WWE from day-to-day. He makes sure to note if it wasn't for McMahon, there's no way anyone would want to talk to him. Ross would only be known by wrestling audiences and in his words would still be a relative unknown.

Believe it or not I still think of Vince McMahon with a thick mane of hair. I often forget that he shaved his head in a hair vs. hair match against Donald Trump and his surrogate Bobby Lashley. I still often forget that McMahon is in his 70s. He's not the young man he was when I first started watching wrestling in the 1990s.

Anyway who would run WWE if McMahon just couldn't continue (and that's assuming he's not going to up and retire). Well it's a family owned company as passed down from Vince McMahon's grandfather. If you believe Jim Ross, Paul Levesque who most know as Triple H could become the man to run WWE. He's married into the family and that's something I thought was just a storyline. He also runs WWE's developmental brand NXT which is what you can see on the WWE Network.

JR is right, it's amazing that McMahon built a Disney-like empire based on bodyslams and headlocks. Even better created a publicly traded wrestling company. He truly had the entrepreneurial spirit to make his former northeast wrestling territory into a mainstream entertainment company. I could only dream of either working for or working with Mr. McMahon. It would be both scary and yet could be great all at the same time. We see his vision come full circle.

While you're at it, if you subscribe to the WWE Network, you can hear from the man himself. In 2015, he was interviewed on a podcast with one of his former superstars Stone Cold Steve Austin. You will see him shoot on not only some aspects of the product recently, but his own history in the business. May even find that he shares some ideas on those other "lords" who ran their territories before McMahon began his expansion.

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