WWE | Pro Wrestling

WrestleMania 30: Would Selling the WWE Change How We View the Product?

At some point, the WWE will not be the WWE we all know it to be. At some point, Vince McMahon may not be the owner of the circus that has provided us with some of the greatest sports entertainment of all time.

I have been reticent in writing this column because I am a fan of the business – if not the product – of wrestling. And for years, you have heard me rant on other websites how I am rooted in the ideals of the NWA, believing in a figure-four leg lock, a swinging neck breaker and a side Russian leg sweep. I believe in the work of Jack Brisco, Orville Brown and of course the Great Kabuki. But watching wrestling today is something I have to will myself to do at times, to make myself believe it can be better, that it is in some part a distinction of the past – where veterans are coming back to make us relive roles of wrestling youth. So far, that youth is Batista and Chris Jericho re-emerging in one form of creation or another.

But the situation is clear – at some point some company is going to throw enough money at the McMahon family to make them stop and think, “Should we sell?”

According to numerous reports last week, that was more of a reality than we think when word got out that AMC was interested in buying the wrestling promotion and sports entertainment conglomerate, which may have been the best thing for the business. The wrestling idea is at the lowest point it has been since the early 1980s before the height of the NWA and the ascension of the WWF and Hulkamania (funny how all this happens around the 30th anniversary of the event where the company opens its arms back to Hulk Hogan and promotes the honoring of Andre the Giant). But in an imperfect wrestling world, Whatcha Gonna Do, when an outside business wants a piece of your wrestling action?

When wrestling promotions were being body slammed by McMahon to the point of submission in the late 1980s, early 1990s, the AWA could not stand alone and fight. Adding World Class Championship Wrestling and Jerry Lawler’s Continental Wrestling Federation could not help Verne Gagne fight the good fight. Even with its power and its drive and its heritage, the NWA/WCW could not stand up to big bad Vince in the long run. And TNA has never tried to wage the war against Vince and the WWE, it just wants to be able to stand next to it without fear of being Superman punched into oblivion.

Someone needs to stand up to the big man and make him an offer. Does it change wrestling? Yes! Does it foster change for the better? Yes! Can it lead to more branding and competition, which means no more boredom? Yes!

But until it really happens, the rumors will continue to flow like an introduction from the New Age Outlaws.

Personally, I want McMahon to sell. I want to see more creativity, a different direction. I want him to take his business, turn it sideways and … Oh, sorry – wrong promo. But you get the point. New ownership may mean new and exciting wrestlers. It may mean better script writing. It may mean a different set of rules and values where youth is finally served on all of us and women are wrestlers, not objects on screen (but please do not take Summer Rae away from dancing).

Before the McMahons bought WCW, there was great media speculation over who would buy the fledgling company. Hulk Hogan wrote in his biography, “Hollywood Hulk Hogan” that he was offered a chance to buy the company – but he balked and after seeing that it involved the catalogue of NWA and WCW history, he regretted it. There is a concept of vision and there is a concept of reality with that. Ric Flair should have been offered the same cache – whether he was or not is not known. But the point is, a new direction may have been able to save the company from a slow and agonizing death.

At times, that is exactly what the WWE feels like – watching poor skits, low-balled drama and the continuation of programs that do not work. At some point, Vince will sell the WWE. Only problem maybe it should have already been done to save the brand from the weak platform it is standing on right now.

Disclaimer: For the next 30 days, this will be an ongoing series of stories as we move down the Road to WrestleMania. Follow Camel Clutch Blog writer/blogger David M. Levin as he talks about the history, the pageantry and the success and failures of the past when it comes to wrestling’s biggest events. The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of Camel Clutch Blog, and this series is intended to ramp up the excitement that is associated with WrestleMania XXX and the Crescent City of New Orleans. Please enjoy this new feature and any comments are most welcome.

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