Home Vince McMahon hates the ‘wrestling business,’ but can’t seem to let it go

Vince McMahon hates the ‘wrestling business,’ but can’t seem to let it go

Chris Graham
vince mcmahon
(© George Koroneos – Shutterstock)

It may just be me, but the timing of the news that Vince McMahon is supposedly considering a return to WWE coming on the day that Vice was set to debut its new documentary on his life doesn’t seem coincidental.

And as it turns out, the doc, “The Nine Lives of Vince McMahon,” which premiered last night, and is now available for streaming, wasn’t much more than a mashup of clips and outtakes from other Vice docs, with a few original interview snippets to provide a few fresh insights.

Never one to let even a fleeting moment in the spotlight go unused, it’s not hard to see how McMahon would see an opportunity presenting itself.

His name is back in the news, it’s being spelled right, by all accounts, and as all of this is going on, the company that he was basically gifted by his father is struggling for lack of a lot of things, though not necessarily a lack of Vince McMahon.

This week’s “Raw” drew an average of 1.47 million viewers, the lowest viewership since July 5, 2021, according to Wrestlenomics.

And this is a week after the show had its lowest single viewer hour ever – last week’s 10 p.m. ET hour, which averaged 1.26 million viewers.

This after an initial bump in the numbers following McMahon’s July 22 retirement. The Aug. 1 “Raw” averaged 2.23 million viewers, and the show was over a 2 million-viewer average into early September, according to Gerweck.net, before the slide that has seen the show shed more than a third of its viewers this fall.

Even the “Smackdown” show, which has the advantage of airing on Fox, a broadcast network, has seen its viewership decline 14.6 percent from its fall 2022 high.

The supposition among observers was that the departure of McMahon would lead to a marked improvement in the weekly TV products that would translate into more viewers, but the problems for the company are appearing to be more systemic, as the Vice documentary making the rounds now illustrated well.

WWE, under McMahon and now under his son-in-law, Paul Levesque, just hasn’t been able to figure out a creative direction in the post-“Attitude” era, and particularly has had trouble creating new stars to replace the likes of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena, who used the fame they built up in WWE to move on to Hollywood.

It can’t help that McMahon fights tooth and nail the idea that he’s at all involved in the “wrestling business,” despite his repeated failures in his side ventures – bad movies, bad pro football, whatever he was trying to do with bodybuilding.

Funny that as much as he seems to hate the business, he can’t let it go.

Funny, or sad.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].