I hate McMahon infestation as much as the next guy. Always have. I bitched and moaned when every single WWF main-eventer had his very own poseable McMahon action feature. I shed anguished tears when Vince was in the Rumble, when Vince took home the title. Hell, I even changed the channel when I saw Linda presenting the check to Giuliani. But tonight on RAW, I saw the potential for a McMahoncentric angle that has the potential to bring the company out of the rut itıs been in.
I cringed while Vince traded barbs with Shane and Stephanie. Cringed until I heard Vince say something utterly brilliant. He spoke about having worked hard for everything heıd ever achieved, while Shane and Stephanie received everything on a silver platter. While the relative truth of the statement is up for debate, the weight behind it is immense.
Think back to the biggest, most galvanizing angle in WWF history the McMahon-Austin feud. Austin became a hero because the fanbase could empathize with him. He was a blue-collar everyman fighting tooth and nail with an oppressive power-monger. Every Austin victory made them cheer, while every setback reminded them of their losses. In that situation, McMahon was the perfect villain, because he symbolized something the vast majority of fans already hated.
Funny how a carefully worded speech and a bit of propaganda can change things. In one statement, Vince made himself a more sympathetic figure than ever before, while casting Shane and Stephanie as villains more vile than ever. See, those same fans that empathized with Austin (and had their hearts broken by that
SON OF A BITCH
) will damn sure have respect for someone talking about how he pulled himself up, worked hard, and made it. And theyıll absolutely loathe someone who had it easy, who never had to work to taste success. The only thing worse than a smug, arrogant, powerful bastard is one who got there without having to work for it. The brilliance of McMahon-Austin was that it created the ultimate us-against-them battleground. With one statement tonight, Vince went a long way towards creating another one.