#3 Vince McMahon
Vince McMahon has often been termed an "audience of one", and that has been no more apparent than at this year's Wrestlemania. McMahon has surrendered some of the day-to-day control of the on-camera product to Triple H and his daughter Stephanie, but it was widely reported that Vince still considers the annual event to be his baby.
In lieu of actually reviewing Wrestlemania 28 this year, I thought the show fit in with the theme of this series. The matches that are getting the highest praise on the show are the ones where I imagine Vince trusted the guys well enough to go where they wanted to with it. I can't imagine Vince giving Rock, Undertaker and Jericho much more than a finish and a time limit and then letting them go figure it out on their own.
On the other hand, you have the 18-second opener where Daniel Bryan dropped the World Championship to Sheamus. This match did nothing for either side, but it's the sort of thing that you know Vince was in the back saying, "Aha! Can't you see... haha! it would be funny! FUNNY! haha! If we have the fastest title match at... haha! WRRRRRRRRRESTLLLLLLLLLLEMANIAAAAAAAAAAA! And we'll do it with the pasty ginger guy! haha! And the vegetarian!"
"Ummmmmmm... what's a vegan?"
The storyline for the match was great. Sheamus was going to cash in his Royal Rumble victory against the champion who has wormed his way out of almost every title defense he's ever had, has wins over giants on his record, and made it out of the Elimination Chamber.
It would be a great contest between brains and brawn: Sheamus has dominated his matches since winning the Royal Rumble, and Daniel Bryan's misogynistic relationship with AJ Lee has made him the guy you love to hate. By all accounts, we almost knew Sheamus was going to get the win, but it would be so satisfying to see him shut the chump up.
There appears to be no issue with injury, as there was last year when Edge put the title up against Alberto Del Rio in the opening match of Wrestlemania. Most fans wondered why the World Championship should open the show, but we know now that Edge's health probably had a lot to do with that decision.
At Wrestlemania 27, Sheamus was supposed to defend the U.S. Championship against Daniel Bryan. It was eventually made a nontelevised Lumberjack match that ended in a big schmoz and became a battle royal. The promoted match between these two was relegated to the dark match and neither guy really got their Wrestlemania moment.
Fast-forward to a year later, and then you think, "Hey, these guys are finally going to get their first Wrestlemania moment." And then, there was that... kiss from AJ, Brogue Kick, and Daniel Bryan was done. The ring entrances were longer than the match.
What a crappy way to treat your employees, especially for guys who love the business. Why don't you just piss all over their bucket list, Vince? When you see a guy like Zack Ryder who has fought and clawed for the last year to get to do something he's wanted to do since he was a kid, you feel a genuine special connection with him.
I mean, not everyone is going to get their moment for sure, and it could be argued that Ryder didn't deserve a spot on the card like the stars did, but he just got it because a bunch of internet marks raised hell about it. You don't sacrifice what's good for business just so some two-bit jobber like Virgil can get a moment in the spotlight.
But, if you're putting the effort into promoting two guys in a primary championship match, two guys who work their butts off in and out of the ring promoting the match (Sheamus in particular does a lot of media, even though you can tell he's still a little bit uncomfortable about it), regardless if you're worried about time later in the show, you probably can give them more than 18 seconds.
And then, what does that vote of no confidence really give either of these guys? It looks like WWE was worried that neither of these guys could carry a regular match at Wrestlemania. It says that the hype around the match wasn't connecting with the fans.
It makes Bryan look like a chump, and maybe it makes the Brogue Kick look like a more dangerous finisher, but I don't see this helping either guy. And with a victory by Kane and a loss by Cody Rhodes later in the show, Daniel Bryan could fall further down the ladder. At this point, he should get drafted to Raw.
But, back to my point about Vince... he is out of touch with the fans. He is out of touch with the pop culture. He is out of touch with the product. I guarantee the reason why WWE shoves Twitter down everyone's throats is because Vince doesn't understand social media and simply sees it as a gimmick to be exploited, like ICOPRO and the XFL.
Independent wrestlers have proven that they don't need TNA and WWE to make money and have successful careers. I'll bet that stymies and unnerves Vince. He doesn't understand why fans would want to listen to a podcast from Colt Cabana where guys share stories and talk about life on the road. He doesn't understand why people why buy a DVD for $5 with the worst wrestling and promos imaginable where Cabana and company openly mock this product. But, he does understand that he can copy the gimmick and put Road Dogg in charge of it.
The most frustrating thing is that nothing we say as a collective group of fans will ever change Vince's mind. Vince has enough of his own cash and his publicly traded cash that he could probably run the company into a hole for 10 years and still not burn through all that money.
Vince is always right, and if the customer is right, then they're wrong.