We’re a few hours away from finding out what WWE’s Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon, and his character Mr. McMahon, has planned to “shake things up” on Raw. The show and its Tuesday night sister/rival brand SmackDown have been down in the ratings of late, but Monday night flagship’s also received a critical drubbing of late.
Last week’s idea - to have Seth Rollins address the poor numbers and bad reviews in a promo - didn’t do much to change things. Fans and critics seemed to like the Dec. 10 episode, but even the favorable remarks were couched with comments like “not that it could get much worse”.
Tonight’s show will feature fallout from TLC yesterday (Dec. 16), and post-event episodes tend to do well. But with a couple weeks of pre-taped shows coming up on Christmas and New Year’s week, Vince apparently wasn’t content to count on the usual pay-per-view (PPV) boost. Word is he decided late last week, shortly before the company announced his appearance, that he’d return to television.
Word around the business for years has been that McMahon doesn’t like being on TV any more. He’s a notoriously... let’s call it proud... person, and he knows he not only looks older than he did as a regular in the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression Eras, but doesn’t have the chops he used to as a performer.
So WrestleVotes’ report that he’s only back begrudgingly isn’t surprising:
Tonight’s Vince McMahon angle is legitimately intriguing. I’ve heard Vince really didn’t want to come back to TV, so this shows signs of desperation. Is he really going to hit the “reset” button? Not sure, but RAW is in need of a facelift either way.— WrestleVotes (@WrestleVotes) December 17, 2018
The question they ask isn’t unique, either. We’re all expecting something pretty major from tonight’s appearance. It’s needed, and considering Vince only appears a handful of times a year these days, it felt special for that reason alone.
But as the tweet says, taken in light of McMahon’s reticence to step in front of the cameras, this feels even more like a “Hail Mary” by WWE Creative. After all, if Vince can’t turn things around, what can?
We’ll see if hearing “No Chance In Hell” in Sacremento tonight starts to do the trick, even if VKM himself didn’t want to have to play it.