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Vice’s Vince McMahon documentary was as carny as anything else in pro wrestling

During the first news cycle that led to Vince McMahon’s WWE exit was in full swing this past summer, we heard that more high profile outlets were preparing to cover McMahon’s career — and what appeared to be the end of that career. The implication was these would include some new information, and maybe even a bombshell or two.

At this point, we haven’t seen much come of those rumors. Other than already announced projects like Netflix’s documentary series on VKM, the only new offering we heard about was a documentary from Vice. Given McMahon & WWE weren’t participating (something we’re reminded of with a graphic at the start of the show) and that the network is home to Dark Side of the Ring, many believed The Nine Lives of Vince McMahon might contain one of those bombshells. Maybe we’d at least get some new material about the types of alleged transgressions brought up by the WWE Board’s investigation into Vince’s hush money payments?

Instead, what Vice served up last night (Dec. 14) was essentially a Dark Side clip show. There were some new talking head interviews with folks like Dave Meltzer & Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer and former WWE/WCW/Impact writer/producer Vince Russo. Even those mostly covered well-trod ground like the creation of WrestleMania, the steroid trials, and the Monday Night War & its aftermath.

There’s a brief discussion at the end of McMahon’s resignation. Even there, we don’t get much new information, though. Russo repeats the belief Vince and his wife Linda have been separated for a decade. Alvarez voices the disbelief many had that McMahon would ever step away from his company. Meltzer sums up Vince’s complicated nature, and Russo says that he thinks the existing allegations are the tip of the iceberg.

Which is why many of us tuned into The Nine Lives of Vince McMahon, and why many of us left it feeling disappointed.

They didn’t promise new revelations, but they didn’t make it clear how little new material was included or new ground covered, either. Vice seems to have seen an opportunity to cheaply produce something on a hot topic. And if you haven’t seen the Dark Side episodes a lot of these clips are pulled from, or are generally unaware of Vince McMahon’s story, The Nine Lives of Vince McMahon is a good primer.

But if you have, there wasn’t a lot here to recommend. At least wrestling fans are used to being worked.

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