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Vince McMahon told Sonya Deville that she needs to ‘smile a lot’

Ronda Rousey and Bron Breakker are babyfaces in WWE who recently discussed Vince McMahon’s strange fascination with smiling. Both wrestlers were instructed to smile more on television.

In the case of Rousey, she says Paul Heyman told her right away that Vince was going to mention it to her after her television segment was over. In the case of Breakker, “everyone” backstage at Raw stressed upon him the importance of smiling.

Then there’s heel Keith Lee, who was indirectly told to not smile as the Bearcat, and claims he wasn’t allowed to even look at the audience.

You can now add Sonya Deville to the list of wrestlers who are publicly talking about Vince McMahon’s obsession with smiling. During an interview on Out of Character with Ryan Satin, Sonya brings up the advice Vince gave her about smiling more in her current evil authority figure role:

“He reminds me to smile a lot, ironically. Because I think he loves the demeaning attitude of when someone in my role does something more passive-aggressively and then smiles. I think he thinks that that’s so much more powerful than just being like, ‘You’re not allowed in this match.’”

“That’s a piece of advice he gave me when I kind of first started the role, that I’ve taken throughout, and it’s really helped. If you look back at his stuff, he’s just genius. When he just gives that grin, and he’s doing his walk, it’s just so hateable. So, he kind of gave that to me.”

I get the logic behind smiling pure babyfaces, evil smiling conniving heels, angry heels who don’t smile, and so forth. But the degree to which this talking point about smiling seems to be a high priority thing backstage at WWE just seems...unsettling? Bizarre? A little creepy?

Sonya isn’t the first person to throw the word ‘genius’ Vince McMahon’s way. But this doesn’t sound anything like a genius to me. It just sounds like a guy who doesn’t have a lot of useful advice to offer, frankly, so he sticks to the one trusted play in his playbook.

Do you notice an unusual amount of smiling on WWE television, Cagesiders?

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