In the wee small hours of April 3, 2017, sports entertainment changed forever when The Undertaker laid his hat and cape to rest, leading many fans to believe he was retiring. Despite being over 50 years old, The Undertaker remained one of the most popular and mythic of Vince McMahon’s creations up to the day his career ended, and the professional wrestling community was appropriate in immediately mourning the loss.
That said, it’s been a few weeks since this momentous occasion went down, and the world has pretty much continued unfettered. WWE is virtually the same without The Undertaker’s looming presence as it was before he made his dramatic gesture, largely due to the fact that his powers in the ring had been dwindling for some time prior to the apparent decision to call it quits. Considering McMahon’s wrestling empire was able to survive such a massive blow, speculative critics have been wondering which other older, more broken down superstars of the past might soon walk away from the ring along with the Dead Man, and there are pros and cons involved with every name that gets mentioned.
To call Vince McMahon a key figure in the WWE Universe would be a massive understatement. Quite frankly, so much about wrestling would change with McMahon gone it’s almost impossible to truly guess how things would unfold without him around anymore. However, given the way things have been going in recent weeks, months, and perhaps even years, it might be safe to say that any change in pro wrestling’s biggest empire would be welcome. Keep reading to learn 15 reasons Vince McMahon needs to follow The Undertaker into retirement.
15. He’s Dangerously Indecisive
There are so many people in the WWE writers’ room these days that Vince McMahon might not even know all of their names. It would be one thing if all these writers had ultra specific jobs, or at least did anything at all, but instead, they’re only as useful as McMahon allows them to be. According to certain former writers who have since left the company, what this means is that McMahon would often ask them to write extensive storylines and full episodes of Raw. Despite this, McMahon would then go on and completely ignore everything they produce and start over from scratch minutes before the show hits the air. This sort of indecisiveness is never good for someone with a job as important as the one Vince has, with countless lives in the balance each time he can’t make some relatively simple decision. On top of that, it’s incredibly wasteful of him to hire people he always ignores, and money could be saved across the board by eliminating this sort of practice.
14. He’s Losing His Mind
Everyone has heard the expression that craziness is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Most WWE fans are also likely aware that this pretty much defines Vince McMahon’s booking strategy of late, as well. When fans harshly rejected the idea of Roman Reigns as the top babyface superstar, McMahon stuck to his guns and had Roman dominate multiple Royal Rumbles followed by marquee matches at WrestleMania. Instead of trying something new to get Reigns over, McMahon keeps booking him exactly the same way, having The Guy overcome made up odds like he was John Cena, only without the crowd buying into the story. There’s absolutely no chance (in hell) McMahon is unaware that his booking has caused ratings to go down on Raw and SmackDown Live, and he still refuses to change his show in absolutely any way. While WWE doesn’t necessarily need a change as massive as McMahon’s retirement to get back on track, it looks like that will be necessary before someone else gets a chance of making any improvements whatsoever.
13. He Can’t Get With The Times
As of this writing, Jinder Mahal is the number one contender to the WWE Championship. The basic concept of a lower card superstar suddenly getting thrust into the main event isn’t a bad one by itself, yet McMahon went the cheap route and made it all about how Mahal happens to be Indian, and most WWE fans are American. In 2017, this idea isn’t just outdated; it’s pretty offensive, as well. What this says is that to McMahon, all Americans — and thus, by extension, WWE fans — inherently hate foreigners, and naturally, those foreigners hate Americans in return. To really drive this point home, McMahon is also running virtually the same angle with Kevin Owens, who went from one of the most layered characters in the business to a one-dimensional evil Canadian in the span of a few weeks, all for no good reason. Critics have been on WWE for decades about this disgusting xenophobia, and that Vince still can’t get with the times is a clear cut sign he needs to hand over control to someone who can.
12. He’s Well Past Retirement Age
As of this writing, Vince McMahon is a spry 71 years old, and as the saying goes, he isn’t getting any younger. In America, the average age of retirement has sat at around the mid-60s for the past hundred years. Although the struggling economy means that age has been trending upward, Vince has made enough money in his life that he really doesn’t need to worry about that. Vince has also been working for six years longer than the average person sees the need to, and while that’s admirable in one way, there are plenty of reasons people that age should consider stepping away from business. Sure, some older folks are perfectly in tune with the youth of today, but this list has already mentioned how Vince doesn’t quite fit that category. More importantly, he also has his health to consider, and there’s also the fact he’s contributed more than enough to professional wrestling to deserve some rest and relaxation for once. Continuing to stress his body and mind with a nonstop job could literally kill Vince, something even he can’t ignore for much longer.
11. He Refuses To Listen To Fans
For the past few years, it seems the most talked about issue within the WWE Universe is the fact that crowds despise Roman Reigns, while Vince McMahon feels the exact opposite about The Guy. In most circumstances, the obvious solution would be for McMahon to simply turn Reigns heel, something arenas full of fans all throughout the world have been begging for by loudly booing whenever he steps into the ring. This isn’t the first time McMahon has tried pushing a superstar down fans’ throats without their approval, but he used to give up a whole lot faster than back-to-back main events at the Grandest Stage of Them All. Of course, Reigns is just the most glaring example of this problem as McMahon has been outright refusing to listen to his most loyal fans for several years now. If a wrestler gets cheered when they shouldn’t, that gets them demoted, and that sort of business makes absolutely no sense. The WWE fans are the people who give McMahon his certified billions, so either he needs to start listening to them, lose all his money, or just give up entirely and retire already.
10. People Are Ready To Take Over
Due to his position within WWE and sports entertainment in general, Vince McMahon retiring would be a whole lot more than a personal decision. Hundreds if not thousands of people’s jobs would be affected in one way or another, and as a reasonably thoughtful man in certain circumstances, there’s no doubt McMahon thinks about this whenever he considers what would happen to his company without him. Luckily for him, at this point in time, there are quite a few people ready and able to fill some of his roles. While it may be true that no one person could do everything Vince does, between his children, Shane and Stephanie, and of course her husband, Triple H, potential replacements have started stepping up to the plate. Vince stated in an interview with Muscle & Fitness that the future of WWE, with or without him, is “extremely strong,” specifically citing these people as reasons he thinks his company will change “for the better” when he finally steps away.
9. All His Best Creations Are Gone
This list has kind of been ignoring The Undertaker’s retirement in relation to Vince McMahon’s, and for good reason. The truth is, Vince needs to retire for a great many reasons, and the exit of his favorite superstar is merely the most recent piece of evidence McMahon might finally be stepping away sometime soon. It’s been covered again and again how The Undertaker was the last of his breed, representing several decades of WWE history due to his great legacy within the company. This is largely because of how many generations of retired legendary superstars Undertaker had wrestled, the vast majority of whom owed a great deal of their success to McMahon. At this point, however, most WWE superstars are either entering the company with fairly well-defined characters from the independent scene or they’re working out their gimmicks in NXT. Undertaker’s generation was McMahon’s generation, and without any actual in-ring performers left, the mastermind has no reason to keep playing with Triple H’s ideas.
8. His Micromanagement Is Out Of Control
Outside of Roman Reigns, the area of WWE receiving the harshest criticism is probably the announce desk, and that goes for both Raw and SmackDown Live. The worst part about this is that on select occasions such as WWE Network specials, Michael Cole and most of his broadcast partners have proven they aren’t too bad when Vince McMahon isn’t watching. The problem is, McMahon very rarely stops paying attention, and, in fact, he constantly yells in their ears during most live broadcasts, leading to mass confusion and pretty terrible commentary. This is merely one of many ways McMahon’s need to control every last detail of his company is causing serious chaos, as he also over scripts promos and interviews down to the last world, destroying wrestlers’ individuality in the process. The commentators, the wrestlers, and everyone else on the WWE roster were hired because they knew how to do these jobs without Vince reminding them every second, and, in fact, most of them would probably do better without him doing so.
7. Kevin Dunn Will Probably Go, Too
Despite how astronomical the impact of Vince McMahon departing the WWE Universe could be to the business at large, most actual WWE employees will probably rest assured their jobs won’t be at any immediate risk. However, there are a handful of backstage employees Triple H and Stephanie McMahon don’t love quite as much as their boss/father(-in-law) does, and that includes WWE’s controversial executive producer of many years, Kevin Dunn. For any fans who don’t know, Dunn is responsible for the direction of most televised WWE programming, meaning he controls the cameras, production, and general “feel” of the show. That last one is pretty important, as critics have felt Dunn’s influence on McMahon has been increasingly toxic for a long time now. Luckily for these critics, rumor has it Triple H is included in the long list of people who think WWE could be better without Dunn, which is the sort of move even people who hate Triple H would see as a major positive.
6. NXT Is Proof WWE Could Survive Without Him
For plenty of reasons that would take their own full article to explain, not everyone is entirely behind the idea of Triple H taking the reigns of WWE away from Vince McMahon. Obviously, the world will never know exactly how Triple H would handle such a situation, let alone whether or not it will even happen for certain. What we do know is that if it did happen, there’s a pretty solid chance Triple H would do just fine in the role. Regardless of how one feels about his work as a wrestler, there’s nearly universal agreement that Triple H is doing a fantastic job as the head executive behind NXT, performing essentially the same job McMahon fills in WWE. While NXT is a much smaller universe than that which WWE encompasses, the essentials of how to run the business are similar enough to assure that Triple H will definitely know what he’s doing. Any remaining haters just need to remember that Triple H himself will probably be retiring from the ring as his decision-making power increases, so there’s really no downside to the inevitable promotion.
5. He Can’t Do This Forever
Discussions about Vince McMahon retiring, or any person retiring for that matter, are all dancing around a certain fact polite people don’t always like mentioning. In a very literal sense, Vince McMahon can’t be in charge of WWE forever. Even if he refuses to retire, everybody has to die someday, and it’s probably better he lays out a plan for how things should progress without him rather than wait until it’s too late. It will be hard for WWE to move on no matter what, but as long as McMahon is around for the last few months, he’ll be able to ensure things won’t entirely fall apart the second he’s gone. Sure, he looks like a picture of perfect health today and is in significantly better shape than the average septuagenarian, but not even McMahon can book himself over death. Considering how hard WWE has pushed The Undertaker as pro wrestling’s Grim Reaper, maybe McMahon will be able to make the obvious connection and see The Dead Man’s exit as a sign.
4. He’s Already Decreasing His Role
For all the talk that Vince McMahon will never retire, a list like this isn’t entirely ridiculous by any means. Believe it or not, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has reported multiple times in the past couple years that McMahon wasn’t backstage at Raw or SmackDown. Vince has only skipped out on three or four shows, and never more than two in a row, but for him to do this even once was entirely unheralded. McMahon never took a single sick day or missed one of his events for any reason, and now he’s doing so voluntarily on a semi-regular basis. Even better than the fact McMahon has stepped away is that things went completely fine every time he did so. In fact, casual fans are probably unaware it ever happened, because it barely affected the shows he missed. No one knows if WWE could sustain its success with Vince gone forever, yet it’s clear the company has a pretty good shot.
3. The Movie Needs An Ending
Off all the reasons Vince McMahon should consider retiring sometime soon, this one might be the most tenuous, but it’s also exactly the sort of thing a person like him would think about. Over the past couple weeks, numerous sources have confirmed a Hollywood film based on McMahon’s life, tentatively titled Pandemonium, is in the works. Vince should consider that the idea of him simply continuing to do what he’s been doing in his company doesn’t exactly sound like the perfect ending to his life story. McMahon knows how to tell a story, and one thing every story needs is an ending that ties up all the important plot points. As of right now, Pandemonium doesn’t have this, and it won’t until McMahon decides to call it quits. What could possibly be more poetic than McMahon watching his greatest creation hang up his boots, slowly causing him to make the same decision? Not even Hollywood could contrive an ending that sweet, and McMahon would be a fool to refuse fate.
2. He’s Had A Damn Good Run
Officially speaking, Vince McMahon purchased WWE from his father in 1982. 35 years is an incredibly long time to be on top of any business, especially when a person happens to control an industry as entirely as McMahon has. Even the harshest critics McMahon encountered throughout his career would probably admit he had at least one great idea along the way, if not several dozen such ideas, or perhaps hundreds. Whenever the idea of a person retiring is brought up, people discuss whether or not the person has anything left to prove, and McMahon, more than anyone, has nothing to worry about in this regard. To this day, every single sports entertainer in the game was impacted or influenced by McMahon in some way, and that won’t change simply because he stops working. Not only does he have nothing left to prove, but he also has nothing left to do in the industry that can’t be done without him, and he can be pretty assured whoever takes over will do it in a way very similar to his considering how well things worked out for Vince.
1. It’s Better To Burn Out Than Fade Away
WWE ratings have been plummeting for months now, fans are leaving in droves, and these downward spirals show no end in sight. Quite frankly, should Vince McMahon continue to refuse the inevitable and not retire sometime soon, his WWE Universe may blink out of existence entirely. Granted, it would take quite a long time before that happened, and the more likely scenario is fans simply continue leaving, but not enough so that the WWE Network dies without them. Ultimately, though, the last years of Vince McMahon’s tenure as WWE CEO will be remembered as the time fans stopped paying attention to his company. In fact, it might even come so late that no one cares whatsoever. Regardless of how egomaniacal his onscreen character may be, McMahon has to realize that for his family’s sake, and indeed the entire industry’s, it would be better for him to retire than destroy WWE altogether. Each passing day McMahon books something bizarre that no one wants to see, he’s injecting another lethal dose of poison into his creation, and this absolutely needs to stop.