Vince McMahon has sat on top of the sports entertainment industry for so long that a majority of wrestling fans have probably never seen a version of the sport free of his influence. Not since Vince purchased WWE from his father has the business been free of his executive touch, and even before then, Vince, Sr. had many similarities with his son. A WWE Universe without a man named “Vince McMahon” in control is genuinely something the world has never seen, but whether he likes it or not, we may not be that far away from finally witnessing such a reality.
As far as anyone knows, Vince remains in perfect health at 72 years old and could continue running his company into perpetuity if he so chooses. It also feels like common knowledge that Vince intends on doing exactly that, with no plans of retirement in sight. Vince himself has gone on record several times saying he’ll never retire, as he’s more than happy to keep running the show until the day he dies. His close friends and trusted allies like Triple H and Pat Patterson have confirmed this, and yet plenty of fans still hope he’s going to change his mind on this sometime soon.
To put it in terms Vince will understand, the fact of the matter is that his retirement may well be “best for business.” Ratings are down, attendance to live events is embarrassing, wrestlers are leaving en masse, and fans around the world are starting to openly resent WWE and the McMahon family because of it. Not that any of this seems to bother him. To find out why it should, keep reading for 8 reasons WWE fans want Vince McMahon to retire and 7 explanations why he’ll be around forever anyway.
15. Why He Should Retire: No One Lives Forever
Whether or not Vince McMahon actually chooses to retire someday soon, the fact remains his WWE Universe will inevitably one day be forced to exist without him. Though he may try and deny it at times, Vince is human just like everyone else, and a sad side effect of this condition is that he’s going to die someday. It should go without saying that even Vince’s greatest critics don’t want this to happen, but facts are facts, and everyone has an expiration date. Vince’s father died at 69, and his grandfather at 72, both genetic signs that the end may be near for him as well. On the other hand, Vince’s mother is still alive and well into her late 90s, so we may be stuck with him for a long time to come.
14. Why He Won’t: He Hates Giving Up Control
From the moment Vince McMahon started writing himself into his storylines, fans have been questioning if the man was, to put it bluntly, next-level bonkers crazy. If the answer was affirmative, this alone could explain why Vince refuses to retire, chalking it up to some sort of mental defect that makes him refuse to quit. Not being psychologists, we think it would be a bit far to offer that diagnosis, but we will say the guy has shown textbook signs of megalomania his entire career. Of all his many obsessions, Vince has always seemed most interested in control, not only over his employees’ careers, but also over their personal lives. Vince also loves to dominate his announcers, at times telling them word for word what to say and how to say it. Someone who enjoys power this much won’t give it up simply because he’s a little old.
13. Why He Should Retire: It’s Better To Burn Out Than To Fade Away
“My,my, hey, hey,” Vince McMahon is here to stay. Should he be, though? In the immortal words of rock ‘n’ roll legend Neil Young, “it’s better to burn out than to fade away,” and some wrestling critics might argue Vince has been proving this theory for the past decade or so. This is how long WWE ratings have slowly been dropping, and Vince’s reputation in the business is fading away along with it. Muddying the reference a little bit is the fact that Vince has been fading away due to a decade’s long burnout, which he should’ve been able to recognize a long time ago. At this point, it feels like almost every storyline in WWE is simply a rehash of another idea they’ve tried a dozen times already, often with harshly diminishing returns. The only original ideas left come from the wrestlers themselves, and all Vince does is take away the good parts and replace them with his old, outdated influences.
12. Why He Won’t: He Has Nothing Better To Do
While most people in life start dreaming about retirement the same day they accept their very first job, not everyone feels this way about their place in the workforce. By all accounts, Vince McMahon is very much the sort of person who has no interest in retired life, if only because the prospect sounds extremely boring to him. Sure, Vince enjoys a day on the beach now and again like anyone else, as evidenced by the fact he owns multiple boats, including one he named the “Sexy Bitch.” However, it would seem Vince never wants to spend more than a week at sea before rushing back to some random arena and getting to write another week’s worth of wrestling shows. Believe it or not, Vince is still having the time of his life running WWE to this day, and with that being the case, he has no reason to ever stop doing it.
11. Why He Should Retire: There’s Nothing Left For Him To Do
Whenever critics or pundits discuss the potential retirement of a major athlete or business executive, a common question is whether or not this figure has anything left to prove in his or her field. No such question exists in relation to Vince McMahon and the sports entertainment industry, since arguably no other human being has achieved a quarter of the success McMahon has. As a business executive, Vince turned a mid-sized regional company into a global leader in sports entertainment. From a performance standpoint, Vince was the primary focus of his television programming for years and once reigned as both WWE and ECW Champion. Granted, he’s also in the unique position where he could invent another accolade just to give it to himself, like the Vincent J. McMahon Legacy of Excellence Award, but there’s not really anything to gain from such a gesture.
10. Why He Won’t: He’s In Love With Making Money
For many years, Vince McMahon proudly boasted on television that he was a “certified billionaire” at every chance he got. Also, because he was writing the show, those chances were rather plentiful. A couple major misfires have caused Vince to slip in and out of that certified status, but no matter how much money the man actually has, he loves telling people he has a whole bunch of it. Even if Vince has way more than enough money saved up to retire, the man is well aware that once he does, his bank account will permanently stop increasing and slowly start to dwindle. While it would take decades for McMahon’s account to run completely dry, the idea that it would even drop beneath nine or ten figures is terrifying enough to him that he’s too afraid to ever stop making money.
9. Why He Should Retire: Superstars Are Giving Up On Him
Up until quite recently, it was the dream of every prospective wrestler in the world to one day work for Vince McMahon. Okay, so maybe this is the tiniest bit of a stretch, but it’s true that most American wannabe sports entertainers came upon that goal by watching WWE in one form or another. And even if that weren’t the case, WWE has always been the top of the wrestling world, thus offering the biggest money contracts and highest-profile TV time. Despite this, in the past couple years alone, top-level performers like Neville, Ryback, Jack Swagger, and Cody Rhodes have all walked out on WWE without thinking twice about it, all because of McMahon’s practices as the man on top of the company. These superstars feel like Vince no longer listens to their needs, nor does he have his talents’ best interests in mind when writing his programming. WWE has never been in this position before, and it could easily get out of it if the source of the problem were to walk away himself.
8. Why He Won’t: He Genuinely Loves The Business
Make no mistake about it, for all he has done to erase the words “pro wrestling” from his programming, replacing them instead with “sports entertainment,” Vince McMahon is arguably the biggest wrestling fan on the planet. He might see it in different terms than the rest of us, and part of it could just be the fact he controls the industry and likes playing with his puppets. No matter the reason, though, Vince truly enjoys watching grown men and women suplex the hell out of one another until one of them can suplex no more. Vince also takes genuine excitement in watching his superstars give promos, perform unique angles, and engage in the silliest, weirdest, and least conventional forms of humour ever to air on television. Even in some world where Vince didn’t have all the power in wrestling, we imagine he’d sit at home watching it on TV every day and writing fan fiction about the sport on the Internet, so of course, he’d keep running the real deal for as long as humanly possible.
7. Why He Should Retire: There Are Several Ready, Willing, and Able Replacements…
Not too long ago, Vince McMahon could’ve justified his decision to stay in the wrestling business despite his advanced age solely because there was no one available to replace him. Aside from long-trusted allies like Pat Patterson, who is even older than Vince and thus clearly couldn’t take his place in the future, few others seemed to have the tools to do the job Vince was doing. Nowadays, however, the number of potential replacements is actually pretty high — and growing, for that matter. In addition to the obvious candidates like Vince’s children Shane and Stephanie or his son-in-law Triple H, there are also outside choices in the business and media world who could take WWE to even higher heights through their outside resources. It doesn’t really matter in the long run, though, as having potential replacements is irrelevant when Vince doesn’t appear to believe in any of them.
6. Why He Wont: …But He Doesn’t Trust Any of Them
One would think the fact Vince McMahon raised Shane and Stephanie to become the people they are today means the two of them are better suited than anyone else to control his company. For whatever reason, it looks like the exact opposite is the case, as Vince clearly has no faith that either of his kids could do as good a job as he does, or else he would have given them the opportunity to do so by now. Vince also must think there are no other executives in the business that are anywhere near his acumen, or else he would’ve given up small pieces of power here and there as he got older. Instead, Vince remains the be all and end all for all things WWE, because there’s no one else he trusts to handle any of his many duties. As Triple H climbs the corporate ladder, people continually claim The Game will be the one to break this trend, but again, were that the case, one of them would’ve said something about how that’s the plan. Instead, Triple H openly admits Vince would only give up control of the company when he dies.
5. Why He Should Retire: He’ll Get To See His Kids Succeed
The strangest part of Vince McMahon’s inability to trust anyone to take the reigns of his company is that this is the man’s own flesh and blood we’re talking about. It’s not like Vince would be handing off the WWE Universe to some outside party who doesn’t care about him or his legacy; the top choices for the job are his own son and daughter, Shane and Stephanie. They say it’s every parent’s dream to one day watch his or her children achieve success beyond his or her own, and the only way this will be possible for the McMahon kids is if their dad finally gets the hell out of the way and lets them. In a way, Vince is robbing himself of the “proud parent” experience, as he could just as easily enjoy WWE from afar, merely offering minor suggestions now and again, which his kids would surely listen to. Too bad he’d never confine himself to such a quiet role.
4. Why He Won’t: His Name Still Means Ratings
Forget about all the psychological- and business-related reasons why Vince McMahon doesn’t want to lose control of his company. Another, perhaps even more important, explanation why he won’t be retiring anytime soon is that he’s still the biggest superstar working for WWE. Although Vince doesn’t wrestle anymore and his TV appearances are few and far between, whenever he does show up on Raw or SmackDown, it’s a guaranteed ratings boost that will get fans talking for weeks. Unfortunately, McMahon is the only WWE employee left who garners this sort of reaction from the audience. Even retired wrestlers making huge comebacks for one night only don’t get the same attention Vince does when he puts on a referee shirt and gets punched by Kevin Owens. If he retires, WWE loses the ace in the hole they go to every time viewership reaches a new low.
3. Why He Should Retire: He No Longer Listens To The Fans
Arguably the most important reason WWE fans want Vince McMahon to retire is the fact he no longer listens to them when they say who and what they want to see. From the moment Roman Reigns hit the scene onward, Vince has preordained The Guy as his next number-one babyface hero, a fact no one else in the WWE Universe agrees with. Vince doesn’t care that everyone hates his favourite wrestler and even responds to the vitriol by pushing Reigns even harder, just to remind everyone of who’s in charge. This is only one of many examples of McMahon’s current trend of ignoring his own audience at every whim, which is a clear-cut sign he’s no longer fit for the job of entertaining them. He may still love wrestling, want to make millions, and feel that no one could do a better job than he does, but most of the wrestling audience still think Vince is a heartless jerk at this point. The only way to save this reputation will be for him to raise his hands and give up, passing it on to the next generation.
2. Why He Won’t: He’s Not Ready To Give Up His Baby
Putting ourselves in Vince McMahon’s shoes, we should be able to understand why he’ll never retire. He’s not just some wrestler or performer clogging up TV time because he refuses to give away the spotlight. Vince is the creator of an entire universe he gets to continue living in every day. Giving up WWE would be like giving away a child, the keys to his house, and every single memory that went along with it by way of its extensive video library. It’s about a whole lot more than money, fame, and control to Vince. The WWE Universe has been his life from the very first time his father let him walk around backstage at Madison Square Garden. Granted, if Vince did retire, he’d still be given free reign to wander around backstage and talk to people, but that’s not enough for a man who’s gotten used to being the most important person in the business.
1. Why He Should Retire: He Doesn’t Know What He’s Doing Anymore
Ultimately, this entire list would be a moot point and a non-issue, something fans never even think about, if not for one simple thing: WWE isn’t doing that great these days. Were Vince McMahon batting on all cylinders, it wouldn’t matter that some fans are kinda bored with a stale product or that he’s too old to live the lifestyle he’s been living for decades. If the average Raw, SmackDown, and Pay-Per-View left fans smiling, fans would continue to praise the name “Vince McMahon” and hope he never, ever stops running the WWE Universe. Unfortunately, that’s not at all what’s happening. In every way Vince once proved to the world he was a genius who could dominate the wrestling world, he’s now revealing himself as out of style, out of date, and completely out of touch. The longer he sticks around, the worse it will get, so he should just quit while he’s still a little bit ahead.
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