Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Linda's Loss, WWE's Gain?

Linda with WWE Hall of Famer Nick Bockwinkel @ WM 26 Axxess

Linda McMahon came up short in her bid to win the U.S. Senate race in Connecticut.  I was actually surprised by this outcome.  Despite lagging in the polls, I thought with all the press surrounding this race it might be enough to give Linda a boost.

As a journalist, I of course follow politics.  Like many Americans, I was tuned into the results during prime time last night.  I'm not going to name names or networks, but an anchor and the panel was talking about this race.  It was early in the night, and Richard Blumenthal was already being called the winner.  That's fine with me, the numbers are what they are.  It's the remark made by the anchor, something along the lines of being a businesswoman and her ties to the WWE didn't help her with female voters.  It was a negative comment that wasn't necessary.  To me it was an insult to wrestling fans too.  Maybe I'm reading too much into it.

Moving on.  Linda said in her concession speech last night that she plans to stay involved in politics, hinting at another possible run for office.  This would suggest that she will not be returning to her post at the WWE.  Will this hurt or help the company?

It seems that for a while things have been a little illogical in the storylines.  Things aren't matching up, not making sense.  I guess wrestling has always had that reputation.  But I'm wondering if Vince was also focusing on Linda's run and the attacks on the company that he took his eye off what's important.  Maybe he did that a long time ago.

If Linda isn't done with politics, I would guess that the PG rated programming will continue.  This stands to benefit the E in terms of being able to market more to families and kids.  More toys and tshirts being sold to youngsters.  Maybe we'll get the return of the WWE ice cream bars.  Remember those in the mid 80's?  And with the launch of the new network next year, more programming options aimed at youngsters.  Cartoons.  Sitcoms.  Cheesy movies.  The possibilities are endless.  

But what about the old school fans, like you and me.  Or you and I.  I'm not sure which it is.  But you know what I'm talking about.  I don't mind the PG rating stuff so much.  But it seems every year we get a little further away from the wrestling and focus more on the entertainment.  Sometimes that's okay, but if the sample of what we got the other night on Raw is an indication of future "entertainment" segments, I'll continue to zip through on my DVR. 

I would also like to think now maybe some of the heat from the main stream media will go away again.  The unfair criticism.  The Martha Harts and Michael Benoits of the world have less of a voice now that Linda has lost.  The media I suspect doesn't care as much about their concerns.  

Linda losing isn't going to be a boost in the arm for the WWE.  The only thing that will bring it back to that level of greatness that it was in the late 90's is a good competitor.  Right now, that's not happening.  Unless some other company comes along in the immediate future, I don't see a whole lot changing on the landscape here.  TNA tried and quite honestly failed to get the job done.

The next year should be interesting in terms of where the WWE goes with the new network.  How will the post election era be?  Will Vince really run for President, or is he really "brain dead."   (Cue the flat line sound effect)

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