Not as flashy as dying in a limousine explosion, but Vince McMahon did go out in a blaze of glory when he was relieved of his duties by his son-in-law, Triple-H. After what transpired at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, the Board of Directors and the McMahon family have collectively decided that Mr. McMahon was no longer fit to run WWE, and that Triple-H would take over as Chairman.
For weeks, the WWE Universe have been transfixed on C.M. Punk on whether or not he would leave WWE with its heavyweight title, but McMahon’s role throughout this whole ordeal indicates that we should have paid closer attention to him. McMahon made WWE into a global empire, but there was one black mark in the company’s history, the night Mr. McMahon made the decision to screw Bret Hart.
Two careers were besmirched that night: Bret Hart’s and Shawn Michaels’s. Bret Hart built his reputation for twenty-years and McMahon destroyed it in three-minutes. Shawn Michaels, no matter how many championships he won, or how many shows he stopped, carried the burden as “the guy who screwed Bret” his entire career.
For the past fourteen-years, McMahon assured himself that he couldn’t afford the possibility of Bret walking into Nitro and stripping the WWF Championship of its prestige. The WWF in 1997 was not the global juggernaut that it is now, an action like that would have destroyed everything McMahon had built. As wrestling fans, we always play the “what if” game: What if Shawn Michaels had refused to be McMahon’s fall guy? What if Bret Hart actually won the title?
Unfortunately, there is no DeLorean that could take us back in time to alter the past, but in the WWE, anything could happen. McMahon, along with John Cena and C.M. Punk, recreated 1997. C.M. Punk made ridiculous demands that McMahon could not uphold, and he boldly told the Chairman that he would walk out of his hometown–in his final match–with the WWE Championship. Chicago created the atmosphere, and all the players played their parts: John Cena refused to be McMahon’s fall guy, and C.M. Punk actually won the title.
For all the years of Mr. McMahon shouting to the fans, “I don’t care what you want!” He finally did.
On Raw, Mr. McMahon reminded everyone that no one is bigger than the WWE — Not C.M. Punk, not John Cena, not Hulk Hogan, not The Rock, not Rey Mysterio, or The Miz. But sadly for Mr. McMahon, he had to be reminded by Triple-H that not even Mr. McMahon is bigger than WWE.
Congratulations Vince, you made WWE unstoppable … even by you.