WWE Raw (6/25/2007)
I fucking love Vince McMahon. I know he's considered the antichrist now because his out-of-touchness is ruining WWE, but I still remember the good old days when he was the greatest wrestling character of all time. That's why I was so devastated when I thought he was dead.
Let me back up slightly. Let's do a quick rundown of exactly what happened with the Vince McMahon character in 2007. He had gotten his head shaved at WrestleMania 23, lost the ECW Championship, and was entering a depressive breakdown. It was awful. If there's anyone I have the utmost sympathy for, it's evil billionaires.
But let's back up a little more.
Let's talk about me.
I was in my early teens and I didn't have access to cable... well, let me rephrase that. I had cable in my living room, but my mom was an unbearable screaming banshee at all times so I voluntarily avoided watching Raw so I could hide in my bedroom and play Nintendo 64 games. My go-to wrestling show was SmackDown because I had rabbit-ear antennas in my bedroom and could catch it on UPN/The CW/MyNetworkTV.
So it's Tuesday. Raw has aired. I have almost no contact with the outside world due to the whole "imposed isolation" thing. I went to school, thinking everything was business as usual, when a friend of mine dropped a motherfucking bombshell on me.
"Did you hear!? Vince McMahon is dead!"
I said "...What do you mean, dead?" He goes "He was in a limo explosion after Raw!"
My jaw hit the fucking floor. I was stunned.
Now, you the reader probably know that it was an insanely obvious fake death. They blew up a limo at the end of Raw and hit the "Goodnight!" graphic. And yes, of course I knew wrestling wasn't real. But I didn't see that because I didn't watch Raw and I didn't have access to the internet outside of a few hours on the weekend at my grandma's house. So I wouldn't even have been able to do ANY critical research on this until possibly Friday night if she would let me on her computer, maybe Saturday at the latest.
I spent the entire day after he told me that Vince McMahon was dead unable to focus on anything. I mean, I never paid attention in class anyway, but I didn't even want to read all the stolen GamePro magazines I had in my backpack. I was totally fucked up about the whole thing. I couldn't believe it.
Vince McMahon... dead!?
Fast forward to SmackDown. The first information I was really able to get on any of this was that they opened with a tribute show to Vince. I recall Teddy Long saying "the show must go on."
I won't lie. I got teary eyed. I love Vince.
But as the show went on, I noticed a lot of signs in the crowd mocking Vince's death. I felt disgusted. How could humanity be so heartless!?
Deuce and Domino didn't even really seem to give a shit. They seemed pretty stoked, actually. I was a little thrown off by that, but I was too grief stricken to question it.
Fast forward to June 25th, 2007. I don't remember the exact circumstances of why, but I had Monday off from school, so my usual weekend-visit to my grandparent's house was extended an extra day. That meant I got to watch Raw, which very rarely happened. I was sitting in my grandparent's bedroom on their bed because I'd watch wrestling with my grandpa whenever possible. He had gotten up to get a drink when Raw was starting and I saw a really chilling graphic hit the screen.
Chris Benoit was dead.
My heart sank and I ran out to their living room and yelled "CHRIS BENOIT IS DEAD!" My grandpa goes, "What!?" and headed toward the bedroom.
I got back just in time to see Vince McMahon, the man I had believed to be dead, standing in the center of the ring. I literally said, out loud, "you motherfucker!"
I really felt betrayed in that moment. I was devastated to hear about Benoit's death, and now I had to process that Vince was still alive.
But it gets worse.
Vince said that his character was killed on TV, which I didn't even know. Then he mentioned that both Chris Benoit's wife and son were found dead in his home with him. Which just fucked my head up even more. I couldn't even comprehend that information.
While we were watching the Chris Benoit tribute show, my grandma printed off a news article about how they suspected it to be a murder-suicide.
The media circus surrounding this was unavoidable too. Every weekend spent at my grandparent's house, because I had cable in my bedroom there, was plagued by Benoit. I'd be flipping the channels only to run into Marc Mero, Steve Blackman, Kevin Nash and others on TV talking about whether or not steroids played a role in it. I heard Steve Austin on the radio saying there's no way it was steroids, that roid rage doesn't work like that. It was like watching the world burn the industry I love so much alive and it broke my heart.
But WWE quickly recovered... and I started watching Raw. I just decided to deal with my mom's irate nonsense and watch Raw in the living room. That's when they started the "Vince McMahon has an illegitimate child" storyline.
That storyline was so ridiculous. No iconic celebrity ever had an illegitimate child that the media never found out about.
It was obvious that they were setting up for Mr. Kennedy to be announced as Vince's jizz, but then he got busted with steroids so they decided that Hornswoggle was a worthy replacement. It was then that I wondered why in the fuck I bothered watching Raw but I kept doing it anyway because... well... what else was I gonna do?
The point of this story is that I got fucking worked by Vince McMahon. I fell for it. But it wasn't my fault. It was a domino effect of misunderstandings.
You should have seen the look on my face when they dropped the "Million Dollar Mania" sign on him.
I mean, fuck.