Vince McMahon, A Visionary and Genius
We are a few days removed from the birthday of the great Vincent Kennedy McMahon and I wanted to take a minute to reflect on his greatness.
Learning the business from his father Vincent J. McMahon, Vincent Kennedy McMahon saw an opportunity to grow upon what his dad had done when he took over the company. He took the WWF from a Northeast Regional Territory to a National and International brand.
Vince knew from the start he had to expand his family business if he wanted to take it to the next level. Much like any great business he needed to get the right staff in place to help him build his enterprise. He also needed the right talent.
Vince was viewed as an intruder, as he raided other territories for their star talent. They would say he would make offers that the talent couldn’t refuse. He would take everyone from announcers to top guys and show them to not just a nation, but the world. He would not quit or give up until he conquered the wrestling world.
Vince’s first big idea was WrestleMania. This idea would combine celebrities from mainstream Hollywood, with his characters and superstars. Of course, Vince couldn’t do this alone, he needed a top star. That top star was Hulk Hogan. Hulk Hogan helped Vince turn the business upside down. All great stars need a foe to help them get over, cue Rowdy Roddy Piper, Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff, Jake The Snake Roberts, and Andre The Giant. He also had guys like Cowboy Bob Orton, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Koko B. Ware, and the Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase to liven up the card. The list goes on as Vince had a variety of entertainers at his disposal and he was going to show them off to the world. He would bring in celebrities such as Cyndi Lauper, Mr. T, and Liberace.
Combining his stars with celebrities was genius and Vince reaped the benefits as WrestleMania was a huge success.
Vince’s next move was to move into other territories TV markets and broadcast his advertisements. This worked as Vince would dominate the pay per view market. He would then broadcast his product on weekly television.
The rest was history was as we know it. After an immense struggle, he won the Monday Night Wars and bought out WCW. This was the ultimate measure of victory for Vince as defeating Hogan, Bischoff, and Turner was his ultimate goal. He wanted to stomp on the men who wanted to put him out of business and he did just that.
Vince McMahon has a revolutionary mind and a work ethic that is second to none. Vince may have coined the phrase “Sports Entertainment” but he eats, sleeps, and breathes the wrestling business, more importantly, the WWE. He has turned the WWE into a 5 plus billion-dollar enterprise that is going to continue to grow.