Freddie Prinze, Jr. worked as a writer for the WWE twice in the past, and while he was there, Prinze got a chance to work with Vince McMahon. According to Wrestling Inc, Freddie has the opinion that McMahon knows what is best when it comes to the WWE, even though Prinze realized that Vince has no clue about pop culture references outside of the WWE.
It seems strange to hear the two contradictory statements, but it also makes sense because McMahon only knows about the business of the WWE. According to Prinze, McMahon knows what works best in the WWE and it is his toy box to play in, so fans should just be happy that Vince McMahon allows them to watch it.
“Vince is always going to do what Vince does. And, honestly, I know people don’t agree with this, but he really does know best.”
Freddie Prinze, Jr. made an interesting analogy. He mentioned the Stephen King story Misery. He pointed out that the villain, Annie Wilkes, is similar to WWE fans. In Misery, Annie found her favorite author, Paul Sheldon, after an accident and was nursing him back to health. When she learned that he wasn’t treating her favorite character in his next novel the way she wanted, she held him hostage and demanded that he change the ending of the novel to what she wanted it to be.
“It would literally be the movie Misery, where Kathy Bates is like, ‘No, she’s not dead. You’re going to bring her back. I don’t care what book you wrote. You’re going to bring her back right now!’ And that’s what social media is, so they want to have a voice, they feel they have a voice in the match with the ‘Yes! No! Yeah! 1, 2, ahh!’ They feel they have a voice [but] you don’t. Are you entitled to it? Sure. Is it ever going to get heard? It shouldn’t.”
Prinze also mentioned that Jimi Hendrix wouldn’t change the type of music he played if fans on social media told him they wanted to hear pop. He said Picasso wouldn’t change his style if fans complained they wanted different looking art. Prinze said McMahon shouldn’t change how he creates in the WWE either.
The biggest problems with the WWE and many of its more vocal fans right now are how WWE fans want the indie stars that have come up in the WWE to get pushed, but McMahon always chooses the bigger guys. Outside of Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart in the 1990s, McMahon has always gone with big wrestlers or larger-than-life characters like The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
The fans want guys like Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles to go over, but 411mania reported that Freddie Prinze, Jr. feels that will never work in the WWE. Prinze doesn’t point out their popularity, but instead their size.
“Rey Mysterio is an exception that proves the rule. He’s not an exception to the rule. He got hurt. The demands of a champion, Daniel Bryan, is another great example of what they have to do to their body… It is gruelling and destructive and that’s why Vince wants to keep the belt on bigger guys because historically they’ve been able to last longer and remain healthier.”
While that makes sense, the fact that Vince McMahon rarely listens to the WWE fans when he is booking shows has another possible conclusion. According to Prinze, McMahon doesn’t watch anything other than professional wrestling.
Freddie Prinze, Jr. said that he called McMahon “Robo-Vince” when he worked for the WWE and that McMahon didn’t know what that meant because he had never seen Robocop.
“I’m like, ‘You’ve never seen RoboCop? Of course not! You didn’t see Scarface or you would have known Razor Ramon is plagiarism!”
Freddie Prinze, Jr. said that he was on the WWE plane with McMahon and was watching a stand-up comedy special of Richard Pryor. When McMahon saw what he was watching, he asked why Freddie wasn’t watching the WWE. When Prinze said he wanted to see something funny, McMahon mentioned that the WWE has Santino.
That lack of pop culture knowledge is a reason that Vince McMahon has possibly lost touch with today’s WWE wrestling fans. There was a story from a few years back that indicated that McMahon was shocked that the WWE lost viewers when competing with a Miami Heat game because he didn’t know the Heat had many fans. Vince apparently didn’t know that LeBron James even played for them at the time, or that LeBron was as popular as he was.
That is even more ironic as tonight’s WWE Money in the Bank event competes head-to-head with the final game of the NBA Finals between James’ Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. With the NBA Finals and Game of Thrones both competing with the event, it will be interesting to see if Vince McMahon’s WWE game plan still resonates with today’s audience.
[Photo by Chris Polk/AP Images]