For years, WWE owner Vince McMahon has faced rampant criticism from ordinary fans and people within the industry alike, many of whom feel he is out of touch with the trends in professional wrestling. In a recent interview, WWE Hall of Famer Terry Funk became the latest wrestling personality to criticize McMahon for his perceived inability to change with the times, suggesting that his “stagnant” nature has resulted in a product that lags behind that of the recently launched All Elite Wrestling.
Appearing on the Two-Man Power Trip podcast, Funk discussed various topics, including the initial success of AEW as a competitor to WWE and the reasons why fans gravitate toward the newer promotion. As quoted by WrestlingNews.co, the hardcore wrestling legend opined that viewers are showing a lot of interest in AEW because they want to see “something better” than what WWE has been offering as of late.
“I think that you can’t turn sh*t into a great meal. You can’t put whatever you want into there but that is what Vince is doing. He has become repetitious, he has become stagnant, and some of his stuff is totally overbearing and that is just a matter of truth. Now you’ve got a fresh flower coming up right behind you.”
When asked if he thinks AEW is bringing back lapsed fans who had stopped watching wrestling at some point, Funk disagreed, stressing that the company has instead been attracting “fresh new fans” hoping to see a different kind of product. He also fired some shots at McMahon’s “idiotic” XFL, questioning why the WWE boss had to revive a football league that originally shut down after just one season close to two decades ago.
Regarding the frequent criticism of McMahon as someone who is out of touch with the business, Funk said that it would be more accurate to say he suffers from an “inability to change” the type of characters he promotes in his company. The 75-year-old wrestling icon then reiterated his earlier point about WWE’s product being stagnant and repetitive, adding that McMahon is wrong to consider professional wrestlers as “actors,” regardless of how established they are in the industry.
“I am not an actor and never was an actor in my entire life,” Funk concluded.
Funk’s comments about McMahon and his supposed shortcomings as the head of WWE came shortly after another ex-employee, AEW star Chris Jericho, blasted his former promotion in a worked-shoot promo on the October 9 episode of Dynamite. This promo saw Jericho criticize WWE for its “stupid” storyline ideas and for holding back wrestlers like his Inner Circle stablemate Jake Hager (formerly Jack Swagger) during their time working for McMahon.