Vince McMahon has been known to ban certain words from the WWE vocabulary, but “wrestler” is undoubtedly one of the most surprising to be cut in recent years. The WWE chairman prefers his wrestlers to be referred to as superstars or sports entertainers, but he appears to have come around to the previously forbidden word.
Over the weekend, Dave Meltzer was asked by a fan on Twitter if McMahon had lifted the ban on the word. The journalist confirmed that the chairman is fine with his performers being called wrestlers on WWE television these days, which is why we’ve heard it uttered more often in recent times.
Dash Wilder also weighed in on the conversation by saying “you’re welcome.” Presumably, The Revival member is taking credit for WWE embracing its wrestling roots again.
CM Punk shocked the world in 2011 when he referred to himself as a “professional wrestler” during his infamous pipebomb promo. While the storyline revolved around Punk voicing his frustration with the way WWE is run, the term hadn’t been used on the company’s programming for years when he said it. Since then, it’s been used more sporadically.
While it remains unclear why McMahon is more accepting of the term nowadays, it’s unknown why he banned any acknowledgement of the fact that WWE produces wrestling in the first place. There is a perception among wrestling fans that McMahon hates the sport that made him rich, but the chairman wants WWE to be viewed as an entertainment company.
— WWE (@WWE) March 15, 2016
Perhaps the reason why McMahon wants his superstars to be viewed as entertainers is to separate WWE from real sports. As noted by Bleacher Report, McMahon also has an issue with the roster being referred to as athletes, and instead prefers that they be discussed as entertainers with strong athletic abilities.
WWE is also a company that sells more than wrestling to consumers. For example, WWE Studios is dedicated to producing movies, while the WWE Music Group focuses on releasing music. The company aims to cater to different niches, and the superstars have often been used across the board — from wrestling to acting to singing.
However, McMahon has been more relaxed about superstars and announcers using previously banned words this year. As The Inquisitr reported, he also lifted the ban on “hospital” and “belt.”
WWE is often criticized for being micro-managed, but McMahon loosening up is perhaps a sign that superstars and personnel are being given more freedom to express themselves.