And Another Thing: Christmastime At Shane O'Mac's
Posted by Hyatte on 04.16.2001
I've just sent Shane McMahon a silver dollar.
I've just sent Shane McMahon a silver dollar.
It's nice--shiny enough so any glimmer of light will pick it up. Plus, it'll play with other coins in his pocket and make music as he walks. I hope he likes it.
It's a pre-Christmas Christmas at Shane McMahon's house right now. Like the kid in all of us, tearing down the steps or the hall on Christmas morning to see what cool presents Santa left us, delighting in every treasure we've freed from it's prison of pretty colored wrapping, Shane McMahon woke up on morning and discovered that Santa Vince gave him two items. The first being an entire wrestling company, complete with wrestlers, trademarks, and the complete archived history that came with it. Imagine finding that under your tree Christmas morn?
The second gift is, maybe even better. Like a relatively used Mercedes that was used and abused for too long, WCW needs an overhaul. Vince handed Shane the keys to WCW and said, "It's all yours, now fix it and make it purr again." Along with the new company, Shane has been given the best possibly gift his Father, Vince McMahon, could give--the opportunity to show that he can build a company from the ground up and make it a success. This is finally Shane's chance to show that he is more than just Vince's Son. Now he gets to prove that he is a McMahon.
Up until now, he's certainly proved that he has the business in his blood. Following the same path Vince Sr. made his own son go down, Shane learned every possible nook and cranny of the business. He built rings, he set up lighting, he booked road tours, he worked the road itself, he met with venue owners, he worked the production truck, he refereed matches, and he worked the Announce table. He got to know and master each and every responsibility that came with putting on a wrestling show, on-air and off. His zest and enthusiasm on the mic was fodder for jokes and teasing, but no one would argue that the energy he put into screaming "YeahyeahyeahyeahyeahYEAH" reflected a genuine love for the game. This was made all too apparent once Shane actually donned the boots and stepped into the ring. His insane spots and risk-taking bumps proved that Shane also understood that name products alone do not generate excitement. He knew how to give the people their money's worth. He knew how to inspire them to come back for the next time the WWF comes to town. Shane hadn't yet proven that he had his Father's ability to make wrestling grow, but he certainly showed that he was in this for the long haul.
So, with all the knowledge of the business in mind, and all the love for it in his soul, Shane now has the chance to take a damaged vehicle, and with all the tools and equipment that the WWF has at his disposal, build it into a thriving company loosely connected to the family business but able to act as a separate entity on it's own. There's a lot of hard work involved, but it's going to be fun. He has all this amazing talent to pick and choose from, both young and old. Each and every wrestler complete with their own, unique talent. Many of whom are under contracts low enough for Shane to simply pick them up. The WWF is notoriously frugal when it comes to paying their employs. Much like the XFL's concept, the wrestlers guarantee is less hard cash, than the opportunity to make hard cash. The more you put in, the more you get out of it. It's a great deal, really... especially for the younger guys just aching to get under the veterans shadow and establish themselves.
Sure, some of the veterans are lucky enough to have a special option, they can actually sit at home and collect money owed to them by the old WCW and Turner Sports. We're not talking chicken feed either, we're talking high six, low seven figure sums here. That makes the mailman their very best friend once a week while they tend to their garden or to their children. It wouldn't be fair to knock these guys for collecting on what they were promised. You and I would do the same.
Still, there will come a time when all the contracts have been paid out, and these veterans will come to Shane looking for work. Some of whom are already willing to take a lump sum pay-out from AOL/Time Warner for a certain % on their owed dollar and go right back to work. Whether it be to show Shane and the WWF that he is a team player, or just because wrestling is in his blood, some of the WCW veterans want to be a part of WCW from the get-go, and are willing to let Shane use them in whatever manner he sees fit.
So, Shane now gets to have some fun. He wants to make the perfect soup and has all these different flavors to use. The best part, he has time to play around, to mix and match, to select the best ingredients that will go into the pot. On one side, he has the younger stars. On the other, he has the established vets. All these choices.
Does he choose the hungry wild wrestler who might make a mistake or the experienced wrestler who knows how not to hurt his opponent?
Does he choose the wrestler still trying to get the fans attention or the wrestler who has already built a solid fan base?
Does he choose the guy who tries to get along with everyone or does he go with the guy who maneuvers himself over people to constantly get into the main event?
Does he choose the yes man or the crybaby?
Does he choose the backstage moral booster or the backstage politician?
Does he choose the young guy with the gut or the old guy in amazing condition?
Does he choose the guy willing to work past any injury or the guy who likes to sit at home and recover?
Does he choose the guy with a bad reputation or the guy with good friends in every locker room in the business?
Does he pick the guy who wants to put on a show or the guy who knows how to put on a show, when he feels like it?
Yeah, Shane has a lot of decisions to make. Cut and dry, they look like fairly easy choices.
But as with all things in life, blacks blur with whites and a fuzzy gray makes the choices harder, maybe even impossible?
For instance, what if there was one wrestler who exhibits, possibly embodies all the characteristics of the veterans, yet also has a lot of the qualities of a young stud? A guy who frequently makes the dirt news for his prima donna antics, yet is the guy who also quietly meets and greets the fans and makes every one of them feel special? A guy who kisses a lot of butt for the high end of the Pay Per View yet will always take time to have a beer with and advise the younger stars? What does Shane do about that guy?
Well, that's why I sent Shane the Silver Dollar. Because if he really gets stuck on a choice, he can always flip it.
Heads, and this veteran can enjoy an early retirement. Tails, and Shane McMahon's WCW will still feel the bang.
Now that I think of it, I should have sent him a two faced coin, with one face all scratched up.
This is Hyatte too.