"We make movies", said Vince McMahon in an infamous scene from 1999's eye-opening Beyond The Mat documentary. Chewing water and somehow fashioning a power stance from a seated position, The Chairman was virtually just his on-screen character during the bit, much as he was during a filmed meeting featuring young potential Superstar Darren Drozdov. It was McMahon's impassioned scream of "PUKE! HE'S GONNA PUKE!" in his own commentary voice that ingrained itself in the brains of all that saw it, but the familiarity was just as frightening as the cadence.
This was it. This was the vaunted WWE machine in action. Men and women would meet the man most responsible for the industry's global success, be weirded the f*ck out by him, but then give themselves over on the promise of "opportunity" and getting just as many action figures as Hulk Hogan. McMahon, with his own voice or the one he forced upon his announce team, would tie together the loose ends and make them stars. Not star wrestlers, but "Superstars". Star wrestlers only get star ratings, Superstars get the moon on a f*cking stick.
So the story went, Drozdov could be sick on command, even if he was a understandably nervous trying to boak in a bin in front of a wailing tycoon. This, McMahon decreed, would be the thing that propelled him beyond his in-ring aptitude to the next level. Just as the talented James brother Brian could sing as well as wrestle. Before he took on an entirely different sort of competition, Kurt Angle won a gold medal with a broken freakin' neck. Did you know Lacey Evans used to be a marine? This was the sh*t to put on posters, toys and all the other stuff CM Punk couldn't get his face on on, pal.
It's still happening now. The machine never stops. Christ, the septuagenarian controlling the machine never stops. If he did, for a day, he'd maybe rethink what it meant to put a fearsome heel's mask on a f*cking title belt and turn him into a clown.
We Need To Talk About Kevin (Nash).
Michael can be found in articles or on podcasts extolling the virtues of New Generation WWF, New Japan Pro Wrestling or the new WWE angle they definitely definitely won’t ruin this time.