The corrupt authority figure is an exhausted crutch in the storytelling that is a part of professional wrestling. While many have assumed the position, few have flourished in the role. Vince McMahon was the best in this situation because not only does he really own WWE, but more importantly, he is not afraid to show his ass…sometimes literally. I have to give props to Stephanie McMahon for her performance as of late. Triple H never shows weakness or vulnerability, so his character is easy to tune out. Stephanie, on the other hand, is doing things differently.
While Stephanie McMahon used to steal from her husband’s playbook, it seems she has upgraded to that of her father. Last night on Raw, she was handcuffed and arrested in front of a sold-out-capacity crowd inside the American Airlines Arena for slapping Brie Bella, a former company employee and a ticket buying fan, who was sitting in the front row. I assumed the arrest angle would go down next week, but WWE timed it perfectly to occur right after the Flo-Rida segment because a lot of hardcore fans are sour on musical numbers. I just knew there was something odd about Stephanie introducing Flo-Rida, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.
Stephanie’s reaction to the initial line of questioning from the police officers was brilliant. “She hit me in the ring”, referring to Payback several weeks ago, in a sneaky attempt to escape the inevitable. Once she was handcuffed and read her rights, the waterworks began as she outwardly cried “I don’t want to go to prison.” It was ridiculously appetizing to watch because it was a clear overreaction from a character who was primed for her comeuppance. The laughs continued as the principle owner was placed into the back of the squad car and a river of tears continued downstream.
I wish they would have continued the angle and shown footage of her being processed, finger printed, and end the scene with the all-important mug shot. Imagine how many times that picture would have been retweeted? The possibility of these moments made me reminiscent back to the The Mountie being arrested after his jail house match with Big Boss Man at Summer Slam 1991.
I was also impressed with Stephanie McMahon’s performance a few weeks ago when her plans of embarrassing Vickie Guerrerro were foiled. Her swimming for shore in a kiddie pool full of mud reminded me of Vince McMahon’s theatrics during the infamous beer bath with Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1999. I think that Stephanie is starting to realize that her character needs to be knocked down a peg or two from time to time. Ultimately, it makes the audience more invested because you know she is going to get hers at some point, which never used to be the case. And even when she did get egg on her face, she never sold it nearly as well as she sold last night’s arrest.
Vince’s days on TV are few and far between, Shane is out of the picture, and Linda is doing her political thing. That leaves Stephanie McMahon to take up the mantel of “YOU’RE FIRED” shenanigans. She can’t be a Vince clone because it will come off as a cheap imitation. However, Stephanie has some advantages in the role that her father never had. Namely, being a smart and attractive female in 2014. I hope the last two months were a sign of things to come as opposed to an out of the ordinary performance, never to be seen again. The world needs an over the top, hammy, McMahon to push people around, only to get pushed back tenfold.