Welcome to another edition of
OFF-TRACK with A-TRAIN
where I take a look at some of the wrestling stories out there
and then do this:
in this episode
THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER DRAFT
BECAUSE VINCE HATES THE WORD DRAFT
AND NOW YOU CAN'T SAY THE WORD DRAFT ANYMORE
DON'T SAY IT
DON'T EVEN THINK IT
OH CRAP I JUST THOUGHT IT
OH NO CAN HE READ MY THOUGHTS
GET OUT OF MY HEAD, VINCE MCMAHON
GET OUT OF MY HEAD
So, Vince McMahon is a weird dude.
He's ... how shall I put this? ... very particular.
We all know how much he hates the term "professional wrestling," That goes back to a time when he was trying to draw a contrast between his product in the northeast and the country-fried "it's-still-real-to-me-dammit" stuff in the southern states. He felt there was a stigma among the general population, especially in his home base of New York, that if you watched "professional wrestling" you had to be a mouth-breathing four-toothed simpleton. But there was no such stigma around the term "sports entertainment." So that's what he would offer the public instead--something totally made up, by him, a nonsense phrase that didn't mean anything, and he would insist on calling it that, even though the rest of the world still called it "professional wrestling."
Also, wrestlers are now "Superstars."
And somewhere along the line, he decided that WWE fans weren't "fans," they were "The WWE Universe." And that term didn't just refer to fans in the abstract, but also applied to the actual crowd in attendance at the arena. Listen to Michael Cole when someone gets clotheslined over the barricade: "THINGS HAVE SPILLED OUT INTO THE WWE UNIVERSE!" Because that doesn't sound weird at all.
Also, there was the story of how he chewed out Braun Strowman for demanding a "title shot" during an in-ring promo. Because it isn't a title shot, it's a title match. Didn't you know the difference?
There have been countless others over the years, but there was another one recently that struck me as odd.
WrestleMania 33 took place in Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, formerly known as The Citrus Bowl. In fact, the name was changed so recently, it happened after the WWE agreed to hold their show of shows there. But Vince said, "Nope, I agreed to hold WrestleMania 33 in The Citrus Bowl, and Dammit, that's where it's going to be!" So he issued a decree that no one on the broadcast was to call it Camping World Stadium, and talent was only to refer to it as The Citrus Bowl. (Fair Play on that one, though; Camping World Stadium is a stupid name for a stadium.)
Now, we come to the latest bit of psychosis in Vince's brain.
When he announced the Superstar Shakeup (aka The SUPE SHAKE™), we all assumed this was a fun way to shift some talent around and keep things fresh for the summer. The next WWE Draft would be after Summerslam, we thought.
No, according to Bryan Alvarez on the latest Wrestling Observer Live, the Supe Shake WAS the Draft for this year. It was Vince's idea. Because, for whatever reason, Vince now hates the word 'Draft.'
I'm going to type that again.
Vince McMahon has decreed that there will not be another 'Draft' this year, or perhaps ever again, because he doesn't like the word 'Draft.'
Who knows why? Maybe he's got something against the NFL, he blames them for the death of the XFL or something.
Maybe he associates it with The Vietnam War? Maybe?
Ours is not to reason why.
Ours is but to continue paying $9.99 a month until we die.
WE MUST NEVER QUESTION THE WORD OF OUR LORD AND EMPEROR VINCE MCMAHON. HIS WHIM IS NOW LAW.
And we'll never know what's next. Maybe he'll decree that the ringposts are now to be called "big metal poley things."
And then we'll get to hear Michael Cole call this action: "Strowman charges Reigns in the corner, Reigns dodges, and in goes Strowman, Shoulder-First into the big metal poley thing!"