Yikes, Vince can get snippy if you ask him the wrong questions...
This is part of the interview Vince gave the Sun where they asked about offering Bret the rights to his likeness and library in the WWF (maybe WCW, too) to show up at Wrestlemania 18.
"I don't know how inside you want to get on this stuff. It sounds like you do," McMahon said sternly. "It sounds like you want to dwell on this stuff and it's like, please, don't make me have to get into this thing with Bret in terms of being a crybaby -- in terms of maybe someone, I believe, who needs psychological help and everything else."
-- Inside? Is Vince trying to hide behind kayfabe here? It's a little late for that. And it's good to see that the childish insults haven't been abandoned.
"I'm trying to do the right thing business-wise and for our fans and then I read about some sort of (library) crap. I don't know of any performer that's worked for MGM or any other major studios who thinks he has, in some way, some right to ownership of films he's done. So, I don't know why Bret would think that he should have some right to ownership or right to usage of videotape, which is no different than any actor who performs in any sitcom or television show. Unless it's written in the contract, there is no ownership."
-- Of course there's no ownership, but does that mean Bret can't negotiate for it if there's something he has that Vince wants? As far as doing the right thing business-wise, unless Bret hung around after Wrestlemania, I don't see how that would help business since it seems Vince was ready to keep this a secret if it panned out. Just a quick mark-out moment for the people watching.
"They're adequately paid and compensated, as Bret was when he was here. His talents are enormous -- (or) were -- and we will always appreciate his contributions here. Beyond that, he has own agenda that I guess maybe you and a few other people still care about. If you do, I would suggest I can count those people on one hand -- and that would include all of your readers."
-- "No one gives a fuck about Bret anymore. No, really. I SAID NO ONE DOES! I'M VINCE MCMAHON DAMMIT! HOW DARE YOU DOUBT ME! I SHALL UNLEASH A PETTY INSULT AT YOUR PAPER IN RETALIATION FOR YOUR BLASPHEMY!"
Reading this interview scared me a little bit. I think either Vince has gone totally off his rocker, or he's so into the Mr. McMahon character that he assumes it at all times in public, neither of which is encouraging.
I gotta agree with you, sometimes it seems like Vince has no idea when to shut up and keep his cool. Like You said, he always seems to be "in character." During the whole XFL drama I felt bad for Vince because the press badmouths him with a vengeance. But then I realized that most of the time Vince brings that shit on himself with his antics. Like the Bob Costas interview, for instance. Yes Costas was being very patronizing of Vince at times, bt Vince squandered a chance to be the bigger man by acting like he was going to grab Costas and start whipping his ass. He comes across very insecure and bitter. Vince is obviously very intelligent, stupid people dont become billionaires. But every time like it seems like he has a stage to demonstrate this intelligence he starts acting like a prick. Im not saying Vince shouldnt show a tough side, he wouldnt be where he is today with out a take no shit attitude, but he needs to show a little charm. I really think that Linda has a bigger role in the success of the WWF than I had always thought. Shes obviously the cool headed one. But Linda cant be the face of the WWF, Vince has to be.
"But the truth is, YOURE the weak, and I am the tyranny of evil men. But Im trying Ringo, Im trying hard to be the shepherd....."
I have to side with Vince on this one, not because of how he said it, but because of what he said.
A. Bret has no legal rights to the material that he seeks, yet he takes every chance he can to whine about not having them. Unless it's in your contract you don't have the rights to do anything with company owned material without consent. Normally, companies are a bit more giving than this about how they dole out such material, but Bret is no different than a disgruntled employee. Just because he's disgruntled doesn't mean Vince owes him anything.
B. Bret has shown that he is a whiny little bitch sometimes, but it's better to play up Vince as the heel. Why? Because Bret is the "working man" who got it stuck too him by his fat cat boss (Plus it's Canada). Vince is really just calling Bret for being that way. It doesn't make Vince "better" but it doesn't mean that he's not right.
In closing, Vince should shut his damn mouth and let Linda talk to the press since she actually sounds like she knows what she's talking about. But the press WANTS to talk to Vince, and he wants to talk to them, so the system's a failure.
Oh, I agree with Vince on this. But this one line really caught my attention:
"Only a few inside people remember the Bret-McMahon incident," McMahon said.
Do you mean by this that you disagree, that you believe that there are plenty of people `inside' who remain concerned with Survivor Series 97?
I would heartily disagree, if that's in fact what you meant. For all the foofaraw that was raised on the Internet, the Bret Hart Screwjob has turned out to be one of the least impacting events of the last 5 years.
Compared to such events that really did change the industry in the last few years (i.e. Owen's death, ECW/WCW going under, WWF purchases WCW, etc.), the ending of SS97 is pretty much irrelevant; especially when you consider that the situation that led to it (i.e. more than one major company trying to sign stars coupled with big stars having `creative control' clauses) almost can't happen anymore.
Now that I think about it, McMahon's above statement makes sense. McMahon did what he felt he had to and told everybody at the time that history would bear him out.
A few thoughts on the matter: 1) If Vince doesn't like talking about Bret and/or Montreal, then why is he still using the "Montreal Screwjob" ending in main event matches (Survivor Series 1998, Benoit-Austin on RAW in May/June 2001, etc.)?
2) If Vince is so sick of talking about it, then why doesn't he simply say, "No comment. Next question."? According to the article, all the reporter asked was whether an offer was made to give Bret the film and photographic catalog of The Hitman. Surprise, Vince, not every reporter is being unreasonable or nasty a la Bob Costas.
3) Does Bret own any rights to his likeness as the Hitman? That's doubtful at best for him, and it's more likely that he doesn't own any rights to it whatsoever. But apparently, Vince asked Bret if he wanted to be at Wrestlemania, and Bret said not without rights to his likeness. Vince made an offer, Bret made a counteroffer, the deal fell through. What's the big deal? Why's Vince taking it so personally? So what if word got out about negotiations?
4) Here's another lovely little quote from Vinnie Mac: "Despite the way I would feel personally about someone, if it's the right business thing to do, I'll do it for our audience." Apparently, the right business thing to do includes backing out of twenty-year deals with your World Champion only a year into the deal, while keeping your Tag Team belts on hillbillies. But my tone doth get a little bitchy, perhaps...
5) Do few people still CARE about Montreal? Yes, it's quite probable that few still care. Do few people still REMEMBER it? Gimme a break! (TM Gorilla Monsoon) See Point #1. Nuff said.
6) Vince McMahon - especially Vince McMahon in 2002 - talking about someone else needing psychological help is like Bill Clinton heading a task force investigating adultery among politicians.
I'm not saying that Bret is cynical and whiny at times. He is. But Vince is just as cynical and whiny, if not more so. Don't mistake Vince's business success for him being in the right.
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