Interview with Tim Kail (The Work of Wrestling)

I’m not convinced Vince McMahon wants good quality wrestling or that good quality wrestling is his priority. I’m not convinced Vince McMahon is even a fan of professional wrestling; at least I don’t think he’s shrugged off the insecurity a lot of wrestling fans have about loving this form of performance art. I sense a degree of self-consciousness in him, an unwillingness to accept the roots of his chosen form. I do think Vince McMahon wants to create a good quality show, however. I think he absolutely adores show-business and spectacle, and I think he’s a master of spectacle. I think there’s a frustrated filmmaker in Vince McMahon, and that he would love to have been a big time movie director ruling Hollywood during the Golden Age. I see that frustration, that dissatisfaction when I watch RAW from time to time. He often says “we make mini movies” and I hear top members of the roster recite that nonsense too. It’s the kind of thing a young, insecure artist thinks, comparing their chosen form to something typically regarded as “higher art” instead of just being proud of their chosen medium. It’s like a painter saying “I make mini songs”. No. You don’t. You make paintings – so make paintings and be good at it and don’t worry about making anything else. Or, if you want to make mini songs, become a musician. And I suppose that would lead me to what I’d like to discuss with him – I’d want to ask him why he believes “Sports Entertainment” is superior to professional wrestling, I’d want to know what his understanding of pro-wrestling actually is, what medium he thinks he’s actually working in, and whether or not he’s doing what he actually wants to be doing with his life. I’d want to know if he’s willing to work with his talent to tell great stories again. I respect his tenacity and his ability to create marvelous, money-making spectacles, I just wonder if he’d be happier making films in the 1940s and 1950s or variety television shows in the 1960s & 1970s.