Monday, October 18, 2010

Maybe ‘Stand Up for WWE’ Campaign Isn’t About Linda McMahon’s Senate Race

Vince McMahon’s “Stand Up for WWE” campaign is all over the World Wrestling Entertainment website, and tonight McMahon will reinforce today’s press releases in his appearance on WWE’s flagship USA cable show, Raw.

But you might notice that this corporate PR initiative, basically announced as an adjunct of the Linda McMahon for Senate campaign, is nowhere to be found — certainly not prominently — at So far as I know, campaign spokesman Ed Patru and today’s regular campaign statements and releases have not referenced it.

I therefore think one of two things is going on here. Or maybe both.

Authoritative sources tell me that about ten days ago Vince and Linda looked at the newest poll numbers, which were turning south, and knew they’d lost their $50 million Senate gamble. But worse than losing was the byproduct of losing: increased scrutiny of WWE’s business practices, including one new state investigation of company independent contractor classifications, plus renewed calls for investigations of wrestlers’ occupational health and safety, which had been abruptly dropped early in 2009.

That led to “Stand Up for WWE.” Either:

1. The professional Linda McMahon campaign staff has been elbowed aside by WWE corporate PR in a last-ditch effort to choke off Richard Blumenthal’s lead over Linda. (If so, the effort will fail. The lead is insurmountable and the campaign to rally the least intelligent population of wrestling fans will be a national laughingstock.)


2. WWE is setting itself up to ward off post-election investigations. If Linda can’t win her Senate seat, at least Vince can make the whole environment seem so silly that legislators and others will again shy away from following through on their 2007 work and let pro wrestling go back underneath the radar.

Irv Muchnick

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