As announced today in a press release, reliable hit-making production company Blumhouse and reliable hit-making (but a different kind of hit) wrestling organization WWE are teaming up for what is apparently going to be the “first-ever scripted dramatic portrayal of a chapter in WWE’s history.” It will also be “the first scripted portrayal” of WWE boss Vince McMahon and several of the biggest wrestling stars of the ‘90s. (That doesn’t feel true, especially since the WWE itself is a scripted portrayal of wrestling, but there are other things to address here.)
The project is called The United States Of America Vs. Vince McMahon, and it’s a limited series about McMahon being taken to court in the ‘90s for allegedly supplying WWE performers with illegal steroids. In case there was any doubt about what kind of tone a limited series about Vince McMahon produced by the company he runs would be going for, the press release implies that the accusations were all trumped up by overzealous columnists and a conviction-hungry FBI, with McMahon standing up for himself as a powerful beacon of justice. Here’s how the press release describes him:
McMahon, with his liberty at stake, two school-aged children at home, and with WWE on the brink of bankruptcy, refused to take a plea deal. Ultimately, McMahon stood trial and was acquitted unanimously by a jury of his peers and went on to build a multi-billion-dollar global sports entertainment empire.
Is there anyone whose last name is not McMahon who would actually buy this? It would seem a little less strange if WWE—and therefore McMahon himself—weren’t involved in this, since he’s so famous for playing a self-aggrandizing, manipulative villain version of himself in the WWE universe and this seems like something his character would do, but even dedicated WWE fans should know that the real McMahon is hardly a saint (and that’s assuming you don’t care about the fact that he’s a Republican billionaire who is famously good friends with a certain orange-tinted piece of shit with small hands and wispy cobweb hair). A dramatization of Vince McMahon’s life isn’t a terrible idea, but this story? About him being accused of giving wrestlers steroids and then being acquitted? Is it just because a court of law determined that he was right and that means he is officially the Good Guy in this story? Is it because Hulk Hogan testified and that means some actor can try to win an Emmy for playing Hulk Hogan?
We don’t know, and it might be a bit before we find out. The press release doesn’t mention a network/streamer being involved, so this all must be fairly early. Also: McMahon should just play himself, right? Steering into the absurdity seems like one way to make this a worthwhile concept.