So World Wrestling Entertainment’s boss Vince McMahon is now out of the billionaire’s club, thanks to the steep nosedive of WWE stocks Friday. The McMahons are due for a huge reality check at this point as they strive to survive on their measly $750 million estimated net worth.
At one point, it was believed the powerhouse couple were worth $2 billion, but after WWE stocks failed to meet their projected doubling of their television rights revenue, stocks in the company dropped 43 percent. McMahon, of course, remained optimistic about the future of WWE’s earnings, and how could he not be? The company has made him a fortune, thanks to huge names like the late Warrior, Undertaker, Chris Jericho and Big Show, among others? Let’s not forget that the WWE was once WWF, a company with its beginnings in the 1950s and helmed by Vince McMahon’s father Jess, and there are undoubtedly many now-40 somethings who will remember Saturday afternoons with male relatives jumping up from their couches as one brilliant acrobatic move after another was executed on television. There are those who grieved the loss of greats like Randy “Macho Man” Savage, his former love Miss Elizabeth, and those who undoubtedly remember the days when Cyndi Lauper once managed – or attempted to – Hulk Hogan.
The McMahons are undoubtedly reeling from the news they are now worth a scant $750 million. A net value decline of $1.25 billion is nothing to ignore, though many in society today will certainly never see money of that scale ever. However, perspective is needed. The McMahons are not struggling to make ends meet. Their estimated value means that they could buy quite a few items, like an Airbus, and they could likely do a lot for the struggling American economy. In fact, they could likely take on the debt of a Third World country quite easily and still have several hundred thousand dollars for personal expenses. When you consider that the Democratic Republic of the Congo has a GDP per capita of only $348, the McMahons – in addition to several other millionaires and billionaires – could really help some of the areas of the world that are truly struggling.
No, the McMahons should not be worried about paying their bills, as several thousand North Americans are. While McMahon may be out of the billionaire’s club, the WWE boss may need something of a reality check. As with anyone whose income suddenly drops, financial controls will have to be in place in order to keep putting bread on the table. It’s virtually certain that McMahon is not going to have a problem with that end, especially when you consider daughter Stephanie and son Shane, in addition to son-in-law Paul Levesque (formerly wrestler Triple H), are all in the family business. None of them are struggling for cash, and while it’s clear to see why the extreme nosedive of WWE stock has made the news, what is truly tragic is that this has become a story about the McMahons’ financial future rather than what could be done in order to allow greater equity across other social levels. With several thousand North Americans living below the poverty line and the numbers of those that are homeless continue to be of concern, the reality check is that news agencies are again focusing on the rich rather than looking at the realities of what is really a tragedy in 21st century society – the countries and the citizens within North America that continue to struggle simply to survive. The McMahons needn’t be concerned. The rest of North America? Not so much.
By Christina St-Jean