Vince McMahon made a surprise return to the WWE live show last night, appearing on Monday Night Raw in front of a packed arena in Buffalo.
Walking out alongside the Authority it is fair to say he was given a better reception than Stephenie McMahon and Triple H, and while he took to the stage to discuss the duo's impending showdown with Team Cena at Survival Series it was his brazen 'selling' of the under-fire WWE Network that was most revealing.
McMahon confirmed that the Network would be "free" for November, reiterating all the benefits this offered in a mic piece that was nothing short of cringeworthy. You could almost see the desperation in the veteran CEO's eyes as he laid out just why people should bother signing up to a service that was originally packaged at $9.99 a month.
Now don't get me wrong, as the head of the company McMahon is right to promote the WWE's various revenue streams and WWE tapings are no strangers to plugs for everything from upcoming PPVs to wrestler autobiographies.
But it was the manner in which McMahon made his plea to the crowd that raised this beyond the usual sales pitch.
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To come out and so blatantly pitch the Network to the WWE Universe - clearly not attempting to hide what he was doing - was quite sad to see and brought home the truth that the Network has been, to this point at least, a major elephant in the room for the WWE.
Adding to that the fact that the Network is still unavailable to UK fans despite constant promises and updates and Vince McMahon's constant mentioning of the service may have been seen as insulting by some - such as this disgruntled fan.
Arriving in May (for US audiences at least) it was supposed to offer fans unheralded access to the WWE back catalogue while providing a huge boost to the companies profit. But after slow uptake resulting in desperate subscription numbers and a lack of interest for a fairly pricey package that doesn't include the likes of Raw etc Vince McMahon and co have been forced into evasive action.
McMahon's speech live on Raw was only the latest in a long line of attempts to shove the Network down fan's throats, but it was certainly one of the most cringeworthy.
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