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Dead McMahon in Bad Taste?

6/20/2007 5:46 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Death struck twice for the WWE this week, and the real fatality is making the WWE wonder whether the staged one should stay in the script.

WWE fem-fighter "Sensational Sherri" Martel was found dead at her mother's home June 15, and just three days before, chief butt-head Vince McMahon was "killed" in a limo explosion on the "Monday Night RAW" broadcast. Foul play wasn't suspected in Martel's death, but cops have said in reports that the cause wasn't natural.

In light of Martel's real death, we're told there were discussions inside the WWE about abandoning their current "McMahon is Presumed Dead" storyline, with many WWE folks feeling that it was in poor taste.

But c'mon, folks, this is the WWE we're talking about! Not only is McMahon staying dead, the WWE, according to reports, plans to push the storyline even further with the discovery of DNA evidence linking McMahon, his limo driver and a "mysterious third party" to the fictional attack ... all for consumption this Friday on "WWE Smackdown."

That sound you hear is Owen Hart, spinning in his grave.

The WWE had no comment on the situation.


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Now there is another wrestling death - Chris Benoit plus his wife and 7-yr old son. Let's wait for more info before making assumptions.

2684 days ago


...I more than understand that wrestling is not 'real,' in the sense that there are story-lines, predetermined winners and champions. However Make no mistake that it is real in the fact that these men/women are athletes. If you doubt it, try climbing ontop of your kitchen table and land cross ways on another person on the ground. Its very taxing on the body...and on the mind. With the crazy story lines one has to keep reinventing himself to be promoted both in the ring as well as in the pulic.

People die every every job...everywhere. These are not the first wrestlers to die..Eddie G. being the one that comes to mind first. However the "McMahon Death" story line isnt in bad taste...nor is it bad timing. There needs to be a line of demarkation here. What would be in exceptionally poor taste would be to use these deaths to enhance story lines. Honor the memories of those who have passed as one would with the death of anyone. Then write them out of the scripts.

I dont watch wrestling. Havent since i was a kid. And the hottest thing was when Ricki "the Dragon" Steamboat bested Jake"the Snake" Roberts by bringing an ENORMOUS Iguana to the ringside, as Roberts always had done with his snake. The best scandles were talked about on "PipersPit." Then it didnt matter if people, esp children, thought it was real or fake because the ideas weren't harmful. Now the people are purposefully crippling eachother, killing eachother... the women are out there to be objectified. 'Good stuff to get your kids involved in.... ' its detrimental to their psyche, especially to those kids who are being toldthats its real. Do you tell them that "Jurassic Park" was real? That dinosaurs will be eating them soon? With all do respect...wrestling is a primetime red-neck soap operas. Its like teaching your kid to drive at a mud bog or monster truck rally.

Lets put it all into perspective...all the money your spending on Big Time Wrestling is going to line the pockets of a small group of people, and thats awesome; i love capitalism... but its no where near the cost of the psychologist youre going to need to straighten their heads out from Americas new past time... Be your kids parent and not their friend. they have enough friends and are begging you to set the boundaries. set them outside the ring until theyre old enough to realize on their own that its all for show.

God Bless the families of those who have died in this sport; and shame on those who might exploit them to make money.

Rest Peacefully,
J Whitepine

2683 days ago


iinstead of such lousy script elements they can bring back guys like rock, goldberg and g
et some good (well scripted) matches...i watch wwe for the wrestlers entrance's and the way the pecking order always looks evident.

2678 days ago

the way it is    


2690 days ago


My husband and 7 yr old son watch this crap. My son is totally scarred for life. Sorry but even before the death of Sensational Sherri was found dead I thought the "staged" death was stupid. Come on. That sound you hear is also my grandmother rolling over in her grave. She lived to be 93 yrs old and when she died 10 yrs ago she was still a die hard wrestling fan. What in the world would she think now?!?!?!

2690 days ago

Jason Bourn    

Its all hocus pocus anyways. Whoever follows the WWE is a loser anyway. Its so fake its just incredible how popular the WWE is. Sign Paris to replace the dead girl!

2690 days ago

Really now    

This is in bad taste at this point

2690 days ago


who cares? we're talking about wrassling here! surely TMZ has something better to talk about than crappy stage combat set to explosions.

2690 days ago


Not defending the level of class continually shown by Vince McMahon (he has none, I agree), but you need to get your facts straight.

Sherri Martel died AFTER Vince McMahon was "killed". McMahon was "done in" on Monday, June 11, NOT the 18th as your report. Sherri died a few days later. In addition, the Smackdown show, shown last Friday after Martel died, was actually taped three days prior, on June 12.

Once the WWE ran with the angle, they had no choice but to follow up with it even after Sherri's untimely death.

2690 days ago


What a load of CRAP

2690 days ago


I don't know about the death of the lady wrestler, but Mike is 100% correct on the date of the 'death' of Vince McMahon. It happened at the end of a 3 hour RAW on June 11th.

2690 days ago


I don't see the problem here. Sherri should get whatever tribute she would have gotten had this angle not occurred. I mean, she probably wouldn't get a ten-bell salute, which is usually done for active competitors or special occasions only. She would probably get her picture at the beginning of one of the weekly shows. If they feel it's in poor taste to do that directly followed by continuing coverage of the McMahon car bombing, then at some point during the program, following a break, the commentators can respectfully and quietly mention "And in more unfortunate news..." while her picture is shown on the Titantron.

It shouldn't matter that McMahon's not really dead. The point is, he could be, and that's the entire basis of the angle. If the intention of the angle is to generate heel heat for McMahon when he returns, mission accomplished. If the intention of the angle is to generate a face reaction for McMahon when he returns, all he has to do is be irate with somebody the crowd doesn't like (i.e. Coach) for allowing his so-called death to dominate the airwaves when there wasn't a shred of proof and only non-evidence supported speculation. Mission accomplished.

WWE is a fictional entertainment program, and in the course of that, conflicts between what's fake and what's real can and often do arise. Consider the show "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter". When John Ritter passed away, did they end the show because it would have been too sad, too tragic to continue? No, they turned Ritter's real death into the fake death of the character he played, brought in new characters and started calling the show "8 Simple Rules", which didn't even make sense because the guy who made the 8 Rules was DEAD! Why should WWE be held to a higher standard?

If WWE decides to wimp out now, shame on them. If WWE hotshotted this angle onto TV without first considering what would happen to the angle's progression if somebody in the wrestling industry actually passed away, shame on them. For that matter, forget everyone else—what would happen if Vince's health suddenly started to fail him or he really passed away in a freak accident when he's already supposed to be dead?

The WWE should have made backup plans for an angle of such importance, and if they didn't... shame on them.

2690 days ago

He's Boring now    

No wonder this goof is tight with Trump...they're both a couple of scam artists believing and proving PT Barnums famous creed "There's a sucker born every minute"...both are classless, border line sociopaths in not feeling anything towards anothers suffering from their business deals or false promises.

The audience that follows them both is the segment of the World that is populous enough to keep these types in power and rich. i.e, a lot of dumbasses out there.

Maybe the lesson should be, cant beat join em...there's lots of money to be made out there

2690 days ago

jProud American Author    

This was a very confusing article IMO. I don't understand what happened and why it seems like something not all that important (two people died?). It's mind boggling.

2690 days ago

jProud American Author    

This was a very confusing article IMO. I don't understand what happened and why it seems like something not all that important (two people died?). It's mind boggling.

2690 days ago
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