Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas made some interesting comments in August 2015 when speaking about New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the “Deflategate” scandal: “I’m glad that he’s fighting [it], because it’s good for the game. It’s an entertainment business. It’s turning into the WWE really. It’s like the Vince McMahon stuff. Basically (Roger) Goodell is like Vince McMahon.” While Thomas was likely making a flippant remark when speaking about the NFL commissioner, he did bring up an interesting point when comparing the man tasked with leading the top sports organization in North America with the chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment.
Goodell and McMahon should theoretically not share many traits as it pertains to their business endeavors. Goodell is the head of what is, to the best of our knowledge, a legitimate sports competition in which players face off against each other in meaningful games. McMahon, meanwhile, is one of several people running a professional wrestling company that is based upon performers engaging in scripted fights that occur inside of a ring. The wrestlers involved in those matches are great athletes, yes, but they are also aware of who is going to win and who is going to lose before they enter a ring.
Both the NFL and WWE have earned plenty of bad press for a variety of reasons in the past, and Goodell and McMahon have, in multiple instances, been at fault for these stories seeing the light of day. McMahon has been criticized over the years for his performers using steroids and other illegal substances, for airing raunchy segments, and for the overall reputation that has hovered over the company for at least three decades. Considering all that has occurred in pro football since Goodell took over as commissioner of the NFL, McMahon may nevertheless be the better choice of the two.
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10 McMahon is King
Goodell is the commissioner of the NFL, but he is also a man who has to answer to bosses; specifically the owners of the 32 franchises in the league. Every league decision that Goodell makes occurs with those owners in the back of his mind, as they could choose to replace him when they want. McMahon is not the only person running the business and creative ends of the WWE, but all that occurs during events and behind the scenes comes with McMahon's approval. McMahon has the final say, he is the surviving king of North American pro wrestling until he abdicates the throne, and he is thus more powerful than Goodell.
9 McMahon Has More Control Of His Athletes
Not a year passes by anymore without there being a plethora of stories of NFL players getting into some kind of legal trouble. News organizations such as the USA Today keep updated databases on their websites for all of the player arrests that occur. While plenty of WWE employees have gotten themselves into hot water in one way or another, there is no question that the company does not have the same kind of legal issues that have circulated throughout the NFL for far too long. McMahon and the WWE have done well to part ways with even big-name performers such as Hulk Hogan when they have embarrassed the company. The NFL, meanwhile, is still filled with players who have been involved in domestic violence cases and other disgusting matters.
8 McMahon is a Better Promo
Goodell is not always the most comfortable individual when speaking in front of cameras and microphones, especially when he is addressing matters such as a running back knocking a woman unconscious while at a casino. We have seen McMahon appear on shows such as Raw and SmackDown and in non-WWE interviews. He is arguably the best promo man in the sports world and his ability to draw heat from crowds while feuding with babyface characters such as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin helped the WWE defeat World Championship Wrestling in the “Monday Night Wars.” McMahon verbally hitting out at football players who get themselves in trouble would be gold.
7 McMahon is a Former World Champion
Goodell has a long list of accomplishments on what is a rather impressive resume. Do you know what is not one of them? A world championship run. McMahon has twice held gold, as he won the WWF Championship and the Extreme Championship Wrestling title during the rebirth of that brand. Sure, those championships don't actually mean anything outside of the fictional universe created by the WWE and it was McMahon who booked himself to win those titles. He nevertheless held those championships, while Goodell cannot make such a claim.
6 McMahon Squashed His Opponents
Goodell has never had to worry about facing significant competition during his time as commissioner of the NFL. The NFL is the top sports organization in all of North America, and that trend is going to continue for the foreseeable future. That has not been the case for McMahon, however, who has managed to outlast and topple all who would stand as foes. He and the WWE swallowed up the territory system that existed in the United States for decades, and he also defeated and then purchased ECW and WCW. Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and Ring of Honor do not stand a chance of being in the same league as the WWE.
5 McMahon Created a WWE Alternative
One of the worst-kept secrets in the sports world is that the NFL would like to set up an alternative version of the league, one that would present games on television during NFL offseasons and one that would allow fans to watch pro football 12 months out of the year. Goodell and the league have yet to figure out how to create a successful company capable of reaching those goals. While it has been stated by reporters such as Dave Meltzer of the Figure Four Online/Wrestling Observer website that McMahon is not all that involved with NXT, the fact remains that the WWE had to receive his blessing before the developmental brand became a weekly program that intentionally or not exists as an alternative to those who do not wish to follow WWE storylines.
4 McMahon Has Planned For The Future
There is no order of succession within the front offices of the NFL. Goodell is the lone man at the top of the mountain and he does not have any long-term plans in place for the future of the league were he to step down or, for whatever reasons, be forced out of his job. McMahon, on the other hand, has spent the better part of the last decade grooming son-in-law Triple H and daughter Stephanie McMahon to take over for him when he does decide that he has given all he can to the WWE and to pro wrestling. Assuming that the work Triple H has done with building NXT offers indications of how he and Stephanie will run the WWE down the road, the future looks bright for the company.
3 McMahon Built An Empire
The NFL is a league and a brand that is known all around the world, and Goodell does deserve credit for helping to expand the popularity and worth of the league. He has not, however, built an empire and a media conglomerate that McMahon has created in the WWE. The WWE holds events in multiple countries every year. The WWE Network can be viewed 24 hours a day and seven days a week on different continents. Along with the pro wrestling shows put on by the WWE, the company has also been resulted for movies and music albums. The WWE is a massive entertainment organization that goes far beyond wrestling.
2 McMahon Has Sacrificed His Body
Goodell did well to work his way up the NFL ladder, serving first as an intern and then ultimately being selected as the commissioner of the league. He never, however, played a single regular season game during his time in the NFL. McMahon worked numerous matches while at the same time running the WWE as chairman of the company, and he took some serious and even scary bumps during those encounters. The hardcore match that McMahon had with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 22 is somewhat brutal to watch when you consider that McMahon was in his 60s at the time.
1 McMahon is Jacked
Have you seen any recent pictures of McMahon? The guy is absolutely shredded and he looks like a man who is in the best shape of his life rather than an individual who turned 70-years old in August of 2015. Say whatever you will about whatever substances McMahon may or may not allegedly be consuming to help him remain so jacked, you cannot deny that he looks like he would be able to handle his business in a real fight versus Goodell or against members of the WWE roster. Keep doing you, Vince. You are the gift that keeps on giving.
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