Vince McMahon has once again asserted his authority over the WWE in the strangest and most subtle of ways. According to Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the WWE Chairman and CEO has banned an oddly specific word-- no, not *that* one-- from inclusion in future WWE programming.
According to rumor, McMahon has banned the word “briefcase” from his programming. The timing is particularly suspect, as this comes only weeks after the Money in the Bank Pay-Per-View. With tomorrow night's questionably named "Great Balls of Fire" PPV approaching, it seems Vince still has last month's controversial PPV event on the mind.
While this year's MITB didn’t exactly set the wrestling world on fire in the way WWE might have intended, we saw Carmella and Baron Corbin both win Money in the Bank briefcases, which neither has yet to cash-in for a title shot (another no-no word for Vince-- but we'll get to that later)
But the company may now be referring to the Money in the Bank Briefcase as the Money in the Bank *Contract*, as it's rumored that WWE officials have asked talent to refer to the titular coveted prize as simply a “contract” instead. There’s been no confirmation as to why this slight switch was made, however, Banning certain terminology is hardly something new for the company where Vince McMahon is concerned.
Several years ago, a list was leaked containing some of the words specifically banned by Vince, as well as their preferred terminology. This included some seemingly ordinary words like "belt", "hospital", "house show" and more. But even "faction", "feud", "wrestlers" and "fans" were among the banned terms, pushing the company's standard for using sometimes awkward or made-up terms like "WWE Universe" and "superstars" instead.
Mick Foley recently told the story of Braun Strowman getting chewed out backstage by Vince for saying "title shot" on Monday Night RAW. Mr McMahon told him, quite angrily, that the proper phrase is "title MATCH" ("shot" is included on the banned list) and that he even prefers "championship opportunity" over the use of "title." This should give you an idea of how seriously he takes this kind of stuff.
Perhaps this is just a rumor best taken with a grain of salt, but if true it will certainly be interesting (another word Vince hates...) to see how SmackDown Live and WWE commentators handle the matter going forward-- not to mention Mr. and Ms. Money in the Bank themselves, Carmella and Corbin. No matter how skilled or rough either is on the mic, it's going to be tough to avoid angering their obsessively detail-oriented employer.