If life in the spotlight these days is based on the ability to remain relevant, 72-year-old Vince McMahon had quite a week.
On Monday, he celebrated the 25th anniversary of Raw by reprising his role of "Mr. McMahon" in meeting Stone Cold Steve Austin once again. The ratings for Raw 25 were through the roof -- 4.5 million viewers -- which is the best WWE rating since March 2015.
On Thursday, he announced that he was rebooting his once-failed pro football league, the XFL, some 17 years after its failure. On Friday, his WWE stock hit an all-time high, which meant -- on paper at least -- he made $15 million from Monday through Friday. And on Sunday, his Royal Rumble generated more buzz on social media than the Pro Bowl, and garnered plenty of attention despite going up against the Grammys.
The night ended with the announcement of the WWE's agreement with Ronda Rousey, who, a short time ago, was the most-talked-about woman in the world before her two quick and shocking UFC losses. In typical McMahon and WWE style, the "Hot Ronda" shirt she wore on the pay-per-view broadcast was available in the WWE online shop minutes later.
"The stock started to rise in November and it has just gone up and up and straight through the roof," said Laura Martin, a senior media analyst at Needham & Co., a New York-based investment bank and asset management firm.
Martin said institutional investors love the WWE because of its mature digital model as the rest of the world tries to play catch-up.
Many were confused why the stock went up when McMahon announced the return of the XFL. McMahon sold about $100 million worth of stock to fund a venture that is backing the league. Martin suggests maybe that's because investors were impressed with his restraint.
"When he's done other projects that have had some risk, he has funded them through the WWE," Martin said. "The fact that he pulled back here and is taking the risk himself is huge."
McMahon has been at this a long time, but last week might have been his best yet, and in equally typical McMahon fashion, he declined to comment on his success.
Consider this: There were more tweets about the Royal Rumble than the Pro Bowl, according to Twitter's data team. Bash the NFL's all-star game all you want, but it's still America's most popular sport and it pulled off an incredible rating Sunday.
Forget about his XFL announcement for now. How about this stat: Over the past week (from Jan. 22 to Monday), the WWE was tweeted about 3.2 million times, while there were 4.7 million tweets about the NFL with the Super Bowl LII matchup set.
This doesn't exactly come as a surprise.
McMahon has built a massive universe along with a fortune for himself -- he's currently worth $1.65 billion, according to Forbes. His WWE is the most viewed channel on YouTube and has more Instagram followers than Major League Baseball and the NFL.
But that doesn't make last week any less impressive. That he chose to do all this in the same week as some tremendous competition is vintage Vince. Royal Rumble up against the Grammys? Maybe not a whole lot of crossover there, but he did respectable in terms of mind share.
All you had to do was look at Twitter's trending topics at 11:40 p.m. ET Sunday.
2. Royal Rumble
3. Ronda Rousey
Then understand what he did with the XFL announcement. All things considered, what McMahon announced Thursday was actually very little. The league would be called the XFL and it wouldn't have the same gimmick focus as the last run. But other than that, it was a whole lot of "We have a lot to decide" and "Our launch is two years away" kind of stuff. Not exactly attention grabbing on its own.
Because McMahon dared to announce the XFL's return while the NFL was still in season, he had a chance to capitalize even more. This relies on sports fans giving McMahon the benefit of the doubt despite the XFL's failures back in 2001. That's something McMahon deserves because, at least in the wrestling world, he has arguably created more with a blank slate than anyone in sports history.
With more than 450,000 Twitter mentions of the XFL this past week, McMahon drummed up $1.9 million in equivalent advertising through impressions, said Eric Smallwood of sponsorship analytics firm Apex Marketing Group.
Whether the XFL succeeds -- McMahon says the focus this time will be on the quality of play -- is uncertain.
However, his signing of Rousey is more of a sure thing. Wall Street seems to agree. Adding Rousey, Martin said, is a huge plus.
"P.T. Barnum has nothing on Vince McMahon," Martin said. "He'll do great with her and keep her from getting hurt."
McMahon was once interested in buying the UFC, but sources say he was conflicted by the fact that he couldn't fix the action. Now, with Rousey and former UFC fighter Brock Lesnar on board, he actually can fix the action and assure that the biggest personalities do, in fact, win.
Given how well McMahon's week went, it almost seems like he wrote the script for that, too.