Here Comes the Money; the Return of Shane McMahon
When it comes to the professional wrestling business “never say never “and that phrase seems only fitting now that one of the most anticipated returns in years has finally happened. This Monday night on Raw, we saw the return of Shane McMahon. In order to fully understand this angle, we have to take a couple of steps back for just a sec… In 2010, Shane just upped and left the company. What was bizarre about the way he left was that when he left, he reportedly left behind any stake he had left in the multi-million dollar company. This lead to a variety of rumours, which included that he had left because Triple H and Stephanie had somehow pushed him out, that his professional life was having an immense impact on his personal life, I even remember one dirt sheet reporting Shane was going to buy TNA and compete with his Father.
Not long after, it was announced that Shane McMahon was to become CEO of ‘You on Demand’, an on demand video streaming service in China that, in similar fashion to Netflix, allows people to access thousands of titles at the tip of their fingers.
As the years went on, the hopes that Shane would one day come back home to the WWE fade, like the colour of his hair and time continued, the positions of both Triple H and Stephanie McMahon within the company increased. The more valuable they became to the WWE, the more the rumours of Shane McMahon being pushed out by them were fuelled. Not only did the WWE loose Shane McMahon, but his fans did, also. In a world where everyone Instagram’s their dinner, tweets their every thought and where big brother is watching your every move, it seems that Shane McMahon did the impossible—disappeared off the face of the earth. There was no twitter to follow, no Facebook to ‘Like’ or no Instagram to stalk.
Going back to this past Monday Night on Raw. The WWE had previously announced that they were to honour somebody with the first ever ‘Vincent J. McMahon Legacy of Excellence’ award and “that no-one up until now deserved it”. My first thought was, maybe Daniel Bryan? But then they announced they were to have the ceremony on Raw. Going by the ‘Warrior Award’ from a previous Hall of Fame ceremony, I immediately knew this was an angle. There was “No Chance in Hell” that Vince McMahon would honour anyone with an award like this on any other night than at the WWEs prestigious Hall of Fame ceremony. Unless of course, it was an angle. Bar the obvious shock when Shane’s music played, my first impression was a big applaud to the WWE for being able to, in the age of social media, keep this quiet. Although there were a few talks around the web of a big surprise for that night, no one could have predicted this! To me, this is an example of the WWE being at their best when backed into a corner. Over the past month, rumours have been circling the dirtsheets that Vince McMahon has been making offers to various stars, such as Shawn Michaels and Batista to appear at Wrestlemania, unfortunately both turned down these offers. I can only assume the reasoning for these offers is due to the lack of active draws the WWE currently have due to a large injured list that stems past Wrestlemania weekend. If I had to take a guess I would assume that Vince was desperate for a main unique selling point for this year’s Wrestlemania. (Authors Note: I believe WWE shot themselves in the foot when they ended ‘Takers streak, let’s be honest here, people still do look forward to his matches, but the magic seems to have disappeared now that the streaks ended. The streak was a very unique selling point for Wrestlemania each year, as was the Money in the Bank ladder match before it. The streak had literally gotten to the point of essentially being a spectacle within a spectacle, of course it couldn’t go on forever, but maybe they should have ended it in his final match?) I don’t believe that bringing Shane McMahon back was something planned very much in advance, simply because this angle could have been done two years ago when it would have made more sense to do it. To me, bringing Shane back is just another example of the WWE being on top of their game when they are desperate. (Authors Note: An argument could be made that the Attitude Era was created out of the WWEs determination in desperation, due to WCW kicking the WWFs butt)
As for the segment itself.
The chemistry between Mr McMahon and ‘The Prodigal Son’ in this segment proves that although neither are regulars on-screen, neither have missed a beat. There is a lot of ‘reading between the lines’ that must be done when watching this segment. Rejecting Vince’s hug and handshake are the fairly obvious, but my personal favourite touch to this segment was how Shane used his dialogue. He picked his words carefully. He addressed Stephanie’s comment of “Get the hell out of my ring!” simply with “It’s your fathers ring” – not “our Fathers” – but “Your father’s”, as if he was saying he didn’t want to be recognised as Vince’s son. This new direction for the Shane McMahons character is both interesting and exciting.
Shane states to Stephanie “several years ago your father messed up big time…HUGE and who was there to save the day? Me”. Shane goes on to say that he bailed Vince out by “cutting a deal” with him and eventually Shane announces that he wants ownership of Monday Night Raw. Vince agrees on the condition that he beats The Undertaker at Wrestlemania in Hell in a Cell. The condition if he loose’s being Shane has to give up the “Lockbox” he has in his possession.
This is where I worry.
The world of social media is booming with announcement that not only has Shane McMahon returned, but he is facing The Undertaker and not just in any match, but Hell in a Cell. With all this going on the world seems to of forgotten the most important aspect of this angle. What did Vince do that was SO bad that Shane had to bail him out? – Whatever that is, the answer lies in a lock box that is in Shane’s possession and if Shane loses at Wrestlemania, then he must give the box over to Vince. This is where you come to only one conclusion creatively. Shane will win at Wrestlemania because if he gives the box to Vince, then we never find out what was in it! Therefore we will never get any closure to this angle.
The reason this worries me is because sometimes the WWE have a tendency to just…do stuff.
(Authors Note: More on this theory from a previous article of mine, which can be found here)
And when this happens, we don’t ever get any closure to anything. I’m worried that they have brought Shane back, came up with this concept, simply just to explain his return but they don’t actually plan on making the reveal. Therefore this angle gets thrown down the toilet with all the other garbage like ‘Who is the leader of the SHEILD’, ‘The Anonymous Raw General Manager’ and ‘The Nexus’.
I don’t want to see that happen to this! You cannot centre the entire return of a character, especially one who’s made the impact on his return like Shane has, around an idea that you don’t plan on running with. It’s the equivalent to “I’ve got a secret…But I can’t tell you what it is” – all it will do is piss off the fans.
The WWE have a real opportunity here to greatly improve their show from a creative stand point. The potential of this angle could possibly change the WWE and that’s what we are going to look at in my next article.
As for this edition. Shane McMahon loosing at Wrestlemania is entirely what’s BAD for business
I’ve been Jake Jesus and I’ll see you down the road.
Follow Jake on Twitter @IAmJakeJesus
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