The internet was set ablaze with hype and rumors when news broke that Shane McMahon, son of WWE chairman, Vince McMahon, was “quietly let go,” from the company. This occurred after Shane McMahon allegedly went a tad insane backstage at the Royal Rumble, he getting into conflicts in one form or another with many of the participants in the Rumble match and staff backstage that very night.
It was also alleged that he wanted the emphasis to be put on his spot in the match, thus resulting in early eliminations for the likes of Kevin Owens and even Randy Orton, whose hometown the Rumble was held in last Saturday—St. Louis, Missouri.
Of course the Rumble didn’t go off without quite a few hitches, but this one here is the resonant hitch that the world wide web has been concentrating on all week, and not only the fans. For us pro wrestling journalists, the week has been a busy one, consulting with sources and following along as the hype built up.
It leaves us with one glaring question, or rather a few, but the glaring one is perhaps this: Is it all just a work, or is Shane and Vince’s relationship so bad that this is what it has come to?
Join me as I investigate further, and try to shed some light onto just what’s going on. Perhaps we’ll end up with only more questions, but in the end, maybe those questions will make us all better prepared for what’s ahead, and it can be huge, dear readers…something that will shake the very foundation of the pro wrestling industry as we know it, and even more than it already has been.
“By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.”
The lowdown of what happened at The Royal Rumble
As can be seen in so many documentaries he has been interviewed in over the course of his last few years at the company (WWE), the title Shane McMahon held was as ‘talent.’ He had no backstage responsibilities other than helping out at times and the many matches he’s had since returning.
This was the official capacity at which he operated with the company since his return in 2016. He had previously resigned from WWE in any capacity whatsoever back in 2010, and wasn’t seen since that time. He went after other business opportunities on his own…away from the pro wrestling business.
At the Rumble this past Saturday and according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, Shane was to enter the Rumble, which he did, and also he had production responsibilities for the match according to Meltzer. The plan, as per the same report, suggested that he was to go on to the Elimination Chamber and plant the seeds for a feud at Mania or rather on the road to Mania with none other than Seth Rollins.
That would have made for some good programming for sure, but now, these plans seem to have been abandoned, as it was announced this past week—early—that Shane McMahon was “quietly dismissed” from his duties with the company.
Now, the pro wrestling world is as confused as ever, but there are those that wonder if this is all as it seems…one pro wrestling legend specifically.
Is it all just a work?
WCW legend and WWE Hall of Famer, Diamond Dallas Page has come forth with a wonderment that has been arrived to by perhaps many out there. Is it all just a work? Is WWE planning something big, and with Shane McMahon at the very epicenter?
WWE have done similar things in the past. To start a story line like this isn’t something typical that they’ve done lately…so intricate and secretive…but with AEW breathing down their necks, perhaps it’s time to do something that takes them out of their comfort zone.
Proof that they are willing to step out of that comfort zone is the allowance of Impact Wrestling’s Mickie James to participate in the Royal Rumble, and not only that, but to walk into the match with her Impact Knockouts Championship in tow and her Impact Wrestling entrance music!
And not only that; Impact Wrestling was also granted the use of exclusive WWE footage from the Royal Rumble on this week’s weekly episode of Impact! How’s that for stepping out of your comfort zone?!
It was while speaking on The Bro Show that DDP said the following:
“I’m not saying it is (a work), but I just don’t believe anything in wrestling anymore…It could be a complete work. Shane’s a classy dude. Every experience I’ve ever had of Shane McMahon, it’s been straight up. I don’t see how Shane goes crazy in between, I saw him at the Hall of Fame…
In this scenario, my opinion of Shane McMahon is really up there. I didn’t see it. I’m not going to let some dirt sheets or people talking smack take that (change his opinion about Shane). I don’t know what happened, I wasn’t there. Do I think it could be a work? Part of me (says yes). I don’t know for what reason it would be. Who knows, Shane could come through the crowd right before WrestleMania and he’s booked in…who knows.”via The Bro Show /Wrestling Inc (Transcription)
Even Braun Strowman got in on the action, he calling Shane out on social media; he essentially stating that Shane was more than welcome to join himself, Killer Kross and EC3 in the #ControlYourNarrative movement.
“All you have to do is knock our doors open brother!!!!”via Braun Strowman
The two worked a match at WrestleMania last year, and in a steel cage to boot.
If this is real, can it possibly come to pass that a McMahon enters the realm of AEW?!
“Perception precedes reality.”
“Perception is like painting a scenery – no matter how beautifully you paint, it will still be a painting of the scenery, not the scenery itself.”
And yes, the rumors have indeed been running rampant that Shane is bound for AEW…the very company that’s been biting at the heels of WWE since it’s very own inception (AEW started in 2019 officially). And since that inception, it has been like a thorn in the ample side of WWE, garnering quite a bit of momentum for itself in the process.
There are those that think that the beef between Shane and his father, which dates back to 2009 just before Shane stepped down from his duties at the time (and many argue that the issues stem from even before), are very real, and this dismissal of Shane is true. Well, for those people, seeing Shane in AEW would be quite fitting and I can definitely understand that. In AEW perhaps Shane can get the opportunity to lead a pro wrestling company as he sees fit—something his father has always been reluctant to let happen, apparently.
AEW’s Dax Harwood, who worked with Shane extensively in WWE sent a shout out to Shane after the news of the release broke, quite simply with this tweet:
“Hollatcha boys @shanemcmahon.”via Dax Harwood on Twitter
Wade Keller of PW Torch reported that his sources suggested that WWE actually wants to warn AEW about Shane McMahon. Here is what Keller said:
“Yes, the (fake meme) graphics are out (saying) Shane is All Elite. Tony Khan may or may not reach out to Shane. People in WWE are letting me know that someone should warn Tony Khan what he’s in for if he brings Shane in, because the sense of entitlement. And I don’t know if ego is the right word, that Shane would bring along with him in a company that isn’t WWE would probably be amplified compared to how he was acting on Saturday, which was just basically out of control.”via Wade Keller /Sportskeeda (Transcription)
The possible conclusion many could arrive to here perhaps is that maybe WWE is afraid that AEW could actually acquire Shane after all, because that they are actually concerned for Shane in AEW for AEW’s sake seems so unlikely. All is fair in love and war and this is a war, make no mistake about that folks. So they being worried that Shane could be a problem for AEW is unlikely, as stated. If anything, they’d want a snake let loose in their henhouse, and not the other way around.
Perhaps these statements were made to Keller to deflect the true intention, which was to instill fear in Tony Khan so they didn’t acquire the very lion they themselves let loose in Shane McMahon.
To be real, the reputation Shane McMahon has built over the years has been one of an easy-going person. That just doesn’t change when one is 52 unless he or she seriously needs some sort of psychiatric help which I don’t presume to be the case here.
Let’s recall what DDP said just above; it doesn’t make sense that his behavior would suddenly change. The only thing I can think of is that he went a tad insane at being frustrated at always having his ideas shot down by his father, but again, that is perhaps the narrative we’re being fed; what we are perceiving to be there right in front of us because of the facts we have been merely given.
But it is the facts we are not being shown…those that are being slid towards some end in the cover of darkness by hands that are quite good at slights of hand and pulling the wool over the public’s eye.
In pro wrestling, anything is possible. Of course to most of us, all of this does not seem likely, but sometimes frustration of being under a domineering parent’s shadow is capable of inspiring even the craziest of courses…a course that Shane McMahon just might be prepared to take in the not too distant future. Time will of course tell, as it always undoubtedly does, and we’ll keep you posted, dear readers.
As stated above though, nothing but questions remain. But sometimes, it is the good questions that provide the best course of thought needed to solve even the most complicated of mysteries.