watch your step
The talented superstars that make up the WWE roster are some of the greatest athletes and showmen that the world has ever seen. Even though the outcomes are predetermined, the physicality, athleticism, and toughness in professional wrestling are very real. There are many great wrestlers that have stepped onto the mat; however, there is one that is often overlooked. This man must be acknowledged for his achievements in the industry. This man is none other than Shane McMahon.
Shane is a Boston University graduate and has appeared in big Hollywood movies such as Rollerball. More importantly, Shane is the only son of WWE Chairman and CEO Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Despite his privileged upbringing, Shane McMahon accepted no favoritism. He was not the most physically gifted athlete; however, he made up for it with an enthusiasm and disregard for his own wellbeing that few others had. He was trained by the great Pat Patterson, Jerry Brisco, and of course his father Vince McMahon. Over the course of his career, with his unyielding grit and determination he captured the European Championship and the Hardcore Championship; not to mention, being involved in some of the greatest storylines of all time. Shane deserves to be known as one of the all time greats to ever make that walk down the ramp.
Shane knew how to capture the crowd’s attention right of the bat. The crowd could not help but stand on their feet when they heard Shane’s famous “Here comes the money” entrance song followed by his patented Shane’O’Mac shuffle. His ring walk and quickness of feet were accompanied by a charisma that was all his own and could not be duplicated.
Shane McMahon broke onto the scene with the Mean Street Posse; a collection of friends who grew up together on the mean streets of Greenwich, Connecticut. The Mean Street Posse consisted of Joey Abs, Pete Gas, Rodney, and Shane McMahon. They made their mark on the WWE by ambushing people and pummeling them in a 4-on-1 beating. Shane soon moved on to managing other big name wrestlers such as Test (RIP), The Big Show, Chris Benoit (RIP), Triple H, etc. Shane really made his mark with his in ring performances.
Before Shane, the highest risk maneuver you might see on a consistent basis was a Jeff Hardy Swanton Bomb. No disrespect to Mr. Hardy, but Shane took it up a metaphorical notch. Not to say he was executing more spectacular moves, but he had a way of sacrificing the body that was incredible to watch. Even on simple maneuvers such as elbow drops from the top rope. He would get more altitude and cover more distance and always made sure he landed with a big thud. Shane was also one of the only wrestlers doing shooting star presses (a very difficult maneuver in which the athlete jumps forward while doing a back flip) at the time. This is something NCAA Champion, Brock Lesnar, broke his neck attempting.
Shane may have also been the only wrestler going coast to coast (jumping across the ring from one turnbuckle to the other) at the time. Shane’s most impressive moments all ways came atop the titantron; in which, he plummeted 50 feet on three separate occasions. Shane will be remembered for great battles with a number of top level superstars.
On of Shane’s first feuds came against Steve Blackman. The feud reached its peak at Summerslam. As the two battled for the Hardcore Championship, Shane decided to start climbing the titantron rigging. Blackman quickly pursued him, kendo stick in hand. The two reached the top and there was nowhere for Shane to go. After taking three cracking shots with the kendo stick, Shane fell 50 feet through the air in front of a sellout crowd. This would mark the first time anyone had taken such a fall [not including Owen Hart (RIP)].
Shane got to show some of his comedic chops in his rivalry with the Big Show. After their manager/client relationship fell apart, Shane constantly mocked the Big Show’s intelligence (or lack thereof). Shane and the Big Show finally met in the ring in a Last Man Standing match. After Shane battered him with multiple cinderblocks and another 50 foot flying elbow from the top of the titantron, Shane emerged victorious.
Shane was also involved in some twisted family feuds. He was either trying to protect his sister, Stephanie, when she was dating Test (RIP) or defending his mother, Linda’s, honor when his father was having an affair with Trish Stratus. He even bought up the WCW right out from underneath his father, but one of Shane’s best story line rivalries came against Kane. Kane tombstoned Shane’s mother and Shane sought revenge.
Shane’s conflict with Kane produced many memorable moments. One of these moments came when Shane escaped Kane’s grip and kicked him into a flaming dumpster. Glistening from sweat induced by the heat of the flames, Shane starred into the dumpster and exhaustedly said, “Burn in hell…you son of a bitch.”
Another memorable moment came when Kane attacked Shane in the ring. Kane tied Shane to a turnbuckle, applied jumper cables to Shane’s testicles, and proceeded to electrocute Shane McMahon’s testicles. This feud ended with an ambulance match in which Kane defeated Shane (but not before Shane took another 50 foot fall from the titantron). Shane had many great matches; however, there is one he will always be remembered for.
And who could forget the run in Shane had with Kane’s brother, the Undertaker, earlier in his career. This saga would result in The Undertaker giving Shane one of the biggest “bumps” in hs career. Grabbing Shane McMahon by the throat, The Undertaker through him from the top of the turnbuckle all the way to the announce table. Shane slammed through that table with all the grace you would expect from a McMahon.
The best match of Shane McMahon’s career had to be his Street Fight match he had with Kurt Angle at King of the Ring. This was a grueling match. Shane’s true hear was shown when Angle tried to belly-to-belly suplex him through a panel of Plexiglas. On the first attempt, Angle through all 235 lbs. of Shane McMahon into the glass…but it didn’t break. Shane’s back slammed into the glass and he fell head first onto the concrete. Kurt looked over at Shane and asked, “you alright?” Shane answered, “yah.” They made it back to their feet and Shane said something to Kurt he wasn’t expecting… “Throw me through that motherf****r.” So again, Kurt grabbed his famous belly-to-belly and hurled Shane into the glass. The glass shattered and Shane sailed underneath stage. Unfortunately for Shane, they had to come back out from underneath the stage. This meant he was going to need to be thrown through some more glass. So, they went at it again. Belly-to-belly into the glass and it didn’t work. Shane’s body folded in on itself like an accordion and he fell head first on the concrete…again. One more time, belly-to-belly into the glass…it didn’t work. How is Shane not paralyzed? Like a true champion, Shane makes it back to his feet. This time, Kurt grabs him by the back of the head and sends him head first into the glass. He breaks through and reemerges from underneath the stage to a screaming crowd.
The two athletes make their way back to the ring where they continue to battle. Finally Kurt Angle lands his finisher, the Angle Slam, off of the top rope. Shane hit the mat with devastating force, once again showing his willingness to sacrifice his own body for the company. Angle wins the match, but his tailbone is broken. Shane wins the love of the crowd and the respect of his fellow wrestlers.
Shane’s contributions to the WWE are immeasurable. As the boss’s son, he did not have to do the things he did; however, he wanted to earn his way. He has been a part of as many great stories and matches as any superstar in the business, sacrificing his own body time and time again. He rose out of his father’s shadow to become his own man. Shane’O’Mac, The Young Jungle Cat, Simba, Shane McMahon…Champion.