The biggest moment of this year’s build to WrestleMania was unquestionably the shocking return of Shane McMahon. It’s arguably the most memorable moment of the last decade. Fans around the world shared in their bewilderment as he returned to ruin Vince and Stephanie McMahon’s celebration, as father was presenting daughter with the Vincent J. McMahon Legacy of Excellence Award. The family reunion playing out on-screen has reportedly included shreds of truths, but we haven’t heard Vince’s true feelings about the return of his son. Until now.
Mr. McMahon granted an exclusive interview to the Orlando Sentinel following Tuesday’s press conference announcing Orlando (and the Citrus Bowl) as the official site of WrestleMania 33. Shane’s return inevitably came up during the conversation, to which Vince McMahon replied with the following.
“It’s been awesome. I was hoping that one day we might get back together. It’s difficult. Fathers and sons sometimes, in the same business at a certain stage, it can be very difficult. You love each other just as much but you see things a little differently. You have the old bull and the young bull and the old bull is not ready to give it up, his horns are still sharp. It’s great that Shane is back. Whether or not there’s a corporate place, we’ll wait and see. From a performer standpoint, I so enjoy performing with him. And when the three of us are out there, Stephanie and Shane and me, and throw in Paul because that has happened in the past, oh my God!”
As for whether Shane would remain in WWE after his match with the Undertaker at WrestleMania, Mr. McMahon quickly shifted back into kayfabe mode, saying, “That will be determined by whether or not he wins his match.” Never one to completely pull down the curtain, McMahon still enjoys keeping things close to the vest, especially during WrestleMania season. Vince, perhaps more than anybody, knew that his son returning after being away for six years would surprise even the smartest of marks. McMahon described the moments leading up to Shane’s eventual return.
“We won’t let our techs, we won’t let the talent, we won’t let anybody know until it’s time for them to walk out there. Shane was in a bus and he was not allowed to come out of the bus until Stephanie’s music hit and Stephanie had walked down the ramp. Shane comes out of the bus with security and goes right up to what we call Gorilla position and the guys there go, I can’t believe it… They were all shocked and surprised. That’s what I try to do: totally surprise our talent. They like to be surprised just like the audience.”
It’s hard to imagine the McMahons have many more tricks up their sleeves before WrestleMania comes our way on April 3, though the one caveat to that would be this Saturday’s Roadblock. If Dean Ambrose is able to beat Triple H and become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, the top of the card in Dallas gets thrown for a major loop.
One performer who announced that he will indeed not be competing at this year’s WrestleMania, and thus having no impact on the main event picture, is John Cena. Cena made that news official during the Citrus Bowl announcement, making it the first time since 2003 that he won’t be part of the biggest show of the year. Mr. McMahon has been forced to adapt and admits that they miss their mega-star.
“Obviously, he’s one of our premier performers. Watching on the sidelines, it’s brutal. When your passion is to be in the ring and performing, it’s killing him that he’s not going to be in one of the main events this year. It’s really killing him. I felt so badly for him… John is Babe Ruth, he’s everything to us. And a real warrior. I don’t know how long he’s going to pursue this… I don’t know if it’s going to be 70 like me, but he’ll try. It’s just in him and he loves it so much, even when he was a little kid.”
Understanding Cena’s passion the way he does, McMahon could still find a place for a Cena appearance at WrestleMania, perhaps in an interaction with returning legends like The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mick Foley, or Shawn Michaels.
[Image via WWE]