Shane McMahon's shocking return to the WWE left many to wonder whether the prodigal son was back for good or if his date with the Undertaker was simply a ploy to gain more Wrestlemania buys. Stacking the card at the biggest show of the year is nothing new, but more than three weeks later, those questions about Shane's involvement still linger. We know that the WWE is paying Shane strictly as a performer, shelling out $120,000 for his road to Wrestlemania, but anything beyond that remains a mystery.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter via pwmania.com, Shane's return has caused major backstage drama within WWE, with speculation that Vince McMahon will play Shane against his daughter, Stephanie, and son-in-law Triple H if Shane decides to take, or is offered, a full-time executive role. Apparently, Vince doesn't want to appear as an out-of-touch head honcho being forced out by his eventual successors. Some would say it's a little too late for that.
It's unclear how much friction lies between Vince and Triple H at the moment, but the heat with Hunter is what forced Shane to depart the WWE in the first place. That and the fact Vince was putting HHH and Stephanie in charge instead of Shane. During the Wrestlemania 33 press conference, Vince spoke glowingly of his son and the excitement he feels now that he's returned. But in regards to Shane's future with the WWE, Mr. McMahon reverted back to kayfabe mode in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel.
"That will be determined by whether or not he wins his match."
The match Vince is referring to, of course, is Shane's Hell in a Cell confrontation with the Undertaker, where if Shane wins, he assumes control of Monday Night RAW, and in essence, all of WWE itself. We have yet to see any interaction between the two participants in the match, as Vince plays an intermediary role until the eventual face-off. Vince has done two promos with Shane and one brief exchange with the Undertaker, where the Deadman said Shane's blood would be on Vince's hands, not his.
Speaking of promos, however, one of the more interesting notes from the report suggests that Vince has requested last-minute revisions to the opening of WWE RAW for the last few weeks. That's not a major surprise, as Vince has been known to force writers to scramble numerous times before. However, an 11th-hour script-change caused Shane to forget a line during his return promo, which Vince helped clean up spontaneously.
Shane's most recent RAW promo was originally scripted to include him mentioning that both Triple H and Stephanie would be fired should Shane win at Wrestlemania. That was all nixed at the last minute as well, but you have to imagine that job security could be a major theme in this build. In a backstage segment during RAW, Stephanie asked her father what would happen if Shane actually wins. Vince refused to acknowledge the possibility, instead claiming that he had it under control. A little real-life drama playing out on WWE television.
Another reason for potential heat on Triple H stems from back in December, when The Game was given a beating by Roman Reigns on RAW. Even though Triple H did not appear on WWE TV for a month, he made an appearance for NXT and did not sell any injuries. That did not sit well with some of management, but it's unclear whether Vince had any issues with it.
Aside from profusely sweating, Shane McMahon clearly hasn't lost his step, and his passion for the WWE is evident. And now, apparently, he's right in the thick of some backstage drama with his father, sister, and brother-in-law that could determine the company's near future.
[Image via WWE]