Shane McMahon Jump From Cell Was ‘FU’ To Millennial Wrestlers, Wrestling Great Says
Shane McMahon leapt from the top of Hell in a Cell last Sunday night (April 3) at WrestleMania 32 in a “you still got it” moment that had the 100,000+ in attendance and the millions watching at home abuzz.
While it was undoubtedly a crazy jump, it may have also been done to send a message to the millennial wrestlers in the WWE locker room, according to wrestling great Kevin Sullivan, who made the claim on a recent MLW Radio podcast alongside his co-host Mister Saint-Laurent.
Ever since WWE CEO Vince McMahon went on the Stone Cold Podcast on the WWE Network over a year ago and indicated that millennials don’t want to put in the work — or “grab the brass ring” — there has been a consensus of thought that not enough talent is doing what it takes to get themselves “over.”
(At least that’s what wrestling fans believe that Vince believes based on his comments below.)
Sullivan told MSL in the post-WrestleMania show (April 8) that he believes Vince and Shane McMahon may have decided that the jump needed to happen to show the younger guys how it’s done.
“They sent a message to that dressing room — you know, Vince isn’t high on the Millennial kids — that was a ‘f*** you, you whiny b*****s, that have neck injuries that have thigh injuries’… That was a ‘this is our company, and nobody — nobody — is going to dictate to us.'”
Sullivan said that he had to take his hat off to Shane McMahon, talking about how he “blessed himself” before the jump because “he wasn’t sure” he was going to come out of it alive.
“That was a direct message sent to those guys in the back that maybe say, ‘Oh I can stretch this (injury) a couple more weeks.’ You know in the old days guys had to work with injuries because if they didn’t, they didn’t get paid. But he (Shane McMahon) was saying, ‘I’ve been out of the ring for x amount of years, and I’m gonna show you how it’s done.'”
MSL did step in to speak for the younger guys after this, noting that there is a big difference doing something crazy like the cell jump when you’re only going to wrestle “once every few years” rather than night after night, the way that most WWE talent has to do.
Sullivan saw some truth in that but still maintained that Vince and Shane McMahon were showing in one fell swoop what they expected when it came to “grabbing for that brass ring.”
WWE seems to have been suffering more injuries than usual over the last two years, but to Sullivan’s point, it isn’t clear whether there has been an increase in injuries, or whether it’s a case of fewer guys working through the pain.
Before the WWE spread to national acclaim throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the territory system gave many performers like Kevin Sullivan more opportunities to work.
Many felt pressured to perform even when they weren’t up to it for fear of being upstaged and not getting paid if they had to pull out due to an injury.
Today there are fewer options as far as earning a living as a professional wrestler is concerned; however, there is also increased awareness over the long-term dangers of performing with an injury.
If what Sullivan is saying is true, then the Shane McMahon jump could influence more wrestlers to conceal injuries, which could give rise to long-term health risks.
But what do you think, readers?
Do you think Sullivan is right when he implied that Vince and Shane McMahon cooked up that cage jump as a dig at younger talent? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via WrestleMania 32 screen grab]