WrestleMania 32 has barely passed us, but the impact of the show would normally still be felt even now. People would be built from the show and new things would happen for them. One would imagine that WWE would be working with what happened from the show, but it appears as if that very show was quite meaningless. The WWE World Title picture has changed, as have the tag team and Intercontinental title pictures. One of the biggest things that seemed useless was the Shane McMahon vs Undertaker match.
WWE had Shane go up against The Deadman at WrestleMania where, if he won, he would get control of WWE RAW. Meanwhile, if Undertaker lost, he would never get the chance to compete at WrestleMania ever again. Both things are now moot, as most think Undertaker has had his last match, and Shane McMahon has controlled RAW the past two weeks and may continue to do so. To the credit of WWE, the past two weeks have been relatively good for them from a quality standpoint.
The problem is that Shane controlling RAW makes no sense from a storyline perspective. According to Daily Wrestling News, the finish to Shane vs Taker, as well as everything that was set to go down in the match, was kept top-secret leading into WrestleMania. Only the inner circle of the McMahons knew what would happen during and after the match. Needless to say, there was a lot of confusion due to Shane getting exactly what he was told he could not have if he lost. It made the match meaningless to most.
Regarding his comeback for tonight, WWE had to switch plans up for the announcement. Originally, they wanted to say positive ratings pushed for a return for Shane, but when ratings came back as bad for RAW, they switched it to positive social media. Many fans were upset with the outcome of WrestleMania 32, especially Roman Reigns’ win. That pushed many to tune out. The hope is that some come back due to the potential for a great show.
There is apparently a reason for Shane being used, even in his loss to Undertaker. Apparently, Shane McMahon has to do with some future plans, storyline wise. The idea is that WWE wants to go through with plans regarding a brand split, but a reason must be made for it. Having Shane control RAW and get a positive reaction would, in turn, make many want to see him run WWE entirely.
The issue is that The Authority are still a force within WWE that will eventually come back. They are rumored to find their way back to programming within the next month or two. There was a thought that they would come back this summer, but it depends on how ratings do up until that point. Simply put, the response to Shane’s RAW will possibly make or break a brand split for many.
DWN noted that if the split does happen, it won’t happen until closer to WWE SummerSlam. This makes a lot of sense, as WWE could basically create the story of the need for a brand split this summer during their “summer angle,” and the actual split could occur at the end of the summer, which is why it would take place near SummerSlam.
It does appear that WWE has wanted to head that direction the entire time, even before Shane. It was reported before that WWE was planning for the brand split well before Shane ever came back, but his comeback did leave an opening for him in the story where he could be the true key for it to work, and that is quite true. Right now, though, it is unknown how often Shane will be around. If RAW ratings improve greatly this week, Shane will surely be back.
However, many believe ratings do not matter regarding this storyline. Shane McMahon will most likely continue to make appearances on the show, at least through WWE Payback. After then, it’s really up to scheduling for Shane honestly. If he can be there, it appears WWE is willing to work him into the show each week as fans want to see him. Regarding the brand split, there is a thought that WWE could begin to tease it with The Authority’s comeback. When they will be back though, is unknown.
[Image via WWE]