If you weren't convinced to watch Payback before Monday Night RAW's go-home show, perhaps the promise of Vince McMahon appearing changed your mind. It was Mr. McMahon's daughter, Stephanie, who announced that her father would be in Chicago at Sunday's pay-per-view to determine who would gain control of RAW moving forward: Stephanie or Shane McMahon, as recapped by WWE.com
Last week, the Inquisitr reported that a Shane McMahon vs. The Authority feud would kick off sometime in May, although no exact date had been leaked. On Monday, we were treated to a brief glimpse of that angle when Stephanie interrupted Shane at the beginning of the show and confronted her brother with the news of their father's upcoming appearance. Stephanie went as far as to say that this past episode from Hartford would be Shane's final night in charge.We've still not heard from Triple H since his WrestleMania defeat at the hands of Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. And it's interesting to note that while Shane McMahon brought up The Game during the segment, Stephanie did not, nor did the stipulation (or Payback graphic) include the former champion as one of the options. As far as Payback goes, it appears as if Vince is deciding only between Shane and Stephanie, although one might be able to assume that Hunter would return alongside his wife.
Vince McMahon gave Shane McMahon full control of RAW the night after WrestleMania, and we haven't seen the chairman in the ensuing three weeks. WWE continued to insert Shane into the power position due to overwhelming social-media demand, but it completely contradicts his WrestleMania storyline and stipulation against the Undertaker inside Hell in a Cell. Shane was only to assume control of the company's flagship show if he defeated the Deadman. But Shane lost. And yet, here we are. Shane-O-Mac gained full autonomy over Monday Night RAW for the past month and recently called Payback the first pay-per-view of the new era in WWE.
The entire McMahon family saga that has played out on television, since Shane's return has been art imitating life. Father and son hashed out a deal that would pay Shane strictly as a performer and not as an executive with any decision-making power. Shane's promos over the last two months have been worked-shoots in that he originally left the company because he thought he was to inherit control of WWE, but Vince McMahon decided on Stephanie and Triple H instead. Rather than be a part of the team, Shane left on rocky terms and hadn't been seen in nearly seven years.
Over the course of the build-up to WrestleMania, the Inquisitr and other outlets reported that a backstage power struggle developed involving the McMahons and Triple H. Hunter and wife Stephanie were now in a position to take over for Vince, or so they assumed. Vince has yet to decide on his own future and whether he wants to give up the company he built. He's used Shane as leverage against the other two, even though Shane has been away for so long.
Shane McMahon has yet to sign a contract other than the one he inked solely to be an on-screen character. WWE has admirably scripted a plot that blurs the line between reality and entertainment, as this will all certainly lead to a major blow-up at some point. Sunday at Payback will be a major step towards the final outcome in the McMahon family drama, but the likelihood that it's the final phase is not very high.
[Image via WWE]