When Shane McMahon shocked the world on February 22 and made his surprise return to Monday Night RAW, it generated conversations and buzz that hadn’t been unearthed in years. It truly injected new life into a product that had been enveloped in stagnation and complacency for the majority of the current decade. Shane McMahon was the answer to the question wrestling fans didn’t even realize they were asking. He began espousing promos that were music to the WWE Universe’s ears.
Shane McMahon was promising “new stars” and “fresh match-ups” on television, with reports of backstage power struggles going on behind the scenes. WWE fans were perfectly receptive to both. They wanted to see new superstars given more opportunities and main events that haven’t been recycled numerous times. A shake-up of power would go hand-in-hand, so if Shane’s presence caused a little tension between the powers-that-be, so be it.
By all accounts, however, Shane McMahon had nothing to do with this injection of fresh talent on the roster. From a storyline perspective, WWE is touting this as a “new era.” In fact, they’re hammering home the idea as much as they made sure you knew that the WWE Network cost you $9.99. Shane’s loss to the Undertaker at WrestleMania was supposed to remove him from the equation entirely, but instead, WWE threw caution and logic to the wind and kept Vince’s son in charge of the company’s flagship show. Then at Payback, Vince declared that both Shane and Stephanie would be in charge, forcing the siblings to co-exist on camera, never mind behind it.
Fast forward to this week’s WWE First Quarter Earnings conference call. Highlights from the call included an update on WWE Network subscriber updates and an expected timeline for some of their top injured superstars to return to action. Perhaps one nugget that went under the radar was when Vince was asked what role Shane McMahon has within WWE. Vince responded by saying his son was brought back solely as an on-air performer and that he is not considered an executive or WWE official at this juncture.
However, Daily Wrestling News is now reporting that Shane McMahon is both being consulted about, and is offering his creative input to top storylines and angles currently on WWE programming. It was not specified which angles Shane is advising, but aside from his ongoing story with sister Stephanie, Shane has been intimately involved in the Intercontinental Championship feud between The Miz, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Cesaro, as well as the current program between Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose.
There’s been reports that a stipulation will be added to the Ambrose/Jericho rematch at Extreme Rules, and with Shane and Stephanie each having an imprint on the cancelling/renewing of the “Ambrose Asylum” and the “Highlight Reel,” it wouldn’t be out of the question that the stipulation could be centered around that.
Shane McMahon has done everything possible in order to be accepted back into the WWE environment. He made sure he was in incredible shape for his WrestleMania match and then provided the top highlight of the event when he jumped off the top of the Hell in a Cell. Now, he’s adding his own creative touches on certain programs.
Shane has also made a commitment to learn about all the technological advancements the WWE has integrated into its product since Shane left in 2009. All of this effort has created a positive environment backstage wherever Shane happens to be. He is very well-received and has gotten high praise from many within the company. Both Bret Hart and Natalya have gone on the record recently to sing his praises.
The Hitman called Shane (and Stephanie for that matter) McMahon “genuine” backstage at Payback, and Natalya told a morning news show that all the women superstars gather around a monitor anytime Shane is on TV. It should be an interesting dynamic that we’ll get to see play out each and every week.
[Image via WWE]