Every year, right before WWE’s biggest event, WrestleMania, the rumor mills start working overtime in an effort to unearth the biggest surprise Vince McMahon and company have in store for their universe. Sure, Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, and The Rock all got physical in Dallas, but it was the return of Shane McMahon that reverberated the loudest after an absence that lasted over seven years.
Thanks to persuading calls from his father and his WrestleMania opponent, the Undertaker, Shane agreed to come back to the WWE on a performers contract. His match with the Deadman was the longest of the night and provided the most memorable highlight of the show when Shane jumped off the top of the Hell in a Cell structure onto an announce table. Shane’s presence and that spot were desperately needed at a time when the WWE was missing many of its top stars.
One of the names that has continually come up in those rumor mills, especially since his departure from TNA, is Kurt Angle. There was talk of Angle returning for the brand split, and even though there have been discussions between both sides, nothing materialized for 2016.
Fans have fantasized about potential WWE superstars that could feud with the Olympic Hero, Kurt Angle. The list continues to expand, and it includes Seth Rollins, AJ Styles (on a bigger stage), Finn Balor, American Alpha, and Dean Ambrose, among others. But, the one name that is often forgotten is none other than Shane McMahon. The two squared off in an epic bout in 2001 at King of the Ring and in an interview with Cheap Heat, Shane thinks of that encounter fondly (Thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription).
“I was very proud of the match, first and foremost. [I] got in there with an amazing talent, which was Kurt and we went after it. One of the things that I always try to do is, I always try to go out and give my absolute best and I approach everything that this is my last match and I always did it that way. So, again, growing up in the [professional wrestling] business and seeing so many of the greats and truly witnessing amazing matches, I always hoped in my mind that I’d have an opportunity to even scratch the surface and even attempt to have one of those matches. So that’s how I approached every single thing, every match that I’ve ever done. Some click more than others, but Stan Hansen said at the [WWE] Hall Of Fame you need great opponents. And right story, Kurt and I clicked, and we went after it. And, again, I am very proud of the match.”
Shane is a lot older now than he was his last time with the WWE, so the matches may not be as frequent, if at all. Shane wasn’t even supposed to be here this long as his original agreement only had him appear through WrestleMania and then move on. But he’s clearly struck a chord with the WWE Universe while simultaneously striking a nerve with his sister Stephanie backstage. But since he appears committed to Smackdown Live for the immediate future, would he consider lacing his boots back up again?
“If it’s the right scenario, I’m pretty much healed up from WrestleMania, but I’ll tell you what. At 46 [years old], it takes a whole lot longer to heal and get ready. But again, if everyone, if they want it, and if it’s warranted, then absolutely. I can dust off my stuff again and go after it. It’s a thrill.”
The right scenario has felt like a showdown between Shane McMahon and Triple H ever since Shane came back. They held off on that potential match for SummerSlam, and now reports have surfaced indicating that Triple H wants no parts of Shane in a “Loser Leaves Town” match, a concept devised by Vince himself. But another potential “scenario” could be a rematch of that 2001 street fight between Shane and Angle. And while Shane admits there are mitigating factors surrounding it, he’d welcome a second go-around.
“I don’t know enough about Kurt over the last several years. I don’t know where his health is or any of those issues. But again, if you rewind the clock and go back to the time we had with Kurt Angle and I at The King Of The Ring. Personally, I’d love to do that again. I’d give that a shot. But again, sometimes the business, as we get older, unfortunately, in the business, the brain will say ‘go’ and the body will say ‘no’. And at some point, there’s a time you just have to pick a different path.”
Would you rather see Shane McMahon face his brother-in-law, Triple H, or the Olympic gold medalist and former WWE superstar, Kurt Angle?