The October 4 premiere episode of Friday Night SmackDown on Fox was notable for multiple marquee matches, including a ladder match between Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon with a “loser leaves WWE” stipulation. As McMahon lost to Owens, that effectively wrote him out of the company’s storylines. However, as is often the case in pro wrestling, hardly anyone stays “fired” from WWE forever.
Despite the long history of “fired” WWE employees returning to television just a few weeks later, it seems that McMahon won’t be back on screen anytime soon. As cited by WrestlingNews.co on Tuesday, Dave Meltzer said in a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio that WWE currently has “nothing” for the son of company owner Vince McMahon, even though he isn’t technically “gone” from the promotion.
“It appears that he is not going to be on TV for a while,” Meltzer continued.
Corroborating Meltzer’s update, WrestlingNews.co‘s Paul Davis cited his own unnamed company source, who claims that there are “currently no plans” for Shane McMahon to be brought back to television after his loss to Owens. However, the publication added that there’s always the chance things may change, especially if ratings keep dropping for Monday Night Raw and/or Friday Night SmackDown. If this becomes the case, Vince McMahon may be pressured to “shake things up” due to declining ratings. It was also stressed that the younger McMahon did not have much input backstage despite his onscreen role as an authority figure, as he has primarily served as a “TV character” since returning to WWE in 2016.
As further noted by WrestlingNews.co, McMahon was written off WWE television three months after the outlet reported that WWE was gradually planning to phase him out — presumably as part of the company’s plan to do away with onscreen authority figures. Although various members of the McMahon family — Vince, his children Shane and Stephanie, and son-in-law Triple H, in particular — have frequently played villainous roles as authority figures over the past two-plus decades, WrestlingNews.co noted that WWE appears to have realized the need to move on from old tropes in order to try something different on its two flagship programs.
Aside from suggestions that the authority figure trope isn’t aging well, McMahon became unpopular with many WWE fans earlier this year due to his perceived overexposure on television, as previously reported by The Inquisitr. It was also alleged this summer that multiple WWE wrestlers were similarly unhappy with the boss’s son taking up so much time on Monday Night Raw and the since-renamed SmackDown Live, effectively depriving them of a more meaningful push.