Shane McMahon’s campaign of chaos in WWE has become the top storyline of SmackDown Live. The brand once known as the “wrestling show” of WWE has now become a vehicle for Shane’s abuse of power and the same is also true of Monday Night Raw.
Where the evil Mister McMahon once stood now stands his son, who is determined destroy Roman Reigns and to become the most hated man in pro wrestling today. In the eyes of many fans, Shane achieved the latter weeks ago. But for many others, Shane’s run is nothing short of ridiculous, especially if it ends with a victory for the WWE Championship. But how serious is that possible outcome?
Is it really even a big deal anymore? Many longtime WWE fans are surely asking that same question. Those fans have stood by and watched as Vince McMahon’s company continues to travel down one nonsensical path after another, until now it seems that virtually anything is possible.
WWE teases matches that never happen. Characters often act out character and every time it appears that things will go one way, they tend to go the other. None of this is new for the WWE faithful, who have come to expect the unexpected. More importantly, they’ve come to anticipate the asinine.
Watch Shane and Roman brawl on Raw!
On one hand, there’s not much to complain about. WWE is a pro wrestling, or sports entertainment product, depending on who delivers the opinion. The business regularly features a wide array of goofiness and colorful stars that are usually more than willing to do anything in order to get over.
That’s especially true now, due to the nature of the industry in 2019. Comedy wrestling has become the norm for many workers, who believe that the business can be whatever they want it to be. Cheap laughs and unrealistic storytelling is a routine occurrence in many wrestling companies operating around the globe. Despite how many pro wrestling purists complain about this fact, the truth is that it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.
So is it really a problem when the largest pro wresting promotion in the world presents yet another bit of absurdity? Isn’t that what WWE has become famous for at this point? Why would anyone care if 49-year old Shane McMahon, who has never competed in a full-time capacity as a professional wrester, gets handed his father’s top championship? Who is truly losing sleep over this, especially when considering WWE’s penchant for halfwit booking?
Watch Drew McIntyre help Shane out of the ring on Raw!
Maybe the answer has to do with the fact that 49-year old Shane McMahon is not a full-time wrestler and shouldn’t just be handed his father’s top championship. While many believe that titles are merely props and nothing more, that’s not the way Vince McMahon presents them to the audience. He wants the fans to care about those props and more importantly, he wants the fans to emotionally invest in those props as well.
WWE spent a few months doing everything possible to remind the fans of Kofi Kingston’s struggle to reach the top. His 11 year career was well documented in one video package after another and every time it was, WWE emphasized the fact that he had never been given a real shot at the big time. The company wanted the audience to know that Kofi’s efforts had not gone unnoticed and that his time was finally coming.
So when it actually happened, those same fans were ecstatic. They took the journey with Kofi. They cheered for him, they cried for him and they believed in him. Kingston’s victory wasn’t about winning a prop. It was about achieving his dreams and reaching his full potential in the business that he loves. That was the story that WWE gave the fans and it was as well received as any storyline that the company had delivered in years.
Watch Shane’s wildest coast-to-coast leaps!
But if the WWE Championship is handed to Shane McMahon, doesn’t that negate Kofi’s win? Or does one event really have anything to do with the other? Kofi is a pro. He will do whatever is asked of him and he will do it to the best of his ability. Shouldn’t that be enough for his supporters?
However, while it’s easy to dismiss the Shane McMahon title win scenario, it’s nearly impossible to ignore that WWE is once again doubling back on its own efforts. The company does indeed want the fans to believe that championships are important and deserve attention. But the company also operates at the whim of Vince McMahon, who evidently changes plans on a weekly basis.
Those two facts do not align and it makes for a very frustrating dilemma for WWE fans. Shane McMahon, like Kofi Kingston, is merely doing what is asked of him and he is doing it to the best of his ability. It could very well be that the WWE Championship will never enter into this storyline. Maybe the point of the whole thing is simply to get Roman Reigns over in the end.
Or maybe it’s just another random bit of silliness from the company that tends to revel in it. Either way, Shane McMahon is pushing forward and so is WWE. Whether or not fans will stick around to see how it all plays out, remains to be seen.
Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio, boinkstudios.com and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live