It was this close. We’re just over a month removed from WrestleMania 34 and for the most part, there are only a few stories left to be wrapped up. While the storylines have mostly moved on, there are still several stories left to be told from places and people outside the show. One match you might remember is Shane McMahon/Daniel Bryan vs. Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn in Bryan’s big return to the ring. However, that match almost took a very hard turn.

It almost didn’t work out this way.

Daniel Bryan unleashes on Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens during his in-ring return: WrestleMania 34

In a new episode of his Talk Is Jericho podcast, Chris Jericho revealed that he was almost the replacement for Shane, who was dealing with a staph infection, a hernia, and diverticulitis. Jericho was discussing the idea with Vince McMahon but ultimately, Shane wrestled the match despite his condition. It was so close that Jericho was trying to find a way from his Fozzy concert in New Hampshire to New Orleans for the show. Jericho also revealed who would have had the biggest issue with the change. Here are some of his comments with transcription courtesy of

On Almost Replacing Shane

“A few weeks before WrestleMania, maybe three or four weeks, I get a call from Vince. And he’s talking about Shane and his appendix, or not his appendix, his diverticulitus, and he had an infection in his hand and he had… a staph infection and he had… a hernia. And he goes, ‘Listen, we don’t know if he can do ‘Mania.’ And he had somehow looked, or got someone to look at my schedule, and we had a Fozzy show that day… So he was like ‘I know you’re doing a Fozzy show, and you’re gonna watch WrestleMania with your fans,’ he goes, ‘What would you think about coming to New Orleans if Shane can’t do it?’”

And On How It Would Have Gone

“And it’s funny because we were looking, we were googling airports, and it was in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, like the most out of the way place. We were looking up airports close to Hampton Beach and how long is the charter to get there [New Orleans], and he [Vince] was like ‘Okay, you can make it right on time and we’ll give you a police escort, and you’ll basically have to go right into the ring.’ And I said ‘Listen, I’ve got no problem with that, and I know that Bryan has no problem with it. Kevin and Sami – especially Sami – are gonna have heart attacks calling a WrestleMania match in the ring.’ I mean, obviously we would think of some stuff beforehand, but like, I can do it. I don’t have a problem, so can you. We could do it now. But like, Sami is going to die of a frickin’ aneurysm if we do that!”

Don’t remember how the match went?  Here are the full results from WrestleMania 34.

You can listen to the full show here.

Opinion: Jericho would have been a huge surprise but McMahon fit the story more. That being said, the idea of Jericho being a surprise for the sake of McMahon being in very, very bad shape, is rather appealing. Of course, none of it would have mattered as that match was (and should have been) ALL about Bryan’s in-ring return, which is one of those things that I never would have expected to see. It would have been cool, but it would have taken away from what mattered most.

Would you have wanted to see Jericho in the spot? When will Jericho wrestle for WWE again? Let us know in the comments below.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at, or check out his Amazon author page with 26 wrestling books. His latest book is the WWE Grab Bag.

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