For a man who had no business being involved in professional wrestling, Shane McMahon has put on some incredible matches in the past. Nowadays, it’s quite hard to sit through one of Shane O Mac’s performances, even when you know one of those crazy death-defying spots is on the horizon. His awful jabs and his equally terrible pacing beckons the thought of whether it’s time for the patriarch’s son to hang up the sneakers. Regardless, it’s fun to look back on all those highlight reel moments that quickly won everyone over on the crown prince of WWE.
We’re going to take a look back through the decades of Shane’s career, picking out the 5 best performances that came to define ‘The Best in the World’. Make sure you drop your own favourites in the comments section down below.
5. Shane McMahon vs The Miz – WrestleMania 35
Honestly, I think Shane’s latest WrestleMania performance turned out to be one of his very best. Shane and The Miz put together one hell of a storyline in a very short space of time. Having won and lost the SD Live Tag Championships, the two engaged in a bitter rivalry that ended up making Miz one of the brand’s top babyfaces, while making his dad a guaranteed Hall of Famer.
Shane embraced his inner-villain attitude, really coming into his own as a tyrannical boss that took every opportunity to make The Miz look like a tool. The two built to a Falls Count Anywhere match in New York, a match which was naturally made to give Shane the chance to jump/fall off of something really high. Guess what, that’s precisely what he did.
Most fans would point to Kofi/Bryan as the show-stealer, but I would personally give that honour to Shane/Miz. Their match quickly turned into a fight, which was taken out into the crowd and all over the arena. They turned it up to 11 when they scaled a scaffolding rig, brawling high above the WWE Universe. Fans all over the world were in the palms of their hands, as we all gasped and cringed when we saw Miz suplex Shane off of the rig. It was an incredible sight, a spot that really injected some energy into the show.
4. Shane McMahon vs Kane – Unforgiven 2003
There’s no doubt that this feud could have been written a hell of a lot better than it was. Kane’s rampage following his unmasking led to a rivalry with Shane O’Mac, after the monster tombstoned his mother on the stage a few weeks prior. Shane fought Kane in a Last Man Standing match, which again, is one of those match stipulations where Shane truly excels in.
One thing about this feud that stands out is how well the two gelled under hardcore rules. They battered each other senseless: in the ring, backstage and out in the parking lot. Shane literally dropkicked him into flaming dumpsters, caused car collisions and dove off of the titantron, all in the aid of exacting revenge on his mother’s attacker.
This match allowed Shane to be taken seriously again, or at least serious enough to be involved in matches where he’d be allowed to potentially kill himself.
3. Shane McMahon vs Randy Orton – No Way Out 2009
Orton’s feud with Triple H and the McMahons created a brutal and truly violent confrontation between Shane and ‘The Viper’. This match served to make Randy look like an utter beast on his road to WrestleMania 25, which in all fairness, did the job. Orton was left bloody and bruised after Shane beat him senseless, creating one of the most believable grudge matches from the PG era.
Shane also took a lot of punishment in this match, which only went to show how much Shane has understood about professional wrestling, and how you make your opponent come out the match looking better than he was before. Shane’s selling has always been on point, but I think this match is his best example of that.
In my opinion, this match ended up being more fun than the actual pay-off grudge match between Orton and Triple H at WrestleMania. If these two were given the spot at Mania instead, I imagine it might have gone down as one of the better ‘Mania matches of the decade.
2. Shane McMahon vs Vince McMahon – WrestleMania 17
I don’t think anyone would have called a match between father and son to be the final pay-off for the Invasion angle. WCW’s feud with WWF simmered out real quickly when fans realised that it was one giant vehicle for Vince and his family. Shane and Stephanie had taken over WCW and ECW respectively and were using the two locker room’s to bring down their dad. It didn’t get over. But what it did do was create a pretty intense WrestleMania match that had no right being as good as it was.
Vince has always been one to leave it all in the ring, and it must take one heck of a father-son relationship for them to batter one another crazy in a street fight on the grandest stage. Shane once again performed to his strengths, using whatever he could get his hands on to inflict pain, while taking significant bumps for his ageing Father.
An insane Coast-to-Coast closed the match, following a soap-opera level swerve involving Linda McMahon standing up out of a wheelchair and delivering the low blow that was heard around the world. McMahon drama had never been so fun to watch, and it was quite possibly the last time it was ever fun to watch.
1. Shane McMahon vs Kurt Angle – King of the Ring 2001
Naturally this match comes in at number one. If you’ve never seen this match, then make like a tree to YouTube and enjoy. The match with Kurt stands the test of time as being Shane’s very best performance, and a testament to how far he’s willing to push the limits of his physical wellbeing for the sake of creating a great match.
Angle literally dropped Shane on his head several times throughout the match and Shane just kept coming back. WWE would never green light some of the stuff Angle and McMahon put on in this match, Shane was sent through glass panes multiple times, which included several failed attempts that became more and more difficult to watch.
Shane was visibly shaken yet outright refused Angle’s commands to take the match home. Shane kept fighting back, which only added to the excellent story being told throughout the match. McMahon eventually pulled himself up onto the top rope and nailed a picture-perfect shooting star press.
If you’ve ever found yourself groaning at the idea of Kofi Kingston dropping the WWE title to Shane McMahon, just go back and watch this performance and remember that Shane’s paid his dues.
But please, for the love of god, don’t put the title on him.
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