Craig Wilson, Russ Morgan, Brian Damage & Jamie Lithgow
On Monday Night Raw Shane McMahon returned to WWE screens and demanded control of the WWE from Vince. In order to get control he has to defeat The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match at WrestleMania 32. In this latest Sunday Sermon the team dissect this surprise and look at what it means not just for WrestleMania but for the WWE more generally.
Craig: It’s fair to say that when Dave Meltzer suggested that The Undertaker’s WrestleMania 32 opponent wasn’t on the active roster, very few anticipated it would be Shane McMahon, within the confines of Hell in a Cell, that would face the Deadman.
But that is exactly what happened after Shane McMahon interrupted Stephanie being awarded the Vincent J. McMahon Legacy of Excellence Award on Raw and attacked Vince and Steph over the WWE’s falling stock price, the injury crisis and the fall in TV ratings.
If, at WrestleMania, Shane McMahon gets control over WWE Monday Night Raw. On thing for sure, it’s a surprise and Shane won’t be a bad opponent for Taker, bumping like mad for him and doing his usual stupid shit.
But is this just a big swerve? Will it really be Shane that faces the Taker or someone else? and what does all this mean. All that and more is up for discussion in today’s Sermon.
Russ: I just can’t see a 46 year old Shane McMahon taking the insane type of bumps he did 15 years ago. Massive swerve.
Brian: I think it is a swerve in my heart of hearts. While the appearance was certainly a pleasant one and got a great reaction…I am with Russ. I just don’t see Shane doing the things he did back in the Attitude Era. As much as I love the Shane O Mac surprise…it reeks a little of desperation doesn’t it?
I mean there is no one on the entire roster whether from the Main roster or NXT that is worthy to face the Undertaker? If it actually happens and the Undertaker faces Shane…it seems like a last ditch effort on the part of the WWE. I may be looking at this all wrong, but it seems like they ran out of ideas.
Jamie: The idea that WWE has ‘run out of ideas’ for Wrestlemania seems far from a conspiracy theory to me, just look at the main event. Triple H may as well have said “if nobody else can get Reigns over then I’ll just have to do it myself”.
If I’m honest I can actually see Shane and Taker working the match, but with a lot of help from weapons, ref bumps and outside interference. I do sense a swerve of some sort. Shane will get help from someone, but who? Bullet Club fit the bill. Maybe Vince’s new favourite Braun Strowman?
Brian: I still say Kevin Owens would have made a great opponent for Taker. He is really blossoming into the company’s top heel. Regardless, the WWE is known for plotting things out over a year in advance. Nobody is going to convince me that Shane was thought of for the Undertaker over a year ago. Perhaps it really was John Cena initially and his injury curtailed that. Whoever was the original choice..Shane was a nice surprise….but to me is only a bandage on a much larger wound.
Jamie: It was a nice surprise, but do we think it was too early to pull that rabbit out of the hat? Shane’s back, he’s booked against Taker, and if he wins he gets control of WWE. I usually complain about the slow pace of WWE these days, but they’re not hanging around with this. The match is in five weeks and as it involves a McMahon I can imagine a large chunk of Raw will be dedicated to this feud for each of these five weeks. What will these angles entail? We already know all we need to know to start the match right now. I’m concerned about tiring of Shane O’ Mac before he even gets close to the ring.
I doubt he will, but I really hope Shane loses. Otherwise we can all look forward to Vince, Shane and Stephanie fighting for control of WWE for the next year. At least if Shane loses there is a glimmer of hope that the McMahons might take a backseat and not make everything about them. They must know how poorly received their involvement at Wrestlemania 16 was received?
Brian: Shane is an attraction, no doubt about that and while the thoughts of yet another McMahon vs McMahon feud does nothing for me….neither does a Roman Reigns title run…unless of course he turns heel. What else is there right now to look forward to? A Shane led WWE might allow us to take a breather from the Authority and just focus on wrestling for a while.
Jamie: Agreed, in the short term that would be a breath of fresh air. Problem is, we’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t think that Vince and Steph wouldn’t return to reignite the feud… probably in time for Summerslam.
Question, Shane McMahon – heel or face? The Undertaker – heel or face? Also, why The Undertaker and not someone else? Someone is going to turn, but if it’s Shane would that make Stephanie a babyface? That wouldn’t work at all. This match really does arouse a bunch of questions.
Brian: Shane is definitely the babyface and Undertaker has been acting a bit heelish in his last go around with the company when fighting Brock Lesnar. I understand a McMahon feud is on the horizon and maybe, just maybe with things the way they are now, maybe this time around it’ll be more focused on the roster and not solely about the McMahon family.
Craig: I saw that it is rumoured that The Undertaker will appear on the upcoming Raw. He’ll obviously address this and who is to say he is going to wrestle Shane o’ Mac just because Vince says so. I think there’s a lot more to this than meets the eye.
I also agree with Jamie. If this does go ahead, it should be decent and it’ll be Shane doing the bumping for The Undertaker so you can imagine he’ll leave WrestleMania this year without an injury – certainly at the hands of Shane. The Bullet Club is an interesting notion. Would be a good way to also set up a complete change in direction WWE wise. I’d certainly not be against that.
Brian: No doubt about it…if this match does go through expect a lot of twists and turns and maybe a surprise or two. With that said though….this can’t be Undertaker’s last match can it? Not against Shane can it?
Jamie: That did cross my mind. Is Vince McMahon that far removed from reality that he would choose his son – rather than Brock Lesnar, Kane, John Cena or anyone else – to end Taker’s career, and in Dallas of all places? Also, what’s actually on the line for either Shane or Taker? If Shane wins he gets Raw, but he doesn’t stand to lose anything. As for Taker, he’s just wrestling for pride. Brian might not be too far wrong by mentioning the notion of a career ending stipulation. That said, this match will be so storyline driven that adding the real life retirement of The Undertaker would be disrespectful in the extreme to the Deadman. In my head I see The Undertaker bowing out in similar fashion to Shawn Michaels, and not as part of an angle involving the McMahons.
And that’s all she wrote with this Sunday Sermon. Got thoughts on Shane’s return and his proposed WrestleMania match with The Undertaker? Leave them below.
You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.