WWE SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon stopped by 317 Gimmick Street for an interview with WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin on his award-winning podcast that has not won any awards. Among many other things, McMahon talked about always wanting to get into the family business, working his way up the ladder in WWE, what WWE Chairman Vince McMahon was like as a father, being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD as a child, Austin walking out on WWE in 2002, and McMahon's King Of The Ring (2001) Street Fight against WWE Hall Of Famer and current WWE Monday Night RAW General Manager Kurt Angle.
According to McMahon, he always wanted to get into the family business and 'Shane-O-Mac' struck a deal with his parents that he could work for WWE if he got a college degree first.
"Well, [Vince] knew that's exactly what I wanted to do. The requirements were I had to graduate college. Boston University, I graduated from there. I got a B.S. in Mass Communications/Public Relations. Bachelors of Science." McMahon continued, "I was like, 'okay, let me just field this' knowing full well I wanted to get completely into the [professional wrestling] business."
McMahon said he was on the ring crew before he got promoted to referee and that he used to hang out with Joey Marella and drink beer under the stands.
"I graduated ring crew and all the other stuff and that's when I started refereeing." McMahon continued, "well, the original ring crew was Joey Marella, Mike Chioda, and Tony Chimel. Those were the three. Yes, [sadly, Joey Marella is no longer with us]. So I was the kid and so, Joey and I, because his dad was Gorilla Monsoon, and my dad, so what we'd do, and he was probably six or seven years older than me, so we were drinking beers under the stands, just complaining about our dads."
In McMahon's view, his father, Vince, was a great dad. 'The Demon Seed' acknowledged that he experienced corporal punishment as child and that he would not be where he is today without that "strict" upbringing.
"He was extremely hard on me. [Austin] know[s] Vince. I mean, he was strict. He was a great dad. [He was] always there. Oh my gosh, yes, [Vince laid down the law when Shane messed up]."
McMahon reflected, "oh, without question [he experienced corporal punishment]. Old school, I grew up old school that way, old school. Thank you! Old school. Listen, if my dad didn't step in like he did, I probably wouldn't be here or I'd be locked away or somewhere else. I'm saying I was just a high spirited guy. [Austin] know[s] me. I'm high energy. I've got to have an outlet for that energy and if it's channeled in the wrong way, you just do dumb things."
Moreover, McMahon claimed that he was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD as a youngster, but Ritalin did not work for him.
"I had [ADD and ADHD] diagnosed and yeah. They tried to [prescribe him medication] when I was a kid, but when we grew up, they just thought we were disciplinary problems. Now, there's medicine for it. They tried me on the medicine, Ritalin. Back then, it was very experimental and it didn't work with me. Yeah, [it made Shane more hyper]. It wound me up and I was very irritable. [It was] not a good thing, so it was tough."
On the subject of Austin refusing to job to current WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, McMahon recalled that Austin walking out was "devastating" and that his father was personally hurt by it.
"[Austin was] the guy that was drawing the houses and everything was built around [Austin]. So when you have that much equity at stake and you have your number one player in there and that's the one who draws money all of a sudden say, 'I'm out,' well, it's very devastating, obviously, to everyone else underneath and everyone felt it, just like, 'wow', so [Austin] specifically, you let a lot of people down."
McMahon continued, "Vince was hurt professionally and personally because you guys had been building a good relationship. If you guys did have a disagreement, you'd settle it quickly and talk about it. But at the end of the day when it got down to 'alright, this is the vision we're going with when I said we'd paint the room blue, well, you didn't want to paint the room blue at that time, so you took your paint and went somewhere else.' So that was a big blow personally as well because, again, it's the machine and we all put effort into building 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, and the company, and everything else around it. And when that cog leaves, it's like, 'oh wow! Jeez, that didn't feel good!' It didn't make any of us feel good. [Austin] let us down, man."
As for his brutal match with Angle from King Of The Ring (2001), McMahon indicated that he went through safety glass, not sugar glass.
"It's safety glass, yeah." McMahon added, "by the third time, I said, 'you Olympic wuss' or something along those lines. 'I can't believe you can't even throw me through it.'"
While McMahon did not leave the fight concussed, Angle cracked his tailbone in that match.
"I wasn't concussed or anything, so I was straight up. I mean, I was hurting." McMahon added, "Kurt was calling for a suplex and I called it off. It was in the middle aisle. It was just cement. He says, 'no suplex, suplex.' I was like, 'no, Kurt.' He says, 'go, go.' And he did something to me and I didn't have much of a choice. I'm like, 'alright, suplex.' So as we did it, he hit and he went, 'oh my God!' He cracked his tailbone."
Apparently, 'The Chairman' almost came out to stop the match on a few occasions. 'The Instrument Of Change' said he was not meaning to ignore his father's instructions during the match.
"Vince almost came out about three times during that match. He was going to call it off. I had no idea. Chioda was the ref. Chioda was usually always my ref because we go back in the day, like I said. And it takes three, not just two. It takes three. In the IFB, I guess Vince is talking, saying something. Chioda's talking to me, but I think he's just saying gibberish because, again, I got whacked in the head a couple of times. So anyways, Vince thinks that I'm shooing him off, that I'm disobeying an order, that I'm ignoring the order from Chioda, but I never got the order because I would never disobey him. So [the] gorilla [position] was silent. Vince was going ballistic. I mean, throwing stuff."
McMahon recalled that his father was "fuming" because he thought Shane was disobeying him and everyone backstage knew.
"[Vince] was fuming and he said something very nice to me. He put the match over and that'll stay private. And he said, 'but don't you ever blanking do that ever again.' He was so hot. We were supposed to ride together, but he got his own car. I was like, 'wow, I had heat' because he was nervous, so it was two things: being a father and seeing your son go through a train wreck and waiving him off, which really made him hot, in front of everybody, because he was giving the order in front of everybody, so he thought I was disobeying on top of all that and everyone around knows I was disobeying."
McMahon explained that getting backstage after the match was the greatest feeling in the world following the worst feeling in the world, as he and Angle received one of first standing ovations backstage, and then, McMahon had to face his wife, who he did not smarten up about the brutality of the match.
"Kurt and I come back through [the curtain] and it was one of the first-ever standing ovations because that wasn't given back in the day. And I'm not saying that to brag. I'm saying it because of how appreciative I was and how appreciate the fans were that we put ourselves through that. And it was like, 'oh my God, that was awesome.' We get through gorilla, [and] it's like a morgue. I was like, 'I don't know what's going on here.' So Kurt and I keep going. I mean, it was silent. My dad was nowhere to be seen. He was so fuming. As we get through the back, there was a whole line of guys, all the boys were applauding." McMahon remembered, "as I turn around the corner on my way to the trainer's room before we go to the hospital, and then, here comes Marissa, just eyes bawling. She has no idea because I didn't tell her anything. That's the one I got huge heat for."
Crack a can of 'Audio Whoop Ass' here. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Steve Austin Show with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: The Steve Austin Show