Corey Graves welcomed Shane McMahon on the WWE After The Bell podcast. McMahon discussed his time in WWE noting that while he is fortunate to have grown up in wrestling due to being Vince’s son, he still worked his way up taking on many different roles in WWE.
“Well, I’ve been very fortunate to be able to grow up in this business, and ever since I was probably five or six at the first time, I went to my first show which was the Worcester Auditorium at the Centrum. This tiny little place in Worcester, Massachusetts,” Shane recalled. “You just got to get hook. From a very early age, I was taking jackets back from ringside. That was kind of my job and take it back to the locker where the guys were. As I got a little bigger and stronger, I was able to help with the ring crew for many many years and took a lot of pride in that, putting that up and down and making sure it was right.
“Things started evolving. You get to the bigger things like throwing everything in the truck and eventually was on tour setting that up, you know, setting the ring up for everybody. And that started evolving more. It became ring announcing. It became being a referee. [I] had all these different opportunities, physically, in the business.
“I always wanted to be you in the ring performing but never thought they would come to fruition because my grandfather had more of a philosophy of, don’t. My dad had that for a while, until it was just right time, right place and then got involved physically and in storyline. It caught, and we were ran with it.”
Shane also noted that he has been able to learn from his father his entire life. However, he also named other people that he has learned from like Pat Patterson.
“Corporately, I’ve been shadowing one of the greatest minds in the business my entire life, and that absorbs,” Shane noted. “So again, around 11-12, going to all the production meetings, listening [and] hearing greats like Pat Patterson talk about the psychology of the business, and I really learned the business backwards from where I wasn’t a performer, but I understood psychology and why men and women should do things and when they should do them.
“And Pat was, obviously, so far this time and so really learned from one of the best between Vince and Pat. So many others that would come around that table. Sometimes you hear stuff from Harley Race and just listening. So being around it, you learn, again, so much of the storytelling and the physical storytelling part of the business of why.
As Shane eventually grew into being a producer, that led him to producing segments that his father, Vince, is in. He shared a story of a time when Vince was producing him producing his segment.
“Then knowing the product, that just grew into production, and I was a production brat so pulling cables on the tour buses and setting up everything and setting up stuff for the camera guys,” Shane said. “I used to do a lot. I was gopher. ‘Go for this, go for that [or] get a coffee.’ So I grew up from a production assistant to an associate producer to a producer. I went through the ranks like everyone else. You really had to earn stripes to do production. So I [was] always editing, putting stuff together [and] putting pieces together.”
“Some of the interesting things when I was producing Vince doing voiceovers and his inflection would be wrong where he would flub something, and you’d be like ‘ah.’ I’m like, ‘Let’s stop. We need to go back and redo every racket,’ and the whole like edit, everybody in the edit suite would be like, ‘ah’ because you know, what’s coming. (In a Vince impression) ‘Why’d we stop?.’ You’re growling.
“You’re voice is super tired. ‘How come? Play it back to see if I was wrong.’ You play it back, and he goes, ‘ah, s–t.’ My god. I can’t tell you how many conversations my dad and I have had privately outside of the back of edit one when it was just he and I. He’s trying to produce me when I’m producing him. By the way, Vince is always right. Once he thought he was wrong, but he was mistaken.”
Shane competed in many matches in the Attitude Era, and he credits Patterson, Tom Prichard and many others for helping him learn that side of the ring. He pointed out that there was no developmental program like there is now with the Performance Center, and he would get in the ring and learn from guys like Tommy Dreamer hands on.
“Pat Patterson a lot, but physical training, Dr. Tom Prichard,” Shane stated. “So I spent a lot of time with Dr. Tom who I stay in touch with regularly. Al Snow, learned a lot from Al, and both those guys have spent time with me to make sure that things were were polished and learning more of the physical aspects of what you have to do and then primarily, everyone else I started working. There was no developmental program at the time.
“You just had to kind of do it on your own. Those two guys specifically, I spent a lot of time with. I will say helping me get ready for things, a lot of times, I’ll call him my friend, Tommy Dreamer. We’ll go in there and just start wrestling around, just to start getting in shape. He’ll do something, then I’ll take him down. I just like to hear him yell for a little bit. Again, working with so many talent over the years, you take a little piece.”
Shane also pointed to Kurt Angle as someone else he got to learn from while traveling on the road. He also pointed out their infamous match at King of the Ring in 2001.
“When you’re on the road doing a house shows, live events I should say and then working with just top talent, you advance quickly and kind of going back to one of the stories we told working with great talent, both glad we were able to pull it off, was Kurt Angle,” Shane highlighted. “Kurt’s meteoric rise, really the beginning of that was when we went back to King of the Ring.
“We still talk about that match. It was one of those things that kind of, it definitely helped me. It helped launch Kurt. A cool thing that happened that night, it was very infrequent that a match would ever get a standing ovation, and everyone there appreciated what we did. We really put each other through a lot.”
Many, including Ange himself, remember the crazy moments of the match like Shane going through glass twice. Shane revealed that Angle cracked his tailbone in a spot before where Shane suplexed Angle on the ramp.
“Kurt called a spot. We were coming towards that area, and he wanted me to suplex him on the ground,” Shane recalled. “I said, ‘no.’ It’s concrete. ‘Suplex me.’ I was like, ‘no.’ Then he punched me in the face or something. I was like, ‘fine.’ So I suplex him. I hear, ‘ugh,’ and I was like, ‘that’s not good.’ And I look over, and I see Kurt look at me and I was like, ‘what?’ He goes, ‘I can’t move.’ I went, ‘oh, OK.’ It’s like great, we’re like 20-25% in the match.
“I was like fine and kicked him like, ‘stay down.’ Then I kicked him again. Then he got up. He was like, ‘oh man. Something’s wrong. Something’s wrong.’ He ended up breaking his tailbone, cracked his tailbone. Shows how tough Kurt is.”
Shane then went through the glass spot noting that the glass was not sugar glass but something more stronger so that it would not get blown up by the pyro used during the show. However, that meant the glass did not break that easily, and Shane hinted that he was concussed after landing on his head after the glass didn’t break. Angle has said that Shane swore at him before he threw Shane through the glass, and Shane confirms that he did call Angle a swear word.
“So that first suplex, he gave me the belly-to-belly to go through the glass,” Shane stated. “He didn’t have as much torque as he normally did. So I moved, plus at the time, we didn’t know this, wish we did now, they had a whole different type of glass in there because of all the pyro. If you put like Hollywood glass in there, it would have blown out with the pyro.
“So the geniuses, who ever put that in at the time, made it very very very strong. If you go back and look at it, it doesn’t look like anything you’ve ever seen. So we did that thing. I was like boom, and then I came straight down on my head on the concrete. So it was a double whammy. Then Mike Chioda’s saying stuff to me that sounds like (Shane makes blurred noises).
“And I can see him say, “are you OK,’ and I was like, ‘yeah.’ Get back on Kurt. He did it again. It didn’t work, and then finally, I called him an Olympic something. ‘Wuss’, I’ll say that for this show. He finally popped his hips, and I went through. The same happened on the way back.”
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