Shane McMahon opens up on his highly rated Wrestllemania match against AJ Styles back in 2017 when he was the commissioner of SmackDown.
Back in 2016, the Undertaker referred to Shane McMahon as the man with no fear while addressing the SmackDown team ahead of that year’s Survivor Series. This was an apt description for a man who had made a career out of performing dangerous spots.
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As exciting as Shane was however, he was yet to convince people he could pull of a pure wrestling match. He was always seen as the spot monkey who would steal the night with his one moment. Anything more than that was seen beyond what he was capable of.
This is why it was surprising and disappointing for many once they found out AJ Styles was booked against him at Wrestlemania in a traditional singles match. Many wanted to see Styles go up against a more pedigreed wrestler. Shane however, was a man on a mission and come Wrestlemania he smelled of vindication.
Shane McMahon opens up on his highly rated Wrestllemania match against AJ Styles
“Once I came back, I was fortunate enough to be part of multiple WrestleManias because it was a good story both emotionally and physically,” Shane told Corey Graves on a recent episode of WWE After The Bell. “I’m very proud of what Taker and I accomplished at Hell in a Cell; very proud of what AJ Styles and I accomplished.
“I think that surprised a lot of people actually because I’m not really known to wrestle in the normal sense of collar-and-elbow tie-up or whatever. I’m learned, again, from Dr. Tom [Prichard] and also from many other things. Can I do it? Yes, and that was part of the story that we got to showcase.”
“AJ and I spoke about it and it was a good showcase for AJ as he was ascending, and it was a really good spot,” Shane continued. “I was just privileged to be in there with him and do that, but what we were talking about is like, ‘hey, let’s do something that no one’s gonna suspect’. He’s one of the best in-ring performers. So I said, ‘why don’t we showcase that a little?’ He said, ‘oh, that’s great,’ and then we started doing a couple things thinking about it.
“And he’s like, ‘can you do that?’ I was like, ‘yeah, let’s go’. So that’s part of the story, and if you remember, it was supposed to be outlawed. He’s the one who introduced the toys. The referee went down. It was just like,’ OK’. So I was really proud to be able to do that and have that match, and AJ’s really proud of that match too; which really means the most to me.
There’s no bigger drum than that
“When whoever you’re in there with is appreciative, and you pull it off and you rock it, you get that adulation from the crowd, and you get, more importantly, the respect from the boys. Collectively, I say boys, but the locker room when you come back through. Those are, as you’re well aware as a performer, there’s no bigger drum than that.”
Shane vs AJ received 4 stars from Dave Meltzer. That was the highest rated match of the night. The same people who hated the idea of wasting Styles in a wrestlemania match against the Boss’ son were the ones who gave it a rousing standing ovation by the time it ended.
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