On a recent episode of ‘Something to Wrestle With’, Bruce Prichard and Conrad Thompson covered the long and illustrious career of Shane McMahon.
During the course of the conversation, Prichard recalled McMahon’s venture behind the announce desk, beginning as a colour commentator for Sunday Night Heat in August 1998.
Though perhaps best known for his actions in the ring, be it falling from titan tron’s to facing his own father at WrestleMania, Shane would appear behind a headset before any of these legendary matches took place joining Jerry Lawler, Jim Cornette and Kevin Kelly during his relatively short run on WWF’s b-show, Sunday Night Heat.
Bruce Prichard explains that although McMahon was received negatively by critics, the idea behind his inclusion was to try something new:
“It was different, and the idea behind it was to be different. Not to do the stereotypical colour commentator, or commentator, or anything. It was to attempt to get the voice of that demographic, of a much younger demographic. And [Shane was] a little bit of a wild card, in that regard.
So, it was trying to do something different. Trying to do not the stereotypical ‘Ok, here’s a heel commentator and he’s going to be your colour commentator. And here’s your babyface commentator, play-by-play guy […] a lot of it was experimental, and Shane was a good looking guy that had the gift of gab, so why not use him?”
Shane McMahon would appear on Sunday Night Heat until February 1999, also serving as a commentator for an episode of Monday Night Raw during this time.
Ultimately, the daredevil stepped away from commentary and into the ring, joining his father in The Corporation, The Corporate Ministry and becoming one of the most recognisable figures in WWE history both in and out of the ring.
Bruce Prichard would go on to praise Shane for his desire to step away from his fathers shadow, revealing that although McMahon would ultimately carry the stigma of being the bosses son, Shane fought to become his own man:
“Shane was just trying to be his own man, Shane just wanted to be Shane. It’s difficult because, you walk into any situation and you’re already pre-judged before anyone even says hello to you. Shane tried to just be himself, and he just happened to be Vince’s son.”
After stepping away from the announcing desk, ‘Shane O’Mac’, would lace up his trainers to challenge X-Pac for the WWF European Championship at WrestleMania XV before aligning himself with The Mean Street Posse and Triple H who aided his ascension to the gold.
Credit for the interview: Something to Wrestle With