Shane-O-Facts: What You Don’t Know About Shane McMahon, WWE’s Prodigal Son

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Shane McMahon is back. After several years away, the no-longer-so-boyish Boy Wonder returned on Raw, and the response from the WWE Universe surprised pretty much everybody, including Shane. The return of the 40-something-year-old son of the boss being the hottest event along this year’s road to WrestleMania may sound slightly absurd, but Shane has always occupied a special place in fans’ hearts. Whether he’s taking 50-foot leaps off the Titantron or defiantly walking out on the family business, Shane has always done things a bit differently than the rest of the McMahon clan, both in front of and behind the cameras.

Put on your baggiest sports jersey, because here comes the facts Shane-O-Fans need to know…

Shane was beat up on and stuffed into lockers by wrestlers as a kid.

Posing for pictures like this might have contributed to the hazing. 

On January 15, 1970, Shane Brandon McMahon was born in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the town Vince and Linda McMahon had set up in while promoting WWWF events in Washington, D.C. for Vince’s father.

As you might expect, Shane was immediately enamored with the cartoonish, living action figure world of professional wrestling, and hoped he could become André the Giant’s tag team partner someday if he ate enough. Little kids are dumb, okay? As Shane got older, he started hanging around backstage and claims he became something of a “backstage mascot” for the wrestlers. According to Shane, the old-timers like Ivan Putski would stretch him, throw him in lockers and just generally kick the crap out of him. Hmm, that doesn’t necessarily match my definition of a mascot, but I guess you have to tell the boss’ son something to make him feel better as you’re stuffing his skinny ass in a broom closet.

His first on-screen role was as a referee named “Shane Stevens.”

Most fans first got to know Shane McMahon when he allied with his father to form The Corporation in the late ’90s, but he was actually a regular on WWF TV as early as 1989, doing a couple-year stint as just another bow tie-wearing referee named “Shane Stevens.” Shane didn’t exactly stand out during this period, a good ref isn’t supposed to, but he pops up in the background during some pretty major matches, including Randy Savage’s WrestleMania VIII match with Ric Flair, and the 1991 Royal Rumble.

Shane was notorious for partying with the talent in the ’80s and ’90s.

Uncle Johnny wants YOU to pick up the tab. 

Shane may not have made much of an impact in the late ’80s/early ’90s, but he excelled in other keys areas, namely getting trashed with the talent. According to Raven, who had a run in the WWF as manager Johnny Polo in the early ’90s, he used to get in trouble all the time for keeping Shane out all night drinking, carousing and, well, doing all the other very non-PG things Raven does at three in the morning. As I covered previously, Bret Hart also had a violent run-in with the boss’ son after a drunk and rowdy Shane grabbed his wife’s ass. Hey, Shane always wanted the boys to respect him, and back then, partying ability was more important than mat skills.

He was the original commentator for Sunday Night Heat.

Proof WWE’s commentary situation has never made any sense.

Shane also had another on-air role before becoming a full-on WWF character. In August, 1998, Shane became the inaugural color commentator for Sunday Night Heat, announcing alongside guys like Jerry Lawler, Jim Cornette and Kevin Kelly. Shane even got to step up and announce an episode of Monday Night Raw. It was a logical career move – Vince McMahon had spent years as a color commentator before moving up the corporate ladder. Thankfully, Shane, who was every bit as mediocre behind the announcer’s table as his daddy, only stuck to the gig for a few months, rather than torturing fans for more than 25 years.

Shane wanted to run ECW and WCW as independent companies.

Shane spent most of the ’80s and ’90s dabbling in various aspects of the wrestling business, with the expectation that he would, someday, take over the business from his father like his father and grandfather had before him. Unfortunately for Shane, as the ’90s rolled to a close, it became apparent that his little sister Stephanie and her husband Triple H were the power couple on the rise and new heir apparents. Muscled out of a meaningful leadership position, Shane became fixated on breaking free of the WWF and running his own independent wrestling organization.