Man Behind The Money: Shane McMahon Talked To Mick Foley About WrestleMania, Montreal, And Monday Nitro

This month’s post-Raw podcast was noticeably different. With regular host Stone Cold Steve Austin nursing an injured shoulder, Mick Foley stepped in to take over hosting duties. Guest of honor Shane McMahon was in the hot seat for some pointed questions about his absence from WWE, and here’s what Vince’s prodigal son had to say.

On growing up as the son of WWE’s man in charge: “Back then, television was shot in three or four-week increments, so my dad was gone a lot. Like any child, all you really want is your father to be there, whether he’s a truck driver or in the military or whatever. So, I missed him. I missed him a lot. It was difficult growing up because he was on the road quite a lot.”

On being around the wrestling business as a child: “It’s just been such a wonderful and invaluable experience. I mean, to see the larger-than-life characters and to literally see the maturation of the business. [It would] go from small little armories like the Fall River Armory… There was one specific time I remember that unfortunately, there was a riot. I remember it was getting so bad that my dad took me and did the only thing he could do, he stuck me under the bleachers. He says, ‘You have to stay here to be safe.’ He put stuff around me, he put one security guy underneath the bleachers with me…”

On Andre the Giant: “I always wanted to be his tag team partner… I always told my dad, ‘Look, I’m going to grow up to be big like Andre and not small like you.'”

On wrestlers who would pull pranks on him as a child: “There was a guy, Baron Mikel Scicluna, he was famous for always smoking a big cigar… those guys would lock me in lockers, blow cigar smoke in there, [Don] Muraco stuffed me in trash cans and kicked me down a few steps.”

On the decision to be an in-ring competitor: “Number one, I’d never gotten to showcase my athletic talent. I wanted to go to college and continue to play football, [but] I had a little knee injury and my dad talked me out of doing that. So, I always had an itch I wanted to scratch.”

On his favorite match (excluding Hell in a Cell at WrestleMania): “I think King of the Ring with Kurt Angle was my favorite match… I think we accomplished a lot. It was an immense amount of fun and pride… walking through the curtain when the match was over, I’ve been told that we got a standing ovation. That didn’t happen a lot back then, it was kind of new. So, to see that, it was like, ‘Wow, that was really amazing.’ And Kurt was feeling the same way, also.”

On his memories of the Montreal Screwjob: “Vince wanted to go in the locker room [after the incident] in front of everyone, in front of all the boys, because everybody was in there, and take it like a man. And I said, ‘He’s going to hit you, you know that?’ And he says, ‘Yep. He gets one shot.’ Vince walked in there and I was thinking to myself, ‘Well, hopefully Bret won’t hit him,’ but Bret was pissed. He came up, and Vince just stood there, and Bret cold-cocked him right in the jaw.”

On showing up on the final WCW Monday Nitro: “I walk into the locker room… I basically told everyone that we had purchased the company, but if they want to continue, the opportunity’s there. And just looking around, wow. If some looks could kill, there were some there. Others were happy. Just a very awkward and tough setting.”

On parting ways with WWE in 2009: “It’s a decision that had been building for a while… It stopped being a collaboration, and it stopped being fun. WWE defines my father, and I wasn’t going to allow a deteriorating business relationship to affect our personal lives. That’s exactly what was happening… Also, when you’re the child of a successful parent, you want to know if you can stand on your own two feet. Can you do it on your own?”

On his relationship with Stephanie McMahon and Triple H: “I love my sister. I’m proud of what she’s done, her accomplishments. She has a whole different path… As long as they’re going to be happy, that’s all I really care about.”

On the decision to return to WWE: “[There was] a phone call from my father, followed by one from The Undertaker. I always knew that one day, I’d want to return, but it’d have to be under the right circumstances. The biggest reason, which I’ve said a couple of times, is my children. My boys are of the age now where they never got to see me live, ever. They get to watch me on WWE Network or YouTube, or they dig up an old DVD…”

On the drop from the top of the Cell: “It’s not the flight, it’s the sudden stop that gets you… I felt that the match needed it. I knew I wanted to do it from the announcement [of the match].”