by BROCK KOLLER
Here the comes the money.
That's what WWE is hoping for with the insertion of Shane McMahon into the WrestleMania picture.
This past Monday on Raw, WWE went as close to Attitude Era as they possibly can in the PG Era. Shane McMahon surprised his dad a la "It was me Dad that hired Stone Cold back, it was me" promo. Vince McMahon dropped a curse word or as Linda McMahon called it back in 1999, "a little profanity." Dean Ambrose commandeered an ambulance a la Stone Cold commandeering a zamboni, forklift, beer truck, or a cement truck. And Roman Reigns was busted open a la almost every match during the Attitude Era.
It remains to be seen if these edgy happenings will continue in the weeks to come, but it goes without saying, WWE is not holding back in their WrestleMania build. But will it work? Is it enough?
Focusing on Shane-O-Mac: His return was a 10 out of 10 on the mark out scale. A 'Wow' moment. Then it turned a bit perplexing. It made perfect sense that a Shane return would involve him butting heads with Dad and Sis, but where it went from there was certainly surprising - good surprising? Not sure.
The second Vince McMahon uttered the words that Shane will face the Undertaker inside Hell in a Cell at WrestleMania made the 'Wow' moment go to a 'What' moment. What? Shane's wrestling at Mania? Is he in wrestling shape? He's wrestling the Undertaker? What about John Cena's epic return? Why would the Undertaker want to wrestle on behalf of Vince McMahon and the Authority? They are wrestling inside the cell? What for? So Shane doesn't take his ball and go home, is the reason but...what? What just happened?
DON'T GET ME WRONG- this all sounds fun! In fact, this feels like a storyline I would have conjured up back in my wrestling figure federation. I did a great Vince McMahon commentator impression! "What a maneuver! 1-2-3 he got him! No he didn't!" But this is not my Hasbro league. This is the Super Bowl of the publicly traded multi-million dollar pro wrestling juggernaut.
Is Shane McMahon really the best choice to fight the Undertaker at WrestleMania?? It's a shocker of a match for sure. It's a surprise to the Nth degree. And us wrestling fans, we love our shockers and surprises. When they make sense.
Shane wanting control of the company for the 10th time, makes sense. Everything after that, is eyebrow raising. Rock reference.
Back in the Attitude Era, I was a huge fan of Shane matches. His monumental falls from titantrons and scaffolding made even Steve Blackman matches entertaining.
And what made it better was that he wasn't a wrestler - he was the son of the owner! And his matches were sometimes the best on the card. His coast to coast kick is a move that not many athletes can pull off.
But with that said- Why is he facing the Undertaker at WrestleMania?
It might just be the best choice in the situation WWE is in. Shane said it himself in his promo - the string of injuries that has haunted the WWE in recent months has left the company looking for answers.
John Cena was rumored to be Taker's original opponent. That would have been a match of the year candidate. Even when the match would be announced and the two would come face to face - it would have had that shocking feeling to it and even better, and it would have made sense.
Since the Shane vs Undertaker match was just booked, I'll give it time to build. I'll give it time to marinate and smooth out all the confusing wrinkles that remain. After all, it's all still pretty fresh and, well, raw.
But can Shane McMahon vs The Undertaker bring 100,000 to Texas?
I'm sure Shane-O-Mac's theme song is playing on repeat on Vince's iPhone in hopes it will.