Last week, a bombshell was dropped when Shane McMahon returned to WWE and it was announced that he would face The Undertaker at WrestleMania 32 in a Hell in a Cell match. This match is for control of Monday Night Raw, with The Undertaker acting as Vince McMahon’s representative in the match.
Anything can happen in the next few weeks leading up to the event, but as evidenced by this week’s episode of Raw, it doesn’t appear as though The Undertaker is fully on board with doing Vince’s dirty work. However, he didn’t exactly oppose the idea of having the match and simply said Shane’s blood will be on Vince’s hands.
At this point, it seems like something has to happen to change this feud up. If Shane were to win clean, The Undertaker would look weak. If The Undertaker wins, then this was all for nothing. If this is a babyface vs. babyface feud where Vince is the only heel, then how does The Undertaker come out of this looking heroic by losing on his behalf? It seems as though this is the type of match that will have some kind of twist to it that hasn’t yet happened, and it appears as though that twist requires someone turning heel or face. There are three potential options for how this could turn out, though. Which one is better?
The Undertaker Turns Heel
The easiest way to simplify things is for The Undertaker to turn heel, fully aligning himself with Vince McMahon and willingly being his instrument of destruction, as Vince was previously touting. One would think that if this were to happen, it would have already, but WWE could be wanting to drag this out for a few weeks. If that’s the case, it could be something as simple as Shane boasting that he’ll win and getting under The Phenom’s skin, perhaps insulting him and bringing up how his streak proves that he’s not unstoppable.
If The Undertaker were to be a heel going into the match, it makes it a lot easier to swallow his loss to Shane, even if it wouldn’t make much sense for him to be losing to someone like Shane to begin with. Any time there is something on the line as important as this, the fans are always rooting for change to take place, and with The Undertaker no longer being the fan favorite, support will lean toward Shane.
Shane McMahon Turns Heel
I wholeheartedly do not expect to see this happen, but it’s still worth talking about, if not just to address why it would make no sense. For years, The Authority has consisted of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon with Vince McMahon making sporadic appearances in support of them. Whether it was Roman Reigns, John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose or Daniel Bryan, the WWE Universe has always operated under the structure that the rebels were good and those in control were bad. This is no different from Vince’s squabbles with Stone Cold Steve Austin back in the day.
When Shane McMahon came back into the mix, he did so as an opposing figurehead who criticized The Authority. The entire point of this feud is that Shane represents the alternative and could be someone who takes charge in a more positive way—a way the fans could get behind and cheer. It makes no sense whatsoever for him to somehow turn heel during the match and align himself with Vince McMahon. If Vince were in his corner, why would he book this match instead of just welcoming him with open arms? It’s not as if this could all be revealed as a way to screw The Undertaker, as he has nothing on the line.
Shane turning heel and not aligning with Vince still doesn’t make all that much sense, as it means WWE would be transitioning from a heel Authority in charge to a heel Shane taking the reigns. Effectively, that’s a story that leads nowhere and only retreads on the same ground that has been happening for years. Despite being The Prodigal Son of the evil genius who you can never trust, it’s highly doubtful Shane will follow in Vince’s footsteps here and turn his back on the fans.
Vince McMahon Turns Babyface
Clearly, this can’t happen during the build to the match, as it would then be called off. During the match or perhaps immediately afterward, though, is a different story. WWE is positioning this not as just Vince against Shane, but Vince and Stephanie against Shane, and it’s unlikely that Stephanie will sit this out completely. In fact, there’s a good chance Stephanie turns out to be the big villain of the whole story by the time it’s done—not Vince.
It was interesting that The Undertaker specifically said that Shane’s blood would be on Vince’s hands and not much else. Although there were no signs of remorse from Vince after hearing this, things could change when he starts actually seeing his son being destroyed. Let’s face it, The Undertaker has been paired up with stronger tests than the vice chairman of YOU On Demand. He should be able to decimate Shane with relative ease, for the most part.
Perhaps Shane—despite trying his best to put up a good fight—ends up a bloody pulp. The Undertaker could be struggling with the idea that he doesn’t want to lose, but he also doesn’t want to beat the living hell out of someone that he respects (if that kind of relationship exists between he and Shane, which it should, considering Undertaker is a babyface who shouldn’t be supporting The Authority). That’s a tough situation which in a way is a lose/lose scenario for fans no matter what the outcome. But what if Vince makes the hard call by throwing it all out the window and forcing it to become a no-contest? Stephanie would no doubt be cheering on The Undertaker to finish the job and keep pummeling Shane, but Vince could reach a point where he can’t stand to see his son in that much distress. There could be a moment of enlightenment where he realizes that Shane is the good kid and Stephanie’s the problem child.
Obviously, this would need to carry on past WrestleMania, where the struggle for power could continue as Shane and Vince are in opposition of Triple H and Stephanie. At this point, Roman Reigns will have won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H, meaning Stephanie and Triple H will be in the worst position they’ve been in since losing at Survivor Series 2014 to Team Cena. That in itself is a storyline that changes things up, as opposed to keeping the status quo of The Authority in charge.