The number of wrestling rumours on the internet appears to grow exponentially as the days go on.
As wrestling fans, we have learned to process these in three ways. There are those ones that we know are a certainty to happen. There’s the ones that look too far fetched to be plausible. And there are those which are 50/50 in terms of validity.
A recent rumour that falls into the latter category was revealed earlier this week by WrestleVotes. The normally reliable Twitter account revealed a source ‘wouldn’t be surprised’ to see Shane McMahon be the man to eventually dethrone Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship.
To many, the report has tipped them over the edge when it comes to the current WWE climate. Despite a relatively well-received Wrestlemania, TV ratings have fallen off a cliff in recent months. House show attendances have also dipped, whilst PPV’s aren’t selling at the preferred speed the company would like.
A major part of this has been down to the booking of Vince’s first born child.
Since turning on his partner The Miz at Fastlane, Shane has been positioned as the company’s top heel. As a result, he has been featured regularly on WWE TV. Whilst this was originally isolated to Smackdown, the introduction of the Wildcard Rule has seen his on-screen time doubled.
To put it in perspective, Shane featured for nearly an hour and a half across RAW and SD this week. This is in a period where the likes of Cedric Alexander, Viking Raiders and Asuka haven’t wrestled on TV in weeks.
To make matters worse, the majority of this time has involved long drawn out promos that has bored the audience to no-avail.
The difference three years can make
Whilst a heel is meant to get heat, it shouldn’t be that kind. It is a stark decline to how the crowd popped when Shane O’Mac made his return to the company in early 2016.
Until his recent turn, his match and promo time across a calendar year was fairly minimal. Whilst we have always respected what Shane does when he wrestles, he shouldn’t be taking time away from more qualified and skilled wrestlers.
That is what is happening now. His push is relegating Drew McIntyre to the role of hired help. He is dominating a multiple-time WWE champion Roman Reigns in singles competition.
Whilst there was a time where we tolerated the McMahon-heavy product, now is not that time.
The popularity of AEW’s debut event Double or Nothing has shown that the wrestling audience are craving something different. They want sensible, logical storytelling combined with high-calibre wrestling.
Kofi Kingston’s rise to the championship was the best example of this that WWE has produced this year. Not only does pushing Shane McMahon to beat him ruin this, but it also serves to push their fans away and hand a small advantage over to their newest competition.
If the WWE hierarchy meant what they said earlier this year that the fans opinions matter, then they will avoid this title change at any given cost.