With Shane McMahon returning to the WWE for a huge match with the Undertaker at WrestleMania on April 2nd, 2016, it got me thinking about previous feuds that Shane was involved in. My mind quickly went to an over the top feud that took place in 2003.
During the summer of 2003, Kane would be unmasked and become a demonic character who destroyed various characters on television. It would appear that Kane was in line for a big heel push that would see Kane get plenty of airtime on RAW and eventually a main event push towards the end of the year. But, before all that, Kane would find himself feuding with Shane McMahon, but why you ask? We will get there.
Shane hadn’t been seen on television since the Alliance angle ended in November 2001 and didn’t have much of a reason to appear on television. That is until the July 21st, 2003 edition of RAW where Kane knocked out Rob Van Dam, Jerry Lawler and several officials during the main event allowing Kane to hit a tombstone on Linda McMahon at the top of the ramp.
The following week on RAW, Vince McMahon appeared and promised that Kane would pay for what he did to his wife. In a shocking moment, Shane McMahon returned to WWE television by attacking Kane and hitting him with a steel chair several times causing Kane to fall off the ramp and through a table. However, Kane sat up and laughed into the camera to showcase just how insane he had become since being unmasked.
Shane McMahon wanted a match with Kane at SummerSlam, but instead would get a no holds barred match with Eric Bischoff, who had an obsession with Linda McMahon during this time, as well. Their match on the August 4th edition of RAW lasted forty-five seconds until Kane came out and viciously attacked Shane allowing Bischoff to earn a pin fall over Shane.
At SummerSlam, Shane McMahon would win a singles match against Eric Bischoff while Kane won a singles match against Rob Van Dam at the event. The issues between Shane and Kane would continue and there are two pay per view bouts involving the two.
The McMahon family reunited on the August 25th edition of RAW on the Highlight Reel with Chris Jericho. While Vince McMahon was first supportive of Linda McMahon, he turned on her and sided with Kane claiming that Vince himself was the real victim in everything that had been going on. Naturally, Shane McMahon came out and stood up to his father and was attacked by Jericho. Shane and Jericho competed in the main event, but Kane would appear and attack Shane. Shane recovered to chase after Kane backstage and ended up knocking Kane into a dumpster that was on fire.
Kane attacked Shane McMahon on the September 1st edition of RAW which saw Kane tying Shane to the ring post and hooking jumper cables to the crotch of Shane O’Mac. Kane proceeded to shock the testicles of Shane until Rob Van Dam ran down to the ring to make the save, but the damage had been done.
Six days before Unforgiven, Kane and Shane had a contract signing for their Last Man Standing match at the pay per view. They both signed the contract, but Shane attacked Kane with several low blows and eventually hit a top rope elbow drop to put Kane through the announcers table on the floor. Their match at Unforgiven went on for nearly twenty minutes and features a few good spots. Kane manages to win after Shane missed his trademark elbow drop from high elevation. Now, it is time to drag this feud out to the Survivor Series.
The night after Unforgiven, Kane attacked Shane at the hospital he was recovering from. Two weeks later, Shane returned and attacked Kane luring him into the garage of the building. There, Shane would trap Kane in a limo and send Kane helplessly into a truck nearly killing Kane in the process. Of course, it’s wrestling folks and Kane would be healed just an hour or so later when Shane issued a challenge for Survivor Series. Their match this time would be an ambulance match taking place at Survivor Series. On the last RAW before the pay per view on November 10th, the two literally sat at a table in a restaurant and issued threats to one another while eating dinner. Which, is remarkable considering everything that has transpired during the feud.
At Survivor Series, Kane prevailed once again over Shane McMahon in an ambulance match after hitting a tombstone piledriver on the concrete floor.
Without question this feud featured some over the top moments that is simply impossible to suspend your disbelief about. However, I oddly enough enjoyed the angle between the two. I’ve always thought that 2003 Kane was the most enjoyable version of the character since the dark nature of the character was executed very well by Glenn Jacobs. While most of the year saw Kane involved with Shane or RVD, he won both feuds and probably should have been a major challenger towards Goldberg and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship before that reign was cut rather short and given back to Triple H.
Shane wouldn’t be on television again until 2006 when he had a feud against DX where he sided with Vince McMahon in that one. That is such a strange relationship, really. Kane got a title shot at Armageddon in a three way with Triple H and Goldberg, but settled for a feud with the Undertaker that started at Survivor Series and ended at WrestleMania XX. Following that event, Kane was largely involved in mid card feuds against Matt Hardy and Edge.
Anyway, back to the feud, I remember watching most of this happened live at the time and even at the age of 14 I thought it was just insane. Shane has always played the daredevil underdog role extremely well and I was always interested in seeing him compete because of the risks he has taken throughout his career. The transformation of Kane provided a sense of freshness to the character. Sure, some of the stuff was just over the top crazy, but it was entertaining and different. Plus, you can’t go wrong with brawls and high spot matches that are designed to pop the crowd.
What are your memories of the Shane McMahon vs. Kane feud from 2003?
Thanks for reading.