Planet Kayfabe: Thoughts on Shane McMahon in AEW

Planet Kayfabe: Shane McMahon To AEW Thoughts

By: Paul Matthews  |  @PlanetKayfabe

June 25, 2024

There are no slow news days in the world of wrestling. Shane McMahon potentially going to AEW seems to be the latest hot rumor, and it is too hot to ignore anymore.

Hello, and thank you again for reading Planet Kayfabe.

Conrad Thompson, on his “Grilling JR” podcast with AEW commentator Jim Ross casually drops the news that Shane McMahon has been in contact with AEW’s cashbox Tony Khan. Shane, who was last seen as the latest McMahon Family member to tear his quad in embarrassing fashion at Wrestlemania 39, is currently without a contract with WWE. The rumor itself has everyone talking. Already fantasy booking. Already calling for Tony Khan to sign him up. So, should he?


As much as it would be a great news story for the sheets, podcasters and this website. Let’s just sit and think about it for a second.

As a talent, signing Shane would be good to pop a rating on night one, but he’s not an actual wrestler. He would be there with his big contract to do what? One or two of his ridiculous gimmick matches every year – any why? To end up like Edge? Jumping off high shit and breaking your leg just for a self-indulgent spot for a record-low crowd? If a Shane falls in the woods, it may not make a sound, but its still not getting up after going down.

Shane as an on-screen authority figure would make no sense, too. I’ve already said AEW is no longer the for wrestlers/by wrestlers promotion that it started as very early on. Like it or not, once Tony Khan took full control, it became TNA with a bigger budget. The whole appeal of AEW was to be an entirely new vision from the McMahon style people grew frustrated with. Since then, Tony has pretty much signed up every WWE castaway just like TNA used to do. Signing Shane McMahon as an on-screen talent would just solidify AEW as being undeniably minor league and WWE-light.

Some may see Shane’s involvement as a major league move, but I just see it as a company that was built on a promise to be the anti-WWE and make good on everything fans didn’t like about WWE making a big mistake if they bring Shane in and have a McMahon as one of the faces of the company. Plus, its not like the honeymoon would last very long. Apparently, fans have already forgotten how much they hated Shane’s last run in WWE when he was getting clean wins over the likes of The Usos and was crowned the “Best Wrestler in the World”. Why not just put him in Edge’s spot and he can go over the entire roster in masturbatory open challenge matches for 20 minutes every week?

So you may be saying “Well, Shane doesn’t have to wrestle or be an on-screen talent. Tony Khan can make him an executive and pick his brain”. That sounds great and all, but again… This company was built on being an alternative to WWE and you’re going to give power to Shane McMahon? Forget that. You know Tony Khan would not give Shane any actual power. He might have a title. However, it is Tony’s show. There would be no brain picking and I’m not sure what brain there is to pick. The last time Shane McMahon had an executive position in WWE was in 2009 oh and by the way, Shane McMahon has also never booked a promotion or an event in his life. So, I doubt it would be too interesting to Tony Khan who prides himself on being a Wrestling Observer Newsletter voted “Booker of the Year” to listen to the booking philosophy of someone who has never booked shit.

The only reason to sign Shane would be for the buzz, but buzz doesn’t last. Edge had buzz. Mercedes had buzz. Look where they are now. I get the temptation of signing a McMahon, but it would just be another doll on the shelf of Tony’s collection. He has little value as a talent since he’s not a wrestler and he’s old. He has little value as an executive because one, Tony would never give Shane real power, and two, even if he did I’m not sure it would matter since Shane has never booked wrestling and was never touted as some great creative mind when he was part of creative. Stephanie McMahon got a lot of shit when she was in creative but at least she can be credited for seeing something in John Cena when Vince was going to release him.

Sometimes you just have to resist temptation. Yes, its interesting. Shane McMahon in AEW. It sounds almost delightfully dirty in a way. A taboo. Like dating your ex’s sister out of spite. It would be a hot news day. It would get people talking. Then what? You just have another big contract on your hands and what’s the headline? “Shane McMahon to AEW” or “Tony Khan needs a McMahon to stop the bleeding”. Like it or not, this show is going to live and die as a Tony Khan production and if Tony’s dad’s money is burning a hole in his pocket that bad, at least spend it on a guy like Bill Goldberg who will at least pop a good PPV number for you and put over one of your future stars or maybe be patient and wait for the next hot free agent to come or, here’s a crazy idea, stop spending so much money and work with the talent you have.

I mean, goddamn, you have Jim Ross under contract, who like many others you just have there to say you have there, and he’s a much smarter wrestling mind than fucking Shane McMahon.  At least use his mind and experience to your advantage.


Thank you again for reading, everyone.

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Take care. For NoDQ, I’m Paul Matthews… See you next time.