Looking Back Reviews WWE

The Review Stands Alone: Shane McMahon vs. Kurt Angle (King of the Ring 2001)

It only seems fitting that with Shane O’Mac’s shocking and unexpected return to Monday Night RAW last night, and with his looming Hell in a Cell match with The Undertaker that we all take a few moments to remember just exactly what Shane McMahon, the heir apparent of Vince McMahon, is truly capable of in the ring. For the most part, Shane McMahon will be remembered for his extreme risk taking and his hardcore style more than he will any sort of in ring finesse or prowess. His match-up versus Kurt Angle at 2001’s edition of King of the Ring proved to be memorable for, well, everything that Shane is memorable for: extreme, unadulterated brutality.

Shane McMahon vs. Kurt Angle - Street Fight***3/4

Having said that, let’s not sell the wrestling part of this match short. Shane and Kurt had some undeniable chemistry. Is it something that you should gawk at any time you go back and watch the match and see Kurt and Shane trading amateur positions? No, not by any means. There is something to be admired though about Shane’s willingness and ability to adapt to a situation and wrestle whatever style of match he needed to wrestle. Kurt and Shane manage to trade some wrestling holds, even breaking out some submissions in the genesis of this match, but otherwise it’s largely forgettable as far as opening moments are concerned. Once the hardcore element of the Street Fight is introduced, this becomes one of the more sickening matches in terms of brutality, blood, and just general delivery. Shane McMahon brings all sorts of odds and ends into the fight: kendo sticks, trash cans, even wooden planks and stop signs; all staples of the Attitude Era and it’s hardcore debauchery. One of the more impressive things to note about this match is that for Kurt Angle, this was his third match of the evening. To be clear, his first two weren’t cake walks either. Regardless of that, Angle easily gets into the mix of things, dominating McMahon with suplexes and all sorts of weaponry.

None of that is as memorable, however, as the closing moments of the match-up. WWE even goes out of their way to include a short little video clip of one of the more sickening, shield your eye moments of the match. The fight eventually spills into the outside area, and makes it way up to the stage. For those that are unaware of the King of the Ring stage, in the 2001 edition it included plexiglass panes with the KoR logo on it. Being that it’s a street fight, you can only imagine what transpires here. For those that are unaware, as the video above shows, Kurt Angle brings things up a notch and attempts to belly-to-belly suplex Shane McMahon through the plexiglass. At this point, Kurt and Shane are both bloody messes and it’s not entirely clear how much more punishment their bodies can take. Shane hits the plexiglass with a sickening thud and his head slams off the concrete. Kurt Angle, not satisfied with the result, again does a belly-to-belly suplex sending Shane McMahon crashing through the glass with his crumpled body laying motionless. Kurt ups the anti again, this time throwing Shane back out into the arena from the set and shattering another piece of plexiglass in the process.

By this point, it’s clear both men have absolutely nothing left to give, with blood spewing out of both men, and Angle and McMahon battered and beaten beyond reasonable comprehension. It was also revealed, by Angle, that he had actually broken his tailbone during this match, so getting Shane back into the ring on his own strength was a near impossibility at this point. Angle decides to opt for using some of the sound equipment, and carts the lifeless Shane back into the ring. We get some more weaponry thrown into the mix until we reach the climax of this absolute brutality. With Shane McMahon perched on the top rope, Angle uses a thick slab of wood and cracks McMahon with it a few times, then precariously sets it up on the top rope to deliver a bone shattering, spine shaking, chill producing Angle Slam, and ultimately bring about the merciful end to this match.

You can watch the match and either agree or disagree with me, but it’s hard to make any memorable wrestling moments out in this match. The appeal of this match, as I’ve stated before, is quite simply in it’s unadulterated nature. Will we get this level of extreme out of the Shane McMahon/Undertaker clash at WrestleMania? Absolutely not. I’m not expecting Shane to do suicide dives off the top of the cell or anything, but we’ll certainly see a blast from the past and get the vicious and entertaining Shane O’Mac that we all know and love, even if it is toned down. While we may be getting a toned down Shane McMahon at this year’s WrestleMania, you can still argue one thing: he’s a money-maker. Shane O’Mac’s theme song says everything you need to know about when he’s on a card: here comes the money.

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