Why Everyone Thinks Shane McMahon's Relationship With Vince Is Ruined Forever

Vince McMahon's relationship with his son, Shane McMahon, has been questionable for the past few years, especially since Stephanie McMahon seemingly began to inherit Vince's role in WWE. However, in light of the allegations against Vince McMahon, the industry has already started to distance itself from him, so could this be a potential reason why Shane never quite took his mantle?


During their time together in WWE, Shane and Vince have been involved with numerous on-screen storylines. Shane often took his father on, like when he "bought" WCW and was at the forefront of "The Invasion" angle, which saw many former WCW names walk into WWE as a militia. Years later, Shane also clashed with his father on-screen when he returned to the promotion after a lengthy absence.

While neither man has confirmed how bad their relationship has been over the years, many veterans have claimed that there definitely is some real-life heat between the father and son. Despite this, Shane has tried to distance himself from Vince by striking out on his own and starting his own business ventures. With that in mind, let's look back at the history of their relationship.


Shane McMahon's 2009 WWE resignation likely caused a rift between him and his father

While his relationship with Vince McMahon deteriorated over the years, things were not always as bad as they seem to be today. Shane McMahon has always worked closely with WWE stars, and after his 1998 debut, he took an interest in wrestling in ways that Vince might not have anticipated or hoped for.


Shane ultimately wanted to run his own promotion and allegedly expressed interest in purchasing and managing ECW independently. However, as we all know, this never happened, as Vince rejected the idea and bought the promotion's library for a very low price. WWE eventually revived ECW in 2006, and Vince ultimately redesigned the ECW titles, and the once-prestigious promotion became a brand.

It's unclear how Shane took Vince's handling of ECW, but by 2009, he had resigned from WWE to pursue his own endeavors. The two men have never openly spoken about the situation, but this move likely worsened things between Vince and Shane and fostered a sense of disappointment. It seemed like Shane was no longer interested in WWE, and by 2010, he launched his very own company, YOU On Demand. The company focused on streaming and bringing US-based movies and television shows into the Chinese market.


Shane later became involved with Ideanomics and eventually served as the company's Vice Chairman. In 2021, Shane was announced as the Executive Vice President of Ideanomics, which has seemingly become his focus since. 

Vince McMahon allegedly prevented Shane McMahon from buying UFC

The UFC is currently the biggest MMA promotion in the world. Since last year, it has merged with WWE under the umbrella of TKO Holdings. Naturally, the two products differ significantly, but due to the overlap, Shane McMahon allegedly saw some value in the promotion back in the day.


In an interview with "BigBoyTV," Dana White was asked if he could confirm the longstanding rumor that Vince McMahon declined to purchase the UFC in the early 2000s. According to White, the claims have always been credible.

"Vince McMahon, from what I hear, his son Shane wanted to buy the UFC," White said. He then claimed that Vince had the opportunity to buy it but still turned it down. "And Vince said, 'Yeah. No. We're not gonna buy it.' Vince could have bought this thing and just put it on the shelf. Or Vince could have bought it and let his son [run it]." 

The rumor has always claimed that Shane made multiple pitches to Vince about buying the promotion. At the time, UFC was nowhere near the size it is today, which lends credibility to Shane's eye for business. While this, again, can't be confirmed to be one of the causes of the rift between Shane and Vince, it would undoubtedly hurt anyone else in the same position.


Vince McMahon has never posted a heartfelt birthday wish to Shane McMahon

A few years ago, Vince McMahon was generally active on social media and would often post or repost things related to WWE. Naturally, as the face of the promotion, McMahon would often wish major names a happy birthday and take some time to express how important they were to him and the WWE.


The meme began when fans noticed the stark difference between the birthday wishes Vince shared for his son, compared to those of Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, and even John Cena. Regarding Stephanie, Vince not only called her "incomparable" but declared that he was a "lucky dad." In comparison, Vince called Triple H a leader and made a fond callback to one of his wrestling moniker, "The Cerebral Assassin." Cena's birthday wish was the most impressive, as Vince compared him to baseball legend Babe Ruth and claimed he couldn't describe how important the veteran was to him and the WWE. Sadly, all Shane McMahon got was a "Happy birthday."


It could be argued that McMahon likely had someone running his social media account for him instead of making the posts himself. However, if this was the case, he likely signed off on all the previous messages and simply had nothing to say for Shane. While this has been a meme since fans figured it out, it could have always been an indication that Vince hasn't been close to Shane in the years since he left WWE.

Shane McMahon confirmed that he left WWE to preserve what was left of his relationship with Vince McMahon

Despite any issues Shane and Vince McMahon might have had with each other after he resigned from WWE, the prodigal son eventually returned to the promotion, where he confronted his father on an episode of "Raw." Shane accused his father of favoritism toward Stephanie McMahon in the storyline, but was there some truth to the angle? In a WWE-sponsored interview with Mick Foley shortly after his return in 2016, he explained why he left the promotion in the first place.


"I think with any parent and child relationship, it's tough. Especially with the older guard allowing the new guard to flesh those ideas out and try them, go for it. Because they're so guarded against it," Shane said. However, he admitted that Vince wasn't open to his ideas. "No, and what grew out of that — it stopped being a collaboration and stopped being fun, and when that happened... You know, the WWE defines my father, and I wasn't going to allow a deteriorating business relationship to affect our personal lives, and that's exactly what was happening. So, I decided, 'You know what? I'm not going to do this; I love him too much.' And I decided to leave."

At the very least, Vince and Shane clearly tried to repair their relationship. Unfortunately, things ultimately went sour after that.


Shane McMahon's 2022 WWE release allegedly happened after an argument with Vince McMahon

After a lengthy absence, Shane O'Mac made his on-screen return during 2022's WWE Royal Rumble, which not only allegedly led to some backstage heat due to claims that he forced his way in, but the moment has since been ridiculed online. Shockingly, Shane McMahon's Royal Rumble situation reportedly led to his WWE release, and plans for the subsequent "Raw," Elimination Chamber, and WrestleMania were scrapped.


According to PWTorch's Wade Keller, Shane and his father got into a heated argument following the former's performance at the Royal Rumble. "Things really unraveled with him and his dad on Saturday. Things were not good, according to what I heard," Keller said. "But the issue with Shane really got to the next level with Vince when it came to what was planned for Raw, and that Shane had real problems with how he was going to be framed as he was going to be in the Elimination Chamber. And so, Shane disagreed with what Vince wanted to do and how he wanted to do it. It was laid out to Shane what the plans were, and he didn't like it, and he pushed back, and that led to Vince just finally having enough and canceling all plans with Shane, everything that they have planned with him" (per WrestlingNews.co).


Interestingly, Keller also speculated that the argument was so bad that fans would likely never see Shane return to an on-screen role again. Of course, history has shown that the hiatus was only temporary, as Shane returned at WWE WrestleMania 39.

Some sources claimed Vince McMahon's anger towards Shane was justified

In the months following Shane McMahon's release from WWE, multiple reports slowly came out that began to paint a picture of exactly what happened between him and Vince McMahon. However, those from the camp closer to Vince claimed he was justified in releasing his son from the company.


According to Fightful, while the exchange became heated on both ends, those who spoke to the outlet claimed that Shane was unprofessional. Additionally, WWE's decision to part ways with Shane in a professional capacity came from Vince himself. Those in Vince's camp reportedly told Fightful he went as far as to say his son wouldn't get another chance in WWE. The report claimed that the same person said this might have been something Vince said in the heat of the moment and that it might not end up being forced down the road. However, they still described Vince's frustration with Shane as justified and that the younger McMahon was the one who crossed the line.

With Vince out of the picture now, Shane could arguably make an on-screen return to WWE, especially with The Rock having a more prominent role in the promotion and without any of the bad history he shares with his father.


Vince McMahon chose Brock Lesnar over Shane McMahon

Vince McMahon's favoritism of Brock Lesnar has long since been evident based on his many accolades since returning to WWE in 2012, most notably being the man who ended The Undertaker's WrestleMania undefeated streak. Another backstage report on the Royal Rumble fallout between Vince and Shane notably claimed that another reason things became heated was that Lesnar was involved.


Shane reportedly walked into the Royal Rumble without knowing which angles were currently happening in WWE. He then used his status to force the other producers for the match to do things his way. Heated arguments were also said to have started between Shane and other producers, with multiple sources describing the situation as chaotic.

Shane also overrode Vince's plans for the event, creating interactions between him and Kevin Owens, Otis, Matt Riddle, and others. Interestingly, the only one he was willing to put over was Lesnar, who ultimately won the match. The report then claimed that Shane forced his way into that year's Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania 38 and even had issues with the plans for "Raw" the following night.


Vince ultimately vetoed Shane's plans after Lesnar began to push for things and was allowed to do a lot of the things he wanted to, while Shane was not. Shane then seemingly took his frustrations out on the producers. Vince had allegedly been bringing Shane in to help with the creative on the Rumble as a father's favor, but sources claimed the younger McMahon's ideas were often laughed at behind his back.

Vince McMahon allegedly always favored Stephanie McMahon

Stephanie McMahon was involved in WWE for much longer than her brother and even became an integral part of on-screen storylines. However, in January 2023, Stephanie resigned from her position as WWE Chairwoman and co-CEO, a role she took after being the Chief Brand Officer for nearly 10 years.


While she never went to the lengths that Shane McMahon went to in the squared circle, Stephanie competed in several matches in the late 90s and early 2000s, and ultimately had her final match at WWE WrestleMania 34. Additionally, she also notably reigned as the WWE Women's Champion on one occasion.

According to Jim Ross in a 2019 episode of "Grilling JR," Shane never had a chance to inherit the WWE throne from his father.

"I never thought Shane would leave, but I also never thought Shane was going to be the heir apparent," Ross said. "And I think at some point around this time is where Shane realized that Vince was going to go another direction as his successor and that was in his daughter, it was Triple H, Paul Levesque was going to be the guy, he still is going to be the guy."


Ross even recalled that Vince favored Stephanie, highlighting some remarks that were made against Shane. "Vince told me one time, 'The girl is more like me than the boy.' I don't know how we got in the conversation, but Vince always saw that Stephanie had that eye of the tiger, very aggressive, sometimes hyper-aggressive in the eyes of some, I'm sure, but that's what he wanted" (per The Sportster).

Bret Hart once claimed that Shane and Stephanie aren't on good terms

Bret Hart's career might be best known for his multiple title reigns, character work, and in-ring performance, but the "Montreal Screwjob" will forever be a mark on his legacy. Despite this, Hart had some insight into Shane and Vince's relationship, and during the first-ever episode of WresleZone Radio's "The Sharpshooter Show," "The Hitman" commented on the angle Shane and Vince were involved with during his son's 2016 WWE return.


According to Hart, he wasn't too sure if the on-screen tensions between Shane and Vince were just a storyline or not. "I know there's a lot of tension between Stephanie and Shane. It's my understanding, unless I'm wrong, that there was a lot of tension there for quite a long time — which is why Shane left. They kind of passed him over and gave everything to Stephanie to run. There's a lot of question marks about the legitimacy or the reality of what's going on. For me, as WrestleMania gets closer, the wrestling fan in me is kind of excited about seeing where it goes" (per WrestleZone).

Vince was later interviewed by the Orlando Sentinel, where he described working with Shane. "It's been awesome. I was hoping that one day we might get back together. It's difficult. Fathers and sons sometimes, in the same business at a certain stage, it can be very difficult." He also commented on Shane's corporate future with WWE, noting that only time will tell if there's a spot for him. "It's great that Shane is back. Whether or not there's a corporate place, we'll wait and see." Unfortunately, based on how things ended up going in 2022, it seems their relationship became progressively worse.


Shane McMahon's first post in the wake of Vince's allegations was about fatherhood

Shane McMahon is the father of three boys, who have even accompanied him to the ring occasionally. His eldest, Declan McMahon, is currently the best-known of the boys due to his uncanny resemblance to his grandfather, Vince McMahon, and the time he discussed the possibility of entering the wrestling business someday.


Despite the severity of the allegations against Vince, Shane has yet to break his silence on the matter. His first post in the wake of all the drama was notably about fatherhood. If all the claims over the years are to be believed, then it might just have been Shane's way of showing his own father what it means to be a good role model. Shane's other son, Kenyon, also seems to be following his brother into football. In his first post in the wake of the allegations, Shane shared how proud he was about his son's achievements in the sport. 

"So proud to be Kenyon's Dad. Hard work pays off"

As a proud father, Shane regularly posts with his family, which has painted him in a starkly different light to that of his own old man. While this is likely not a dig at Vince, it could just be Shane's way of further distancing himself from his father while enjoying the time spent with his sons. It might be unclear whether Shane will ever return to WWE, even with Vince out of the picture, but perhaps one of his sons will someday become involved with the promotion?