There was a time when persons of authority on WWE programming were figureheads and nothing more. But that feels like a lifetime ago.
Once again, a McMahon is having problems with a WWE Superstar. This time around it's Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens, who are one altercation away from coming to blows in the middle of the ring. A possible confrontation was teased and looks inevitable. The only question is when will it happen?
For anyone paying attention, this would be McMahon's second match in one year during his tenure as commissioner of SmackDown Live. It seems as though the company can't help but put him situations in which he's forced to compete.
Interestingly enough, McMahon's most recent match was against AJ Styles, the man who is closely connected to this angle with Owens.
Styles is a babyface this time and has since made peace with McMahon. KO, on the other hand, hates everybody. But it's that lovable crankiness that keeps Owens as one of the most entertaining heels on the blue brand.
His bad attitude also keeps getting him into trouble, as he's now incurred the wrath of the boss.
But this is not Mr. McMahon versus Stone Cold Steve Austin. This also isn't The Authority versus Daniel Bryan. Shane may be the owner's son, but he's hardly been a despicable tyrant ruling Tuesday nights with an iron fist.
Shane has been a non-confrontational character since he began as the head of SmackDown Live in July 2016. He's had no reason to pick a fight with anyone, and that remains the case. McMahon has been the most professional authority figure fans have seen in quite some time and has shown no signs of turning heel.
However he keeps finding himself in physical situations that demand he respond. So could that response come inside Satan's Structure?
Hell in a Cell will take place in Detroit on October 8 and will be exclusive to the blue brand. Traditionally, Hell in a Cell matches are reserved for final showdowns between bitter rivals. But is that the case for Owens and McMahon?
Bad blood has obviously developed, but it may not be enough to warrant a match of this magnitude. However, WWE may not be able to resist booking KO versus McMahon at Hell in a Cell, especially considering Shane's penchant for pulling off big stunts.
WrestleMania 32 is still fresh in the memory for the many fans who watched McMahon fly off the top of the Cell and crash through the announce table below. Is it possible that sort of wildly dangerous move could be repeated against Owens?
McMahon has no reason to get that extreme; at least not yet.
How McMahon handles the match with Owens depends on how much Owens pushes him. If KO makes the feud personal and goes after Shane, then the SmackDown commissioner will surely answer in kind. If that happens, then Hell in a Cell could be the perfect place for them to settle their differences.
But the most likely night for the two men to battle is Survivor Series on November 19. Shane could lead one team of Superstars into war against another team led by Owens. This way, the two would get their hands on each other without having to risk life and limb in the process.
Anything after that would be just a continuation of the feud, which may not need to happen.
Even though the match itself is not necessary, the fact is fans love Shane. He's as popular now as he's ever been. The same is true of Owens, who is fun to watch, and fans love to hate him. The feud would work, the match would be entertaining and the WWE faithful should be happy in the end.
Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Bleacher Report. His podcast, Tom Clark's Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, iHeartRadio, Amazon Android, Windows Phone and online at boinkstudios.com.