Shane McMahon Defies Age, Gravity as He Keeps Giving WWE Unforgettable Moments

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterOctober 9, 2017

Credit: WWE.com

Nothing seems to make sense about Shane McMahon.

The WWE SmackDown commissioner is a 47-year-old executive who is outperforming younger, fitter Superstars. He's an athletically limited sometimes-wrestler with below-average mic skills who is far-and-away one of the most popular acts on the roster.

And, as he reminded us in the main event of Sunday's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, McMahon was apparently born without the ability to fear.

He has made a career out of walking up to the edge and peering over the side. He's a daredevil willing to leap where few others would. He's a stuntman of the squared circle, a man who continues to leave the audience surprised, worried and amazed.

As SiriusXM host Sam Roberts pointed out, it's impressive that he's still pulling it all off today:

The latest entry in the Shane-O-Mac collection of heart-stopping moments came on Sunday in Detroit when he battled Kevin Owens in a Hell in a Cell match.

Over the past few weeks, KO felt that McMahon had cheated him out of opportunities, that he and the WWE were conspiring against him. A seething rivalry turned uglier each Tuesday night, leaving McMahon's father bloodied in the process. Nothing but a trip inside (and atop) The Devil's Playground would resolve it all.

As soon as the match was announced, fans began to envision what kind of breathtaking moment McMahon had in store for them.

It turns out, there were more than one. McMahon missed a gorgeous Shooting Star Press from the top rope. He launched himself across the ring to smash a trash can into Owens' bent body. He and KO rattled the roof of the Hell in a Cell as they brawled atop it and the audience anxiously looked on.

And then McMahon punctuated it all with a dive off the towering steel enclosure, crashing into a table below.

He didn't have to do any of that. He's not some up-and-comer looking to create his legacy. As part of the McMahon family empire, he's not struggling financially. He's an established star, a corporate success and a graying father.

Yet, here he was yet again, risking his body in order to craft a visual we won't soon forget.

This has long been McMahon's modus operandi. Not content with suffering superplexes and crashes off the ring apron, Shane-O-Mac has put himself in harm's way to an astounding level.

McMahon jumped off an ambulance at Survivor Series 2003. He smashed his father and the table underneath him with a diving elbow drop at WrestleMania 17. At Backlash 2001, he dove a good 50 feet onto Big Show:

And a year after plummeting off the Hell in a Cell in a match against Undertaker at WrestleMania 32, he was back at it, he and Owens fighting atop the structure as the roof bent under their feet.

But McMahon is more than a risk-taker, he's a storyteller. He's a man with an average build and no special physical skills to speak of out there hanging with the WWE's finest.

McMahon vs. Owens was the best match of the night. It was a thriller that had one's stomach tighten and jaw drop. 

Chris Walder of The Score was among those doling out praise after the bout:

Anyone who doubted that the commissioner belonged on the marquee against a top-flight performer like Owens was quickly proved wrong. Stronger, faster and more nimble men have crossed paths with The Prizefighter, but few have created such magic with him.

This was a battle that terrified and thrilled, a classic tale of David vs. Goliath with several splashes of Evel Knievel.

McMahon thrived against AJ Styles earlier this year, too. He and The Phenomenal One produced arguably the best match from WrestleMania 33. Considering he is in his late 40s and spent several of the last years at a corporate desk, McMahon outdoing future Hall of Famers Brock Lesnar, John Cena and Randy Orton on the WWE's biggest night of the year is hard to take in.

But it shouldn't surprise us at this point.

After going from referee duties to behind-the-scenes work to stepping into the ring, McMahon has thrust himself into a world with superior athletes and exceeded expectations time and again. Based on who he is on paper, he shouldn't have done much of anything on the WWE stage.

McMahon, though, has spent his whole career proving that measurables aren't nearly as important as guts and moxie. He has leaned on those two traits to carve out a legacy no one could see coming.

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