With Summerslam – the biggest party of the summer, if you hadn’t heard – just weeks away, it’s time to revisit a forgotten feud from 2003’s edition of The Biggest Party Of The Summer (Summerslam).
It was a mature feud for mature audiences – mature audiences who loved mature women.
As you’ll recall, Kane, having recently been unmasked, was on a rampage in the summer of 2003, destroying everyone in his path. That included CEO Linda McMahon…
…who, despite the courageous efforts of John Laurinatis…
…fell victim to a Tombstone piledriver when Kane dropped her within a foot of the steel stage.
Consequences would be swift, or at least as swift as possible on a weekly TV show, as seven days later Vince McMahon showed up to deal with the Big Red Machine face to face.
Vince really meant business (casual).
But it turned out, Vince wasn’t even mad. In fact, he liked the idea of having a big man like Kane under his control.
Somebody who wasn’t so ambivalent about Linda McMahon’s well-being was her and Vince’s son, Shane…
…who showed up for the first time in ages to wrangle with the one-eyed monster.
The next week on Raw, Shane demanded a match with Kane from GM Eric Bischoff, who denied the request under Vince’s orders.
When Shane refused to leave, Bischoff threatened him with the same martial arts skills he never got to use on Vince McMahon at Slamboree 1998.
Before a fight could break out, co-General Manager Steve Austin stepped in… to stir the pot even further, claiming that Eric had the hots for Shane’s mom and her ilk.
“Big-breasted” was the exact phrase. And just like that, the main event was set.
Bischoff warmed up with some back-leg front-kicks…
…then put them into practice against his opponent…
…but they proved no match for the world-famous Shane Punches.
Kane arrived on the scene, only to himself fall to the pummeling dished out by the Boy Wonder.
The Big Red Machine recovered enough to deliver another Tombstone, depositing Shane indirectly on his head onto the steel steps.
Eric Bischoff, who competed in his leather jacket the whole match, scored the easy pinfall…
…then celebrated while sporting a stylish blood mustache.
Kane, also the victim of a stiff McMahon shot, earned a bloody lip for his troubles. I guess Roman Reigns was right about Irishmen and potatoes.
At his first opportunity, Bischoff expressed not just his admiration for the big-breasted Linda McMahon, but also his disdain for Shane McMahon, who he claimed only got to where he was in life because of his last name.
With Shane vs. Kane put on the back burner in favor of RVD vs. Kane, a Shane McMahon vs. Eric Bischoff rematch was scheduled for Summerslam.
And that’s when things got weird.
Eric interrupted Linda McMahon’s satellite interview, showing up in her Greenwich home and repeatedly insisting that, although he was going to hurt her son at Summerslam, right now he was there to “please” her.
Easy E ramped up the aggression by restraining Linda and hanging up the phone when she tried to call security. It was just him and her, all alone, said Eric, forgetting the cameraman standing a few feet away.
After a commercial break, said cameraman went right on doing his job, knowing that his boss valued journalistic objectivity above even her own safety as an intruder implied he was going to rape her.
Want to get even more uncomfortable? When Linda tried to slap Eric, he grabbed her arm and stuck it behind her back…
…and reiterated what a “big-breasted beauty” she was.
There’s really no way do downplay how horrifyingly creepy this all was, especially when, over Linda’s complaints of physical pain, Eric leaned in and kissed her right on the lips…
…then “invited” her to join him in the bed room.
In 2003, Bischoff thought he could get away with this, as the #MeToo movement wasn’t around. Oh, and because Linda McMahon wasn’t a White House Cabinet member yet.
At least Shane McMahon was irate, calling Bischoff a “motherf—-er”, somewhat accurately.
He then stole a fan’s car and drove from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Greenwich, Connecticut.
That Sunday, Eric bragged to the world that he and Linda had sexually done it (sexually) many, many times…
…likening her to “a hot, juicy, delicious filet mignon”.
This set Shane off, fueling McMahon’s early advantage over Bischoff. Jerry Lawler wondered what Eric’s “backup plan” could possibly be.
It was Coach.
Yes, the dorky announcer, who made his debut not just as a wrestler that night, but a heel wrestler at that. Talk about a dumb surprise.
This would be like if Mongo McMichael left the announce booth to become the 4th Horseman.
Bischoff then announced that the match was now a no-DQ, falls-count-anywhere match before cutting off JR and Lawler and handing Jonathan Coachman the microphone for live commentary.
And it was brutal.
Doing his worst Jim Ross impression, Coach declared that Bischoff was stomping Shane like a government mule. Holy mixed metaphors, Ex-Lax!
Before the serious sports analyst Coachman could explain that all those kicks to the stomach were good for Shane because they gave him a chance to catch his breath, McMahon fought back.
Co-GM Steve Austin then arrived to clean house, but Coach reminded Austin that he couldn’t touch him unless physically provoked…
…so Shane pushed Coachman into Austin, who proceeded to whip a mudhole in him.
Shane then grabbed Eric Bischoff so he could “slap” Austin, Weekend at Bernie’s-style…
…leading to a stunner…
…and paving the way for a big flying elbow drop…
…which, when followed by a half-assed – nay, quarter-assed – cover, spelled victory for Shane O’Mac.
But this most uncomfortable storyline wasn’t finished just yet. The next night on Raw, Chris Jericho invited Linda McMahon herself onto the highlight reel to spill the beans about what really went on with Eric after cameras stopped rolling.
Of course, Linda claimed security simply arrived and escorted Eric Bischoff off the property (To jail? Nah).
But, refusing to let Linda have the last word, Vince McMahon arrived, again in a polo shirt, to claim responsibility for letting Eric Bischoff into the McMahon house in the first place and declaring that he would face no punishment whatsoever for forcing himself onto Linda.
Yes, Vince McMahon went on record and proudly admitted to being, as they say on the ‘net, a “cuck”! And all along we thought he was just a run-of-the-mill pervert.
And I’ve got to say, Vince McMahon the person has an odd way of getting revenge on his former rivals. If someone had told you in 1998 that within 5 years, there would be only one major wrestling organization, and that Eric Bischoff would be scripted to kiss both Vince McMahon’s wife and daughter on TV, which promotion would you think won out?
Shane McMahon had some choice words for his dad (“Asshole” is a choice word) before being double-teamed by Vince and Jericho.
His feud with Jericho was cut short, however, when Kane interfered in their ensuing match…
…and then fell to his death into a flaming dumpster.
He was fine.
But that’s another induction for another time, and as RD Reynolds will soon be rendered unable to ever write again after being embarrassed by Eric Bischoff at Starrcast’s Death of WCW panel, I will need to write twice as many articles as usual from now on.