Does anybody remember when Shane McMahon slapped his father Vince across the face? It’s known today as the “Slap Heard ‘Round the World,” and it happened exactly fifteen years ago tonight on Monday Night Raw. The details of the Slap have been somewhat muddled by history. People still look back on the event and ask themselves, why? Why would Shane disrespect his father like that? And on live TV?
Basically, Vince was the leader of a mostly evil group of pro wrestlers known as The Corporation. There was Vince, The Rock, Triple H, the Big Bossman, some other people too, I can’t really remember now. I’m also not sure if I have my timeline right. Like, I’m not sure if the Rock was still a bad guy, or heel, at the time.
But there was a power struggle. Vince was clearly the alpha of the group, and Shane felt overshadowed, as a lot of sons tend to do as they come of age. He resented the fact that he had to do a lot of his dad’s dirty work. For example, he had to get in this really lame feud with X-Pac, culminating in a Pay-Per-View match, where not only did Shane lose, but he was humiliated, forced to suffer X-Pac’s signature move, the Bronco Buster. Just imagine, you’re Shane McMahon, your dad made you wrestle against this puny scrub with a greasy beard and long hair, and the next thing you know, you’re beaten to the point that you’re barely conscious, X-Pac rests your limp body against a turnbuckle, and then, from the other side of the ring, he lunges at you, awkwardly straddling your body while everybody in the audience points and laughs.
If I were Shane, I’d probably be more than a little angry. Which was why the son had a bone to pick. It was just a regular night, and Vince had the mic with his posse of Corporate wrestlers at his back. Again, I forget the circumstances that led up to the Slap, but I’ll never forget exactly how it went down.
Vince: “Power is not something you can just take. You have to earn it. With respect.”
Then there was a really long pause as Shane, with a big scowl on his face, inched closer to Vince. He grabbed the mic and said:
Shane: “Respect this!”
And then it happened. Slap. The Slap Heard ‘Round the World.
JR: “Oh! My! God! Shane McMahon slapped his father in the face!”
I’m glad that they’ve made up. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for either of them to get over the Slap. Part of me will never be over it. I’ll be going about my day, everything in life will be great, and then it’ll hit me, or, it’ll slap me, right in the face, it’ll be like I’m there again, shocked, unable to believe that Shane would do that to his old man.
Anyway, I almost hate to bring it up. I know that I’m not the only one that’s disturbed by the events that went down fifteen years ago tonight. But it’s a part of our history. And we should never forget.