In a bizarre turn of events, the World Cup tournament at WWE Crown Jewel, ended up with a winner who was not a participant until the last match. In the finals, SmackDown Live‘s The Miz was scheduled to compete against Raw‘s Dolph Ziggler. In the beginning of the match, though, Miz “injured” himself and Ziggler was about to win the tournament by forfeit.
However, Shane stepped in to fill Miz’s place, and ended up defeating Ziggler for the World Cup trophy. This wacky ending was not well-received by the WWE Universe, as shown two days later on SmackDown Live in Manchester, UK.
Although it appeared to be last-minute based on what happened at Crown Jewel, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting that it was the plan all along for the scenario to take place and Shane to step in.
Apparently, the reason for this screwy finish was to plant seeds for a Shane McMahon heel turn, although the purpose of the turn is unclear. Since Shane’s return in 2016 after a seven-year hiatus, he has been one of the most popular names on the roster, receiving sizable ovations from each town he appears at.
A heel turn from Shane will most likely lead to some feud with a current babyface, since simply another McMahon as a heel authority figure is thought to both be outdated by many fans of the WWE Universe, as well as it taking the heat away from current heels that need it, such as Samoa Joe, Andrade “Cien” Almas, and The Miz.
If it were up to many fans expressing their interest via social media, CM Punk would be the ideal opponent for Shane at WrestleMania. However, Punk has regularly expressed his lack of interest in returning to the company, as well as landing a new role as a commentator for the Cage Fury Fighting Championship MMA promotion.