I wanted to give SmackDown’s Jeff Hardy/Sheamus angle a chance. I’ve got to write a preview for their match at Backlash later, so I’ll get into talking about how that was dumb of me then.
For now, I want to call your attention to this little factoid (h/t Wrestling Inc) about their contract signing last night (June 12).
I knew this looked familiar. Who remembers this segment? #Smackdown pic.twitter.com/8j9vSAMH3e— The Wrestle Daily (@thewrestledaily) June 13, 2020
If you watched SmackDown last night or have been online since, you know where the top video’s from.
The bottom is from the Mar. 13, 2006 episode of Raw. During Shawn Michaels rivalry with Mr. McMahon, the boss heard that Shawn was stumbling around and slurring his words after the previous week’s show. That led him to the conclusion Michaels was “on drugs”, so he forced the Showstopper to take a urine test.
What followed was a carbon copy of what we got 14 years later, right down to the doctor’s lab coat, the little black curtain set-up, and the “better to be pissed off than pissed on” line.
There are, of course, only so many stories you can tell. And there were differences. Shane and his dad drugged Shawn before beating him twice the Monday before, so they had rigged the game to get him to test positive and forfeit his upcoming PPV matches with the father & son duo. That angle was also more about proving that HBK’s Christian faith was bogus (the program would eventually include a tag match between the McMahons and HBK & “God” at that year’s Backlash) than it was playing on Michael’s substance abuse history... although that was all part of why he was now a hypocrite.
But the similarities - including Vince and Sheamus cutting “public service announcements” while Shawn and Jeff provided their specimens, the heels labeling the babyfaces “junkies,” and the pee throwing - are some of the more concrete examples you’re going to find that WWE creative doesn’t have any new ideas.
So be on the lookout for this Vince fave somewhere in the mid-2030s. If you’re still watching.