Son also rises
"Oh, my God! Don't do it, Shane! Don't do it!"
Those desperate pleas emanated from the announce table during Backlash 2001, just moments before Shane McMahon crossed himself and leaped from the top of the TitanTron. The son of WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon, Shane appeared to hang in mid-air for the briefest moment before plummeting to Earth and landing an epic elbow drop onto his opponent, Big Show, from an alarming 50-foot summit -- earning him the No. 3 spot on WWE.com's list of Great Leaps of Faith.
Prior to his implausible plunge, Shane had been getting battered by his opponent. In fact, just as The World's Largest Athlete teetered on the verge of victory in the pair's Last Man Standing Match, one of Show's rivals, Test, charged the ring and began attacking the giant. In the momentary relief, McMahon appeared to realize that the only possible route to victory would entail a bold and risky maneuver.
Shane quickly sought out the TitanTron. As he ascended the imposing metal structure, the capacity crowd roared with anticipation. Thanks to Test, a dazed Big Show lie on a wooden platform five stories below. When Shane undertook his fateful fall, a collective howl emanated throughout the arena. With both competitors incapacitated, Test helped Shane gain his footing, so that he was, in fact, the last man standing. While undoubtedly impressive in its audacity, the leap left many wondering why anyone would subject themselves to such harrowing, high-octane heights?
Some pundits felt that Shane had something to prove. After all, he was "The Boss' Son" and shouldered all the privilege and burden that that implies. But within the confines of the Allstate Arena that night, such a daredevil drop -- the likes of which WWE had never before seen -- commanded the respect of peers and the silence of critics. For on that brisk, wind-lashed night in the Rosemont section of Chicago, Shane McMahon's leap of faith made believers of us all.