The now-famous plummet endured by Shane McMahon from atop the “Hell in a Cell” cage at WWE WrestleMania was, according to a Hollywood special effects expert, actually a trick of computer-generated imagery (CGI).
“It was all done with a green screen, cables, and motion-capture software,” says Barry Smythe, a longtime visual effects supervisor at Industrial Light and Magic.
“Shane didn’t jump off a cage. In fact, there wasn’t even a cage there at all. We added it in post-production. He jumped off a green milk crate.”
Smythe says it is “ludicrous” for fans to believe that McMahon actually jumped off a real cage onto a real table 20 feet below, since such a drop would surely have crippled him.
In reality, McMahon was dressed in a full-body motion capture suit and jumped two feet onto a crash pad, and everything else — the cage, the stadium, the 101,000 fans — were digitally fabricated.
Smythe says keen-eyed viewers should be able to spot clues of the fakery: “Ever notice how it’s always the same people sitting at ringside? We’ve been using the same digital crowd simulation for years now.”