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      Fox Sports interviews Stephanie Mcmahon

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      WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon recently spoke with Fox Sports to talk all things pro wrestling. Highlights are below.

      On The ThunderDome:


      So many things are going to be different. Not only are we now going back to arena setting ... but now we are going to the Amway Center, which is where we have our residency. It allows us the opportunity to have state of the art production with pyro, with drones ... And we’re going to have 1,000 people. We’re going to mix the audio, so we will have audio from the fans that are virtual and also mix in some crowd audio from previous events because we want it to feel as alive as possible and really we’re just getting back to the spectacle that is WWE.

      On virtual fans:


      From the Superstar perspective, I think it’s going to help. My hats go off to our talent and the fact that they’ve been performing without that live interaction. I mean, our fans are part of our show. They are our secret sauce. And we have really been missing them, so it’s exciting to get them back. I think that it’ll definitely provide that real time feedback that our Superstars need or crave, I should say, when they are in the ring. And then I think for the audience it is obviously a very different way to be involved, but they are such a part of our show. We need them.

      On her match with Lita:


      A few years ago I think I watched it. When I watched it back, I realized just how poor of a Superstar I actually am in terms of my athletic capabilities in the ring, But, what an incredible privilege that was, to main event Raw with Lita – with Rock as a special guest referee. And the Hardy Boys were in Lita’s corner and Kurt Angle and Triple H, I think, wound up coming out in my corner. And let’s just say, the Rock really cheated. I shouldn’t have lost. You can watch it. You can watch it back. He cheated. And Lita won the title from me. But, it was a farce to say the least.

      On match training:


      It’s funny, I’ve been in training for quite a long time since I became a character, much to the chagrin of my brother who never wanted me anywhere near the ring. But, I realized as a character on the show, I played the bad guy, right? And ultimately, I was going to need to know how to do some things in the ring. So, I had started training a few years before – just really learning the basics, and we actually had to put that match together because I’m not a trained professional wrestler. And we really had to choregraph that match pretty tightly. And we did, and it was very involved, but it was so much fun.

      I felt great, but there were moments where maybe I didn’t execute as well as I would have wanted to. But at the end of the day, it was fun. And it was a great story, and it did big ratings, and it really helped position Lita as the Women’s Champ, which was what it was designed to do.

      On the role of women in WWE:


      It’s evolved tremendously. I think women have gone from being nice to have to being needed. The whole women’s evolution that’s happened in our business, when you think about even the way we started recruiting and training athletes; we started – and I should say my husband, Triple H, because he’s in charge of the development –recruitment and training of our Superstars, and he started recruiting elite female as well as male athletes and training the women the same as the men – giving them the same match time, the same opportunity, the same number of reps. And like anything else, the more reps you have, the better you’re going to be. And these women just really stole the show and rose to the occasion. The audience started chanting, “this is wrestling” and “women’s wrestling.”

      And then you fast forward to Monday Night Raw, it was in February 2015, and there was at the time a Diva’s tag match – so four women that lasted all of 30 seconds, and our fans had had enough. And they started a hashtag called “#GiveDivasAChance” that trended worldwide for three days, specifically asking for longer matches, more athleticism, better storylines, better character development. And we responded in the biggest way we possibly could with our chairman and CEO, also my father, Vince McMahon, and he said, “We hear you, keep watching #GiveDivasAChance.” Then, at WrestleMania, which is akin to our Super Bowl, our biggest WrestleMania yet, over 101,000 people at AT&T stadium. We had Lita, who is now a Hall of Famer, go out and introduce the rebranding of the Divas division to the Women’s division. She unveiled a new championship belt more akin to the men’s and announced that our women would now be called Superstars, same as the men.

      And from there we had the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble, the first ever women’s match at Hell in a Cell, the first ever all-women’s pay-per-view, Evolution, which by the way, trended No. 1 worldwide for over 2.5 hours during the last game of the World Series, and Sunday Night Football. So that’s a powerful statistic in and of itself. Then our women headlined WrestleMania from MetLife stadium – over 80,000 people, broke the gross revenue record for an entertainment show. And we had our first ever women’s match in Abu Dhabi, which took us six years to actually be able to do. And during that match, there was a chant of men and women chanting “This is hope.” And that’s not a typical WWE chant, “This is hope.” It was really powerful. And the women in the ring, it was Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks, talked about seeing tears in the eyes of little girls in the front. And that’s what the power of people can be and the impact of change that you can have. 

      On WWE Evolution:


      Oh god, I’m so proud of that night. Actually, I have goosebumps – I’m sure you can see with just you talking about it and talking about our female star’s reactions and what they felt. That day, even just walking around the building, there was something so special in the air. Whether it was the security guards, the people working backstage, the janitorial staff, our superstars, makeup artists, executives – whoever it was backstage, it was like they knew this was something different. And they knew they were a part of history, and they were all in support of it. I’ve never seen the makeup room quite so expansive. I mean we had like 20 makeup artists. It was crazy. But it was a very powerful night, and female athletes and celebrities showed up from all across the U.S. They were there to support this movement, and they were there to support one another. And it was very powerful. And I’m just so proud of it. And the women killed it. The show was incredible. The matches were off the charts. I mean it overdelivered in absolutely every way. I’m just, proud is the word.

      On balancing two roles:


      Well, it’s just something I’ve sort of kind of always done and kind of always seen my father do, my brother do, my husband do. So, it just goes with the territory. But everyone in WWE wears so many hats, especially our Superstars. When you consider the fact that they are brands in and of themselves. They are constantly representing themselves on social media through various platforms. They are performers. They do cameos. They do public appearances. They walk red carpets. They do movies, televisions shows. Then they are out representing brands and partners and doing meet and greets and signings. I think, it goes with the territory. When you are a WWE Superstar, it covers the gamut. It really does. It takes a special person to be a WWE Superstar.

      On the best part of the job:


      It’s just a privilege to be able to represent WWE – to be a part of helping grow our business around the world. But most importantly, it’s our mission to put smiles on people’s faces and for me, it’s our work that we do in the community. I mean, of course building and growing our brand is hugely important, especially as a business. But what I love the most is when I get to hug a little kid who is having a really hard time or go visit children who are sick in the hospital. Or just bring a smile to someone’s face who is having a tough time, because that is what we get to do every day. And one of my big goals actually is to help bring what that feels like to the rest of our employees, because without them, this whole machine doesn’t happen. Every single person, whether it’s production staff, truck drivers on the road, someone working behind a computer in a cubicle, accounting, finance – the less glitzy roles. It takes everybody to make this happen, and I want them to somehow feel what we get to feel from these kids and these people because that’s what WWE is all about.

      On her favorite storylines:


      Well, I’m not going to choose a favorite child or Superstar for sure, but right now I think one of the most intriguing storylines is The Fiend and Braun Strowman and Alexa Bliss. Like, where exactly does Alexa fit into all of this? As soon as you put a woman into the equation, things become a lot more interesting.

      On the next steps for women in WWE:


      Well, a few things. I think, for me personally, I don’t want it to be a big deal anymore when our women are the main event. I think that they just should be equally alongside the men. And I think there needs to be parity on the roster. I’d love to see an equal number of men and women equally represented. Of course, at times that would ebb and flow, but I think that would be very important. And just more storylines, more women, more storylines. I think that we’ve done a good job – I really do – but I think we can do even better.


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      We need female writers; yet she doesn’t help fix that issue.

      Loved Evolution, but isn’t using her name to get a second all women’s ppv.

      Wants women’s moments to not always have to have the female tag line, but is always front and center for the spotlight of said moments.

      The fake gift that keeps on giving.


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      She always talks as if she wasn't contributing to all of the negative factors surrounding the women. She is literally the CBO of this company and while I would make an argument for women in positions of power still facing their own injustices... she is the daughter of the Chairman. Like...


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