WWE executive and on-air performer Stephanie McMahon appeared on Chris Jericho’s “Live with Chris Jericho” podcast on the WWE Network on Thursday night after WWE SmackDown. Below is a detailed recap of her appearance courtesy of F4WOnline.com.
The first Jericho podcast featured a fairly friendly conversation with Cena, while this has been hyped up as being an in-character show for Stephanie. Jericho has a black shirt on with a purple tie and has his own set now with his show logo. Chris starts off with “the hard-hitting questions” about her coming back from the WWE employee party and wondering why he wasn’t invited. Jericho says he’s been there for 15 years and hasn’t heard of it. Well, he isn’t an employee, so that would make sense. Jericho says that for a big company, his “big Christmas bonus” was a big plastic Santa. Jericho says he was a bit like Clark Griswold in “Christmas Vacation” when he got the jelly of the month club membership. Chris asks how many employees WWE has and she says 800.
Chris talks about Stephanie going to China, or as Vince calls it, Japan. Stephanie says that she went across the world for the Eisenhouer fellowship. She talks about what the fellowship is and how long it lasts. The fellowship came about due to Eisenhouer wanted this to change the world, so that’s what they’re all trying to do. Jericho says it’s ridiculous that they have to defend WWE after all this time, while Stephanie talks about how they’re in 177 countries with over 400 million social media followers and having the first-ever over the top live streaming industry and how WWE basically pioneered Pay-Per-View.
Chris talks about how WWE is still a family business. Stephanie says that Vince is driven and the kids have more expectations on them as a result. Jericho says Vince is flipping them off off-screen. Steph talks about how Vince grew up from humble beginnings in a trailer and how he earned what he has while she tries to earn everything she has. The worst thing is disappointing him. She talks about how he made her reshoot things during the ECW buyout angle in Boston. Jericho says that while a reshoot can be worked perfectly into a show, it’s an ego-bruiser.
Jericho says she’s very much like Vince, and Steph says Shane calls her the Vincess. She says it’s because she’s studied him so closely. Jericho says that like Vickie, Steph was just thrown on TV and had to hone her character. Steph says that as a mother with three kids, she’s experienced many things in life and in the corporate world that she can apply to her TV character. Jericho says he scared Vince off and asks about the dichotomy of playing an evil character while also spreading the gospel of WWE. Steph talks about how proud she is to represent the company at the Be a Star rally and how some kids have issues separating the character, so they all raise their hands when she asks the wrestlers if they’ve been bullied. Jericho says it could send mixed signals while Steph says she’s just playing a character like in a movie. If they can make a difference in just one life, it’s all worth it.
Steph talks about how Hulk Hogan was bullied a lot as a kid and Jericho says he was bullied a lot too. Bret told Chris that his house was a menagerie with bears and random people in his home. Jericho says that Steph probably didn’t have such a weird upbringing, and she says that in fact, she did since Mr. T and Hogan came over for dinner. Mr. T hates liver (but loves his mother) and Linda made it anyway and he also signed every single thing she had. Her kids came back to her after the Hall of Fame with everything of theirs signed, so that was a cute little bit there.
Jericho asks about her childhood in wrestling, and she says that at the Spectrum, she was scared of George “The Animal” Steele and ran up Vince’s leg, while he chuckled. Vince found it hilarious that she’d be scared of such a nice man, and she started putting the pieces together and loved watching him on “the WWF at the time”, so that will probably be edited later. She loved watching the Killer Bees and Tito Santana. She enjoyed the heels more. Jericho says he and his grandmother started watching with the AWA and she hated Jesse Ventura, while he thought he was so cool because of his look.
Steph said that as a kid, she wanted Vince and Jesse to swap characters because Vince was so much better than Jesse. Jericho asks about Andre and she tells a story Linda loves about Steph being three and her jumping on a trampoline. Andre came up out of his van and her nanny started locking the house up to prevent her from this gigantic man. She stepped on his hand and he lifted her up and she kissed his cheek. She said it was a shame people treated Andre differently, and as Vince’s daughter, she could relate to it. They show the photo of Andre and Steph and she says Vince wouldn’t let her be identified in the photo and actually fell asleep on his lap.
She talks about being bullied because she was Vince’s daughter and had people judge her unfairly. Vince told her “not everyone’s going to like you – for whatever reason.” Would being Swiss be a reason? She says that Shane and Steph wrestled a bunch as kids and he accidentally chucked her past the couches and into the window. She no-sold it to save Shane. Jericho asks if she had any crushes as a kid and she says she loved Bo Duke and she was devastated when he kissed a woman on a Christmas special. Jericho says it was a horrible show, while she says it’s perfect when you’re a kid.
Steph says she always wanted to be in WWE and she started at 14-15 answering the phones. She’d say “Good morning, World Wrestling Federation” exactly like that scene in Beyond the Mat. She says that she memorized employees by their extensions and she had a hard time grasping people by face and not their extensions. She says she fielded a question about Heenan saying there was no Santa Claus and that destroying a kid’s beliefs for a bit and she had to coach the woman a bit on it being a character. Steph says that Mick sure believes in Santa.
She was an intern at various departments and she always needed a job to learn the value of a dollar. She thought Vince believed working with WWE was a phase for her and she interned at new media and snuck into the AOL chats. She worked in HR and mastered the Xerox machine and worked in production too and did clip reels. She even got to do a Summerslam sweepstakes spot.
After college, she interned for her mom and then worked for Vince. She loved going on the road with Vince and says he’s an in the moment teacher. She moved into sales and then got the TV role. Chris says his daughters are eight now and says that if any of them brought him over, she’d forbid them from dating wrestlers. Steph says that Vince was against her doing that too, but wind up throwing them together.
Vince told her she needed a guy exactly like HHH, while Shane clarified “one that isn’t him”. Once they started dating, Vince forbade it. She says Vince got cold feet due to the affect it could have on business and she tells Chris that she has water if he needs it. She says that HHH took a big risk since the relationship failing could be his entire career. After a year apart, they got back together.
Steph said she wanted to move forward and Linda told her that she couldn’t bring any of the issues up later. Stephanie says that they moved in together when they gained maturity and Jericho asks if it was hard when the locker room found out. Steph says it was all on HHH in the locker room and the agents were against it. She said that HHH was singled out, but came through it. Jericho talks about the history of this happening with wrestlers marrying into the family and that hurting companies.
Jericho says she has no problem being mocked or made a fool. Steph says she’s clumsy by nature and doesn’t mind being made to look foolish. She says the key is to build the heat up and then deliver the ultimate payoff given the actions of her character. Jericho says Steph helped take him to the next level with a Tampa show and him accidentally calling her a ho and that showing off their chemistry.
Jericho says that he found it odd that kids chanted the trashbag ho line, and Steph says she’s honored to help get him over and the role of her character is to get characters over if she can. So if that doesn’t happen, it’s because of the other person – Stephanie does all she can to get people over. Jericho says she got a zit and Steph says they’re big on her and it’s a bit like Austin Powers. Jericho talks about the Planet of the Apes skit being due to Vince really loving apes at the time. Jericho runs through the promo being about her sleeping with all creatures across the galaxy. There’s also a cake involved in this and we get a shot of it.
Jericho goes through all of their promos including the classic one with him pointing out her breast enlargement. Jericho talks about the cutoff line in there that Rock wasn’t supposed to say and Steph was supposed to cut him off before he got to “mother_____”. Vince screamed at Rock about it and Rock said that Steph was supposed to cut her off. She says she got her breasts done because she lost weight and wasn’t happy with what it did to her body, so she got them done for herself.
Jericho says that Vince was totally okay with saying she lost her flower many years ago as long as he paused for maximum effect. Jericho says that in ’97, he heard about how Stephanie was going to take over for Vince since she was more like Vince. Steph says it’s weird for him to not be around, but as kids, Vince and Linda weren’t around a lot because they were building the business. After watching five hours of kung fu movies, Shane liked to kick her butt. Steph says she supports Shane, but she misses him and loves working with him because he’s so funny.
Steph says that there was a skit where she was in the middle of HHH and Shane and she had to slap both of them over and over. She plans to get together with Shane for mother’s day. Jericho says for Shane, it was stifling for him here, but maybe he’ll come back. Steph says that Linda retired and Jericho says that now it’s just Steph and Vince while Jericho talks about the “McMahon in every corner” at WM. Jericho says that Steph has a stiff slap, and Steph tells us that she pulled the slap and it was the hardest thing she’s ever done other than kiss Eric Bischoff. Steph says Linda laid the slap in, but it wasn’t the first time.
Jericho says you had to clinch your teeth when she slapped them, but she says the boys told her to do it. She says the hardest slap was to Rock, which is pretty accurate – that was a hard slap and you can see it in all of the replays they show of it now. Jericho talks about that segment and being confused by it at first, but loving it. They talk about Ronda being a big fan and not being sure what the future holds for Ronda and WWE right now. Steph says the fans picked up on the Ronda stuff organically, so they knew they had magic.
Steph puts over Ronda as a role model who doesn’t set out to be one, but is one. She’s an inspiration and Steph says she’d love to have Steph vs. Ronda. They talk about Dana White nixing the match and Steph says she doesn’t know what’s going to happen with all that. Steph says that she’s pushing the #givedivasachance thing that THE FANS STARTED. Oh wow. She talks about the women being limited in time and there isn’t a reason why, but since the fans started the movement and Vince responded, not to AJ Lee, but to the fans. Jericho talks about AJ starting it with a smart aleck response and how the women don’t get equal pay, but draw. She says she wasn’t pissed off by AJ’s statement and she had to respond diplomatically, and #givedivasachance was IN THE PROCESS OF TRENDING at the time.
What in the hell does that even mean? AJ’s response was due to Stephanie and not givedivasachance, and Stephanie is fully behind it. Stephanie says that there’s a chance she’s misremembering the timeline. Well, that’s an understatement. Jericho says that NXT is what the divas division should be and Steph says that she was the first female main eventer on WWE and Jericho says that proved that women could main event again. Stephanie says that can happen again, but you need the right story. Jericho says they should just try it out on SmackDown and see how it works. Steph talks about loving Ronda and loving being a heel.
Steph says the people want her to be the most obnoxious heel out there and the more she does that, fans get even more engaged. They finally show a still shot of the Rock slap and Jericho says that in the PG world, “ho” is now just something for gardening. Jericho talks about the pudding bit with Vickie and Steph says that it was banana and chocolate pudding blended with the feet of the employees. She developed an infection in her eye due to that and she isn’t quite sure what it was supposed to be, while Jericho just outright says it was supposed to be feces at Vince’s order. Steph says that Vickie was the first person to get one over on this heel character.
Jericho asks if it’s hard to be around HHH all the time and she says they aren’t. On Raw, that’s true, but he’s on the road while they have different roles in the office so they don’t see each other often. She likes being able to send her kids to school and make lunches, while Hunter did that while she was away. Steph talks about her eight year old training with Nattie now and being a natural heel. She’s already written a book on how to be a diva.
Jericho asks what her favorite match and moment is. Steph says it’s the Summerslam match with Brie. She says that after 11 years of being out of the ring, and she wishes she could do it more. She says that it was a highlight of the PPV and they even main evented Raw and how she loved that her daughters got to see her wrestle. She says that her kids ran up to her backstage and chanted “you still got it” and if they get into the business, they’ll be fifth generation. They close with an amusing little double tea sip.
Other than basically whitewashing AJ Lee out of the whole #givedivasachance thing, complete with Steph giving herself an out by saying that she might have the limeline wrong, this was fun. The stuff about her growing up in wrestling and taking on different roles in the company gave you a bit more insight into her. The best things involved her talking about her kids because there’s nothing she’s going to BS about with them. You get a sense that every single thing involving them was real, and that all felt genuine. This was far more eventful and entertaining than the Cena show, and while Jericho’s going to play it a lot safer than Austin would, it’s still forward-thinking of WWE to have these programs and use the Network to add layers to the on-air personas whenever possible.
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