Watch on (DStv channel 236)
Watch on (DStv channel 236)

Stephanie McMahon throws her weight behind the women of the WWE


WWE star Stephanie McMahon reveals her journey from being the boss’s daughter, to holding her own in the wrestling ring on SuperSport WWE (DStv channel 236)

Stephanie McMahon has wrestling in her blood – her dad, Vincent Kennedy McMahon Jr, is the CEO of WWE (check out the action on SuperSport WWE, on DStv channel 236), and she is married to WWE Superstar Triple H (real name Paul Levesque, who is also the WWE Executive Vice President, Global Talent Strategy and Development). But she’s a wrestling powerhouse on her own. She started off as a merchandiser for “the family business” before spearheading communications channels in the background to help make the WWE brand a global business. Stephanie is the current WWE Chief Brand Officer, she has worn the Women’s Championship belt around her waist, and more than that, she has championed equality in a sport once dominated by men.

Stephanie says, “Female journalists ask the hardest-hitting questions. You are the inspiration for us. I believe in fighting for equality. I've had many opportunities in my life, but I've also had a lot of challenges because of my gender, and that shouldn't ever be a barrier to anything. And I'm fighting for women all around the world, because we should be able to do whatever it is we want to do, as long as we're willing to work harder than anyone else, to be the hardest worker in the room, to never give up and to fight for what we believe in.”

Rewatch the 2021 WWE Royal Rumble Watch SuperSport WWE

A woman’s word

What do you say to anyone who says “I want to be like Stephanie McMahon”?

Stephanie: It’s incredibly humbling. But no one should ever want to be like anyone else, right? You have to celebrate who you are, and then own your own superpowers and what makes you different, that is what makes you special. Every person is so unique and special, and shines in their own.

What is your message to women in the world in this day and age?

Stephanie: I really believe in equality, I think every day should be International Women’s Day. We are in the fight for equality every day. I believe in standing up for what you believe in. I think it's important to have a voice. And it's important (for everyone) to use that voice, to be proud of who you are. You don’t have to be a WWE Diva to have confidence in who you are, to know that you belong, no matter what anybody tells you, and to never back down.

What’s it like helping develop tomorrow’s WWE Diva stars?

Stephanie: The division is such an incredible showcase of athleticism. These women are so incredibly talented and bring different styles and different aspects to the WWE ring. Personally, these women are also just so incredible, when you hear their backstories and where they came from and the challenges that they've had to overcome.

How is WWE changing the landscape of wrestling?

Stephanie: Women’s wrestling globally, in particular, with the likes of Toni Storm, Indi Hartwell and Ray Whitley on the roster, is doing such great things. WWE continues the women’s revolution that started, really started, a long time ago, but you know it became a part of a movement in 2015. I am looking at all of the different body types and ethnicities among the WWE women, and everything else that’s being showcased. Our women’s division really is just a representation of women of all different types. Representation really matters.

Have you ever felt like your voice was of lesser importance than your male counterparts’? 

Stephanie: Definitely. I have been the only woman in very large groups of male-dominated meetings, growing up in this business. Quite frankly, I do have the advantage of being the boss's daughter. Not everyone has (that) but there's definitely been times when I have been (spoken over). So when I have felt like my voice didn't matter as much or wasn't heard as much, in those situations you just have to speak loud. Your voice matters.

Have there been any changes in the writing room when it comes to writing for the female superstars and giving them meatier storylines?

Stephanie: We are always looking to give our women meatier storylines for sure, and you know for both men and women we're always looking to improve our storylines, to improve our character development. WWE Divas Sasha and Bayley have something so special, and so unique, and when you’re in our business, you have to capture chemistry like that and you have the ability to really build on those stories.

What do you consider to be your biggest challenge as a woman when you broke into the WWE in your early days?

Stephanie: Oh boy. I grew up in WWE, so it's a little different for me. It's not like I was a talent that came in and had to break through and all of that good stuff. So my perspective is different. It's not because of my gender at all, but facing Rhonda Rousey at WrestleMania for sure is one of my biggest challenges personally or professionally. She's amazing. I had to really train to get up to even be able to showcase her right, because it was Rhonda's debut in WWE, and she is a former UFC champion, the first women's champion in UFC, the first female Hall of Famer for UFC. She was the first woman – the first American period – to medal in the Olympics for judoka. So just a really incredible person who has such a huge heart and incredible backstory, but she's tough. Really tough! I had to train 3 times a day for about 3 months and I was getting my butt kicked every day. Being emotional with my husband. I would never want to make the business look bad. I certainly would never want to make my husband look or my father look bad – he created Wrestle Mania – in front of over 80,000 people, live in attendance. It's a little bit of pressure.

What is more meaningful for you as a leader in the industry: the work that you have done in the WWE ring, or work that the fans are not aware of, for example your charity?

Stephanie: It's an interesting question, because I think that part of what I've done in the ring publicly has given me a bigger platform to be able to share the really important messages. Like Connor's Cure. Connor's Cure is hands down one of my greatest accomplishments. It's hard to celebrate something that is still such a need. Too many children die from paediatric cancer. We have to find a cure for paediatric cancer, so it's something I'm obviously very passionate about, and something I believe in very much. Personally and professionally, WWE has been able to utilize its platform to help spread that message as well.

image

Watch WWE matches on SuperSport WWE (DStv channel 236) and get more on Catch Up including pay-per-view specials like Royal Rumble and documentaries like Undertaker: The Last Ride.

Rewatch the 2021 WWE Royal Rumble Watch SuperSport WWE Watch Undertaker: The Last Ride


How to watch DStv online

Sign up with the DStv app, a free service for all DStv subscribers. With the DStv app, the same channels you watch on your decoder at home are available for you to stream online or on your mobile device wherever you are.

Download and watch later

Get the DStv app (Apple or Android) and download episodes to watch on your phone or tablet – just remember to connect to the Wi-Fi first so there are no surprise data costs.

Read more

Get it on Google Play

Feel every moment with DStv