With each passing year, Vince McMahon gets older and seemingly more and more out of touch, and fans speculate whether or not the next WrestleMania will be his last. To be fair, the man is a complete workaholic and doesn’t appear to be retiring or slowing down anytime soon. Still, the heirs apparent, Stephanie, Triple H and Shane are lying in wait for a chance to run the company without having to approve everything by Vince first.
While Shane should be receiving at least a portion of the company, Stephanie and Triple H have had power in WWE for years now. Up until Shane’s return, WWE was clearly going to Stephanie and Triple H, but now Shane’s return has thrown a curve ball into those plans. With Shane back, he has the potential to play a big role in the new direction of the company, whether Stephanie likes it or not. The ball is in Shane’s court whether he wants to claim his spot in the company or pursue other ventures like he has once before. If Shane isn’t a factor in the company’s future plans, then the question becomes what would happen if Stephanie ran WWE completely?
Fans have received a sample of Stephanie’s ideas while she was Head of Creative, and right now fans are getting a taste of Triple H’s behind the scenes abilities in NXT. From these samples, we can get a decent picture of what a Stephanie McMahon's running of WWE would look like, along with her husband Triple H. Here’s a list of 15 things that would happen if Stephanie McMahon inherited the company today.
15 A return of terrible storylines
Stephanie’s wrestling mind has been criticized ever since she joined the WWE’s Creative Team. Stephanie may have been born into the business, but her storylines and booking left a lot to be desired. Stephanie would oversee some of the worst booking and storylines in WWE history. The father vs daughter I Quit Match, Triple H dominating Raw and burying superstars left and right, the unmasking of Kane, as well as the Katie Vick storyline are just a few examples of Stephanie’s work. No wonder Raw was losing viewers to Paul Heyman's SmackDown.
The hiring of Hollywood writers didn't help, but eventually one has to wonder just how creatively inept is Stephanie McMahon herself? If Stephanie were to control the WWE today, the poor storylines of today would likely become even worse, which is saying something.
14 A return of the terrible jokes
Vince McMahon was infamous for his warped sense of humor. Fart jokes, vomit and midgets were a Vince McMahon specialty, despite Vince being the only one that thought they were funny. True to the McMahon name, Stephanie isn’t any different, with “poop” falling on the heels (see Spirit Squad), Natalya’s farting gimmick, naked midgets in segments involving the later incarnation of Degeneration X, Cena promos, putting superstars in women’s clothes, (see Tensai in lingerie or “Santina” Marella) and atrocious taped sketches (see Jim Ross’ colonoscopy).
Stupid, cringeworthy jokes were at a premium during Stephanie’s tenure in Creative, and if Stephanie ruled the WWE kingdom today they would likely make a huge skin crawling comeback. With a track record like this, we could only hope someone else would be in charge of creative.
13 Less "Hosses" more “Internet Darlings”
To Vince McMahon, WWE is the only Sports Entertainment show and generally scoffs at other promotions, matches and wrestlers that aren’t members of the WWE roster. Stephanie, and by proxy Triple H, are no different. Stephanie and Triple H usually hate wrestlers that internet fans love, especially if they come from the Independent Circuit. Normally, that would lead anyone to believe that the days of WWE acquiring "internet darlings" would be over if Stephanie was in charge but don't count out seeing Kenny Omega in WWE just yet.
Triple H is responsible for bringing in a lot of talent from outside the WWE. Triple H has stocked the NXT roster, and he didn’t fill it with the big “hosses” that Vince likes. Triple H has added many favorites of internet fans to the NXT roster, and many of them have already been promoted to the main roster. With Stephanie running the show, and Triple H stocking the roster, the chances of seeing more "internet darlings" as opposed to "hosses" are pretty high.
12 More Y2J
Chris Jericho is a legend and will go down as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. Although Triple H isn’t Y2J’s biggest fan, Stephanie is a huge Jericho mark. With Stephanie in charge, there’s a good chance Chris Jericho will be at least offered a role in the company and that wouldn’t be a bad thing. Jericho could continue his on screen wrestling role, entertaining the fans by adding to his "list." If not an on screen character, simply having Jericho's presence behind the scenes could be a huge plus as well. Jericho has one of the greatest wrestling minds in the business, and having Jericho coaching younger talent would be invaluable to them. Just image Jericho’s creative mind either on the Creative Team or on the road as a road agent. That would be a rare positive if Stephanie took charge today.
11 A Women's Match Will Headline A WrestleMania
Another positive for Stephanie taking charge of the company would be the continuation and possible expansion of the "Women’s Revolution." The Women’s Revolution has been a huge plus for WWE. It strengthened a weak women’s roster by filling them with actual wrestlers instead of inexperienced models. The Women’s Revolution is also a huge shot in the arm for WWE’s public relations by promoting the positive message of gender equality. The Women’s Revolution is Stephanie’s brainchild, and with Stephanie in charge, the Revolution will definitely continue and expand with even more women's wrestlers joining the roster.
There will never again be anymore bra and panties or evening gown matches or swimsuit contests, which could be a bad thing depending on your point of view. However, the women on the roster will be treated as equals and as legitimate professional wrestlers and not a moment too soon.
To cement the revolution, Stephanie would likely be willing to go the extra step in giving the women the main event spot at a WrestleMania in the near future, provided the storyline/feud was big enough for the biggest stage.
10 More power for Triple H
Unfortunately for Shane, if Stephanie took over WWE right now, Triple H would become even more powerful than he is right now. Triple H is arguably the number two guy in the company right now, second only to Vince McMahon. Without Vince, Triple H will be seen as the guy running the show. However, with Shane returning to the company, just how much of the company Triple H will control, as opposed to Shane, is up in the air.
With Stephanie in control, there’s no way Shane will get more power than Triple H. With Stephanie’s blessing, Triple H will be running more of what the fans see on WWE programming, not Shane, and a powerful Triple H will likely become the next Vince McMahon.
9 No return for CM Punk or AJ and no Hall of Fame.
CM Punk and AJ Lee did not leave on the best of terms. CM Punk trashed the McMahon family and walked out of the company. On Twitter, AJ Lee would challenge Stephanie’s tweet on women’s rights regarding the lack of pay and television time of female wrestlers compared to men. Stephanie was allegedly furious at being called out.
Clearly, there is no love lost between Punk & AJ and Stephanie. However, Vince McMahon and even Triple H publicly said that CM Punk would be welcomed back. Vince knows the popularity of CM Punk and is smart enough to bring him back and make money. Even after the “Pipe Bomb,” Vince saw dollar signs. However, Stephanie is different. While Punk and AJ are both still immensely popular and easily WWE Hall of Fame material, Stephanie is petty and vindictive. If she had the company now, CM Punk and AJ Lee would have zero chance of making a return in any capacity.
8 The return of poor characters/gimmicks
Simon Dean, Eugene, Spirit Squad, Paul Burchill, Kerwin White, The Boogeyman. These are just some of the stupid gimmicks that have manifested during the tenure of Stephanie McMahon while on or in charge of WWE’s Creative Team. Almost every superstar that came to WWE after 2002 had some sort of ridiculous gimmick placed on them. Some wrestlers made the most of their gimmick and it worked out, some superstars used their gimmick as a stepping stone, while others were irreparably damaged by these ridiculous gimmicks. To be fair, superstars being given gimmicks didn’t start with Stephanie and certainly there were terrible gimmicks that came before Stephanie’s time.
Still, those previously listed are some of the worst characters and gimmicks ever created. If Stephanie took control of WWE, stupid or even insensitive characters would make an unfortunate resurgence.
7 More Stephanie on screen
With Stephanie in charge, you can bet you’ll see more of her on screen. Much like Vince McMahon, Stephanie isn’t afraid to appear on WWE programming. Whether it’s general manager of Raw, or walking down the ramp alongside her husband Triple H as The Authority, Stephanie McMahon has been a prevalent figure on WWE programming in the past.
Unlike Vince, however, Stephanie’s appearances are often poorly received. Her impact as an authority figure, in recent years, is virtually nothing. In many ways, she’s counterproductive, burying superstars, taking attention away from the talent, putting the spotlight on herself and failing to generate any payoff from her villainous actions. Don't expect any of that to stop her from doing what she thinks is “best for business” and showing up on Raw or SmackDown. If Stephanie ran the company, there will be much more of her on television whether the fans want it or not.
6 Less Listening to fans or anyone else
In typical McMahon fashion, Stephanie McMahon thinks she’s the smartest person in the room. No one could possibly know more about wrestling or running a wrestling show than her. Just like Vince McMahon who surrounds himself with Yes-Men, sucking up to him and never questioning him, Stephanie might actually be even worse than her father. This became obvious from the difference of opinions on how to run a wrestling show between Stephanie and Paul Heyman. When Heyman, while head booker of SmackDown, started beating Raw in the ratings, Heyman was removed from his position.
While Stephanie was head of Creative, she often scolded her writers for using wrestling terms and preferred to hire Hollywood writers with little wrestling knowledge. The only reason, she had to hate a successful Heyman and be opposed of writers knowledgeable about the business was so she could appear to be the smartest most knowledgeable person on her Creative Team. News flash. She's not.
5 Immediate Spring Cleaning
Usually around summertime or after WrestleMania, WWE has a long list of releases. Usually the future endeavored superstars are ones that are rarely used, and the release isn’t a complete shock. While this process likely won’t change even with Stephanie in control, there will undoubtedly be many superstars and personnel released that Stephanie McMahon doesn’t care for (i.e. Paul Heyman, Daniel Bryan, Paige). Vince has his favorites or his ideal type of wrestler, and certainly Stephanie does as well. With Vince gone and Stephanie in charge, a shift in what the company looks for in a wrestler or in their programming may dramatically change who is in the company.
If Stephanie assumed power today, one of the first things she would likely do is bring in or retain everyone she wants and drop everyone she doesn’t. For examples of who might be safe and who may not be safe, see here.
4 Lessening of Shane’s Power
In 2017, when Shane McMahon made his shocking return to WWE in nearly seven years, the fans went bonkers. It was easy to forget that Shane deserves to inherit just as much of the company as his sister, and yet Triple H and Stephanie seem to have all the power. If Stephanie were to control the company, Shane’s influence and power may be next to nil. Shane would be completely at the mercy of his sister, and Shane would be lucky to have any say in the direction of the company, especially with Triple H assuming more power.
If Stephanie is kind, Shane will get a piece of the pie and could even hold a powerful position in the company, but rest assured, Shane won’t be receiving more power than Triple H, and definitely not more than Stephanie.
3 More “Yes-men”
Like many rich business owners at the top, Vince McMahon has completely surrounded himself with Yes-Men. The rumors of the prevalence of Yes-Men started a while back and was pretty much confirmed in a “pipe bomb” from CM Punk. Most people around Vince are getting paid good money to kiss his butt, and they’re not going to jeopardize their position by disagreeing with the boss. This wouldn’t be such a bad thing for fans if Vince McMahon’s ideas were always golden or in touch with the current times. Sadly, this is not the case.
Where this could really be an area of improvement if Stephanie would take over, it’s likely going to remain a huge problem. Stephanie is like her dad, a stubborn McMahon that thinks they’re right and everyone else is wrong, and we’ve seen what happens to anyone that questions her, like Paul Heyman. Surrounding herself with no-nothing Hollywood writers, Yes-Men and avoiding the input of knowledgeable former wresters is a long standing McMahon tradition that Stephanie will likely expand upon.
2 The "PG Era" will be cemented
Despite Stephanie, and her husband, Triple H, being involved in some of the raunchiest storylines in wrestling history, it’s a safe bet that even if Stephanie inherits the company, those kinds of storylines aren't coming back. Vince McMahon has spent a lot of energy making his company a more family friendly program, and Stephanie isn’t going to ruin that reputation. Stephanie is currently the Chief Brand Officer for WWE and therefore understands the importance of retaining a good public image. She’s not going to jeopardize her sponsors or the marketing of WWE for a few extra cuss words and blood. To the dismay of the hardcore wrestling fan, the “PG Era” isn’t going anywhere with Stephanie McMahon in charge.
1 Forget Chyna in the Hall of Fame
Chyna was not just a great female superstar, character and wrestler, she was one of the biggest stars in WWE history period. She’s held the Women’s Championship once and even became the first and only woman to win the Intercontinental Championship. She became the first woman to enter into a Royal Rumble and King of the Ring tournament and participated in multiple World Championship matches. Her sheer dominance in the Women’s Division and breaking the gender barriers by going toe to toe with the company’s best should cement her place in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Unfortunately, Chyna’s personal issues have kept her out of the hall. After wrestling, she started performing in adult films and became a total drug addict. She would later claim Triple H physically abused her while they were in a relationship, which Triple H publicly denied. Chyna later retracted the accusation. After Chyna’s death, Hall of Fame questions circulated, but it’s unlikely she’s going to get in anytime soon. While Triple H and Stephanie both have said she should be in the Hall of Fame based on her merits, Chyna’s past has always been the problem. If Stephanie has her way, the induction into the Hall of Fame of her husband's ex-girlfriend is suspect at best.