In recent years the McMahon family has established themselves as professional wrestling royalty. There isn’t a group of people on the planet that have more influence in shaping the direction that sports entertainment is headed in the present and future.
At present, Vince McMahon is still the top dog in WWE. However, as time goes on, we begin to see his children, Shane and Stephanie, taking on larger roles within the company.
In fact, the McMahon siblings are two of the biggest stars on-screen as well as off. Both Shane and Stephanie McMahon have been featured prominently at WrestleMania in recent years. Moreover, many of the company’s major storylines center around the McMahons as authority figures.
It won’t be long before Shane and Stephanie are calling the shots in World Wrestling Entertainment, thus making them the most powerful folks in the business.
With the success these two relatively young executives have had, it’s easy to forget they weren’t always top dogs in the world of entertainment. In fact, in the not-too-distant past, they were just a couple of young kids trying to make their way in the world.
For those who have a hard time picturing Shane and Stephanie McMahon as young people just going about their business, here are 15 extremely rare photos, showing the two of them doing just that.
15 Living The Dream
Here we see a young Stephanie McMahon (possibly in her early teens) posing next to “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and his former manager Sapphire. This photo was taken in the early 1990s when Rhodes was using his “Common Man Gimmick,” in which he wore polka-dots to the ring. Prior to his time in WWE Rhodes had already established his self as one of the top performers in the business, which may be why a young Stephanie McMahon wanted to get her photo taken next to the legendary star. During his time in WWE (then WWF) The Dream has involved in on-screen feuds with stars like “Macho King” Randy Savage and “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase.
Sadly, Dusty Rhodes passed away back in 2015 due kidney failure – he was 69 years of age at the time of his death. With classic lines like “I have wined and dined with kings and queens, and I’ve slept in alleys and dined on pork and beans” and “I am the hit-maker, the record-breaker. I got style and grace, a pretty face. I'll make your back crack, your liver quiver ” – Rhodes will be remembered as one of the greatest professional wrestlers to have ever picked up a microphone.
14 A Real American
With lines like, “To all my little Hulkamaniacs, say your prayers, take your vitamins and you will never go wrong” and “I promised each and every Hulkamaniac when I went to that great battlefield in the sky I would bring the WWF title with me ” – it’s no wonder Hulk Hogan became professional wrestling’s top star in the 1980s. In fact, one could make the argument that Hulk Hogan is the greatest sports entertainer of all time. It’s amazing how many fans Hogan had back in the day. When discussing his relationship with fans, Hogan has said, “I've always felt from everyone I talk to that the fans feel like I'm tangible and they can talk to me, and they know me.”
Like seemingly every one growing up in the 80s, based on this photo, it appears that a young Shane McMahon was also a Hulkamaniac. Here we see Shane McMahon sporting a white Hulk Hogan t-shirt with the stars and stripes in the background, that reads “Real American.” The pickup truck that McMahon is leaning against only adds to the all-American vide this photo already gives off. As rumors begin to circulate about Hulk Hogan returning to WWE, one was to wonder what sort of role, if any, Shan McMahon might play.
13 Young Siblings
While they are often rivals on television, the McMahon siblings show they can also produce some great photos when they're getting along. This photo shows the two at a formal occasion, possibly at a wedding, in some dressy attire. The image looks to have been captured either just before, or toward the beginning of their first major appearances on WWE television. While many of the photos in the article show them as young children, in this instance, we begin to see the two developing into the stars that World Wrestling Entertainment fans have grown to know and love.
We clearly start to see Stephanie McMahon becoming a businesswoman who makes articulate statements like “There are several key pieces to keeping audiences engaged, and the evolution of that. One is a content-first strategy because you need to provide the best possible product, no matter what your brand is, it's got to be a great, incredible product first.” Conversely, Shane looks to be in the process of becoming a high-level exec and talented in-ring competitor in his own right. Photos like this help to humanize two of the most influential figure in the world of sports entertainment over the last two decades or so.
12 A Giant Encounter
With HBO recently releasing an Andre The Giant documentary, there has been renewed interest in the larger than life athlete from Molien, France. The man known as “The 8th Wonder Of The World” headlined WrestleMania III in a match against Hulk Hogan, which helped take Hulkamania to the next level. Standing at over 7-feet tall and weighing around 500 pounds, Andre was an impressive physical specimen – as we can see here. Seeing his massive hand wrapped around a young Stephanie McMahon helps give fans some perspective as to just how large Andre The Giant truly was.
The reason Stephanie McMahon looks so happy in this shot is because the legendary Frenchman is her all-time favorite performer. In fact, she has even referred to this photo publicly, stating, “My very favorite wrestler of all time was Andre The Giant. He was sort of like my best friend, believe it or not, and I have a picture in 'People' magazine of me sitting on his lap when I was 8 years old after 'WrestleMania I.” Given that McMahon has been around just about every major star that has set up foot inside the squared circle, for the executive to refer to Andre as her “favorite” is very high praise.
11 Calling It Down The Middle
The famous rugby referee Alan Lewis once said, “The objective of a referee is not to get mentioned. I tell a lot of young referees that not being mentioned is king. If you can achieve that, that then it has been a pretty good game.” Perhaps Shane McMahon was listening to Lewis’s words of wisdom, which is why many fans never realized that he served as a WWE official at one point.
Here we see a young Shane-o-Mac (then known as Shane Stevens) officiating a Royal Rumble match back in the early 1990s. Here the future executive in the middle of a discussion with “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and his manager Sapphire. Judging by the look on his face in the image, it would appear that Rhodes may have had a few choice words for the young referee. In his defense, officiating a Royal Rumble match can be a tough assignment –there are a lot of wrestlers to keep track of both in, as well as outside of the ring. That being said, if Shane McMahon plans on running the company someday, it would likely be in his best interest to understand as many aspects of the business as possible. This photo reminds fans that McMahon wasn’t always a high-level executive.
10 Little Steph
Here we see a very young Stephanie McMahon sporting a sweater and a fairly stern look. Photos like this may remind folks of some famous words by author Don Miguel Ruiz. The writer once proclaimed, “Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child before you understood the meaning of any word before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.”
While we don’t know if young Stephanie McMahon was loving and joyful growing up, she has given some insight into what it was like for her in her youth. Even at a young age, she wasn’t shy about defending the family name. McMahon has shared a story from her elementary school days about how “I kicked a boy in the shins in second grade for making fun of my father.”Based on the comment, it would appear the heiress wasn’t someone to trifle with – even in grade school. Interestingly enough, this photo looks like it may have been taken around the period the incident occurred. It’s quite possible that after this photo was taken, a young boy was kicked in the shin.
9 A Cup Of Coffee In The Big Time
Tuesday Night Titans was a WWE wrestling show that aired between 1984-1986 on the USA Network. The show lasted approximately 2 hours, and as the name suggests, it aired on Tuesday nights. TNT (as it was known back in the day) was hosted by Vince McMahon and Lord Alfred Hayes and was produced in a similar manner to that of a late-night talk show, which usually featured several interviews with popular wrestlers like Hulk Hogan and Andre The Gaint. Among the notable moments from the show were Roddy Piper playing Scrooge in A Christmas Carol Knockoff, Andre The Giant singing a fish song, and George “The Animal” Steele making X-mas cookies. It would go on to be replaced by another WWE program, Prime Time Wrestling – the precursor to Monday Night Raw.
In this photo, we see a teenage Shane McMahon on the set of Tuesday Night Titans. He is holding up a coffee cup with the old World Wrestling Federation logo on it – which is probably a somewhat valuable collector's items these days. In his youth, McMahon must have gotten to spend time with some of the biggest names in professional wrestling and likely has more than few interesting stories to tell about WWE in the 80s.
8 Yearbook Photo
Here we see a very rare yearbook photo from Stephanie McMahons high school days. In this shot, McMahon is clearly recognizable and looks fairly similar to the way she does today. In truth, we don’t know much about this particular period in the young wrestling executive’s life. However, based on some of the work she was done in recent years, it’s safe to assume that she wasn’t a bully growing up. In fact, The Billion Dollar Princess has addressed the issue of bullying publicly, having stated, “It's very important that you tell someone when you are being bullied - someone that you trust. You should never be quiet when you are being bullied or when you see someone being bullied. It's so important to stand up and say something.” McMahon and the WWE have worked tirelessly to help prevent bullying and have encouraged victims to speak out. They even launched their “Be A Star” campaign;” a worldwide anti-bullying platform.
It can be very interesting to see celebs old high school yearbook photos and how much they have changed over the years. In some cases, the stars in these kinds of photos are unrecognizable. However, despite the fact that this pic was portably taken over 20 years ago, McMahon doesn’t appear to have aged at all.
7 Sound Guy Shane
Referee, on-air authority figure, and professional wrestler are just a few of the titles Shane McMahon has had during his time in WWE. Moreover, based on this shot, it would appear that we can also add sound guy to the current SmackDown commissioner's resume.
Interestingly enough, unlike his sister Stephanie , Shane McMahon has worked outside of WWE. In 2009, he temporarily resigned from the company issuing a statement that read in part, “ Having been associated with this organization for the majority of my life, I feel this is the opportune time in my career to pursue outside ventures.".” He left WWE to become the CEO China Broadband Inc – a cable broadband service. To provide further clarity, McMahon stated, “I have never even considered a future outside the walls of the WWE. However, sometimes life takes an unexpected turn, and while it is the most difficult decision I have ever made, it is time for me to move on.” As most wrestling fans known, Shane-O-Mac returned to World Wrestling Entertainment in 2016 and was involved in an on-screen feud with sister Stephanie for control of the company. This lead to McMahon wrestling, and ultimately losing to The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match at WrestleMania that year.
6 Brotherly Love
Writer Erica E. Goode once stated, "Sibling relationships - and 80 percent of Americans have at least one - outlast marriages, survive the death of parents, resurface after quarrels that would sink any friendship. They flourish in a thousand incarnations of closeness and distance, warmth, loyalty, and distrust."While the McMahon siblings haven’t had to face all the things mentioned trials in the quote, after seeing pics like this one, it’s clear that the two have been close since they were very young.
Here we see Shane with his arm around a very young Stephanie. The two to appear to be in some sort of log cabin – perhaps on a camping trip – or at the Ted Williams baseball camp, as Shane McMahon’s shirt suggests. The fact that the young McMahons are attending a camp run by Ted Williams, who passed away in 2002, gives fans an idea as to just how old this image is. While we all know the eldest of the siblings never went on to become a professional baseball player, we may have used the camp to develop into the athlete he has proven to be inside the squared circle. As far as age goes, this is one of the earliest pictures out there that show the two together.
Actor, Politician, and WWE Hall of Famer Arnold Schwarzenegger was once quoted as saying, “Bodybuilding is much like any other sport. To be successful, you must dedicate yourself 100% to your training, diet and mental approach.” Shane McMahon is an individual who understands what Schwarzenegger is talking about. While it’s never been part of his in-ring persona, more often than not, Shane McMahon has been in outstanding physical condition throughout the majority of his career. Of course, having grown up around pro wrestler’s with bodybuilder-like physiques his whole life, he likely felt the need to stay in shape.
In this shot, we see a young Shane McMahon flexing his guns for the cameraperson – sporting a very retro-looking World Gym shirt. This photo was taken back in 1986 – which means McMahon was around 16 years of age at the time the image was captured. One of the reasons that the young wrestling heir was in such great shape may have been his desire to become a professional athlete – more specifically – a football player. In fact, McMahon once said, “We'll never know if I could have made it to the NFL. Do I think so? Yeah.” There are probably a few NFL teams out there right now who could use an athlete like Shane McMahon.
4 A Girl And Her Dog Shirt
It’s a little-known fact that one of Stephanie McMahon’s first jobs in WWE was as a merchandise catalog model. Here we see a young Steph modeling a Matilda shirt. For those unfamiliar, Matilda was the English Bulldog that accompanied The British Bulldogs (a tag team made up of Davie Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid) to the ring. The Bulldogs officially debuted in 1983 and disbanded in 1990 – to give folks an idea of how old this photo is. It’s hard to believe that one of the company’s top executive started out as a catalog model in the 1980s.
Even in her youth, Stephanie McMahon always appeared confident. This is something she gets from her mother, Linda McMahon. Stephanie has previously stated, “Now my mom designs to resign, so she runs for US Senate, and now at 67 my mom just launched a new company called Women's Leadership Live, she is the co-founder and CEO, and it's all about empowering women to be successful in business, however, they define success. When you have a role model like that you really don't ever look at gender as an issue and it's about owning your place and taking charge of your role, regardless of what you look like.”
3 A Formal Event
It doesn’t always come across on television, so it’s easy to forget the Shane is actually roughly seven years older than his sister Stephanie. At press time, Stephanie McMahon is 41 years of age, while Shane-o is 48. In just a couple years, the current SmackDown commissioner will be 50-years-old, which may be hard to believe for many longtime wrestling fans. However, the heir to the WWE wrestling dynasty shouldn’t worry about getting older. Because according to businessman Bo Bennet, “Those who improve with age embrace the power of personal growth and personal achievement and begin to replace youth with wisdom, innocence with understanding, and lack of purpose with self-actualization.”
In this shot, we see Shane McMahon who looks to be in his early teens, holding his younger sister in a white dress. They appear to be attending a formal event – most likely a wedding or a church ceremony. This photo, which was taken sometime in the 1980s, shows the McMahon siblings long before they ever dreamed of becoming two of the most popular on-air authority figured in World Wrestling Entertainment history. Keep in mind; these images were captured long before folks carried around cell phones equipped with digital cameras – making them fairly difficult to come by.
2 Hanging With Dad
Vincent Kennedy McMahon is professional wrestling promoter who is credited with making World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) the most successful professional wrestling organization ever created. He is currently WWE’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and also appears on television as an on-air authority figure. McMahon is also a former 2-time world champion who wrestled and even headlined pay-per-views in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The 72-year-old is married to Linda McMahon, who is currently serving as the Administrator of the Small Business Administration for the President Of The United States. He also the father of both Shane and Stefanie McMahon. Vince McMahon is 3rd generation promoter as both his father, Vincent J.McMahon, and grandfather Roderick “Jess” McMahon were also wrestling promoters. As of 2018, Vince McMahon's net worth is estimated to be around $1.79 billion.
In this fun father-son throwback photo we see both Vince and Shane McMahon standing side by side smiling for the camera. Though he often plays a villainous character on television, Vince McMahon looks very friendly and approachable in this instance. Judging by the Christmas tree in the background, it would appear that this image was captured during the holiday season – giving fans a glimpse into to what the Holiday season in the McMahon household looks like.
1 Skydiving With X-pac
Sean Waltman is a professional wrestler who has performed under a variety of different names including X-Pac, Syxx, and the 1-2-3 Kid. He has worked for both World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) over the course of his career. He is also one of the few wrestlers who were a member of both the New World Order (NOW) and D-Generation X. Waltman has won several titles and is only wrestlers to have held the WCW Cruiserweight Championship, the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship, and the TNA X Division Championship – the three major lightweight titles in pro wrestling.
In the image here, we see Sean Waltman and Shane McMahon getting together to do a little skydiving. British actress Georgia King was once quoted as saying, “Skydiving is special because it's almost the closest to an out-of-body experience you can have. We live in such a stimulated, connected, busy world - to be up in the air with nothing but yourself and the landscape is incredibly peaceful.”While we can’t tell from the photo whether or not these gentlemen had an out-of-body experience, based on the their facial expression, they appear to have had a good time at the very least.