Stephanie McMahon
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Stephanie McMahon Talks ThunderDome, Virtual Fans, Women’s Wrestling, More

WWE’s Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon recently sat down with Fox Sports to discuss a myriad of topics ranging from the WWE ThunderDome to the future of women’s wrestling in WWE. Check out the highlights of the conversation below.

On WWE 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 and drones. 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 hosting 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 the women evolving over the past 20 years:

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.”

On how she felt after WWE completed the Evolution PPV:

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. The show was incredible. The matches were off the charts. I mean it over-delivered in absolutely every way. I’m just, proud is the word.

On bouncing between backstage and on-screen 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 future of women’s wrestling 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. I hope we can have another Evolution PPV. I am trying to secure that.

You can read the entire interview here. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, there is a video version of the interview available to watch.

READ MORE: Stephanie McMahon: WWE Is ‘Actively Working’ On Having Women Writers

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