WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon recently appeared on the Barstool Sports Podcast with hosts Dan ‘Big Cat’ Katz of Barstool and Alex Rodriguez. Barstool sent us highlights from the interview. Stephanie named WWE Hall of Famers Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, along with The Rock, when asked about the best WWE Superstar.
“Hulk Hogan is one of the most easily recognized icons in the world. He is everything because also his size, his stature, that Fu Manchu the long blond hair. He just really is one of the first ever I think truly global icons,” Stephanie said. “Ric Flair is arguably one of the greatest superstars ever in the history of our business from a pure talent standpoint. I think that even Hulk Hogan would say Ric Flair has me beat. Ric, he transcends our business in many different ways than I think Hulk Hogan does.”
She continued, “And it feels like I’m maybe not picking one over the other but I’m picking each one for different. I think The Rock, especially because with all the different platforms that exist today, I think Rock has he’s probably the number one most easily recognized WWE superstar of all time. And not only is he a successful actor he also runs you know Seven Bucks Studios, he’s an entrepreneur, he’s an executive, he’s a philanthropist.”
Stephanie was also asked about what the fans don’t know, and how WWE will set them up for a big payoff.
“They’re [the fans] being very vocal and they’re telling us exactly what they want and sometimes to your point earlier, it’s not what you want to do because you’re setting them up for something else,” she said. “But sometimes it’s a setup for a payoff of something even bigger and they just have to be patient.”
Stephanie may be away from the WWE TV storylines right now but she talked about how her TV and non-TV roles cause confusion when she meets business people. She said, “I do find though now when I meet other business people and they find out that I’m also a character on the show it is quite confusing to them especially when I then explain I am the villain playing the boss’s daughter putting profits before people and all of that good stuff.”
Stephanie was also asked about her friendship with WWE Hall of Famer Andre the Giant, which she has discussed in the past during interviews and tweets. Stephanie said she grew up with Andre as her best friend, and she never knew any different.
“But so ever since I was a little kid and it was just normal to have you know Hulk Hogan over for dinner, Mr. T you know, Ultimate Warrior stayed with us for for a little while. I mean that was just kind of the way life was for me. I grew up with Andre the Giant as my best friend and I never knew any different,” she said.
“So I met Andre. Gosh I don’t even remember this story, my mom tells this story. I was about three years old and I was jumping on the trampoline outside of our house and we lived in Cape Cod, Massachusetts,” she recalled. “And Andre drove up in his special van because it had to be outfitted for him for his size and he got out of his van. And it was like his head blocked the sun and the ground shaking as he took every step. And my babysitter at the time freaked out, started locking all the doors, closing all the windows and I’m out on the trampoline. I don’t know what that says about her babysitting skills but my mom tells the story that Andre walked over to the trampoline and I was never scared. I was never afraid and he held out his hand. And apparently as lore goes I stepped into the palm of his hand and he brought me up to his cheek and I gave him a kiss on the cheek. And my mom always called Andre my Gulliver.”
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