Stephanie McMahon missed RAW this past Monday because she was in China for the LeSports Connects conference as a keynote speaker. She missed an earlier episode of the WWE’s flagship show this year because she was in France for the Cannes Lions Festival. Since she resumed a full-time role onscreen, rarely do you hear that Stephanie has missed RAW for anything besides expanding the WWE brand. And if not for surgical procedures, her father Vince is there each and every week as well.
Stephanie traveled from China on Monday to Laguna Niguel, California on Wednesday for Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit. Her role as WWE’s Chief Brand Officer pulls her in many different directions while continuing to maintain her role as Commissioner of RAW and one of the most over heels in the business.
After bragging about the WWE’s success on social media and position on YouTube’s sports channel charts, Stephanie revealed some very interesting bits of information in regard to when the WWE was first setting out as a global brand. It’s common knowledge that her father, Vince, bought out many of his father’s competing territories in order to amass what has become the juggernaut of the WWE.
Everyone agrees it was a risk that paid off, but few know the details of some of the meetings Vince was forced to take in order to achieve his goal. Stephanie shed some light on some dangerous dealings her father went through, as covered by Wrestling Inc.
“He was invading their territories, and getting better television coverage. He thought he had the better product, and ultimately, he did, and they didn’t take to kindly to that. He told me a great story about a threat from a notorious gangster and being in this room, this old hotel, with the dark wooden panel walls and this big oversized man with a very unattractive face. He was threatening my Dad’s life and my Dad was willing to stand up to him and all these different people to make his dreams come true.”
Vince McMahon not only risked his entire fortune on the first WrestleMania, but it turns out that he risked his life just to have the chance of producing that show, let alone become a national (and later global) company. Stephanie initially set out to release an autobiography this year, with a tentative title, “Lady Balls.” Obviously, that hasn’t happened as she’s delayed the release. Stories like the one above made her re-think the approach of writing what would be the first McMahon book ever.
“I’m personally reassessing. It was originally supposed to be a memoir. But as the first book from my family, it needed to be so much more. I want to make it bigger and better. I gotta tell my family’s story.”
That story has morphed and progressed since Vince set out for wrestling domination 34 years ago, and filmmakers would likely drool over the movie rights. Today, Stephanie is focusing on expansion and storytelling, and she believes that other companies could take a page out of WWE’s book in those departments.
“Start telling better, more authentic stories. Information without emotion is not retainable. Why should they care about your product? Can you answer that through your marketing?”
One thing that stuck out from Stephanie’s comments upon the announcement of July’s brand extension was that the WWE would go back to long-form storytelling. Creatively, she believed that Vince and the other writers could weave more stories that didn’t have to culminate week-to-week. Whether that’s actually coming across on-screen is debatable, although there are certainly angles where it is. The Kevin Owens-Chris Jericho partnership and theimpending return of her husband, Triple H, are most notable among them.
[Featured Image by WWE]