Today is Stephanie McMahon’s birthday (she turns 39, although don’t tell her I told you that). Stephanie’s been a divisive figure since making her public debut in 1999. She’s been involved in some questionable storylines, although she’s also crafted one of the most entertaining heel characters in WWE history during her years on TV. Behind the scenes, her run as head of creative was sometimes less than laudable, but she’s also worked to change WWE’s image, transforming it into a more compassionate, diverse company. The fact is, with the obvious exception of her father Vince, probably nobody has had as great an effect on WWE over the past 15 years as Stephanie McMahon.
So, here are a few things you may not know about the WWE’s face-slapping, wheeling-dealing, business-handling Billion Dollar Princess…
André the Giant is Stephanie’s favorite wrestler.
Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) December 19, 2014
Stephanie McMahon was born in 1976 in Hartford, Connecticut, right around the time Vince was starting to get seriously involved in his dad’s wrestling promotion. As such, some of pro wrestling’s most colorful and infamous names were a part of Stephanie’s life pretty much from birth.
Stephanie’s favorite of those wrestlers was the legendary André the Giant. According to Steph, she first met André when she was 3 years old. He rolled up to the McMahon hacienda while Steph was playing on the trampoline. As the nanny panicked, André walked over to the trampoline and offered Steph his hand. Rather than grabbing the huge mitt, Stephanie stepped onto it, Andre lifted her like a human forklift and Steph gave the giant a kiss on the cheek. B’awww. With a first meeting like that, I can see why Andre was Steph’s favorite.
Oh, and yes, that infamous angle a couple years back where Steph claimed The Big Show had been her friend since she was young was actually based on her special connection with André. They just changed it to Big Show to make it seem like Stephanie was a decade younger than she is. The things you can get away with when your last name’s McMahon.
Her brother Shane basically raised her as a child.
Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) April 02, 2014
For some time, there’s been idle speculation that Stephanie and her brother Shane don’t get along, based on Shane having left the family company in 2009. The fact is, Stephanie and Shane are extremely close, as Shane played an almost parent-like role in Steph’s life, given their father and mother were pretty busy destroying and reshaping the pro wrestling landscape in their image during her formative years. “My parents weren’t around until later at night, so for the most part, Shane raised me. He not only toughened me up, but he kept me thoroughly entertained.”
In more recent years, Stephanie has said in multiple interviews that she misses Shane being a part of the company, so yeah, something drove him away, but it wasn’t sibling rivalry.