Born Stephanie Marie McMahon (she legally changed her middle name to become Stephanie McMahon Levesque) on September 24, 1976, the youngest child of Vince and Linda McMahon was always likely to end up a key part of this unusual family business.
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Has there ever been a woman in the history of wrestling that had fans talking about her chest as much as Stephanie McMahon?
In July 2001, Stephanie showed up on television with her boobs appearing to have been surgically enhanced, whether by design or otherwise, put the rest of the women in the locker room’s plastic in the shade. Amidst speculation that she had her chest enlarged, Stephanie confirmed the following month that she had indeed gotten a boob job.
While appearing on the New York-based radio show The Opie & Anthony Show on August 14, 2001, Stephanie revealed that she underwent surgery the prior month, shortly before becoming the fictional owner of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). She noted that her implants had become swollen and that she was massaging them often for medical reasons. Stephanie said that she’d never been hurt by a fan sign until she saw one in the crowd that said her breasts sagged. Now, she said, they weren’t saggy anymore. Stephanie felt that she could finally look at herself in the mirror and be satisfied with her appearance.
In November 2001, Stephanie’s mother Linda McMahon addressed her breast enhancement during an interview with WWF.com. She was asked by Seth Mates, “If you don’t want to answer this next question, I understand. But as a mother, how did you feel when Stephanie came to you and said she wanted to “enhance” herself?”
She responded, “No, it’s OK. My first concerns are always with health issues. Stephanie had thoroughly investigated the procedure, and she had answers to all the questions that I asked, and so I felt comfortable that if that was something that she wanted to do, then she should proceed, and she had my full support.”
On April 30, 2015, Chris Jericho brought his uncensored podcast to the WWE Network with Stephanie in the hot seat. While looking back at some memorable moments the two shared, Stephanie took the opportunity to explain her decision to get breast implants at the time.
“Well there was a lot of people actually, ’cause I was reading all the Twitter comments about ten questions you should ask me and all that kind of stuff and there were a lot of naysayers in terms of my breast enhancement surgery, or augmentation, whatever you want to say,” Stephanie said. “But what had happened was, at one point in time I was heavier and then I had lost some weight and I didn’t like the way I looked and I wasn’t confident in how I looked. And so it was my own personal decision to have that done and I was proud of what I did.”
During the “Attitude Era,” Stephanie’s augmentation was frequently played for laughs by Jericho and “The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment,” The Rock. Her boob job was first acknowledged on the August 13, 2001 episode of Raw Is War with “Y2J” mocking the noticeable growth of her chest. On the TitanTron, he had a video still of Stephanie prior to her enhancement shown alongside a shot of her busting out the week before to reveal the noticeable difference.
“It seems like our little billionaire princess sure has grown over the last year! Well, in two specific places at least! Talk about foreign objects — you wanna say let the bodies hit the floor? I would say let the boobies hit the floor!” Jericho exclaimed to the raucous Chicago crowd.
Stephanie, now concealing her chest with her arms, responded, “I don’t know what you’re talking about Jericho! You must have some kind of an imagination!” Jericho then recommended they go out to dinner to discuss the subject since there was a Hooters restaurant nearby. Rhyno, who was at Stephanie’s side, grabbed the microphone and demanded that Jericho head to the ring so he could knock some respect into him.
Later in the segment, Stephanie challenged Jericho and The Rock (who joined “Y2J” on stage) to put their money where their mouths are by facing Rhyno and Booker T later that night in a tag team match. Jericho accepted the challenge and thanked Stephanie by saying she’s the breast . . . er . . . best. The Rock then said he would teach Booker T a little lesson in geography. They’d go everywhere together and use Stephanie’s boobs as a flotation device.
It was reported at the time by Wade Keller of the Pro Wrestling Torch that when the topic of Stephanie’s boob job was brought up in a semi-joking manner during a creative team meeting, Stephanie said that she would be happy to go through with the segment if the other writers felt it would elevate Jericho.
Stephanie was the target of more boob jokes — courtesy of The Rock and Jericho — during an episode of SmackDown that aired on October 18, 2001.
In an in-ring segment with the two Superstars, Stephanie told The Rock that Jericho was jealous of him and couldn’t be trusted because “Y2J” would screw him the first chance he got — The Rock was set to defend the WCW Championship the following Sunday at No Mercy. Rock told Stephanie that while he appreciated her concern, if anyone knew anything about screwing, it would be her. Jericho then said he was surprised Stephanie wasn’t cheering for him because you can’t spell his name without using the letters “H” and “O.” Rock told Stephanie he wanted her support because if he had as much support as her push-up bra gave to her “big phony funbags,” then he would be unstoppable. Jericho then said, “Speaking of Stephanie’s funbags,” but was cut off by her before he could finish his sentence. An upset Stephanie then told Jericho and The Rock she hated them before storming to the backstage area in tears. Jericho said back to Stephanie, “Thanks for the mammaries!”
These days, boob jokes at Stephanie’s expense aren’t entirely off limits, even with WWE’s commitment to presenting family-friendly, TV-PG broadcast programming. While offering a scathing evaluation of her performance as a principal owner of WWE on the June 2, 2014 episode of Raw, John Cena took the opportunity to poke fun at Stephanie’s augmentation.
“I’ve had four surgeries that have taken me out of action. Your husband, (Triple H), the showcase of what a WWE Superstar should be, has had surgeries that have taken him out of action. You (panning his eyes down at Stephanie’s chest), have had surgeries,” Cena said to Stephanie during a face-to-face confrontation in the ring.
Stephanie shot back, “They put me in action, but that’s another story.”
While appearing on The Howard Stern Show on October 17, 2002, Stephanie said she underwent the procedure because she felt her boobs looked like “melted packets of butter.”
“Well, I lost a lot of weight. I had boobs when I was heavier and I lost a lot of weight and they were like melted packets of butter,” Stephanie said. “I just didn’t like the way they looked.”
Stephanie had also contemplated undergoing a second procedure due to a recent weight loss that made her breasts smaller.
According to Stephanie McMahon, her head was almost chopped off on live TV!
Stephanie was introduced to WWE fans in 1999, at the height of The Ministry angle with The Undertaker. The Deadman, who was then feuding with Vince McMahon, set his sights on “Daddy’s Little Girl.” On the post-WrestleMania XV edition of Raw on March 29, 1999, ‘Taker supposedly kidnapped Stephanie and held her hostage, until Ken Shamrock discovered the distraught belle in a boiler room.
A few more weeks of Scream-inspired nonsense followed, before Stephanie was abducted by the fiendish “Phenom” at Backlash on April 25, 1999. With the innocent Stephanie firmly in his possession, the “Deadman” arranged for a ceremony the following night on Raw that would forever lock the two in unholy matrimony. Luckily for Stephanie, an unlikely hero made the save when McMahon nemesis “Stone Cold” Steve Austin ran to the ring and attacked Undertaker to reunite her with father.
Offering her memories of the storyline in WWE 50, Stephanie claims she was almost decapitated during the wedding angle.
“I loved every part of that storyline, from the burning teddy bear to the ransacking of my supposed bedroom to being found in the gutter under the building, although maybe that part wasn’t so great,” Stephanie says. “When I was actually strapped down to the Undertaker’s symbol, being carried to the ring, I was almost decapitated by the APA, little known fact. They were shoving the symbol under the bottom rope and thank God for John “Bradshaw” Layfield, because he actually stopped it.”
Stephanie may be embellishing the incident, or her memory is very hazy. As the above video shows, she was placed in the ring with no apparent problem.
During one of the most entertaining moments we’ve seen on Raw, Stephanie McMahon was placed in handcuffs like a common criminal after having slapped Brie Bella, who was portraying a ticket-buying fan, earlier in the show. However, Stephanie’s phenomenal performance wasn’t the only thing that had people talking.
As Stephanie was being hauled off in handcuffs, her cleavage looked…odd. As in it like imploded or something, if that’s the correct word. Disappeared? Whatever the case may be, the general consensus is that her boobs looked strange.
Here is a side-by-side shot of Stephanie from the show. As you can see, everything appears in place as she is speaking on the microphone, and then things get weird as she is being hauled away in handcuffs by law enforcement.
So, what happened? As her arms were handcuffed behind her back, the muscles under her breasts stretched, causing them to appear smaller as they were pushed further apart. That’s all.
Actually, that’s not all!
Although John Cena cut a joke last month during a face-to-face confrontation with Stephanie about the WWE executive going under the knife, she actually had her breast implants removed several years ago.
A few months prior to giving birth to her first child, Aurora Rose Levesque, on July 24, 2006, Stephanie got rid of her enhancements. According to those in the know, she underwent the removal procedure because she wanted her newfound motherhood to go as seamless as possible. Plus, with her no longer appearing as a regular television character at the time, the large cans were no longer necessary.
That combined with Stephanie turning into a gym rat in recent years — she’s probably at her lightest weight in her WWE tenure, or close to it — has led to her chest appearing smaller in comparison to the “Attitude Era” glory days.
Leave the mammories alone.
As a child, she enjoyed a fun cameo on Saturday Night’s Main Event on November 2, 1985 and modeled apparel in the merchandise pages of WWF Magazine. True to her family’s wishes, however, she attended college at Boston University and earned a degree in Communications, learning about business as a whole before coming home to roost.
Stephanie first appeared as an on-screen performer in 1998, and much like brother Shane—who would moonlight as an official in the early 1990s—she could occasionally be seen alongside other family members. The following April marked her proper introduction to the WWE audience, as Vince’s innocent “baby girl” was stalked by the nefarious Undertaker, leading to a ridiculous “dark wedding” that was memorably aborted by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. However, while undoubtedly a pretty face, most observers likened Stephanie’s acting skills to that of her mother.
When she eventually turned heel on her father and aligned herself with Triple H at Armageddon December 12, 1999, Stephanie began displaying a new-found brass. As Hunter’s on-screen wife (in reality, the two did not marry until October 25, 2003) she excelled as a spoilt, vindictive minx, and played a pivotal role in the well-received love triangle storyline with Kurt Angle. Exhibiting great chemistry with the likes of Angle, Mick Foley and Chris Jericho, she became a valuable asset to the World Wrestling Federation.
Much of the good will afforded her dissipated in 2001, however, as she dominated proceedings throughout the ill-fated Invasion storyline involved stables of wrestlers purporting to represent World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). Overbearing, indulgent and unconvincing, she was legitimately hated by many fans who believed that the storyline was the worse for her meddling. This was exacerbated in the build-up to WrestleMania X8, when she became the focal point of the feud between Triple H and Chris Jericho; ostensibly the main event rivalry, their series was reduced to a backdrop for a tepid domestic drama that featured skits where then-Unified WWF Champion Chris Jericho was forced to look after Triple H’s dog, Lucy.
Throughout her babyface run on SmackDown from July 2002 until October 2002, Stephanie starred in numerous interminable storylines, the least of which was perhaps her father’s “affair” with Sable. In a further inexplicable incident on the July 24, 2003 episode, she was the center of a bizarre in-ring dalliance with John Cena, who promptly spanked his willing boss. Another episode opened with the General Manager bent over a table while the camera prowled up the considerable length of her legs, before she seductively enquired, “Got your attention?” Furthermore, in the midst of a Halloween party on SmackDown in 2002, she locked tongues with Eric Bischoff, in an interlude that was not listed on any script, nor led anywhere thereafter. Such random, inconsequential and often time selfish devotion of television time would characterize many of her erratic appearances over the course of the next decade.
Despite such setbacks, however, when used in a limited capacity, Stephanie proved that she could make a difference, something even Paul Heyman, who notoriously struggled to co-exist with her behind-the-scenes, was willing to concede.
“Stephanie is a lot like her father,” Heyman told The Sun in 2008. “Even those closest to her would refer to her as ‘The Vincess’. And they said it in a manner that cannot be mistaken—they mean it as the ultimate compliment. She has that drive, she has that ambition and she craves doing the job; Stephanie wakes up in the morning motivated to already be at the second item of the day on her yellow notepad. Steph competes with herself to be better at her job tomorrow than she is today, and better two days from now than she is tomorrow. This is an inspired person in terms of getting work done.”
Of course, the fear upon her return to television in 2013 that once more, a non-wrestling character would dominate, and worse, would be put over at the expense of other WWE performers.
Happily, that has not bee the case.
“My husband is above Daniel Bryan, professionally, literally and figuratively,” Steph beamed on the March 10, 2014 Raw in a moment that exemplified the duo on screen. The Raw that followed the Royal Rumble had similarly presented Stephanie at her most deliciously nauseating. Cuddling her husband, both were sickeningly smug as they gloated about the “success” of the show, subverting the fact that WWE had actually offered a direction that fans rejected. This, of course, cleverly placed the heat on them.
Furthermore, Stephanie’s performance on the May 19, 2014 Raw showed how far she’s come, as she was superbly slimy in referencing Daniel Bryan’s “incredible story,” exhibiting deplorable false sincerity in speaking of the inspirational qualities of the “Yes!” chant and being excited that his wedding would air on Total Divas. A terrific delivery, even in the face of clamor for CM Punk, it was a remarkably nuanced performance, especially given that she had no one to bounce off. In the past, left to her own devices, Stephanie has often rambled endlessly, but this was focused, and offered a solid psychology. She teased the audience with things they wanted, such as an appearance by Bad News Barrett, but cleverly navigated the positive response with an eye-roll, before referring to the crowd as “predictable.”
Having found out about his father’s death, Bryan’s outing on the April 21, 2014 episode of Raw was swift, and designed to further the angle while giving him a reason to be excused. With the show hastily re-written, Kane viciously attacked Bryan, but his recent spell as an inept heavy in a suit had left him without credibility, and it therefore fell to Stephanie to offer false impressions of fear and concern, giving “The Demon Kane” more of an aura than he has possessed in years. Of course, she also had time to slap the newlyweds with one of her now trademark zingers.
“[It] was an organic, crunchy rustic wedding,” she sneered enthusiastically. “I saw the pictures online; it was truly breathtaking… if you’re into that kind of thing.”
This simple line was one of Stephanie’s finest, and it became clear that as the angle transitioned away from Triple H, she could pick up the load. In fact, she seemed to be relishing the opportunity to be as bitchy as she liked, with barely any boundaries.
On April 28, 2014, Stephanie’s “public apology” to Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella exposed the limitations of both babyfaces as actors, as “The Billion Dollar Princess” stood head and shoulders above them as a character. Furthermore, following the announcement of Bryan’s neck injury, Stephanie managed to summarize his many accomplishments in a speech that made him sound like an over-eager toddler who had attempted a plancha off his bed.
“All that proves is one thing—and I don’t want to be right on this—but Daniel Bryan is just simply not an A-plus player. It’s what I’ve been trying to tell him all along, and unfortunately, his body just couldn’t keep up, in spite of what his heart wants. His heart is in it; he has the heart of a champion, but unfortunately he just can’t pull through for you.
“Daniel knows I’ve just been trying to protect him,” she added with deceit. “That’s all I’ve been trying to do, but he just wouldn’t listen.”
“There has been a long-held belief in WWE that the audience is invested in the McMahon family as on-screen entities, and their involvement only heightens fans’ enjoyment of other characters. In Stephanie, however, the company must be careful not to allow itself too much of a good thing.
During the May 26, 2014 Raw, a patronizing Mrs. McMahon Levesque was the focal point of two promo segments, as she insinuated that Bryan would relinquish the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. On this occasion, it was overkill to feature her twice, especially in such vital circumstances, and more worryingly, the argument only led to Bryan appearing weak. Clearly, WWE was all out of ideas on how to feature the champion at a time at which he could not compete, but for his sake, this storyline must be tidied up as soon as possible, to allow him to move on to something with much more emotional investment.
Of course, The Authority storyline cannot run indefinitely, and Stephanie, much as her husband has done frequently over the past few years, will be required to take a break, probably sooner rather than later. One can only hope that the creative team knows how and when to refocus the spotlight, and culminate a great run with an equally satisfying ending.
To paraphrase Paul Heyman, she may no longer “do Tuesdays” (SmackDown television events), but at some stage, the on-screen incarnation of Stephanie McMahon Levesque must face the music.
And today, as such a great villain, Stephanie herself should find that the most satisfying moment of all.