Stephanie McMahon has spent the bulk of her time in WWE as an on-screen villain, and for much of the last decade, her on-screen role has been elevated to an evil authority figure. Her role is much akin to the role her father played in The Attitude Era, except hers is suited for the visual and storytelling aesthetics of a woman. This can be both good and bad. Good, because the character of Mr. McMahon being played by a woman freshens up the boss vs. employee angle for the modern audience. In that regard, what’s old feels new again, and that is never a bad thing. Also good, because Stephanie McMahon excels at being a baddie. Whenever she gets on a mic and shrieks her disdain for the Raw roster, you just can’t help but hate her, and a bad guy (or gal) who is genuinely hated can make for some compelling television.
The only problem is that Stephanie McMahon is a villain who never gets her comeuppance. If she were in the Attitude Era where men laid their hands frequently on women (in more ways than one), this wouldn’t be a problem. However, the WWE universe now lives in a more PG-oriented environment, meaning, they can’t risk indirectly promoting domestic violence on their television screens. The last time that Stephanie McMahon had a shred of comeuppance against her was when Roman Reigns speared her during the main event of Wrestlemania 32, almost a full year ago. And that was an accident, which seems to be the only way any wrestler can get their revenge against Stephanie McMahon. And since every wrestler can’t just start attacking Stephanie by accident every week, it means that Stephanie has free range to embarrass the WWE roster on a weekly basis, which she has done and continues to do.
The real sad part is that her roles make a large crop of the current roster look weak whenever she emasculates or humiliates them. This goes not only for men but also for women, who for some reason, find it just as difficult to their revenge against Stephanie. (Woman-on-woman violence shouldn’t be as much of a problem.) This situation makes it seem like Stephanie McMahon has intentionally been built up as an untouchable goddess, while the rest of the roster look like oafs bowing at their Queen’s feet.
There is a long list of individuals who found themselves on the shorter end of the stick when pitted against The Billion Dollar Princess, but for the sake of time and practicality, here are just a few examples of wrestlers who were embarrassed by Stephanie McMahon.
15. Charlotte Flair
For the better part of her career, rising star Charlotte Flair has proclaimed herself as The Queen of WWE after essentially dominating everyone in the Women’s division as their Champion. On the May 30, 2016 episode of Monday Night Raw, a week removed from Charlotte berating her dad, Ric, to tears, she was confronted backstage by Stephanie McMahon. The McMahon heir outright declared her disgust for Charlotte’s actions from the previous week and proceeded to rail down Charlotte as a competitor. More specifically, Stephanie called Charlotte everything from a waste of talent to a disgrace of a Women’s Champion. When Charlotte tried to retort, Stephanie interrupted and continued to lambast her, calling her a spoiled brat, then walked away. This was a confusing segment because both characters were villains and the altercation didn’t lead to a feud between the two nor anything whatsoever. If one thing is for sure, it was that Charlotte Flair was painfully embarrassed.
14. Eric Bischoff
In 2002, when Eric Bischoff and Stephanie McMahon were both appointed as the General Managers of Raw and SmackDown, respectively, a rivalry started simply in the vein of competition. However, friendly competition between the two quickly dissolved into a full blown Battle of the Sexes. Things came to a head during a wager where Bischoff’s 3 Minute Warning took on Stephanie’s Billy & Chuck at Unforgiven 2002. The wager was that if Stephanie’s tag team won, Bischoff would have to join Stephanie’s own personal Kiss My Ass Club. However, since Bischoff won, Stephanie had to take part in one of Bischoff’s hotly contested Hot Lesbian Action segments later in the night. Things started in titillating fashion as the crowd cheered on as they watched an uncomfortable Stephanie get groped by a pair of bosom buddies whom Howard Finkel announced simply as “The Lesbians.” God, things sure have changed since 2002, haven’t they? Anyway, Bischoff wanted to torture Stephanie by bringing out a heavyset woman to smooch on The Billionaire Princess. Unbeknownst to Bischoff, Stephanie had a secret plan up her sleeve as that woman was actually Rikishi in drag, who went on to give Bischoff his just desserts with a superkick and a rump-shaking Stinkface. There were other moments where Stephanie humiliated Bischoff, but this stands out as the most infamous and memorable.
13. Paul Heyman
Paul Heyman has actually felt the wrath of Stephanie McMahon both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. In fact, the several squabbles the two had while running WWE’s creative writing team was one of the factors that led Heyman to walk away from the company in 2006. When he returned in 2012, it took less than a year back with WWE before he found himself suffering an on-screen beatdown at the hands of Stephanie. During a verbal altercation between Heyman and Triple H on the landmark 1000th episode of Raw in 2012, the Advocate made the mistake of referencing Trip and Steph’s children. That’s when Stephanie McMahon stormed down the ring like a mother bear in heat with Heyman in her red-eyed sights. She verbally ran down Heyman for his failures as a businessman before proceeding to pummel him down to the ground. Ever since the early days of the 80s-era NWA and WCW, Heyman has never had a problem in taking part in humiliating segments at his heel character’s expense, but even he had to think that getting beaten up by his former backstage rival was a little embarrassing.
12. Mick Foley
Ever since Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley were paired together this year as Raw’s Commissioner and General Manager, respectively, Stephanie has found numerous ways to emasculate the man on national television. Dating all the way back to the Attitude Era, Stephanie has had a history with attempting to humble The Hardcore Legend, either via slaps or verbal lashings. But The Queen of Queens seems to have amped her punishment up to 11 ever since they became on-screen colleagues. Whether it was outclassing Foley, out talking Foley, or overruling his decisions, Stephanie was always one step ahead of Foley. Things came to a startling head recently on the March 20, 2017 episode of Raw where Stephanie called out Foley on being an amnesiac who had taken too many blows to the head to remember anything and could never make a serious decision to save his life. She then uttered two immortal words that her father was once infamous for saying: “YOU’RE FIRED!”
11. Sami Zayn
Speaking of Mick Foley getting fired, he wasn’t the only man embarrassed on this night. That other man was Sami Zayn, and frankly, though he kept his job, he might have gotten the worst of the abuse. In a deeply impassioned promo, Zayn came out to Foley’s aid and told Stephanie she had to be ashamed of herself. Stephanie’s response? “I’m sorry, Sami, were you saying something?” Needless to say, Stephanie failed to take The Underdog from the Underground seriously at all. Stephanie also added that not only was Zayn not on a high enough level to question her integrity, but he also wasn’t on any level to make him worth speaking to her. So she booked Zayn in a match against what she deemed to be a true main event talent, Samoa Joe. And Joe won, proving Stephanie’s point that Zayn wasn’t ready for the big leagues. This was probably the first time Sami Zayn got to cut a promo in the opening segment of Raw, a spot usually reserved for main event talent, and just as he was inches away from any proverbial brass ring, Stephanie just smacked his hand away.
10. Big Show
If one had the time and energy to do so, they could create an entire “highlight” reel of Big Show‘s most embarrassing moments. When trying to think of all the times that Big Show made a fool of himself on national television, the first thing that will come to most of our minds would be when he appeared on-screen in a top hat and diaper as the New Year’s Baby. The second thing that may come to our minds were any one of the segments where he appeared with Stephanie McMahon. There’s a wide assortment on the list to choose from. There’s the September 16, 2013 episode of Raw where she brought him to tears in forcing him to strike The American Dream Dusty Rhodes. Then, a month later, on October 7, she slapped him mercilessly. Whichever moment is your “favorite,” there’s no doubt that whenever Stephanie McMahon’s involved with the Big Show, it becomes one of the lowest points in his career.
9. AJ Lee
The night after Payback 2013 on the June 13th episode of Raw, AJ Lee looked to gloat about her newly won Divas Championship. Turns out she got a little too cocky, and upon AJ challenging any woman in the back who thought she was just half of the woman that she was, Stephanie McMahon answered the call. Unlike most of the altercations on this list, AJ Lee actually fared quite nicely against Stephanie McMahon. Instead of Stephanie flat out burying the talent in front of her, the two went toe to toe throughout the promo. Stephanie announced her displeasure of Lee, thus confirming that she was the stereotype of a vicious backstabbing woman, while Lee called Stephanie out on marrying a certain WWE Superstar. Lee even insinuated that she was a younger, better version of Stephanie. That last comment lit a fire under Stephanie that caused her to deal a few deafening verbal blows to AJ Lee. She called Lee a disgrace of a champion and threatened the security of her job. Keep in mind that Stephanie was the face in this situation. She actually came off as more of a heel than Lee did.
8. Jim Ross
Although Jim Ross is not a “wrestler,” he does hold a pinfall victory over Stephanie’s husband, Triple H, which is something not a lot of full-time wrestlers can boast of. He’s also one of the few people ever employed by WWE to be the on-screen victim of bullying by every member of the McMahon family. In 2005, Ross needed some time off from the commentary table to recover from a colon surgery, and to write him off television for the time being, it was decided that he would be fired in storyline. So on the October 10 episode of Raw, every member of the McMahon family (Vince, Shane, Linda, and of course Stephanie) gathered around the ring to surround Good Ole JR, berate him, and fire the man, with Linda kicking him in the gonads for good measure. While Linda’s final blow dealt the worst embarrassment, Stephanie also delivered a few disparaging remarks before the segment ended. Ross returned by WrestleMania season a few months later, but his embarrassment in the hands of all the McMahons still leaves a bad taste in our mouths. For everything that man has sacrificed for the company, that was no way to treat Jim Ross, — for the sake of storyline or otherwise.
This one was another McMahon family affair, this time pitting Stephanie and her mother Linda against Melina. In 2007, when Melina whispered some sweet nothings about Vince McMahon into William Regal’s ear (heavily implying that she had slept with The Chairman), she turned around to find Stephanie McMahon waiting behind her. Steph went on to raise her hand to The Paparazzi Princess for a slap, but The Billion Dollar Princess changed her mind. Melina then thought she could run off, but before she could, she ran right into Linda McMahon, who slapped the taste out of Melina’s mouth. It was a slap so hard that it even earned a resounding “DAMN!” from WWE Hall of Famer, Ron “Farooq” Simmons. While Linda had dished out the main punishment, the fact that a non-wrestler like Stephanie made the skilled athlete and former 3-time Women’s Champion in Melina quiver in her boots was embarrassing enough.
6. Daniel Bryan
As part of The Authority, Stephanie McMahon spent the better part of a year degrading Daniel Bryan. Just as Bryan was reaching the zenith of his popularity in 2013, Stephanie was one of the first to lambast Bryan as being nothing more than a “B+ Player.” This was a moniker that stuck so well that Bryan’s finisher was aptly named the Knee Plus. In the coming months, Stephanie would continue to denigrate the Leader of the YES! Movement. She even went to physical lengths on the Road to WrestleMania when Triple H had Bryan handcuffed, beat him down, and for good measure, let his wife slap the unholy hell out of Bryan while his hands were still behind his back. One would’ve hoped that Bryan would’ve gotten the last laugh at WrestleMania XXX when he walked out of the show’s main event as WWE World Heavyweight Champion. However, when tragedy struck as Bryan fell out with an injury, Stephanie used the opportunity to prove her point that Bryan was never ready for the main event scene.
When The Animal Batista made his not-so-long-awaited return that no one wanted to see, it was met with a lukewarm reaction. Every week, the more he started to appear on WWE programming, the more deafening the boos for Big Dave grew as he approached his main event for WrestleMania XXX. It certainly didn’t help matters to see Stephanie McMahon slap the glasses off that man’s face. On the March 24, 2014 episode of Raw, Batista shared the ring with Stephanie and Randy Orton. The three shared some unkind words against each other, and after Batista flat out said that “Steph’s been drooled on a lot,” Stephanie felt the need to slap Batista as Orton laughed hysterically in the background. Batista already struggled to connect with the crowd upon his return and Royal Rumble win. In that moment, the Mania challenger for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship became the butt of a joke.
4. Randy Orton
On the January 19, 2009 episode of Raw, Randy Orton attempting to brown nose his way into Stephanie McMahon’s office, commended her on firing Chris Jericho the week before. Orton only wanted to save his job, but after noticing Orton’s attempt to suck up, Stephanie called him out on it. Orton took offense and said some harsh words regarding how Stephanie would be a nobody if her name wasn’t McMahon. All it took was one slap to shut Orton up and send him running off. It also set a fuse in the unstable Viper’s head. Later in the night, he went on to punt her father upside the head, and later on, her brother would suffer the same fate. Stephanie herself received Orton’s punishment when he RKO’d her outta somewhere (middle of the ring, to be specific). Orton was actually one of the few people on this list to let Stephanie get her comeuppance, which makes it even odder that the two aligned themselves with one another as members of The Authority just a few years later despite everything they went through in 2009.
3. Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho was unfortunate enough to find himself embarrassed by Stephanie McMahon just as he was at the height of his fame. When he became the first to ever win the WWE Undisputed Championship and was weeks away from main-eventing WrestleMania against Triple H, he found himself siding with Stephanie McMahon in her feud against Trips. This should’ve been a great move for Jericho’s career. It doesn’t get any better than working side by side with the boss’s daughter while on the verge of headlining the Grandest Stage of Them All. At least it would’ve been great if the WWE Champion wasn’t forced to play third fiddle in the big WWE Title feud. The World Champion was reduced to playing a pawn and lackey to Stephanie McMahon, even going as far as being ordered to take her dog for a walk. What should’ve been grander prospects in Jericho’s career quickly made him out to be as much of an afterthought as he was in WCW.
2. CM Punk
When he still worked for the company, CM Punk was one of the few wrestlers in this PG Era to get away with lampooning The Billion Dollar Princess without Stephanie getting the last laugh at a later point. That all changed when CM Punk walked away from WWE in an extremely public manner. Still carrying old scorn from his harsh words towards her during their segments together, as well as newfound scorn after he publicly ridiculed her father and husband on Colt Cabana’s podcast, Stephanie has been one of CM Punk’s most vocal detractors. Nowadays, every time WWE finds themselves in Chicago, Stephanie doesn’t hesitate to come out to the live crowd to publicly defecate on CM Punk in the same way that the Straight Edge Superstar did her family. When WWE came to Chicago for their Payback event in June 2014, Stephanie was one of the first to acknowledge CM Punk as a quitter on TV. Back in December, after Punk had suffered a swift defeat in his UFC debut, Stephanie came out to a raucous Chicago crowd chanting “CM Punk!” for the sake of trolling. Her response? “If you could keep that up for 2 minutes and 15 seconds, you’d last one second longer than Punk did.” Most recently, on the March 6th episode of Raw, Stephanie told the Chicago fans that they were all losers “just like Punk.”
1. Vince McMahon
Not even her father was spared from Stephanie McMahon’s wrath. These moments were few and far between, but that didn’t make them any less significant. The first and perhaps most significant moment came in the main event of Armageddon 1999 between Triple H and Vince McMahon when Stephanie went from playing a background pawn in a storyline to a full-fledged “bad guy.” For the first time in her career, she turned heel after revealing that she and Triple H had been planning to take over WWE all along and that she wasn’t some naive daddy’s girl all along. Then, in the build-up to WrestleMania 2000, she found herself slapping her father, brother, and even Triple H. In 2003, upon becoming SmackDown GM, she overruled a good amount of The Chairman’s initial decisions in favor of her own and even slapped him around a couple times. The hate was especially palpable at No Mercy 2003, where the two had their own Street Fight match and Vince got the last laugh in their father-daughter feud.
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