WWE fans tend to forget, but in truth, Stephanie McMahon has been on television for quite some time, and in fact, it’s almost been two decades since her debut back in 1999. It was actually Vince Russo that pitched the idea of having Steph on the tube and despite all the heat the poor dude gets, he nailed that one.
Like they say in wrestling, the kindest souls play the best heels. Off-screen, Stephanie is one of the nicest human-beings, very genuine and warm. However, on-screen, she’s turned into one of the most hated villains ever and that began way back in the late 90s when she turned on her own dad and joined forces with Triple H.
In this article, we walk down memory lane and look at some of the worst “bad girl” moments Stephanie ever took part in. Most of these moments were so bad, that although she was the boss’s daughter, she could have easily been let go nonetheless. From edgy outfits to slapping her own mom, we’ve got it all in this one. So without further ado, let’s begin this article featuring 15 “bad girl" photos that could have gotten Stephanie kicked out of the WWE. Enjoy!
15 The GM Run
Steph’s on-screen character took a bizarre turn back in 2002. After a brief hiatus, she returned with an entirely different persona serving as the GM of SmackDown. Not only was she in power but in addition, Steph wore some of the most noteworthy “Not So PG” outfits and along with that, she was flirtatious on the regular with the other Superstars. It was a Stephanie we’d never seen before and more than likely, a Stephanie we’ll never see again.
Looking back at some of the segments, to quote a wise man, there’s simply “no chance in hell” similar edgy content would fly in the WWE nowadays. Her “bad girl” role would come to an end after losing a match to her very own father, but we’ll discuss that a little later in the article.
14 Flirting With A "Bare" Wrestler
For those of you that don’t remember Steph’s run as the GM of SmackDown, you likely forgot about all the edgy backstage skits she was a part of back in the day. Following her run, the WWE could have easily pulled her off the show for good, given the edge and twistedness her character possessed, though she’d return numerous times throughout her career.
In this particular skit, one Brian Kendrick was lurking backstage in the complete buff. In typical WWE fashion from back in the day, his first encounter with the SmackDown GM would take place while he was of course, naked. During the confrontation Stephanie made the claim that Brian was “extra excited to see her”. One can assume a similar phrase would not be used today but we’re all thankful it did back in the day!
13 Weird Antics With Dad
Wrestling fans love to glorify the Attitude Era but if you really take a look back, you’ll realize there was a lot more bad than good. The initial formula was simple: create a “Howard Stern-like” feel to the show. It looks like the WWE took that a little too far more than once.
Twisted storylines included the likes of Mosh from the Thrashers switching personas and taking part in a weird incest storyline. Man, was that ever cringeworthy?! Making matters worse, even Vince hinted at something similar time and time again, awkwardly pleasing his daughter and constantly claiming she’s “daddy’s little girl”. This situation however took the cake as Vince slightly pecks his daughter on the lips after a discussion pertaining to a Rock and Triple H match. Thankfully, we’ll never see something similar again.
12 Playing The “Bad Girl” Backstage
Behind the scenes, Stephanie started to gain power, so much so that she became the head of creative. At the time, Paul Heyman was killing it in his role leading to SmackDown becoming the premier show, however, once Stephanie stepped in things began to turn.
One of her most impactful decisions that still affects the company negatively today, was the idea to get rid of “wrestling marks” on the writing team and instead, hiring "educated", professional, Hollywood-type writers. McMahon believed the “wrestling marks” had their judgment impaired due to their love for the business. Though, the plan has backfired simply because Hollywood writers don’t have a clue what it takes to properly book certain WWE stars leading to fans rebelling ever since. The decision could have easily gotten Stephanie fired but instead, the WWE remains reluctant to change till this day.
11 Slapping Her Mom
Heel heat was a weird type of thing back in the day; wrestlers pushed the boundaries in order to be perceived as villains. Given that she wasn’t an in-ring talent, Stephanie arguably pushed the envelope further than anyone else.
In her defense, she wasn’t on board with the act and calls it the most regrettable act in her entire career. For those of you who are curious, she called the other 'most regrettable' moment the kiss with Eric Bischoff on the Halloween episode. Yikes! Poor Eric. However, although that was bad, this was simply worse as Stephanie slapped her mom on numerous occasions, both in the ring and backstage. Yes, it brought on lots of heat, though the tactic was rather disgusting and sent an awful message. You won’t see anything of the sort on today’s modern day PG WWE product that’s for sure.
10 Spanked By The WWE’s Poster Boy
Looking back, this one is that much more hilarious. Back in the day, Cena was the big up-and-comer over on SmackDown while Stephanie was the edgy boss in charge. Boy, how things have changed! Today, Cena is a global star and a hero for millions of children around the world while Stephanie is the Chief Branding Officer of the company, and a huge speaker and advocate for women empowerment movements around the globe. So yeah, we have reason to believe this “bad girl” moment was quite forgettable for all those involved.
While some might claim the segment was steamy, in truth, watching it today is quite cringe. Stephanie literally bends down in the middle of the ring telling Cena to spank her, which he agrees to after contemplating the act for a couple of seconds. In the words of Broken Matt, the WWE’s feelings towards this skit are, DELETE, DELETE, DELETE!
9 The 9-11 Comments
The 9-11 edition of SmackDown was truly inspirational and one that the WWE should be proud of. The company was one of the very first to address the terrible acts and instead of feeling sorry for themselves, Vince took the honorable approach to put on a great show and celebrate the great country’s heritage. In terms of the most memorable SD programs ever, that one ranks right up there.
However, there was one idiotic moment on the night. In truth, this was so bad that McMahon himself could have easily fired his own daughter. Fans were irate when Stephanie compared the terrorist attacks to Vince getting taken to court by the Federal government. The comparison was truly appalling and likely, was one of the most regrettable statements ever made by Stephanie on WWE television. Had she not been Vince’s daughter, things wouldn’t have turned out so well for the Billion Dollar Princess.
8 Bullying Other Wrestlers
From the get-go, Stephanie bullied other wrestlers on-screen given her power. However, the likes of The Rock, Stone Cold and even Chris Jericho, rebelled against The Billion Dollar Princess adding to their babyfaced popularity. Though, as the years went along, Stephanie’s bullying became very one-sided with the victims rarely fighting back or saying anything in return.
Stephanie has slapped various Superstars in the past, from Batista to Dolph Ziggler to Daniel Bryan to heck, even her brother Shane. Serving as such a catalyst for anti-bullying campaigns, her acts send the complete opposite message. In order to protect the company globally, Steph and the WWE could have easily put her persona on the backburner in an attempt to re-write this wrong, however, with a return lurking very soon that doesn’t seem to be the case.
7 Violent Feud With Her Dad
This one still makes wrestling fans chuckle to this day. With her real-life wedding set, Stephanie and the WWE planned to kill off her character, ending Steph’s GM run. The ways to pull off such a story seemed to be rather easy, however, in typical WWE fashion, they took one of the most bizarre routes one would ever expect.
Vince would end up challenging his own daughter to a match, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, the stipulation was an “I Quit” match. Such a bout could have ended Steph’s WWE run for good; seriously, how do you return after wrestling your own dad in one of the WWE’s most brutal matches? Adding to the cringyness of it all, poor Linda had to watch the match, witnessing her husband choke her daughter with a darn pipe. Eventually, Linda would throw in the towel ending Steph’s first ever GM run. Just days later, she married Triple H while her dad (the same dude that choked her with a pipe) stood by her side. What a world!
6 Talking Down To Mick
We must admit before we dive into this one, Mick’s run as the GM of Raw wasn’t the greatest, as it failed to live up to his past authority role when he was the Commissioner of the WWE back in the early 2000s. Once Mick finally started to rebel, it was too late as he was forced to step down due to a hip replacement surgery.
Many questioned the way he was written off the show as Stephanie completely buried him in the middle of the ring, in front of a live audience. McMahon took bullying to another level absolutely demeaning Foley. In this day and age, it was a bit of shock as such skits are few and far between. However, we saw old school Stephanie in this one and many fans were none too pleased claiming the segments went way too far (further than “bad girl” status).
5 Trash Talking Mom
Not only did Stephanie slap her own mother but she took things a step further by verbally abusing her on the regular. Again, the term “bad girl” was pushed way too far in this one. Seriously, poor Linda though, she was always on the wrong end of some of the most brutal WWE moments. Remember when Vince made out with Trish while she watched on sitting in a wheel chair unconscious? Man, was that ever terrible! How in the world did such acts make television?
Easily, the WWE could have killed off all the McMahons following the terrible antics during the Attitude Era. In truth, Vince’s character would subside after the era, while both Linda and Shane left. Though, somehow, someway, Stephanie has managed to stay the most consistent in terms of TV time throughout the years.
4 Those “Not So PG Outfits”
Looking back at Stephanie’s wardrobe choices, she could have easily been fired for wearing anything similar in this day and age. With an emphasis on women as in-ring performers, gone are the days of steamy backstage attires and “Not So PG” love angles.
Well, Stephanie was involved in both, being romantically linked to the likes of Triple H, Kurt Angle and the late Test. In terms of outfits, she played on the edge more times than not. Due to the tightness of her wardrobe choices, she even “popped” out of some attires while on WWE TV. Who can forget Triple H locking his wife in for a Pedigree when bam! No, not an RKO out of nowhere, but instead, one of Steph’s puppies just flung right out. Such wardrobe choices are to be kept in the past whether we like it or not.
3 “Not So PG” Antics With Hunter
At one point in time, things weren’t the greatest for Triple H and Stephanie. On-screen, they were pushing the envelope romantically with some questionable love-making scenes like you see in the photo above. Although what was way worse, was the state of the locker room following the announcement that the two were in fact dating.
After giving Triple H his blessing, Vince McMahon went back on his word due to the outburst of the locker room. The wrestlers were infuriated believing Hunter was only dating Vince’s daughter to move up in the card. After a talk with The Undertaker, the legend made Hunter understand that the association of his career successes would always be linked to the McMahon family and his connection. If he was okay with that, then what everyone else thought wasn’t important. Obviously, things ended up working out, but such “bad girl” antics could have easily gotten Steph out of the WWE in order to protect both her and Triple H.
2 The Chyna Connection
Not only was it a wrestling sin that the boss's daughter dated an employee, but to make matters worse, that wrestler was dating another female wrestler at the time, and one of the most over female performers of all-time for that matter.
Seeing Stephanie in photos with Chyna looking as if everything is quite normal truly shows the “bad girl” side of her, something the WWE doesn’t want you to know about. According to rumors, Stephanie had been writing Hunter letters for months while he dated Chyna; it was because of those very letters that Chyna would eventually find out about the romance.
Ultimately, the situation could have gotten Stephanie fired in order to protect the locker room, but instead, the WWE went the other way and released Chyna (which isn’t too shocking). Sadly, that would be the last of her WWE involvement as she recently passed away.
1 "Inappropriate-Family" Storyline
We’re cheating here a bit cause this angle never took place. However, it was in fact pitched and had it not been for Stephanie, not only could it have happened but in addition, it might have ended her entire WWE run due to the backlash and embarrassment such a skit would have caused.
The story was pitched by Vince himself during Stephanie's real-life pregnancy. In order to feud with Triple H, Vince wanted to cause heat between the two by using such a story. Stephanie revealed the idea on Vince’s DVD. She claims that although she’s said yes to some of the most wacky ideas her father came up with in the past, this one, was just too much for her to take on. Thankfully, she turned it down because there’s no telling what the outcome of such an idea could have been.