Stephanie McMahon recently announced she was taking a step back from WWE to focus on her family, a decision that she didn’t make overnight.
During a special edition of “We’re Live Pal,” Andrew Zarian, Dave Meltzer, and Bryan Alvarez talked about McMahon’s leave of absence. Zarian shared the conversation that he had with someone high up about Stephanie.
“[It was a] very bizarre conversation, I’ll tell you that. I didn’t expect that phone call. It was a phone call that kind of veered into a discussion about Steph. So I asked and I was like, ‘hey, anything I could add to this? What’s going on?’ And, you know, some of the comments, I was shocked. One being that people internally and this is coming from someone in the know in WWE. This wasn’t like a guy in catering.”
“The comment was that internally, there was doubt put on Steph [and] her abilities as an executive. And a lot of this started after she absorbed some of Michelle Wilson’s responsibilities after she left. One [responsibility] being ad sales and sponsorship. And the comment that I found interesting was that they mentioned that the investors were questioning why they weren’t performing as well. And internally, there was some questioning as to why that wasn’t performing. I think a month ago, [WWE’s Head of Global Sales & Partnerships] Claudine Lilien…she went over to handle that and she was released a month ago and Nick [Khan] has taken over all these responsibilities. When the Shane issue happened at Royal Rumble, WWE was pretty quick to kind of say, yeah he got sent home for all the reasons that you heard, right? I was not expecting the words to be used for Steph because at the end of the day, the McMahons are the McMahons and they are the most protected people in that company.”
Meltzer noted that he heard about WWE’s efforts to keep the story about McMahon under wraps. However, it’s a situation of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing because of the source that Zarian talked with about it.
Meltzer said, “As far as Steph goes, like, if and when she comes back, and it won’t be soon, there’s a real good chance it won’t be in the same position…But it was interesting, because I talked to somebody about something similar and asked about Stephanie in that in that realm, and you know, certain things were explained that…there’s people who Stephanie dealt with that, but because Vince always had to answer, you know, she didn’t have the power. Nobody does. Vince has all the power. She’s someone who talks to Vince but at the end of the day, Vince is going to make those decisions. But the thing was, there’s some people who are saying stuff and a person told me – he’s like, ‘if anyone hears that, they’re gonna be gone. No one can say anything bad publicly about Steph.’ And it’s like like a left hand and a right hand thing. Yeah. You (Zarian) were told, in a way, because they wanted it out.”
H/T to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription