Wrestler of the Day – July 23: Stephanie McMahon

Here’s someone you’ve probably gotten more used to lately: Stephanie McMahon.

Stephanie would join the WWF on screen as HHH’s husband. Since they ran the company, Stephanie got a Women’s Title match on Smackdown, March 30, 2000.

Women’s Title: Stephanie McMahon vs. Jacqueline

DX comes out in full with Stephanie, who of course stalls forever. The bell rings and X-Pac trips Jacqueline, allowing Tori to nail her with a DDT to give Stephanie the title.

I’ll spare you the bad matches this reign entailed and get to the end, from August 21, 2000 on Raw.

Women’s Title: Lita vs. Stephanie McMahon

Yeah this was that dark time where Stephanie was champion as a side effect of the awesome HHH run. Rock is guest referee as part of his war with Trips as well. Lita easily takes her down and hammers away before popping the champ in the corner with forearms. A hurricanrana gets two but Stephanie’s friend Kurt Angle distracts Rock so HHH can trip Lita up.

The Hardys run out for a save and hammer on HHH as Stephanie fires off some lame foreams and a nice DDT for two. Lita comes right back with another hurricanrana but Angle breaks up the Litasault. The Hardys brawl with Angle/HHH until Rock pulls Angle and the title belt into the ring. Angle gets laid out but HHH jumps Rock from behind. Kurt nails HHH by mistake and it’s a Rock Bottom for the Olympian. Stephanie tries a cheap shot and gets a Rock Bottom of her own, setting up the Litasault for the pin and Lita’s first title.

Rating: D+. THis was almost all about the men fighting on the floor which was far more interesting than the girls.  Stephanie was basically the Honky Tonk Man of the Women’s Title as the whole reign was there so someone could save the title and become a big star.  That’s exactly what Lita did and she never looked back.

We’ll jump to a new year for one of Stephanie’s first serious matches. From Raw, January 22, 2001.

Kurt Angle/Trish Stratus vs. HHH/Stephanie McMahon

Trish is sweaty when she comes out. HHH sets a record for fastest time changing and is ready to go almost immediately. JR points out that HHH isn’t stretched or anything like that. He manages to get a baseball slide to Angle to take him down and the fight starts on the floor. The guys start in the ring with HHH dominating. He works on Kurt’s knee and yells at Trish for a bit.

Angle gets a spinning neckbreaker to put HHH down and brings in Trish. The genitals don’t have to match here. She comes in off the top with a cross body. Kurt dropkicks her back to put down HHH. Kurt accidently hits Stephanie and gets the tar beaten out of him by both Helmsleys. Facebuster hits Angle but he manages a belly to belly to HHH and it’s back to Trish.

She tries coming in off the top again but this time Stephanie slams her down. Was Trish just like Flair there? They slap it out and Trish spears Stephanie down. The girls brawl for awhile until Trish gets a bulldog for two. HHH Pedigrees her though and Stephanie gets the easy pin for the win.

Rating: D. Total mess here and way too much of the girls in there. Still though with like six minutes to work with and the girls being the biggest part of it this was ok. The feud with the guys went nowhere though which is a shame but the girls had some good interactions. Either way, not much of a main event but I’ve seen worse.

Stephanie got annoyed with her father for having an affair with Trish Stratus, so here’s a showdown at No Way Out 2001.

Trish Stratus vs. Stephanie McMahon

Trish is a set of boobs and a gorgeous face at this point. She has no talent as far as we know in the ring so Stephanie is probably the ring general in this match. She has the awesome old school HHH music though so I can’t complain. It’s nice to see one of the girls in a t-shirt though instead of their traditional stuff. Spear and a slap fight start us off.

We’re in the crowd in like a minute as this is a big fight. Stephanie dives off the barricade with a big punch to the chest. Granted it’s hard to miss so there we are. Bulldog by Trish but it means nothing yet so it only gets two. They do the smart thing here and don’t try to make this into a wrestling match, opting instead for a fight. Water gets involved, making Lawler freak out.

Trish with wet hair and a wet chest: win. A powerbomb from Stephanie gets two and down come Trish’s shorts for a spanking. Trish in a thong wins also. The girls both go down (lucky) as does the referee. Cue Regal, who puts Trish on top (works for me) but then saves Stephanie from getting pinned since he doesn’t know what the right thing is. Trish slaps him so he takes her down with a neckbreaker for the pin.

Rating: B-. This is considering who was in there and the level of their talent. It’s no classic, but considering who was in there, this was AWESOME. They didn’t bother trying to have a match and just beat each other up, which was without a doubt the right way to go. Trish would of course get FAR better, but this was pretty good considering what they had to work with. Regal saving us from the attempt at a finishing sequence was a nice break too.

From the next night on Raw.

Vince McMahon/Trish Stratus vs. William Regal/Stephanie McMahon

Vince brings out that bucket of sewage. Apparently Stephanie shoved Trish into manure on Smackdown. Trish kisses Vince to start and the girls go at it first. All Trish to start as I guess Stephanie and Regal are the faces here. Steph gets a suplex for two. They had the best match you could ever imagine they would have the previous night. DDT gets two for Stephanie.

They botch….something as Stephanie goes down. It looked like a clothesline I think but I’m not sure. Vince comes in and Steph has no idea of it. Regal backs off to huge boos. Vince gets a mic and Regal brings in the bucket. He says that what Vince wants, Vince gets. He tells Trish to get in here and tells the referee that this match is over.

Stephanie and Vince are apparently all cool and Regal takes Trish down with a neckbreaker. With Vince’s direction, Stephanie covers her with the mop in the sewage and shoves her face in the bucket. Vince says that there’s one Daddy’s Little Girl and Trish was just a toy, a toy Vince is tired of playing with. Trish would be back with Vince like next week. This was barely a match so no rating.

Stephanie and Trish would be at it again in a whipping match on Raw, April 2, 2001.

Stephanie McMahon vs. Trish Stratus

This is a spanking match which means they both have straps/whips. Trish has her face music at this point but doesn’t have Lil Kim yet. They go at it on the ramp and this could be ugly. Trish isn’t that good yet, which is an understatement if there ever was one. At least she takes the coat off so we can see the nice halter top. Stephanie chokes Trish and hits a half decent DDT. Here comes the whipping and now it’s a catfight. Stephanie gets whipped and barely moves. She hides behind Lillian which doesn’t work as Lillian goes down. Steph gets both whips but wastes too much time. Regal comes in and takes Trish down for the DQ.

Rating: D+. You would think whips involving Trish and Stephanie would be hotter than this. Not much of a match but at the same time Stephanie was actually trying to wrestle which is a major step up for her. They had a far better match at No Way Out but they were trying here at least, which helped a lot.

The following week, Stephanie hooked up with the Two Man Power Trip to face the best known three person team in the company.

Hardy Boys/Lita vs. Steve Austin/HHH/Stephanie McMahon

Genders can mix here. HHH/Austin jump the brothers very early but the Hardys clear the ring in something rather surprising. HHH and Matt get us started. Off to Jeff and there’s Poetry in Motion. There go the shirts which unfortunately Lita doesn’t go along with. Whisper in the Wind gets two on HHH. Sunset flip gets the same as this is starting very fast paced.

Matt walks into a facebuster though and it’s off to Austin. After the Hardys beat on Austin for a bit it’s heel cheating that lets Austin beat up on Jeff. Austin wants to know the difference between a choke and a blatant choke. Jeff takes Trips down with an enziguri but Austin breaks up the potential tag. Jeff manages to dive and get a double tag to bring in Matt. Everything breaks down and Lita gets Stephanie alone. Twist of Fate and Moonsault end Stephanie and the Power Trip is MAD.

Rating: C+. The idea of them losing this fast was kind of surprising but at the same time the point of it was to let the post match beatdown happen. Also on Thursday Jeff would win the Intercontinental Title. Granted he would lose it back the next Monday, but the point of that was to set up the first real challengers to the dominance. Other than that, the match was fine though.

Here’s an odd reunion as Test teamed up with Stephanie to face Rock on Raw, September 10, 2001.

Test/Stephanie McMahon vs. The Rock

Stephanie looks GREAT in the sports bra and workout pants. JR says that Stephanie left Test standing at the altar to REALLY mess with history and Heyman calls him out on it without saying what happened. Stephanie sits in on commentary instead of getting in the ring. Test jumps him in the corner to start and is quickly sent to the floor. Stephanie gets in a few shots and Test hammers on Rock back in the ring. Sidewalk slam gets two.

Off to a bearhug as Stephanie and Heyman suck up to each other. Rock comes back with the spinning DDT and both guys are down. Rock slugs away and loads up the Rock Bottom but Test escapes. Rock hits the spinebuster instead but Stephanie trips him on the People’s Elbow attempt. Test kicks Rock’s head off and Stephanie covers him for two. Rock Bottom to Stephanie is broken up so she calls down Booker. Rock counters the pumphandle and shoves Test into Stephanie, setting up the Rock Bottom for the pin.

Rating: C-. Nothing match but DANG Stephanie’s new rack looked great out there. Seriously there’s nothing else to praise in this match other than those things. This was the same thing they’ve done with Rock for the last three weeks so it’s kind of hard to care about this match at all.

 

It was so good the first time that they did it again the next week.

Stephanie McMahon/Test vs. The Rock

Stephanie is on the apron here and is knocked off almost immediately. Rock sends Test to the floor and the beating begins. Back inside Rock gets two but Test pounds him into the corner. Rock fires off some rights but walks into a gutwrench powerbomb for two. Test beats him down again and Stephanie comes in, only for Rock to nip up. The Canadian runs him over again and loads up the big boot but instead he walks into a Rock Bottom. Nick Patrick is with Stephanie though and that earns him a Rock Bottom of his own. Rock goes after Steph but Shane and Booker run in. Everyone hits their finishers and Steph gets the pin.

Rating: D+. I don’t particularly get how this is supposed to make me want to see Booker and Shane vs. Rock on Sunday but it got Stephanie on TV and let her pin the Rock so it must be a good idea right? Just have Rock face Shane and then have Booker and everyone else interfere and let Shane get the pin. How is that any different? Oh right: it doesn’t let Stephanie get to be on TV. Got it.

Stephanie and HHH would split in 2002 with Stephanie joining forces with Chris Jericho. This led to a three way match for HHH’s WWF Title on Raw, March 25, 2002.

Undisputed Title: Stephanie McMahon vs. HHH vs. Chris Jericho

This is a triple threat and if Stephanie is pinned she’s out of the company. Jericho sends HHH to the floor and Stephanie lays down for Jericho but HHH makes the save. HHH won the title 8 days before this mind you. Totally boring match as the two wrestlers have to be on pins and needles so Stephanie doesn’t get exposed as being NOT A WRESTLER.

Stephanie slaps Jericho for some reason and they argue. Jericho goes for the Walls as this match needs to end. We know HHH isn’t losing so quit teasing us about it. HHH knocks Jericho down and stalks Stephanie. Pedigree is set up but Jericho hits a dropkick to stop it. Jericho grabs a title and a chair and through some odd stuff both HHH and Jericho get belt shots.

Stephanie comes in and covers Jericho for two. She does this weird thing of lifting her leg on covers. HHH gets caught in the Walls but Stephanie jumps on Jericho’s back. Pedigree gets two on Jericho and Stephanie makes the save. Spinebuster ends her and she’s gone….for four months until she became Smackdown’s GM. Security literally drags her away.

Rating: D-. Just horrible stuff here as HHH and Jericho more or less did nothing while this was about Stephanie all over again. What a shock right? She was the focus of just about everything for a good while and this would only get worse in 03/04 when Smackdown was ALL about her and Vince and their stupid feud for power. This was a glorified house show main event though and was really quite stupid.

Stephanie wanted to get one legged Zack Gowen a job, so all they had to do was win a match on July 3, 2003 on Smackdown.

Stephanie McMahon/Zack Gowen vs. Big Show

Anything goes so Vince and Sable are at ringside to watch the torture. Gowen is thrown down like he’s nothing to start so Stephanie jumps on the giant’s back. This goes as well as you would expect before Big Show LAUCHES Gowen from the floor, over the top and back inside. Big Show lifts her into the air and Vince says throw her to the floor. Gowen tries to make another save and is easily clotheslined down.

Stephanie slaps Vince but gets grabbed for a chokeslam. This brings out Kurt Angle for an ankle lock to the giant but Vince nails him with a chair. Cue WWE Champion Brock Lesnar but Show kicks him in the face. Gowen hits a kind of Van Daminator to Big Show, setting up an Olympic Slam and F5 to Big Show. Zack adds a moonsault for the pin and a contract. In a funny post match moment, Angle goes to lift Gowen on his shoulders but realizes there’s only one leg.

Rating: D. Much more of an angle than a match but I could watch Brock throw Big Show around all day. It’s just awesome to see a man that big get tossed like a cruiserweight. The match was barely there and it was all about Stephanie vs. Vince, but at least we got a cool moment in the process.

In 2003, Vince and Stephanie feuded because they’re McMahons. Vince was sleeping with Sable at the time, so here’s the showdown from Vengeance 2003.

Stephanie McMahon vs. Sable

Vince was having an affair with Sable and all of Smackdown had become about them. Yeah I’m shocked too. For some reason this is no count out. That’s just an odd stipulation. This is a catfight, whatever that means. Sable is freaking gorgeous. Stephanie was at a weird stage here and it didn’t work that well for her. We’re in the crowd already. Stephanie actually gets a half decent rollup. I’m surprised.

She goes off on Sable as well as she can and Sable tries to run. That obviously doesn’t work either. Stephanie actually busts out the Mr. Perfect neck snap. WOW. She goes off on Sable in the corner and winds up ripping part of her top off. The referee rips his shirt off for her to put on. And here’s A-Train of all people to flatten Stephanie so Sable can win. Ok then.

Rating: D. This was WAY better than it had any right to be. That being said, it still sucked. They just weren’t going to have a good match no matter what they did, although Stephanie was certainly trying so I can’t fault her for that at all. Not any good at all but they tried so I can give them points there.

Vince really hated Stephanie in 2003 so he made this match on September 11, 2003 on Smackdown.

Stephanie McMahon vs. Brock Lesnar

Vince gives her a chance to quit her job as GM before the bell but Stephanie won’t do it. Stephanie gets in a low blow but Vince pulls her back into the ring. That earns him a low blow as well but Brock is back up. He rams her into the barricade but Stephanie ducks flying steps. Instead Brock picks her up for an F5 on the ramp but Kurt Angle runs out for the save and a big brawl to end the “match”.

We’ll wrap it up, appropriately enough, with an I Quit match from No Mercy 2003.

Vince McMahon vs. Stephanie McMahon

I Quit match and Stephanie can win by pin as well. It’s also no holds barred and no one can interfere on her behalf. Linda is here too to make sure this match is acted even worse. Sable is with Vince. Vince jumps Stephanie to start. He’s evil you know. Stephanie jumps on his back and screams a lot. She kicks him into the corner so he runs her over. Vince throws her around and Cole is up to about 20 “THAT’S HIS DAUGHTER” lines a minute.

Sable slaps Stephanie so Linda chases her around. Vince hooks a half crab and Stephanie screams a lot. Off to a bow and arrow and Stephanie can’t even sell her face properly. Sable slides in a pipe but Linda stops her. Vince grabs Linda so she slaps him and Steph hits Vince low with the pipe for two. She pulls the pipe back and hits him in the ribs and the back and in the face but Vince doesn’t go down. A shot from the middle rope to the top of the head gets two.

This match has been going on about four minutes and I already hate it. Sable gets in a fight with Stephanie so Stephanie rams Vince into her and bulldogs him for two. She gets the pipe again but Vince grabs her by the throat and shoves her down. Now Vince has the pipe and hits her in the ribs. He chokes her with the pipe and Linda shouts to quit because it’s not worth it. Linda throws in the towel because Stephanie can’t give up. You know, to protect her reputation and all that.

Rating: F. This got more of a build than the world title match, the US Title match and the Angle vs. Cena match. You figure out why this was a failure.

So yeah….Stephanie isn’t very good in the ring. 2003 was a nightmare but she’s willing to take a beating and be humiliated when the time is right. Unfortunately there’s a LONG amount of time between those losses at times and her talking can be a nightmare to sit through. At least she’s nice to look at and is getting better looking with age.

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1 comment

  1. Ted says:

    Her looks don’t save her from being terrible. Please stay backstage misses h.