One of the big questions surrounding Stephanie McMahon’s on-air character over the last three years since the creation of “The Authority” is whether WWE realizes the damage done to many wrestlers that her character has interacted with on WWE TV. And, in turn, damage done to the connection between the audience and said wrestlers, especially in the three-hour Raw era where the show is not just carried by top stars because there are 16 segments to fill.
Former WWE Creative writer Kevin Eck, who was part of the writing team during the peak years of The Authority, shed light on how the character was crafted, Vince McMahon’s decision-making behind the character, and Triple H’s role in managing Steph’s character in a new interview on Thursday’s PWTorch Livecast with Wade Keller.
“My experience was she was not very hands-on at all,” Eck said. “For better or worse, that’s the way we wrote her and that’s the way I think Vince perceived her character is the way it was presented on TV.
“Certainly, she had Creative input, but she was really open to just about anything we pitched for her. She was very open to ideas. Hunter was more of a micro-manager when it came how Steph’s character was perceived.
“It’s not like she demanded to the writing team that I have to be this woman who humiliates everyone. I think Vince sees it as how she gets her heat.
“You can argue whether or not that cuts characters off at the knees or is detrimental to them, but I think that’s the way Vince sees that character, and that’s how she gets heat by emasculating people, and you want to root for her to get her comeuppance.
“That’s the way he sees it. I don’t think there’s any ulterior motives as to, ‘Well, it’s just about getting Stephanie over at the expense of talent.’ That was never my perception of how she was presented.”
Asked if Vince, Hunter, or Stephanie recognized damage being done to other wrestlers on the show, Eck said Vince emphasizes value on the Top Line, like a John Cena, and is not necessarily concerned whether damage is done to characters below the Top Line, like a Dolph Ziggler.
“Every talent has a different value. I don’t think you’re going to see Stephanie emasculate John Cena too often, where John doesn’t get the last word in, or his character is going to be hurt by it. Now, a Dolph Ziggler – could that happen where she emasculates Dolph and then he goes out and loses a match and she is proven to be right? Yeah, that could happen,” Eck said.
“Again, WWE looks at John Cena as the guy who makes them a ton of money and is their top guy. And then they look at Dolph Ziggler and say, ‘You know what, Dolph’s in the slot that he’s in and he has his fans.’ Whether it’s right or wrong, that’s the way it’s perceived. If Stephanie gets the last word on a guy in the mid-card, ‘Oh well, so be it, he’s not making us money anyways.'”