WWE is having its annual “SummerSlam” pay-per-view Sunday at Staples Center. WWE co-owner and Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon was in town Thursday at the Boys and Girls Club of East Los Angeles to promote the show and to talk to the kids about how to prevent bullying as part of WWE’s Be A STAR anti-bullying program. As part of the youth program, McMahon sat down with 13-year-old Hannah Mitchell, daughter of Times Sports Now editor Houston Mitchell, to discuss bullying, WWE and her husband, pro wrestler and WWE executive Triple H.
Did you face a lot of obstacles from men in your rise to the top of WWE?
Well I tend to not let anyone or anybody stand in my way, so any time that I had an obstacle in front of me, I found a way to rise to the challenge and rise above it.
What advice would you give to girls my age about how to become a successful businesswoman?
I would say the two most important things are to believe in yourself. You have to have confidence. You have to believe in yourself and you also need to have a very strong education. So you need to utilize all of the people and all of the tools that are around you to help you succeed. So if that means staying in school a little longer, if that means learning another language, if that means getting a degree that’s higher than a college degree, those are the things that you need to do. But the most important thing is to believe in yourself and respect yourself.
With all the time you have to devote to business, how do you find time to train for your SummerSlam match with Brie Bella?
Late at night, I train after I put my kids to bed, because putting my kids to bed is very important to me. I have three daughters, they are 8, 6 and soon to be 4. So I train after they go to bed. And it’s very challenging, but I’ve got to do it because health and fitness are also very important to being a success.
Everyone loves to hate you on TV. Do you still get nervous before you have to go out live on “Monday Night Raw?”
I always get nervous and someone once told me, “If you’re nervous, it means you care.” So I always think it is a good thing that I am nervous before I go out.
Who were some of your favorite wrestlers when you were a kid?
My very favorite wrestler of all time was Andre the Giant. He was sort of like my best friend, believe it or not, and I have a picture in People magazine of me sitting on his lap when I was 8 years old after WrestleMania I. The caption below it said “Andre the Giant just slammed Big John Studd, not the person on his lap.”
What advice would you give to a kid who was being harassed by a bully?
I would suggest that they tell a trusted adult. It’s very important that you tell someone when you are being bullied, someone that you trust. You should never be quiet when you are being bullied or when you see someone being bullied. It’s so important to stand up and say something.
The last and most important question: Do you prefer Hunter [Triple H] with long hair or short hair?
Wow, no one has ever asked me that question directly before! I’ll say he is handsome both ways, how about that?