Stephanie McMahon was among the featured speakers today at the SportsBusiness Journal’s 2018 SBJ Game Changers Conference in New York City. During her time at the conference, the Raw commissioner appeared on a discussion panel called “Ideas That Move Us Forward: Storytelling In Sports Business,” where she told of the solitary reason behind WWE’s success:
“We’re successful for one reason only: We listened to our audience.”
— Katie Rosenberg (@katierosenberg) September 12, 2018
While this claim may raise eyebrows upon first viewing, adding some context to what she said does add some validity to it. McMahon rightly claimed WWE fans were the catalyst behind the rise of women in WWE today. “It’s about doing, not just talking. You have to listen to your audience. Their voice matters,” she said, which is absolutely spot on because if it wasn’t for fans getting behind AJ Lee’s #GiveDivasAChance campaign on Twitter, you do have to wonder if a Women’s Revolution would have taken off like it did.
Former Divas Champion Lee, who left WWE in 2015, famously called Stephanie out over Twitter regarding issues surrounding inequality between male and female wrestlers in the company. From there, the hashtag gathered pace as fans made it clear to wanted to see longer matches from the female Superstars on Raw and SmackDown. From there, the likes of Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair were promoted to the main roster from NXT as the women became a more prominent part of the show each week.
Taken out of context, Stephanie’s quote is sure to rile up certain sections of the WWE Universe. However, adding that all important context to what she said means she’s absolutely right on this occasion.