Barring the odd appearance here and there, Stephanie McMahon, daughter of high-ranking WWE executive Vince McMahon, has stayed steadily off television in the past few years.
On paper it seemed like a smart move. Stephanie was extremely overexposed as a regular on-screen character during her 1999-2003 stint, and by the time she exited in October of 2003 following a program against her dad, most fans were surely happy to see the back of her.
There’s also the fact that, at this time, WWE desperately need to build new stars for the future, and it is therefore hard to justify Stephanie hogging up screen time that could be better spent elsewhere.
From a more personal point of view, we should remember the hard-working Stephanie is head of the 16-person WWE writing team and mother to three young daughters, in addition to a great deal of other backstage duties and chores.
Being an on-screen character takes a colossal amount of time and effort. You have to be at TV every week, learn your lines, and go through vigorous run-throughs. It’s not as easy or as glamorous as it looks.
At the present time, the 35-year-old probably doesn’t even feel she has time to take appear on-screen on a regular basis in addition to her already busy schedule.
There’s also the fact that the company arguably has enough authority figures than they already need (GM’s John Laurinaitis and Teddy Long are currently embroiled in a high-profile power struggle storyline on WWE television), and another non-wrestling authority-type figure simply isn’t needed right now. The product would feel more cluttered than it already is.
But is a return on screen in the future—even a short-term one—entirely out of the question for Mrs. Levesque?
The answer is, probably not. Indeed, knowing WWE creative, it seems likely that Stephanie will be called upon at some point to make a return to Raw or SmackDown.
For one thing, she’s a McMahon. And whenever the chips are down and the company can’t think of any new storylines, they inevitably turn to the family to fill in the gaps. We’ve seen this before, most recently in 2009 when the entire McMahon family (sans Linda) battled top heel Randy Orton after he viciously punted Vince in the head.
Therefore, it’s incredibly easy to envisage a scenario in which chief operating officer Triple H struggles for power against John Laurinaitis or maybe even Vince McMahon, and Stephanie is brought into the fray.
Indeed, Stephanie has already made the occasional appearance on WWE TV to support her husband Triple H, most noticeably during the Summer of Punk last year, as she showed up to confront CM Punk—a that point feuding with Hunter on screen —in a backstage skit.
As long as Hunter remains a regular character it seems likely she will also be brought back to do something or other. In this respect, a return cannot be ruled out.
If such a thing does occur, wrestling fans should not roll their eyes and brace themselves from another round of "McMahon Egomania" running wild. Indeed, with her promo skills and photogenic looks, Stephanie can be an asset as an on-screen character—provided she is used sparingly and isn't all over the show.