Chris Jericho coaxed many a good story out of Stephanie McMahon, but Thursday's live podcast made it clear just how much of a shift fans will see with Y2J, instead of Steve Austin, at the helm of these interviews.
In the WWE Network-exclusive special that aired after SmackDown, McMahon talked about working for her father, how her relationship with Triple H came to be and her confrontation with Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 31, among other topics. Anecdotes and reflections emerged.
Fans got a look at McMahon the executive rather than McMahon the tyrannical heel that exists onscreen.
Not surprisingly, WWE's chief brand officer and Jericho had good chemistry. The two performers have known each other for a long time and worked together regularly during Jericho's first years with the company. That helped add an intimate feel to the sit-down.
The interview also felt like something one would see on the campaign trail, though. McMahon let the audience in, but Jericho didn't press as much as some fans would have hoped.
Vince McMahon watched most of it from just out of frame. It's unclear how much his presence and his vision of what these shows should be will shape them and how much of their makeup is due to the difference in Jericho's and Austin's approach.
The Disparity Between Jericho's and Austin's Styles
If you were looking for controversy and hard-hitting questions, you left unsatisfied. Instead, much like Jericho's interview with John Cena, this was more of a conversation between friends.
Jericho is more playful in this role than Austin. He seems most interested in sharing fun stories.
While he did ask McMahon how she felt about the tweets AJ Lee directed at her and WWE in general in February, Y2J also had some fluff material in his arsenal. He talked to McMahon about her dating habits, childhood crushes and just what the pool used in Vickie Guerrero's send-off contained.
It's hard to imagine Stone Cold inquiring who the chief brand officer pined for as a teen.
Stephanie is the Splitting Image of Vince
Just how much McMahon is like her father is a testament to the power of genes. She sounded like her father and in revealing how she earned her current position, she showed off that she has the same relentless drive that Vince does.
Her brother notices the parallels as well. Shane McMahon apparently calls her "Vincess."
McMahon said she has studied Vince's work as a showman and as an executive for a long time. However, she said she's unaware of emulating him in terms of on-camera performances.
Her passion for the business shined through during the interview. McMahon said of working with WWE, "This is always what I wanted to do." As she told Jericho about all the gigs she's had for the company, that was abundantly clear.
McMahon worked the phones for WWE at 14. She interned in the marketing department. She talked about interacting with fans in AOL chatrooms and putting together a clip reel for SummerSlam. Those stories help fans understand that she wasn't just handed a high-ranking executive job.
And now she carries herself like an executive.
That extends to giving political answers when needed and inserting promotional plugs into the conversation whenever possible. She thrives in being diplomatic. She's more than just a good company solider—she's a general-in-waiting.
For those assuming that Triple H will take over for Vince, don't bet everything on that. Vince is bound to see himself in his daughter and consider handing her the reins instead.
Insight into Relationship with Triple H
The storyline version of Triple H and McMahon's courtship is miles apart from the real thing. It's still an intriguing tale, though.
Her father initially forbade her from dating wrestlers. He had a soft spot for The Game, though. McMahon that Vince "threw us together" in a way, continually suggesting that she seek out a guy like him. The chairman would later change his mind.
McMahon says Vince "took away that blessing" and that they were separated for a stretch.
Clearly, things worked out in the end. Now married with three children, they have to deal with the difficulty of balancing work and family, just like the rest of us. McMahon revealed that she and Triple H rarely work together apart from being a villainous pair on Raw.
Time together is hard to find.
It was during this portion of the interview that McMahon seemed to be opening up the most. This was a peek at her personal life, who she is when the cameras are off. Even so, she had a diplomatic answer at this point of the conversation as well.
When Jericho asked who wears the pants in their family, McMahon laughed and said, "Both of us."
Further Evidence of Vince Being out There
Even with as many brilliant ideas that Vince has had over the years, he sometimes comes up with stuff that needs to be shot down.
Jericho revealed that WWE's head man "loves apes." That inspired him to bring on some cast members from the remake of The Planet of the Apes. What was his plan for integrating them onto WWE TV? He didn't have one.
Vince apparently instructed McMahon and Jericho to just do something with the simians. He gave them carte blanche and told them to "have at it."
Lack of Ronda Rousey Plans
UFC boss Dana White has made it clear that he doesn't want his star fighter wrestling for WWE, telling John Pollock of The Fight Network that Rousey's WrestleMania 31 appearance was a one-and-done deal.
It's no surprise, then, to hear that WWE doesn't have any current plans for Rousey. Jericho asked whether we might see more of the armbar specialist in a WWE setting, and McMahon simply said, "I don't know."
She said that there is nothing in the works as of now. She spoke of her clash with Rousey alongside The Rock at WrestleMania 31 as a moment, not a setup for something else. McMahon did add, however, "Never say never."
Future of Divas Division
When AJ tweeted that WWE's women weren't getting the time and money they deserved, McMahon said she wasn't angry. She said that she was proud of the former Divas champ speaking up.
The chief brand officer seems to agree with AJ about the state of the women's division. On the lack of ring time and stories that the Divas get week in and week out, McMahon said it was "something we need to work on."
She said she wants change in that arena. It's a change she told Jericho she's fighting for. She said she was "helping to push for it every day."
While Vince clearly has final say with everything WWE, one would imagine that his daughter has significant influence. If Triple H and McMahon are calling for WWE to showcase its women more, is Vince just ignoring them, or are plans to make that shift underway and we just don't see them?
That's a question that Jericho left in his pocket.