WWE’s Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon recently made an appearance on “The Corp” podcast with Alex Rodriguez and Barstool Sports’ Big Cat to talk all things wrestling, including life growing up in the business, being around Andre The Giant as a kid, and which WWE superstar is the GOAT.
In regards to the latter, McMahon pointed to The Nature Boy Ric Flair as someone that even Hulk Hogan would say is the top dog. Of course, Stephanie also noted Hogan himself, as well as The People’s Champ, who has experienced more success outside of the ring than any other professional wrestler.
“Hulk Hogan is one of the most easily recognized icons in the world. He is everything because also his size, his stature, that Fu Manchu the long blond hair. He just really is one of the first ever I think truly global icons,” Stephanie said. “Ric Flair is arguably one of the greatest superstars ever in the history of our business from a pure talent standpoint. I think that even Hulk Hogan would say Ric Flair has me beat. Ric, he transcends our business in many different ways than I think Hulk Hogan does.”
McMahon added, “And it feels like I’m maybe not picking one over the other but I’m picking each one for different. I think The Rock, especially because with all the different platforms that exist today, I think Rock has he’s probably the number one most easily recognized WWE superstar of all time. And not only is he a successful actor he also runs you know Seven Bucks Studios, he’s an entrepreneur, he’s an executive, he’s a philanthropist.”
Tough to argue with any of those Hall of Famers, although, like every sports “GOAT” debate, each wrestling fan certainly has their own version of who was the best to ever lace ’em up.
As mentioned, Stephanie also spoke about the legend Andre The Giant and how she viewed him as her best friend, rather than the monster of a man who struck fear upon his opponents in the squared circle.
“So I met Andre. Gosh I don’t even remember this story, my mom tells this story. I was about three years old and I was jumping on the trampoline outside of our house and we lived in Cape Cod, Massachusetts,” says McMahon.
“And Andre drove up in his special van because it had to be outfitted for him for his size and he got out of his van. And it was like his head blocked the sun and the ground shaking as he took every step. And my babysitter at the time freaked out, started locking all the doors, closing all the windows and I’m out on the trampoline. I don’t know what that says about her babysitting skills but my mom tells the story that Andre walked over to the trampoline and I was never scared. I was never afraid and he held out his hand. And apparently as lore goes I stepped into the palm of his hand and he brought me up to his cheek and I gave him a kiss on the cheek. And my mom always called Andre my Gulliver.”
You can listen to her full discussion with A-Rod and Big Cat in the link provided below.