Stephanie McMahon had her mean face firmly in place for her appearance on Raw 1,000, but how much of it was good acting? Photo via upload.wikimedia.org.
One thing from the 1,000th episode of Monday Night Raw that hasn't been dissected in great detail here yet is the sheer relish with which Stephanie McMahon venomously buried Paul Heyman on the show. She seemed to take great pleasure at brandishing the former ECW boss a failed businessman and a professional parasite who was never a patch on her father as a wrestling visionary. So were these opinions something that she's been wanting to get off her chest for the last decade or is all their heat water under the bridge and this was just an attempt to create edgy, close to the bone, reality style TV?
Dave Meltzer felt it was the former in his first Wrestling Observer Newsletter of the week:
Whoa, isn't this angle about Lesnar vs. HHH, not about I'm sick of who says Heyman has a great creative mind, and think he's smarter than me or my father? Reverting back to reality, since this was Stephanie publicly trying to get her frustrations out because of all the past issues she's had over the years with Heyman. When Heyman was on the WWE creative team, even though Heyman was always charming and put her over, she never trusted him and things would build up and have blow-outs. If you talked with members of the creative team in that era, you had the one group that swore by Heyman and thought he was a genius, and invariably, they hated Stephanie. You had the people who liked Stephanie, and thought Heyman knew nothing. And then you had the people who were amused being in the middle.
To add to that evidence, Heyman was perhaps the only member of the WWE creative team at the time to regularly argue with his bosses Vince and Stephanie McMahon over their planned ideas and direction. The others would snipe about them behind their backs, but Heyman had the confidence in his abilities to air his disagreements in creative meetings. Stephanie didn't take too kindly to her authority being publicly challenged at a time when she was fighting to be taken seriously as head WWE writer, after her father gave her the job in late 2000 with no experience or training whatsoever just because she wanted it.
That's not too say Heyman was a blameless martyr, unfairly picked upon for speaking the truth to power. His second removal from the Smackdown writing team in late 2004 was due to listening in on an official conference call for the rival Raw booking team without permission and WWE finding out about it by checking their phone logs after they realised an authorised caller had been on the line. Such unprofessional behaviour would have only served to add to Stephanie's mistrust and dislike of Heyman.
However, Court Bauer, who worked on the WWE creative team from 2005-2007, painted the opposite picture on his appearance on Figure Four Daily on Tuesday. As hard as it may be to believe, Bauer claims Stephanie took Heyman's firing as head ECW writer in December 2006 hard, because he had been contributing as more of a team player and behaving himself much better in his last run on the WWE creative team, despite butting heads with her father Vince frequently on the direction of the new WWE ECW TV show. So Bauer believes the words Stephanie said on Monday were fiction, designed to be intentionally provocative while being as close to the truth as possible.
What are your thoughts, Cagesiders? Which side do you believe?