It’s been years since WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon — who moonlights as a villainous wrestler — has squared off against an opponent.
But this weekend, the 41-year-old mother of three young daughters will step into the ring at WrestleMania in New Orleans with her husband, wrestling icon Triple H, and wage war against former MMA champion Ronda Rousey and WWE legend Kurt Angle — as over a hundred thousand howling fans cheer them on.
“My last match was four years ago, and prior to that was 11 years ago,” McMahon, the daughter of WWE CEO Vince McMahon, tells PEOPLE ahead of her upcoming feature on PEOPLETV. “We’re talking basically 15 years since I was a regular doing anything in the ring, so I’ve had to recondition my body … big time. I’m training a minimum of two times a day, doing intense cardio, boxing, strength and conditioning.”
Watch the full episode of People Features: Stephanie McMahon – Powerhouse WWE Executive, Wrestler and Mom – streaming Wednesday, April 11th on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.
To the billions of WWE fans worldwide, WrestleMania is a yearly spectacle that’s vaguely akin to the Super Bowl mashed up with the NASCAR Cup Series Championship — only with more pyrotechnics, elbow drops and curb stomps.
And for McMahon, who grew up with Mr. T and Hulk Hogan dropping in for dinner at her family’s home — and once, as a little girl, fell asleep in Andre the Giant’s lap — this weekend’s event is just another day at the office.
“I always wanted to be a part of WWE ever since I can remember,” says McMahon, who worked her way up through the organization from T-shirt catalog model and receptionist to globetrotting executive and tireless philanthropist.
Amidst her chaotic schedule, she and her 48-year-old husband, Paul Levesque, still find time to throw down with their three daughters, who range in age from seven to 11.
“We’ve had impromptu matches break out,” McMahon laughs. “They like to wrestle us sometimes because it’s fun. We throw them around and they like to dress up in the outfits and create their own characters, their own personas because that’s what WWE is. It’s storytelling. It’s larger than life characters. It’s excitement. It’s action. Who couldn’t love all of those things?”