MLW owner Court Bauer was recently a guest on The Insiders podcast, where he revealed that Stephanie McMahon actually hadn't seen any ECW footage despite being the kayfabe owner of the promotion during the Invasion angle.
"Stephanie definitely had blinders on and, like when we launched ECW, she had never seen any episode of ECW or any of the products by 2005. So that was kind of shocking because she was younger, you know, the whole invasion angle, they had owned the footage and stuff. Shane was very familiar with everything out there at the time. I mean, when they were looking at buying Pride Fighting in 2007, he was really a proponent of that. No one else except for me and maybe two or three other guys even knew what Pride fighting was. So just you know, they're doing a lot of things and some people have more of a desire to go and seek it out other people are just like, we're building this product. This is the product we're focused on."
On Stephanie McMahon's business mind, and if it's similar to Vince McMahon's.
"Well, there were a lot of things she would mimic and she really studied her father. Whatever Vince did was gospel to her. She never questioned Vince. She really was competent. 'This is what he wants, this is what we give them.' As close to her disagreeing as it would get, like, 'I get what you're saying guys, but this is what he wants, so we got to work through it.' The mannerisms, some of the things she would do and pre-tapes. She really was inspired by Vince and how she would even try to project power and her presence in a room."
"You know, where Shane I think didn't have that guard or that facade up. He just kind of would go in there, 'Hey, guys, what's up?' and talk like one of the bros. Stephanie had a much more formal projection of power. It was much more demonstrative than what you would see with Shane. I think in terms of similarities to Vince, there are a lot of similarities to Vince. She wanted the business to be more corporate. I think Vince's philosophy has always been like the reason, one of the core reasons why WWE has been so successful is they run it like a business, not like a wrestling promotion."
On Shane wanting to buy Pride:
"I think he thought that was where the business was going. It shared some of the DNA that wrestling has. I think he was also looking for his castle in the kingdom. Here's something I can run. This is something I can now develop and we have such a similar business in terms of the production, and the licensing, and the touring, like the infrastructure and spreading it into this category of MMA. Seems pretty easy to do. But Vince's apprehension was always that he couldn't control the outcome. He's invested in his fighters. He just felt like, come on, we got a model that really works. Why take the risk and something that is too unpredictable. I think there was a little hesitation because still in the late 90s you had a lot of problems with athletic commissions and stuff and they got pulled off pay-per-view because of things that Campbell McLaren had said."
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