Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: Stephanie’s Wedding Ã¢â‚¬â€œ WWF, 1999
In late 1999, the ever-present GTV had revealed Stephanie McMahon and Test coming out of a hotel looking passionate. This led to other things, as they set a date for a wedding (on Raw) of October 11 (with a corresponding website for the wedding).
Problems arose starting on October 2nd. The WWF was in England presenting the UK-only Rebellion PPV. The British Bulldog defeated X-Pac and then headed back to Vince McMahon’s office to demand a title shot in his home country. When McMahon refused, Bulldog threw a garbage can that hit Stephanie in the head. As Bulldog cleared out, McMahon started calling for medical help.
Two days later, Stephanie wasn’t at Raw. Test was with her in Stamford, and that’s where Michael Hayes caught up with him for an update on her. Test told Hayes that Stephanie had suffered a concussion and had major head trauma, and now she didn’t even recognize him.
On Smackdown, Hayes sat down with Shane McMahon for another update. Shane told Hayes that Stephanie was improving day by day, but still was suffering amnesia and the wedding would be postponed. When asked about the British Bulldog, Shane simply looked disgusted but said nothing.
On Raw, Hayes was joined by Shane and Stephanie herself. She informed us that she still had problems with short-term memory, and the wedding was postponed because she still couldn’t remember Test.
Smackdown opened with Vince and Stephanie going over what she’d done that day as Mankind walked in to request a match where the Rock N Sock Connection teamed together one more time.
Later, Hayes was sitting with Test. Test was still upset over Stephanie not remembering him. Test concluded the interview by talking about the Bulldog, and mentioning that he would never forgive him for hurting her.
GTV showed us Stephanie talking to the Bulldog later in the show. She told him she didn’t blame him, but she still wanted him to publicly apologize before Test or Vince did something and somebody got hurt. Bulldog replied by telling her this was a waste of his time.
On the November 1st Raw Stephanie returned by Test’s side after a quick feud between Test and the Bulldog. After the match, Stephanie went into the ring and expressed her appreciation to Test for his understanding while she’d recovered from her injury. She closed the segment by asking Test to marry her.
Test and Stephanie arrived at Raw the next week and were met by Luna who gave them a present Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a stuffed squirrel. After all, she’d heard they liked stuffed animals.
Test would go on to fight Billy Gunn later that night because Gunn had broken his nose on Smackdown.
The McMahons (and Test) arrived at Smackdown and were informed by Sgt. Slaughter that Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco had been attacked by D-Generation X. McMahon demanded HHH come to his office. When HHH refused, McMahon went off in search of him.
The men hit the DX dressing room and Vince ordered HHH to knock it off. Hunter warned Vince not to make it personal, and McMahon informed him that it already was.
Stephanie was opening wedding gifts backstage while Test played a video game. She opened one that contained a note saying that the gift was in a car out back. Test headed out to get it only to get jumped by DX and stuffed into the car’s trunk. Gunn hopped in and drove away.
Later, the McMahons retrieved Test, who had broken his nose in the fight.
Triple H dropped by Vince’s office a little later with a gift for the happy couple Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a catcher’s mask. Vince threw it at him and slammed the door.
McMahon responded to having guards placed outside his door. Not long after, the room filled with smoke and the four of them staggered out.
McMahon headed to the ring to confront HHH, who informed McMahon if he touched him, he’d sue. Instead, Hunter had an idea Ã¢â‚¬â€œ if Vince would agree not to punish him afterward, the two of them would have a match at Armageddon. Just to seal the deal, the Titantron lit up with video of Shane, Stephanie, and Test lying at the bottom of a flight of stairs.
Vince was waiting in his car with a baseball bat on Raw. When the DX limo pulled into the lot, Vince rammed them and then attacked the car with his bat.
Vince’s next stop was the DX locker room, where he was pounding on the door with his bat. The police arrived and arrested him, then HHH came out and attacked Vince while the rest of DX distracted the police.
We also saw footage of Stephanie’s bridal shower for the wedding, which happened to be the next week. Mae Young and Moolah presented her with lingerie, handcuffs, and a whip before Mae whispered a few suggestions for the wedding night to her.
The next shot from the shower showed Linda announcing she’d chartered a flight to Vegas for a bachelorette party. A drunken Mae stood up and Moolah’d had enough. The two got into a squabble and they wound up in the cake.
Meanwhile, Vince used his one phone call to instruct Shane to book Triple H in a handicap match against the Acolytes (Bradshaw and Faarooq).
Of course, Vince was bailed out of jail by the end of the show. Hunter was clearing out when Vince appeared at the top of the ramp and pitched Hunter off the stage.
On Smackdown, Vince was served with a restraining order from HHH. HHH responded by having DX round up a bunch of homeless people so they could eat Thanksgiving dinner in front of them.
The show closed with HHH and X-Pac defeating Test and Shane before the show degenerated into the traditional food fight.
Raw was set for the wedding until DX came out and Hunter promised there would be no wedding. Vince responded by saying that if anyone showed up who wasn’t a McMahon or wasn’t invited they would be fired on the spot. He also booked Hunter vs. Test.
Test won the match but he had help from a masked referee and a chair-wielding Shane McMahon in a tuxedo. After the match, HHH just laughed before ordering the police to arrest Vince for violating the restraining order. Vince, of course, denied it.
The wedding was going nicely until the priest asked if anyone had a reason they shouldn’t be married. Cue DX. Hunter showed a video which showed him in Vegas. He drove to a wedding chapel with Stephanie passed out in the passenger’s seat. He pantomimed her vows and they were announced as husband and wife. We then saw the cameraman Ã¢â‚¬â€œ who had also been the bartender at Stephanie’s bachelorette party.
On Smackdown, Stephanie asked Shane and Vince to let her handle the situation her way. They agreed, and she headed to the back to wait for Test.
Meanwhile, DX hit the ring to celebrate the wedding with Hunter, who kept flashing the camera his ring.
When Test arrived, he seemed distant. Stephanie cried and apologized, but Test just told her he didn’t know what to think and kept walking. She kept crying as Vince told her that everything would be fine.
Stephanie made her appearance on Raw with some papers in her hand and reminded Vince that he’d told her she could handle it her way. Vince agreed to abide by her terms, but he reminded her that if Hunter tried anything he was on his way.
Stephanie headed to the DX locker room with annulment papers in her hand. Hunter only seemed interested in getting her into the showers. She dropped the papers and left.
Hunter later headed down the hall with the papers in one hand and roses in the other. He hit the ring and played to the crowd, calling it their fault that Steph wanted the annulment. He agreed to sign if Stephanie would come out. She did so, only for Hunter to say that now he didn’t want to sign them. He then made Stephanie an offer Ã¢â‚¬â€œ if he lost to Vince at Armageddon, he’d sign the papers. If Vince lost, then Hunter would get a title shot. That brought Vince out to agree and to also announce that the match was no holds barred.
Test later asked for a few minutes alone with Stephanie. She cried as he called the engagement off. X-Pac poked his head in and was thrown out.
Vince and Shane, meanwhile, headed out to the ring for the contract signing. As Shane ran back and forth between his father and HHH, Vince was forced to sign the contract first. Hunter did as well, and then attacked Shane. He was soon joined by all of DX. Patterson and Brisco tried to make the save but were overcome. HHH concluded by pitching Shane off the stage.
The main event was set as Kane vs. Triple H. A second referee came out wearing black gloves and a Vince mask after HHH knocked Earl Hebner down. Hunter dropped that referee and another Vince-masked ref came out. As the match went on, a third man in a Vince mask came out wielding a pipe. The new Vince attacked Hunter, then put down X-Pac, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn.
That brought us to Armageddon. Vince and Hunter battered each other for most of the match. In the end, Vince grabbed a sledgehammer only for Stephanie to climb into the ring. She grabbed the hammer and motioned that she wanted to hit Hunter. She tried and couldn’t. However, it gave Hunter the opening he needed to grab the hammer, clock Vince with it, and score the pin. After the match, he and Stephanie embraced and celebrated.
Want to know where the soap opera writing in the WWE came from? Here’s one of its earliest roots. In just under two months we had a blow to the head, amnesia, the disintegration of a relationship, the renewing of that relationship, the evil foe ruining the wedding, and the innocent bride revealing she wasn’t so innocent after all.
At the time, this was interesting programming for one reason Ã¢â‚¬â€œ it hadn’t been done like this before. We’d seen weddings ruined (like when Jake Roberts set his sights on Randy Savage and Elizabeth), but never quite like this. Before, the good guys had always come out on top. This time Test looked like a sucker, Vince gained some sympathy, and Stephanie made her way to the heel side, where she’s stayed pretty much ever since.
The problem since this angle ran is the repetition we’ve seen. Stephanie’s tried to remarry Hunter, Dawn Marie married Al Wilson only for Al to die of a heart attack during the honeymoon, and now Teddy Long had a heart attack during his own wedding. That’s not even mentioning the shenanigans that took place during the Billy and Chuck ceremony.
Overall, the wedding angle was interesting the first time. Let’s quit rerunning it.
Where are they now?
In a case of life imitating television, Stephanie and Hunter were married in real life in October of 2003. Their daughter Aurora was born in July of 2006.
Both still remain with the WWE. Stephanie is currently the WWE Executive Vice President over talent and creative writing. Hunter remains on Raw where he is in contention for the world heavyweight title.
Tags: Raw, Smackdown, WWE