Stephanie McMahon Made a Suprise Appearance at WrestleMania 40 — Why Was She Ever Gone?

"As much as anybody on the planet, she belongs here. And hopefully she knows that now. So, happy to have her back."

Brandon Charles - Author

Apr. 8 2024, Published 5:22 p.m. ET

Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania 40 in 2024
Source: Getty Images/WWE

Of all the surprises at WrestleMania 40, none may have been more shocking than Stephanie McMahon’s introduction on night 2. Since stepping away from the company her family built in January 2023, the former chairwoman and co-CEO of WWE has rarely even been alluded to.

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The amount of movement in World Wrestling Entertainment over the last few years has been seismic. From merging with Endeavor to combining with the UFC to form TKO; Vince McMahon resigning in scandal to coming back to once again resigning in scandal; and former AEW stars Cody Rhodes and CM Punk returning home to be a part of the biggest WrestleMania to date, it seems like the company has never been bigger or more scandal ridden.

Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Paul Levesque in 2022
Source: Getty Images

Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, and Paul Levesque in 2022

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Why did Stephanie McMahon resign?

The scandals around WWE, a promotion that seems to always be involved with something that requires a PR crisis expert, has benefitted from the steady hand of Paul Levesque, aka Triple H, the real-life husband of Stephanie. The chief content officer of WWE has been calling all the shots since Stephanie’s dad Vince finally stepped away for what appears to be the last time due to the extremely damning sexual abuse allegations in a lawsuit filed against Vince and WWE by former employee Janel Grant.

When Vince initially left his role as WWE’s CEO in June 2022, Stephanie returned to the company. Vince left while the WWE board looked into hush-money payments. Once the board investigation concluded, Vince used power as the largest WWE shareholder to return to the company in January 2023. That’s when Stephanie left again. While she has not publicly spoken about it, it's safe to assume her leaving WWE was directly related to her father returning to the fold.

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Linda McMahon and Stephanie McMahon in 2009
Source: Getty Images

Linda McMahon and Stephanie McMahon in 2009

Stephanie's appearance at WrestleMania 40 was a shock to the entire wrestling community.

Kicking things off on the Sunday of WrestleMania XL, Stephanie said, “I sat out at the entranceway at WrestleMania 1 and I have had the honor and the privilege of being at or a part of every single WrestleMania since. And every WrestleMania is special for its own reason, but I think WrestleMania 40 might be the one I am the most proud of because this is the first WrestleMania of the Paul Levesque era.”

As for whether this signals an official return for Stephanie, it currently remains unclear.

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Are Triple H and Stephanie McMahon still married?

The King of Kings and the Billion Dollar Princess are in their third decade of marriage.

Paul and Stephanie have been married, IRL married, since 2003. The couple have three daughters: Aurora Rose (born 2006), Murphy Claire (born 2008), and Vaughn Evelyn (born 2010).

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Speaking during the Sunday night WrestleMania post-show press conference, Paul said, "Goddamn, my wife looked good, right? She hadn't lost a step." It got a laugh from the crowd and a smile from Paul.

On a more serious note, he continued, "So great to have her back home. I get her home all the time, but to have her back here, to see the doubt leave her by being here for the last few days, to see her confidence come back, and to know that this is her home. All of you, all of us, all this business — it's her home. And as much as anybody on the planet, she belongs here. And hopefully she knows that now. So, happy to have her back."

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