Welcome to another edition of
OFF-TRACK with A-TRAIN
in this episode
STEPHANIE McMAHON IS SOMEHOW
THE SWEETEST, MOST CHILL PERSON
IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, YOU GUYS.
I KNOW! I WAS SURPRISED TOO!
Stephanie McMahon is the special guest on the most recent episode of Xavier Woods' YouTube gaming channel, UpUpDownDown, and as is the case with many guests on the program, as she was playing videogames with Woods, he was chatting with her.
AND BROTHER, DID WE EVER GET SOME JUICY TIDBITS OUT OF THIS THING.
The video is almost 27 minutes long, and it's chockablock full of stuff.
I'm going to structure this piece as an annotated summary.
00:00--00:27 Steph admits to being "a terrible video game player," then immediately remembers there's a word that means "video game player" that all the cool kids use, and she corrects herself. "I'm a bad Gamer." She's such a Mom. And it's pretty cute, honestly.
00:27 Xavier announces that they're going to be playing Streets of Rage 2, which is a totally awesome side-scroller beat-'em-up from the Sega Genesis days.
00:28--02:03 Everyone who is a guest on the show has to pick a nickname for themselves, and this is where this thing becomes a study in McMahon psychology.
Stephanie says that she's been thinking about what her nickname should be because Xavier told her ahead of time that she needed to pick one for herself, but then she says that she wants Xavier to pick one for her.
She wants him. To pick a nickname for her. HIS BOSS.
She springs this on him as he's being recorded.
And she's watching him the whole time, watching to see if he is coming up with any ideas that he dare not say out loud.
This is such a magnificent power play that I can't even be mad at her for it.
Xavier stalls and stalls and stalls, comes up with lame ideas like "Boss Lady" and "Steffy Steff" and asks her to tell a story from her childhood, from which they will pick a nickname.
She says, "No, you're just throwing it back on me," and insists that he come up with something on his own.
He volunteers "Queen B," which she also shoots down, before deciding that she'll just be called "The Queen."
You can tell Steph is unimpressed with Xavier's ability to think on his feet, and you can tell he's glad that's over.
02:10 After all of that tortured awkwardness, Steph just decides she wants to be nicknamed "Blaze," which is the name of the character she's playing in the game. Such a power play. My god.
02:38 Steph reveals that her brother Shane used to keep a hammer next to his Nintendo that he would use to take out his anger on the Nintendo.
Xavier is non-plussed.
"He'd hit it once?"
"No, several times. He destroyed it. Smithereens."
"Would he get another one and destroy that?"
"I only ever saw the one."
This is FANTASTIC.
According to Stephanie McMahon, Shane beat on his Nintendo with a hammer, smashing it into "smithereens," and never got another one.
(By the way, AJ Styles, this is the guy you pissed off last night.)
03:07 Xavier asks Steph if she had any anger issues playing videogames.
"Oh yeah. Because you know the games lie... Like when you're clearly pressing 'X' to jump and you're not jumping, the game is lying."
This is tremendous. If you're not immediately good at a video game, it's not your fault. The game is lying.
Stephanie McMahon is all of us.
03:48 Stephanie admits that, unlike her character Blaze, she didn't get in many streetfights growing up "on the mean streets of Greenwich."
03:58 Stephanie tells a story of the time when she was in middle school, "I dared a girl to punch me in the face."
She says it really hurt, and she realized it was really stupid to get punched in the face on purpose.
"I guess it runs in the family."
05:30--06:10 Stephanie says she always wrestled with her brother and he would put her in submission holds.
McMahon vs McMahon intergender match, Summerslam. Book it.
06:55 Xavier brings up how the winner of a recent gaming tournament gave part of his winnings to Connor's Cure, and you can immediately see Stephanie McMahon get choked up.
See, everyone, she does have a heart. And it's not cold as ice or black as coal or anything like that.
This is the most "humanized" I've seen her, since she genuinely didn't expect the subject to be brought up and was totally caught off guard.
It's touching, really.
The next two and a half minutes are just them talking about Connor and their Make A Wish outreach program. Seeing kids forget that they're sick for a few minutes and what that means to them.
09:38 Back to the fun stuff.
The controllers start malfunctioning and Steph says that it's because of her.
You see, she has a "weird magnet issue."
Hotel keycards don't work for her. Radios go to static when she walks by. Thumbprint reader technology "won't work on her."
Xavier thinks it could be that a ghost is inhabiting her body.
Steph insists that she has "a magnetic field thing" and that she's had it all her life.
She says the IT department at WWE knows all about this. Technology just doesn't work for her.
The controllers have completely stopped working, so it's possible she's onto something here.
11:00--13:20 Now that the controllers are broken they go into a very cool conversation about how almost all WWE performers were once WWE fans. Woods says "I used to be that kid in the front row."
Steph talks about her childhood in the business, going out late with her dad and the boys for dinner after the show, but still having to get up and go to school in the morning.
13:25 Steph asks if there has ever been another time when the controllers broke.
"Once," Woods says. "Samoa Joe."
"Maybe he's got the same (magnetic thing)," offers Stephanie.
"Yeah, but with him the whole system crashed."
"His might be more powerful than mine. Mine is more subtle."
And here Xavier Woods likens Stephanie McMahon to the girls on "Charmed."
Steph says she never really watched it.
Xavier says he was obsessed with it.
That, and Golden Girls.
But here's the great thing. Stephanie was a huge fan of Golden Girls, too!
She says she used to watch it every Saturday night with her parents while eating Häagen Dazs ice cream and sitting in "the big red overstuffed chair."
A WINDOW INTO HER VERY SOUL, I tell you.
Xavier then asks Stephanie if she's watching anything currently.
14:30 Stephanie says she binge-watches Netflix. Don't we all?
The conversation then takes a deep dive into House of Cards spoilers for a while.
They both love the show.
16:28 Xavier asks her for her favorite movies.
She has two favorites.
1) Princess Bride
2) True Romance
STEPHANIE McMAHON HAS THE GREATEST TASTE IN MOVIES, Y'ALL.
Xavier Woods has never seen this movie.
He has never even HEARD of this movie.
Let's all judge him together.
He says he will make a point to watch it, and Steph agrees to come back on the show and discuss it.
17:26 Talk turns to the Super Bowl, and it's really just Steph making fun of Xavier for liking a team with less Superbowl wins than the Patriots.
There's a lot of Super Bowl talk.
19:57 Xavier calls the WWE "the greatest traveling show on earth," and Steph adds that, with the folding of Barnum & Bailey Circus, they are now also the largest traveling show on earth.
Good to know.
20:14 Xavier starts to wrap up the show by telling Steph "I don't want to take up any more of your time," then proceeds to take up SIX AND A HALF MORE MINUTES OF HER TIME.
I won't take up any more of yours, though.
The last six and a half minutes is basically just Xavier Woods and Stephanie McMahon becoming the very best of friends.
There's also a very cute story about how she explained to her daughters that she just pretends to be a villain on TV by comparing her character to Ursula from The Little Mermaid.
I highly recommend it.