WWE's Stephanie McMahon: We want Serena Williams

At Web Summit in Lisbon this week, the WWE’s Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon made something abundantly clear — the pro-wrestling company wants Serena Williams.

When asked about current WWE superstar and current Raw Women’s champion Ronda Rousey and what other high profile female athlete she would like to bring into the company McMahon answered: Serena Williams.

I actually happened to be on the same flight as her husband yesterday, but Serena Williams — I mean, the door is open, Serena, I love Serena,” she said.

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WWE’s Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon
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WWE’s Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: TV personality and Chief Brand Officer of WWE Stephanie McMahon attends AOL BUILD Presents Stephanie McMahon at AOL Studios In New York on October 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 8: Ronda Rousey and Stephanie McMahon at WWE Wrestlemania 34 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana on April 8, 2018. Credit: George Napolitano/MediaPunch/IPX
Stephanie McMahon, left, and husband Paul "Triple H" Levesque attend the 2018 NBCUniversal Upfront at Rockefeller Plaza on Monday, May 14, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 28: Stephanie McMahon at Evolution, WWE's first ever all-women's event, at the Nassau Veteran's Memorial Coliseum on October 28, 2018 in Uniondale, New York. Credit: George Napolitano/MediaPunch /IPX
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 17: Stephanie McMahon, Charlotte Flair at the 4th Annual Sports Humanitarian Awards at The Novo by Microsoft on July 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Credit: David Edwards/MediaPunch /IPX
World Wrestling Entertainment chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon, left, and her husband, professional wrestler and WWE executive vice president Paul "Triple H" Levesque, share a kiss at the premiere of the HBO documentary film "Andre the Giant" at the ArcLight Hollywood on Thursday, March 29, 2018, in Los Angeles. The film explores the life of WWE legend Andre Rene Roussimoff. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Photo by: Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 3/16/18 Ronda Rousey and Stephanie McMahon at a News conference to officially announce that WWE’s pop culture extravaganza, WrestleMania, will be returning to MetLife Stadium in April of 2019.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MARCH 16: Stephanie McMahon at the press conference announcing WWE Wrestlemania 35 returning to METLIFE Stadium in 2019 at East Rutherford, New Jersey on March 16, 2018. Credit: George Napolitano/MediaPunch/IPX
Photo by: John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 1/22/18 Empire State Building host WWE’s Stephanie Mcmahon, Paul “Triple H” Levesque and Dana Warrior and make-a-wish ceo David Williams, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Monday Night RAW.
Photo by: John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 1/22/18 Empire State Building host WWE’s Stephanie Mcmahon, Paul “Triple H” Levesque and Dana Warrior and make-a-wish ceo David Williams, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Monday Night RAW.
WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon of US speaks during the Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal on November 6, 2018. ( Photo by Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 26: Skeery Jones, Gerg T aka 'The Polish Pounder', Triple H, Elvis Duran, Stephanie McMahon, Medha Gandhi and Danielle Monaro as Triple H and Stephanie McMahon visit The Elvis Duran Show to discuss the all woman Evolution WWE event at the Nassau Coliseum at Z100 Studio on October 26, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: TV personality and Chief Brand Officer of WWE Stephanie McMahon attends AOL BUILD Presents Stephanie McMahon at AOL Studios In New York on October 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 26: Stephanie McMahon visits the Elvis Duran Show to discuss the all woman Evolution WWE event at the Nassau Coliseum at Z100 Studio on October 26, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - JUNE 19: Stephanie McMahon (L) and Bozoma Saint John speak onstage during the WWE session at the Cannes Lions Festival 2018 on June 19, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Richard Bord/Getty Images for Cannes Lions)
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 06: Stephanie McMahon arrives at the WWE's First-Ever Emmy 'For Your Consideration' Event at Saban Media Center on June 6, 2018 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 06: Paul 'Triple H' Levesque and Stephanie McMahon attend WWE's First-Ever Emmy 'For Your Consideration' Event at Saban Media Center on June 6, 2018 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
NBCUNIVERSAL UPFRONT EVENTS -- 2018 NBCUniversal Upfront in New York City on Monday, May 14, 2018 -- Pictured: (l-r) Charlotte Flair, Stephanie McMahon, Nia Jax, 'WWE' on USA Network -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBCUniversal)
Chief brand officer of WWE Stephanie McMahon attends the NBC Universal TCA Winter Press Tour on January 9, 2018, in Pasadena, California. / AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 09: WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon of 'WWE Monday Night Raw: 25th Anniversary' on USA speaks onstage during the NBCUniversal portion of the 2018 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 9, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 09: Paul 'Triple H' Levesque (R) and Stephanie McMahon attend the 2018 NBCUniversal Winter Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 9, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 12: (L-R) WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon, WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative Paul 'Triple H' Levesque and actress/YouTube personality Inanna Sarkis appear on the red carpet of the WWE Mae Young Classic on September 12, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for WWE)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 13: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (R) speaks during a roundtable on the Cancer Moonshot Initiative as comedian Jon Stewart (L) and WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon (2nd R) look on December 13, 2016 at Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC. Biden held a roundtable to discuss military and first responder care. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
THE CHEW - Stephanie McMahon is the guest Tuesday, November 1, 2016 on ABC's 'The Chew.' 'The Chew' airs MONDAY - FRIDAY (1-2pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images) CARLA HALL, MICHAEL SYMON, STEPHANIE MCMAHON, MARIO BATALI, DAPHNE OZ, CLINTON KELLY
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 09: WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon speaks during the Beyond Sport United event at Barclays Center on August 9, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 09: (L-R) Nick Keller and Stephanie McMahon attend Beyond Sport United 2016 at Barclays Center on August 9, 2016 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - JUNE 23: TV personality and Chief Brand Officer of WWE Stephanie McMahon attends the Cannes Lions 2016 on June 23, 2016 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
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Williams, along with being one of the greatest pro tennis players of all-time, is the chair of Yahoo Finance’s parent company Oath’s Board of Advisors. Her power and dominance have been one of her trademarks on the tennis court, and apparently McMahon believes that could translate to the wrestling ring. A possible Ronda Rousey vs. Serena Williams would likely be the most covered and talked-about women’s wrestling match of all time, but only time will tell if that will ever happen.

‘We hear you. Keep watching’

As far as the current WWE product goes, McMahon did not mince words: The WWE’s Women’s revolution is here to stay. The movement started on the February 23, 2015 edition of WWE’s flagship program “Monday Night Raw.”

On that night, a “Divas” tag team (that’s how WWE referred to its female talent back then) match lasted an astonishing 30 seconds. That sparked outrage among the WWE fanbase, and the Twitter hashtag #GiveDIvasAChance trended worldwide. WWE took a long, hard look at just how little time and respect it gave to its female talent.

WWE’s chairman and CEO Vince McMahon (also the father of Stephanie McMahon) would respond in a tweet that read: “We hear you. Keep watching. #GiveDivasAChance.”

After that, the WWE embarked on a fundamental change in its talent development strategy that involved training women in the same way as men were trained. That led to better matches and a better Divas division; however, the name divas seemed derogatory and outdated to some people.

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Serena Williams returns to the court
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 30: Serena Williams of United States plays a backhand during her Ladies Final match against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia on day three of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at International Tennis Centre Zayed Sports City on December 30, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 30: Serena Williams of United States plays a forehand during her Ladies Final match against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia on day three of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at International Tennis Centre Zayed Sports City on December 30, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 30: Serena Williams of United States looks on during her Ladies Final match against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia on day three of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at International Tennis Centre Zayed Sports City on December 30, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 30: Serena Williams of United States serves against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia during Ladies Final match on day three of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at International Tennis Centre Zayed Sports City on December 30, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 30: Serena Williams of United States plays a forehand against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia during Ladies Final match on day three of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at International Tennis Centre Zayed Sports City on December 30, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 30: Serena Williams of United States smiles during her Ladies Final match against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia on day three of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at International Tennis Centre Zayed Sports City on December 30, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 30: Serena Williams of United States looks dejected during her Ladies Final match against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia on day three of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at International Tennis Centre Zayed Sports City on December 30, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 30: Serena Williams of United States plays a backhand during her Ladies Final match against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia on day three of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at International Tennis Centre Zayed Sports City on December 30, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 30: Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia plays a forehand against Serena Williams of United States during Ladies Final match on day three of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at International Tennis Centre Zayed Sports City on December 30, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 30: Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia plays a forehand against Serena Williams of United States during Ladies Final match on day three of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at International Tennis Centre Zayed Sports City on December 30, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 30: Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia smiles during her Ladies Final match against Serena Williams of United States on day three of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at International Tennis Centre Zayed Sports City on December 30, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 30: Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia plays a forehand against Serena Williams of United States during Ladies Final match on day three of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at International Tennis Centre Zayed Sports City on December 30, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
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At Wrestlemania 32 in Dallas, Texas, WWE Hall of Famer Lita made a historic announcement: The WWE Divas division would be renamed the Woman’s division, and female WWE talent would be referred to as “Superstars” — the same title that is given to their male counterparts. Since then the WWE’s women’s movement has become a high focus of the WWE’s marketing strategy. Women superstars are now out on prominent spots on WWE events, and in October the WWE hosted its first female pay-per-view event WWE Evolution.

The women’s revolution has not only been stateside. At Web Summit Lisbon, 2018 McMahon highlighted the fact that, in Abu Dabi, women wrestlers were allowed to perform for the first time. They had to wear different outfits than U.S. wrestlers — only their heads and hands could be showing — but halfway through the match, the entire crowd, male and female, started to chant “This is hope.”

“That’s what this movement is all about,” McMahon said.

Serena Williams may never join the WWE, but the WWE’s women’s revolution looks like it rightfully here to stay.

Reggie Wade is a pro-wrestling aficionado and an associate producer at Yahoo Finance.

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