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Stephanie McMahon says WWE stories are prepared a year in advance

Vince McMahon has a habit of changing the script for WWE stories whenever he feels like it, which often leads to frustration for both fans and superstars alike. However, WWE does plan its stories in advance according to Stephanie McMahon.

While speaking to the Sports Business Journal, Stephanie McMahon said the company plans all of their stories a year in advance. However, there is always the possibility of things changing, which she said is ”inevitable”.

“[WWE] tries to have a basic plan with their script a year out, but inevitably, things happen and stories change. Another beautiful thing about WWE is because we are live 52 weeks a year, we have no off season, we have no reruns, and we essentially have a live focus group every single night at these live events telling us what’s working, what’s not working, and what they don’t care about so we can shift our plans as needed.”

It isn’t too hard to believe WWE plans their stories a year in advance considering NJPW’s booker Gedo plans their stories two years ahead of time.

Even the main events for Wrestlemania 33 and 34 were planned one year in advance of the respective shows. Even though Becky  Becky Lynch was added to Main 35’s main event, the plan was always to have Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair.

However, the demand of the fans will always be a factor in the storylines in the end.


  • Matthew Carter

    Brock will come back sometime between SummerSlam & October, so that way he can be drafted to SmackDown in time for their move to Fox. Reason being is Fox told Vince they Brock on SmackDown (as well as Bobby Lashley, Sonya Deville, Ronda Rousey, Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir) and Vince will give them what they want, including a Brock vs Lashey match, a Lashley vs Batista match, and a Brock vs Batista match. And give how Fox Networks have the contract with UFC and want SmackDown to be more in-ring action oriented, it all makes sense.

  • Keith Learmonth

    I was more talking about how Meltzer and the dirt sheets are always talking about the plans for the next WM… like, I’ve already seen them talking about how WWE is planning to do the Lynch vs Rousey 1 v 1 rematch there, for example. That’s not something WWE has outright stated, but it’s likely the long term plan.

    My point is, you guys are all reading far too much into what Steph said. You’re acting like she’s saying they have -everything- planned for the year, when in reality, what she means is more likely “We decide on key plot points and pushes we’d like to achieve, and work from there”.

  • Rinn13

    The thing is, I don’t fully believe that, either. But regardless, the habit they started a few years back, of announcing the NIGHT after WM what the next year’s WM Main Event was going to be? Incredibly lame. Part of the fun of WM (back when it was still OK), used to be NOT knowing what the next year’s event was going to be. Wondering who would be in that final big spotlight. I remember at WM24, for example, I think most people were CERTAIN that the Cena match was going to be the last, for the third year in a row. Instead, we got the lovely surprise of Taker and Edge getting the final bow. And while I found the second match in a row extraneous (and the show itself was meh), WM26 surprised everyone by having Taker vs. HBK last.

    Prior to WM35, Roman Reigns had been in the Main Event of WM four years in a row (and some people actually had the audacity to claim he WASN’T being forced down fans’ throats). That’s more than Hogan, HHH, or Cena even had (in a row). Which is both absurd and gross. And GRANTED, yes, this Women’s match was certainly different. But even then, ignoring how poor a match it actually, it was another case of seeing this coming practically a year in advance. There were rumors flying as soon as Rousey came to WWE, that they were planning the “First Ever Women’s Main Event”, and it was being centered around her (someone who didn’t deserve such an honor). And what do you know? That’s precisely what happened.

    I think planning ahead is great, and the better way to go (which we have plenty of proof WWE actually does not often do). But at the same time, DON’T TELL THE FANS what those plans are, especially so far in advance. It really kinda kills the mystery and “magic” of everything, you know?

  • Keith Learmonth

    But we also regularly hear at WrestleMania “WWE has planned for next year’s wrestlemania!”

    The point she’s making is that WWE generally tries to have an overall plan for the year, not that every episode is written a year in advance.

  • Rinn13

    Sure they do. Even though we hear all the time how plans change on as short a notice as sometimes RIGHT before matches are due to go live. WCW style.

  • Omar

    A bigger lie hasnt been told in “sports entertainment”

  • Nicholas Giambattista

    No they were going to have a Triple Threat with Roman Reigns, Dean Amborse and Seth Rollins for the Unverlasial Championship. I believe the plan has always been Seth Rollins working out of WM 35 Unverlasial Champion.

  • Mike Tsamasiros

    You’re absolutely right. When Brock signed his recent contract with WWE, there was a clause that allowed for him to compete on the UFC. Obviously that hasn’t happened yet, but if Vince tries to sign him again, Brock will demand that clause to remain in the contract. And Brock is said to be open to negotiating with AEW, which I think is just a negotiation tactic to get WWE to offer even more money. Brock will most likely be back in WWE at some point, probably during the build to summerslam at the earliest. I don’t have an issue with him being in the company, as long as A) they don’t give him the title again and B) they have some fresh faces for him to feud with. I’d like to see him vs Drew McIntyre. And another feud with Samoa Joe because their last one was too short and their one singles match together was a joke.

  • Mike Tsamasiros

    You need to check your sources dude. The only reason Seth Rollins was in the universal title picture was because of Roman’s unfortunate illness. The original plan was for Ambrose to turn heel on Roman, leading to Roman vs Ambrose for the title at Mania, with Roman going over. Roman vs Rollins was never in the discussion. Now, if Roman didn’t get sick and had the title the whole time, maybe the plans would’ve changed once Dean decided he was leaving the company, but Roman got sick before that, so we’ll never know what the change would’ve been. By the time Roman got sick, the plan was Roman defending the title at Mania against a heel Dean Ambrose.

  • How offensive.

  • Nicholas Giambattista

    You maybe right because I don’t think his UFC fight is going to go well.

  • Sam Williams

    Trust me we haven’t seen the last of brock lesnar in WWE !! To be continued…….. !!

  • Nicholas Giambattista

    Lesnar contract was up at midnight after WM 35.

  • Sam Williams

    Seth gave brock the low blow because it was scripted to happen like that. Lesnar is advertised for the Saudi Arabia show that’s now been moved to June. Lesnar makes an absolutely boat load of cash so i wouldn’t think lesnar is staying gone for to long !!

  • Nicholas Giambattista

    The low blow Seth Rollins use Brock Lesnar couldn’t just let Seth Rollins beat him cleanly. Look Brock Lesnar I agree with Seth Rollins I hope he stays gone.

  • Sam Williams

    What do you mean that lesnar couldn’t put Seth Rollins over cleanly ? Perhaps you can elaborate on this.

  • Nicholas Giambattista

    Becky Lynch and Kofi was a big well suprise. But Seth Rollins becoming Unverlasial Champion was always the plan only it was suppose ti

  • Moe

    WWE needs an offseason. Honestly, middle of June to middle of July and have Money in the bank at the end of July to start the build for SummerSlam! I

  • CC

    Is any of this a surprise? We have seen many times where a storyline for WM is set up as soon as the previous WM is finished. And of course they have to adapt on the fly, because injuries get in the way or someone becomes red hot like Kofi, Becky or Daniel Bryan etc.

    You might as well say the sea is wet and the sun is hot.