There have been numerous wacky stories to emerge from the WWE creative team in recent years. Here is just a selection of the strangest stories to come out about the folks in Stamford, Connecticut. They may also serve as good examples of why no-one who wishes to keep their sanity in tact should ever go work for this company.
Bryan Alvarez reported in a Summer 2004 edition of his F4W newsletter that one writer had been let go for a rather strange reason. A newcomer to the WWE Creative had been given the contact details of all the divas on the roster since he was handling a few of their storylines at the time. You know, just to get some creative input from time to time, see how they felt about a story…etc. Bizarrely, the writer then proceeded to barrage the women with constant phone calls and emails, creepily phoning them in the middle of the night to ask questions, many of which had nothing to do with wrestling at all. Unsurprisingly, many divas complained at what a nuisance he had become and he was let go shortly afterwards.
More recently, reports surfaced last year that The Miz had heat with a writer over his real-life relationship with Maryse. After Maryse rebuffed his attempts to ask her out, the writer grew insanely jealous of Mike, and proceeded to bury the promising newcomer in meetings every chance he could get, deliberately attempting to make him look bad and sabotage his career. No, that’s not “Awesome.”
Number 9: Madigan's Misery
The adventures of See No Evil writer Dan Madigan in WWE are probably deserving of a section of their own. Indeed, Madigan had a crazier time there than most. As he noted to Powerslam magazine in 2008, he was initially a golden boy in WWE (Vince loved the dire and sophomoric See No Evil, likely seeing it on par with The King’s Speech or Black Swan or something) but Madigan quickly fell out of favour after pitching a strange idea in a creative meeting. Greatly misjudging Vince’s mood one day, Madigan pushed the sensational idea of Baron Von Bava, a Nazi cyborg, frozen in the last days of World War Two (“in a secret cave in the Swiss Alps!” Madigan would elaborate to Powerslam) suddenly thawed out after fifty years intent on carrying on the work of Hitler. Better yet, it would later be revealed that Paul Heyman (who is Jewish) would be his new manager, intent on unleashing this Nazi monster on the world. Madigan also suggested that the character would then goose-step to the ring, and then got promptly got up in the meeting and began goose-stepping, to show Vince and the rest of the writers how it would work.
After Madigan had finished pitching the idea, everything went quiet. Then after a few seconds of silence, a stunned Vince (in a rare moment of modesty and taste) slowly got up from his chair, put on his coat and grabbed his briefcase, and walked out of the room without uttering a word. The rest of the writing team were equally shocked; after Vince left no-one else in the meeting knew what to say. Madigan was unrepentant and explained: “I thought these were good ideas: inside my mind, it worked out well.”
Number 8: Stephanie is Calculon!
Another famous story that has done the rounds is one mentioning Stephanie’s nervous breakdown after her husband HHH had suffered his second torn quadriceps muscle at the New Years Revolution PPV in January 2007. Backstage with the writing team and watching the monitor when the injury had occurred, a horrified Stephanie fell to her knees, burst into tears and starting screaming: "Nooooooooooo!" as if reenacting the ending of The Godfather Part III. While sympathetic to her plight (as anyone would be) the writers still felt incredibly awkward as they stood silently watching her, and wondered if Stephanie was not perhaps slightly over-reacting.
Number 7: "Am I F***ing Going Over?!"
One traumatized writer gave Powerslam writer Matthew Randazzo the following account of one of his earlier meetings with Triple H a few years ago:
“I remember being nervous the first time I delivered the script to the McMahon dressing room where HHH would dress (he would never use the locker rooms with the rest of the boys). When HHH answered I told him the RAW script was ready for his review. On the first occasion, he grabbed the script, flipped through it but did not read it, and asked me point-blank: ‘Am I f***ing going over?’ This first time that I delivered the script to him, he did indeed win his match, so I said yes. Then he politely gave the script back to me without reading it and said, ‘That’s all I needed to know,’ and walked back into the McMahon locker room. A few months later when Gewirtz had another weekend off, I delivered another RAW script to him on a PPV Sunday. And it was the same routine. He nonchalantly flipped through it and said, ‘Am I f***ing going over?’ This time, however, he was to lose his match via disqualification. He would keep his title. I said to him, ‘Well, sort of.’ Then Hunter froze. He said, ‘What do you f***ing mean, sort of?’ I said, ‘You lose the match via DQ, so you still keep the title.’, ‘What page?’ he growled. After I told Hunter the page number this occurred on, he ripped that page out, threw the rest of the script to the floor in a rage, and slammed the door in my face. Needless to say, the next day during the agents’ meeting, the script had somehow changed and now HHH won his match – cleanly. This was hardly an isolated incident.”
Number 6: Feed Us, Vince!
It’s not always easy being a WWE writer, especially when you consider the fact that Vince and Stephanie are actively trying to starve them to death! Well, not really. But, all these long meetings in WWE creative are even more burdened by the fact that no refreshments or food are offered to writers. And only the McMahon’s are allowed to eat during these meetings. One former writer complained to Powerslam magazine: “It was just brutal. There was never any food provided in the writers’ room- but it wasn’t their place to feed us. You did get hungry after three hours, especially when Vince and Stephanie would have their respective assistants’ lunch and they would eat in front on us. “ Former writer Domenic Cotter also spoke to the magazine about his memories of being starving and thirsty during those long meetings: “Vince would always eat in front of us during the meetings…(He had) some sort of beef wrap with ketchup…The meetings usually ran the entire day without food.”
Moved by these stories of hunger and famine, the Cageside Seats team would like to re-assure readers that we are currently planning a telethon to raise money to buy food and water for the starving writers of WWE. Please: give generously.
Number 5: The Florida Trip
Dave Meltzer noted in an issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter a few years ago that Vince had, seemingly on a whim, decided that he had to have an urgent meeting with the creative team. Vince, who has been known for his somewhat erratic behavior (putting it mildly), then demanded everyone fly down to his pad in Florida. This meeting was so incredibly important, it simply couldn’t wait. However, as soon as they all went through the (long and stressful) journey getting down there, Vince suddenly decided he doesn't want a meeting after all, wouldn’t let them into the house when they arrived and they all had to fly back to Stamford for yet another meeting with Stephanie.
More after the jump
Number 4: A Cult?
Interestingly, many former writers have claimed that they see WWE not as a professional, billion-dollar corporation, but a dark, sinister cult demanding unquestioning conformity and obedience from its followers, sorry, I mean, employees. “I would describe it as a cult-like atmosphere, with these marathon phone calls and unending meetings and endless conversations about wrestling,” former writer Domenic Cotter has went on record as saying in a piece with Powerslam Magazine three years ago. In the same article, Dan Madigan agreed: “I don’t work there anymore…But when I talk about it, I still say, ‘We do this, we do that.’ That’s the cult talking.” In an interview earlier this year with Bryan Alvarez, Larry Mollin, talking about his time with
the illumanti WWE shared the same sentiment, calling WWE “a cult” because: "They beat you up, they tear you down, and then they hug you." He also noted he was irritated by constant phone calls from management about minor things in the middle of the night, and was often deprived of sleep.
Needless to say, the claim that WWE is a cult and that employees of WWE and wrestling fans are somehow brainwashed cult members is a vile, hideous lie. Indeed, members of
The Order of the Solar Temple WWE Universe know full well that any criticisms from dissidents of Our Grand Leader Vince are untrue! All these claims are purely from jealous cretins who are filled with hatred and evil! Indeed as the eminently trustworthy Michael Cole noted on Raw, after members of the press attempted to sabotage Linda McMahon’s campaign for World Domination Senate last year, these people are little more than “Holier than thou Elitists.”
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go prepare for Doomsday.
Number 3: "Acting like a mark"
Stephanie McMahon has been known to reprimand long-suffering writers over this matter for years. So, how exactly do these writers qualify for the term “mark” anyway? Freaking out whenever a wrestler comes into the room? Begging headliners for an autograph whenever they come within their near vicinity? Er…no, actually. Dr Ranjan Chhibber complained to Matthew Randazzo that in 2004 Stephanie had scolded him for “Acting like a mark” when she got wind that, in the middle of a conversation with Johnny Ace, the academic had politely complimented Ace on some of his matches in All Japan. Court Bauer also recounted to Bryan Alvarez earlier this year that, during his stint with the company in 2005 and 2006, he had been dragged into Stephanie’s office and been given the dreaded “Acting like a mark” speech. What heinous infraction had Court committed? He’d used the term “Blading” during a meeting. Stephanie felt that, for a writer to use such an insider term was an incredible violation of locker room protocol. She then forced a stunned Bauer to go around every wrestler in the room and apologise for “offending” them.
Some former writers have claimed that Stephanie has mellowed out since having her children and no longer feels the need to act like the wrestling equivalent of Colonel Gaddafi to her writers. We can only hope.
Number 2: The New Howard Hughes
As former WWE writer Dave Lagana noted on his blog last year: "If there is one thing Vince McMahon hates… its sickness. ‘There is no such thing as sick’, was the usual response when someone would try to use it as an excuse. Vince is a workaholic and if anything gets in the way of his work, it makes him angry. Paul Heyman would joke that Vince would get angry with his own sneezes. Perhaps it was because he couldn’t control it. "John Piermarini would make similar claims in an interview with Wade Keller. Dave Meltzer has since confirmed that Vince was known for going “completely nuts” and yelling at people if they dared sneeze or cough around him. It seems Vince is a bit of a hygiene freak and now lives in constant fear of people’s germs contaminating him and the precious air he breathes.
Note to Vince: Unless you’ve banged Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis, and Ava Gardener, produced several classic Hollywood films (No, The Chaperone doesn’t count) and set the world record for flying around the world by yourself in the quickest time, you will still never be as cool as Howard Hughes.
Number 1: Vince McMahon's Top Gear
In an interview earlier this year, Court Bauer recalled to Bryan Alvarez how, after a meeting in Stamford one night, he ran into Vince in the car park, and was then challenged to an impromptu drag race by the billionaire CEO. Reluctantly, Bauer went along with it. Bauer was then pleasantly surprised when his own vehicle (which wasn’t a patch on Vince’s car) actually managed to catch up with Vince. Bauer then claimed that Vince’s response to this was to try and drive him off the road. Frightened, Bauer slowed down. “Let me get this straight,” a shocked Alvarez then asked Bauer, “You’re saying Vince tried to KILL you?!” “Vince likes to win,” Bauer responded. Yikes.