Indie legend and former WWE writer Jimmy Jacobs (real name Chris Scoville) tweeted some thoughts on creating a weekly three hour sports entertainment show in response to a comment on Raw’s ratings slump from Wrestling Observer’s Brian Alvarez earlier today.
Our own Brent Brookhouse covered Jacobs’ initial thoughts in his daily ‘Cup of coffee in the big time’ column here. Since that post went up, the conversation has continued, bringing in other former creative team members and wrestlers from in & outside the WWE machine:
It’s hard bro!— The Zombie Princess (@JimmyJacobsX) December 12, 2018
That’s the one thing I don’t think people understand. 5 hours of live TV every week. EVERY WEEK. Add in all the extraneous variables that affect the final outcome....and it’s a modern miracle that the shows come together as well as they do.— Seth Rollins (@WWERollins) December 12, 2018
Tom Casiello, another former WWE writer who will occassionally provide peaks behind the curtain (like this awesome one about Daniel Bryan), was tagged in a quote tweet of a back & forth Jacobs was having with a fan who claimed to have written a great Raw script on their own:
Great! Now do that again and again and again and again. It’s 52 episodes a year, which creates a whole different set of issues than writing one show. I’d recommend trying to write 4 shows in a row and a PPV at the end. Then think about what you’d do at the following PPV too.— The Zombie Princess (@JimmyJacobsX) December 12, 2018
Which prompted this thread from Casiello:
“When I left soaps, other writers said ‘wrestling should be a breeze after this’. I wrote an hour of scripted TV in 3 days, 50 wks/yr for 12 years. How tough could this be?
WWE was the MOST CHALLENGING job of my career and I learned more about writing there, than anywhere else.
I compare it to Newman’s speech re: the post office on Seinfeld. Anyone can do it for a week. And then another week. And another. But keep going. Don’t repeat matches too much. Don’t repeat finishes. Don’t be predictable. Don’t be too wrasslin’. Be new. Be innovative. 600 hrs/yr.
Throw in 3 AM nights, dinner at gas stations, a senior level that can’t agree on anything, an audience that desperately wants to hate you while they give you their $, zero credit when something manages to go right...oh, and be a director, producer, stage manager and therapist.
But in spite of all of that, we still did it. Every damn week. Because we had a passion for it. Underneath allllllll the bullshit. I may just be ‘one of those soap writers’. but Scoville has one of the greatest wrestling minds I’ve ever encountered. Listen to him.
Kudos to this person for coming up with 16 segs of Raw one time from the comfort of their living room with no one to answer to. Sounds like a fun couple hours. The rest of us? We had a job to do. (Pun fully intended. :smiley: )”
Agree or disagree with Jacobs, Casiello, Matt Jackson & Seth Rollins, credit to them all for being willing to engage in a dialogue. Especially Jimmy, who took the time to reply to a lot of fans offering suggestions & asking questions.
The debate will continue as to what exactly is wrong (and right) with the WWE product, and how to fix it. But hopefully we can all keep Jacobs’ closing tweet in mind:
I know very little & what I do know is bounded on all sides by infinite ignorance. I can only speak to my experiences. In those experiences I’ve found writing a wrestling tv show isn’t an easy task. Thanks to all that engaged in meaningful dialogue with me! I love the passion!— The Zombie Princess (@JimmyJacobsX) December 12, 2018