Court Bauer, the owner of Major League Wrestling (MLW), was the most recent guest of Chris Jericho’s Talk Is Jericho podcast. While speaking to Bauer, who worked for WWE at one point, Jericho revealed the point when WWE promos became scripted and mechanical.
JERICHO NOTED THAT WWE DID NOT USE SCRIPTED PROMOS AT THE TIME OF HIS DEBUT
Y2J noted that when he first arrived in WWE in a memorable debut where he cut a scathing promo against The Rock, there were no writers who would prepare promos for the wrestlers.
During that period of time, wrestlers were also not required to rehearse their speeches backstage. Jericho did speak to The Rock and Vince Russo about the lines he was going to speak, but he did not go through it word-by-word. He believes that the scripted nature of a promo makes it more complicated and mechanical.
Even #DustyRhodes sometimes hit the Vince McMahon creative brick wall! @courtbauer shares stories from his days on the WWE writing team & talks @MLW Relaunch!
— Talk Is Jericho (@TalkIsJericho) November 20, 2020
“It’s funny because when I got to WWE, my famous first promo with The Rock when I interrupted him, there were no writers at that point. That was late 1999 and no rehearsals either. Rock and I and Russo went over in the back, but there was no going through it,” he said.
PROMOS BECAME SCRIPTED DUE TO MCMAHON’S DESIRE TO COMPETE WITH ‘FRIENDS’
Jericho then went on to reveal that promos became scripted because of the fact that Vince McMahon wanted to compete with the widely popular sitcom “Friends”. McMahon wanted to beat the sitcom in ratings through the recently launched Smackdown, and decided that as the show had writers to create a script, his show should also have a similar way of creating scripts.
“The reason why writers became a thing was when we started SmackDown, which was right after I got there, August ’99, Vince made it his motto that SmackDown was going to be bigger than ‘Friends’.
We’re going to beat ‘Friends’ on Thursday, and his reasoning and idea and strategy was well ‘Friends’ has writers, then we need writers too.” Jericho said
BAUER LAMENTED WWE’S DECISION TO HIRE HOLLYWOOD WRITERS
Bauer spoke about his own experience working with the company. At the time he was working for the company, they started to hire Hollywood writers. Although Bauer conceded that the writers had potential and experience working in a major industry, he believed they did not really understand how pro-wrestling worked.
Instead, Bauer believed, that people with experience in the Pro-Wrestling industry would have been a better choice for the job.
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