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Published on March 5th, 2013 | by thewrestlinggeek

11

WWE Stole My Idea And Screwed Me Out Of A Job

It’s been more than 5 years and I’m ready to let my anger and frustration with the WWE go away. That anger was the primary reason this site has been dead for years, but I’m ready to enjoy the brand again.

Why have I been angry and frustrated with the WWE???  I’m about to share my story of how the largest professional wrestling organization in the world did not hire me as a creative writer, but instead, stole an idea that I pitched during my interview with their head writers.

Let’s start from the beginning…

From 2003 through 2007, I worked in the radio industry. During that time, I interviewed countless WWE Superstars from the past to present.  From Sable to Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Hart, from Stone Cold Steve Austin to The Blue Meanie. I was able to “show-off” my nerdy and completely useless knowledge of professional wrestling history — hence this website.

I developed WrestlingGeeks.com in 2007 because of the tremendous response I’d receive during our wrestling segments while I was working for CBS Radio in Philadelphia – I was one half of The Scotty and Alex Show that aired weeknights on WYSP-FM.

By September, the radio station flipped formats and I was laid off.

In search of a new opportunity, I reached out to several of my contacts from the WWE who helped me land a job interview to become a member of the Creative Writing team.  Before I came in for the interview, I went through several weeks of conversations with a WWE recruiter about the position and the grueling demands of the job.

Most writers are initially brought on for a 3-month temporary basis.  The reasoning is simple.  Are you talented or not?   Can you handle the travel or not?

On a normal week, a writer travels on Sunday night to the city where Monday Night RAW is being held.  At the end of RAW on Monday night/early Tuesday morning the writing teams travels to another city for the Smackdown taping.  On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning everyone would travel back to Stamford and put in a full day of work.  Thursday is an office day in Stamford.

Friday and Saturday are off days, except for PPV weeks when the travel schedule would start on Saturday.

In addition, writers were expected to be “on call” at any point to re-write storylines in case of injury, Wellness failures or arrest.

The schedule sounded grueling, and truthfully, I wondered if I would last.  However, getting the chance to join the creative writing team would fulfill all of my professional dreams and aspirations and there was no way I wasn’t taking a shot.  Early discussions about a salary were between the $50,000-$60,000 range.

My first interview in the Stamford, CT headquarters was pretty intimating… 

It was the first time I ever set foot in the WWE building.WWE Stamford Workout Facility

I remember almost getting giddy seeing the “old-school” workout facility [right] – the cheesy one with the neon WWF lights that were featured in a number of commercials and promotional videos in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

As I walked through the halls, I remember the recruiter giving me advice – you never know who you’ll see walking the halls, but when you see them, don’t go crazy like a fan.

I was brought to a smaller boardroom that had some memorabilia in it, but was clearly used for low-priority business dealings.  I sat down with the recruiter and someone from the human resources department. She was a woman with the last name McMahon but they told me she had no relation to the owners.  Odd…

Nothing too exciting came from the interview, but I was called back to meet with the writing team the following week.

When I went back for my second and final interview on Thursday, May 29th 2008, I met with Brian Gewirtz, the head writer for RAW and Ed Koskey, the temporary head of the Smackdown team.  Koskey was filling-in while Michael Hayes was serving a 60-day suspension for dropping the N-bomb to Mark Henry during some Wrestlemania 24 festivities.

This time I was taken to an even smaller room with Gewirtz, Koskey, the recruiter and myself.

Let me make something perfectly clear, I’m pretty shitty at interviews.  I tend to have difficulty articulating my skills but at the age of 25 I had a pretty decent resume of accomplishments in the media business.

One thing that always stuck in my head….

They asked me about my favorite wrestlers, but it wasn’t in the “who would you like to work with” way, but rather in the “hey little buddy, who is your absolute favorite wrestler ever” way.

I remembered the advice from the recruiter during my first interview – don’t sound like a crazy fan – this is a business.  Plus, I figured that a new writer would work with some of the younger talent anyway, so I coolly rattled off some of the “up-and-comers,” and of course Triple H – like a good future corporate kiss-up.

During the whole interview I was waiting for the opportunity to “show-off” my wrestling mind and I finally got my chance when they asked me what I liked and disliked about the current product.

My best idea…

If you remember back to April/May 2008, Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels had one of the best feuds in the WWE.  Michaels was coming off of his emotional victory over Ric Flair at Wrestlemania and Jericho was needling HBK over sending the Nature Boy into retirement.

What you probably don’t remember – – during that time Chris Jericho was the reigning Intercontinental Champion.  You probably don’t remember because Jericho rarely defended the title and most times wouldn’t even carry the belt with him into the ring or to interviews.  Simply, the belt was being underutilized.

Here was my pitch to the Creative team…

First, Jericho needs to reference his title more frequently and make it a part of his feud with Michaels.

Many consider Shawn Michaels the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time, so why not have Jericho develop an obsession about destroying the legacy of the Heartbreak Kid by becoming a better IC champion.

After a few weeks or victories, the storyline could develop one of two ways.  Option 1, HBK and Jericho feud over the belt which would elevate the status of the championship and would give an amazing rub to a younger superstar who would eventually win the title from whoever survived the feud.  Option 2, after Jericho builds momentum over the weeks, have the Heartbreak Kid cause interference in a match that would cost Jericho the title to a younger star – another amazing rub.

After I made the pitch, the guys seemed pleased and asked me what type of experience I had script writing.

“None”

I didn’t think that was a major issue because the best professional wrestling stars are generally an extension of the actual person – not an actor reading a script.  I developed “characters” on my radio show.  Not by writing word-for-word scripts but by uncovering hidden talents and exposing those traits that make them interesting.

The next day, I received a phone call informing me that I would not be hired.

I was crushed….

The WWE told me they were looking for someone with more script writing experience.

Fast-forward three days later to RAW.  I could barely sit down to watch it; I was so upset and angry.  Call it fate, but I happened to sit down right when Chris Jericho came on the screen holding the championship belt for an interview with Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler.

Here’s the recap from OnlineWorldOfWrestling

INTERVIEW VIA VIDEO HOOK-UP
Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler + Chris Jericho (backstage): Chris Jericho said he hasn’t been defending the WWE Intercontinental title lately, but that will all change tonight in his match with JBL. They were about to cut to break when Jericho added that he would dedicate the match to Shawn Michaels tonight.

What. The. Fuck.

If you’re a regular viewer of RAW, you know it’s extremely odd to have Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler interview a wrestler via “video hook-up.”  It was as if they were adding extra importance to the Jericho interview by having the main announcers converse with him instead of some jabroni backstage.  It was like they took my idea word-for-word (so much for not being a script writer).

I was so angry, the next day I called the WWE recruiter and told him how upset I was that my idea was used.  He told me it’s not impossible to think that someone else already had that idea.  True, but didn’t that show them that I have a good mind for the business and was already on the same page as the writing team?

No luck.  Their decision was final but I was told that I could apply again in a year.  No thanks.

Fast-forward again four weeks later to the Night Of Champions Pay Per View and guess what?  The Heartbreak Kid interfered in Chris Jericho’s match causing him to lose the title to a new rising star by the name of, Kofi Kingston, for his first Intercontinental Championship.  You’re welcome Kofi.

I don’t know if he necessarily took the spot I was interviewing for but just one month later, the WWE hired Freddie Prinze Jr. to their writing team.

After that it was hard for me to watch WWE programming.  I would check it out here and there but I lost all passion for writing on this site.  I stopped my magazine subscriptions, PPV purchases, and DVD collecting.  I continued my WWE “On Demand” subscription simply because I enjoy watching the “old-school” footage and watching from an era before I was screwed by the WWE.

Why am I coming back now?

I’ve missed wrestling and time heals all wounds.

CM Punk has excited me the past two years but I think his exciting feud with John Cena during the summer of 2011 was one of the most mismanaged angles since the WCW Invasion.  His “pipe bomb” promos were generating a ton of buzz and had wrestling fans on the fringes talking again.  When he lost the title to Alberto Del Rio at the end of Summerslam, it was such a waste.

Sidenote:  Gewirtz was removed from the writing team in October 2012 but is occasionally used as a consultant.  Koskey is still listed as Smackdown’s head writer but was rumored to have been relegated to working out of the Stamford headquarters and no longer allowed on the road.

The vision of WrestlingGeeks.

I’ve always loved the story-telling, the behind the scenes drama, and the action of professional wrestling.  I look forward to giving you insight and perspective on professional wrestling past, present, and future.

 

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About the Author



9 comments
SadeMiller
SadeMiller

Hi my name is sade miller I,m 25 year old I want to work as a ring announcer For the wwe and I want to be a wwe diva I,m

Cicero Illinois

.

Ste
Ste

You didn't get the job because you're not a writer. Writing isn't coming up with ideas, it's taking ideas and turning them into 50 - 60 page scripts, then re-writing those scripts at 3am 10 hours before a show because ______ is injured and won't be on TV for 3 weeks. I wouldn't be offended if I applied for a radio job and didn't get it, because I don't have a clue how radio works. WWE is a multi-million dollar company. They're not going to hire someone because they gave a decent idea at a pitch. Grow up.

Some Guy
Some Guy

As a writer aspiring to work with WWE one day, I can't say it upsets me that you didn't land the job. Having a mind for the buisness and being able to write out several versions of a script within a few hours are two completely different things. Wouldn't suprise me if they did use your IC title idea though. They'll have given it to their experienced script writers. I can totally understand where your coming from, but a multi-million dollar company like WWE isn't going to hire somebody to come up with storylines.

Kyle Pesci
Kyle Pesci

This story is a joke. I thought you were going to tell us something huge, like you pitched all Stone Cold Steve Austin's storylines. Instead, you pitched an idea WWE could have found on a forum with 10 wrestling fans on it. You weren't screwed over because your idea was not groundbreaking. A million people could have pitched that idea. They didn't screw you over. They didn't steal your idea and run with it. They didn't hire you because you have no experience in the theatre business, and they are looking for people who know how to script write and etc.

The Miz
The Miz

Interesting story but why did you apply again

Captain Obvious
Captain Obvious

With the millions of fans of the WWE speaking up with loud voices it is not hard to think that this had already been in the works. The WWE has been a machine for such a long time now, it's silly to think they stole your idea and didn't hire you. I've predicted some specific outcomes, had some "wishes come true" while watching, it's because they (usually) know what they are doing. Funny to think a job interview would lead to an epic story change. Think about that. Maybe you weren't hired because of your ego.

@wrestlinggeeks
@wrestlinggeeks

I hear what you're saying...and lets say that they didn't steal my idea (which is 99% possible). Wouldn't my idea demonstrate to you that I'm in line with the Creative team's mindset. That I'm not just "wishing" for a match but putting together a story that just happens to be the same story you want to tell. If you wanted someone working/writing/creating with you, wouldn't you want someone who is liked mined and has a similar vision? This is definitely not an ego thing. This is a facts thing.

Al Bones
Al Bones

crazy story man. i'm actually trying to get a job as a writer with them now. this has been an inspirational read, eye opening.

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