A former WWE screenwriter reflects on his time in the business, including a firsthand account of Vince McMahon ripping a script in two.
Being a WWE writer is a job that can be kind of a revolving door. Bringing together TV creation, character storytelling, and the occasional TV script, writing for WWE is a job that takes a lot of flexibility and patience.
Matt Mazany was a WWE writer in the second half of the past decade. Now he talks about his experience, the good and the bad, in a new appearance on Reconcile the Aisle on Radio Misfits.
Matt recalls a time when Vince McMahon ripped a script in half at 11 a.m. on a Monday Night Raw and recounts how he tried to change the culture of WWE slightly while he was there – low.
âOh, that was a weird, fun, wild, miserable, cool, crazy, intense time in my life. It was great. It was a great experience. I’m glad I did. It was like a childhood dreamer type thing. But, my boy, the reality of this place is very wild. There are a lot of stories about it. They are all half true. It was fun, man. It’s cool,” Matt said. âYou’re there to sort of control the show, because it’s three hours of TV on Monday, it’s two hours of TV on Friday, it’s one hour of TV on Wednesday. So you file, and then there are other specials like pay-per-view. So at any given time you are doing about seven to ten hours of television. So you just have to write the script of the long-term scenarios that go from month to month, the short-term scenarios that go from the start of the series to the end of this series. But the only thing is when they get in the ring, it’s the wrestlers, it’s their performances, they have producers there to help work with the camera team. But it’s a whole, it’s a huge, huge undertaking. You just need a lot of people to get everything in order. Otherwise, you know, these shows go to chaos, because it’s live too. It’s a live broadcast.
âWe had scripts there and you know, Vince McMahon is kind of an interesting guy. We had 8pm, the show goes live on TV, a three hour show, and I saw it. The 11 o “Clock production meeting, just tear the script in half and say,” Oh we have to start over, guys, my God “and you just gotta start, you just gotta go and you just have to find a new show and write it and put it together. So it’s a crazy time, but it’s a lot of good. If there weren’t any good people there, this would never be done. There are a lot of good people who bring it all together. “
Speaking of the corporate culture, Matt would say there were times when working for WWE caused internal turmoil in him, but ultimately he felt he had better be there to try. to change the culture from within.
âIt is happening there, there is a culture there that has in some ways improved, in some ways has never changed. But there is a culture there that looks a bit like the bullying and that has happened before there. Personally, I haven’t encountered too many of them, some but not in a different way than others. So I can only speak from my experience. In the scenarios, you kind of have to run into that stuff. The only thing about the storylines in wrestling is there’s, you know, a lot of archetypes and you just think that this person is bad. person is good Sometimes the reasons why someone is bad or why someone is good maybe a little out of date.
He continued, “So those old school ideas like what makes a bad guy bad are still around so I mean there were times out there where I had to go like you know” Hey that’s the reason they are laughing at you do you know that person is because they are, you know a tall person is or is it because they are bad? You’ve got to kind of play the motives of Moses over there. I think wrestling is basically – at its best, wrestling is kind of a moral game-building. So you want to make sure that the bad guys are bad for the right reasons and the good ones are good for the right reasons.
âThere was enough space where I could get the things I wanted to do and I didn’t have to be on top of the things I didn’t want to do that way. There were other writers who were fine with the writing if the storylines were so. But I think it’s worth talking about. Because like, that’s the only way cultures change in these places. I think like, you kind of got to do it, and it’s hard to do, because it’s like, there was a time when I was there, that was when Charlottesville happened and there was nothing in the room that we were doing anything that or anything like that against. But it was just the fact that I knew Vince McMahon had given Donald Trump about $ 6 million, personal money, at the time. All of these things tied together. I said, “Should I even work for this company?” Â»Do I feel good working for this company? I told my partner about it at the time. She told me it was like, “Yeah, it’s bad that you’re with this business, but it’s probably better that you’re in the business so you can influence how certain things have turned out. ”
âI did my best to watch out for the fat-shaming in the gym, because that’s something that in wrestling culture Vince grows up like, guys have amazing bodies, right? they’re all in amazing shape. But every once in a while you’ll have an athlete who just happens to be a bit portly, but they’re still amazing athletes. But then one of the things they have like, Oh he eat a sandwich all the time or something. So I could do influences in that by trying to push things a certain way. But it’s hard because nobody likes being the squeaky wheel. No one likes to stand out that way. But I tried to do that. There was a story someone told me after the fact, where someone was saying things they shouldn’t have said. whatever it was, and me and I jumped in and started tearing them up for it. Then they told this story . I was like, ‘I forgot I did this.’ But I was glad I did. I was like, okay, fine. I’m glad I got up at times and said the right things.
These days, Matt Mazany continues his involvement in the wrestling industry with his Get It Again podcast, taking an exclusive look at WCW Thunder with former Raw and NXT writer Stephen Loh. You can view the podcast here.
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