WWE Encyclopedia Author Talks What WWE Needs Back, Encyclopedia, WrestleMania Experience
Source: The RackNew York Times Bestseller and co-author of the "WWE Encyclopedia Updated and Expanded Edition" joined the Rack Thursday Night. In a nearly 45 minute interview, he discussed his work on the WWE Encyclopedia with co-author Kevin Sullivan and why he did such a project, what are some of the things he'd like to see back in the WWE, who would he love to work on for one project and more. Here are some highlights:
On his working relationship with WWE and DK for this project: "One of the things that's really nice about working with both WWE and DK is that these are both very collaborative environments. So Kevin and I, for the first edition especially, we were going through photo archives, we were giving feedback on the design layouts that the wonderful design team at DK were putting together, so it's really unbelievable. You know, for me, the first book debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List and I feel like I haven't even absorbed that full and now that's like four years ago already. So, for me, to look at these books and to know that I was a part of them; it's really just unbelievable. It's unbelievable."
How did the concept of the encyclopedia come about: "The original concept of the encyclopedia came from someone that used to work there named Dean Miller. Dean is a great writer in his own right and is a consumer products executive and has a lot of experience as well in the home entertainment/publishing industry. It was his idea, originally, to do something that was never done before with WWE and I was coming off my first book with Simon and Schuster, which was 'Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80's' and we got a phone call from DK basically letting us know that this was something that was being put together and was going to begin work and would we like to be part of it. And that was one of those things where how many ways could you say 'yes'? I remember I was traveling at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and I saw that I got a voice mail (from WWE) and I left a meeting that we were having to listen to the message and like, I left the show floor right away. It was a day I remember very, very well.
"It's really one of those things where when you start, when you're lucky enough to work with them (WWE) on something, you just want to keep going. I mean, it's so exciting to work with them and this updated version of the encyclopedia is a great example of the fact that they don't have an off season and I think a lot of times people take that for granted. I mean 52-weeks a year of live television, fresh content, live events, pay-per-views; it's a publicly traded company. My career started out in sports marketing and I love entertainment as well; to tell someone in professional sports that they're not going to have an off-season, or if you take whatever someone's favorite television show is and tell the performers and all the people behind the scenes of that show 'Ok, you're going 52-weeks a year, and one of those shows ever week is live; I mean, it just doesn't happen."
How has the talent reacted to the Encyclopedia: "I have to tell you, the response from the talent has, thankfully, been fantastic. When you're in an area where the people are working so hard to perfect their craft and to develop their characters and they just work so hard year round; you want to make sure you do right by them and not only them, but those that have come before them. And then, there's the other practical part of it too; where when you are writing about people that are much bigger than you, you definitely want to make sure that they're happy with how things are turning out, just for your own self-preservation. I mean, really, the response has been great and it's inspiring for us to keep going. We always have a running list of 'these are the updates we would want to make in the event there is another one'