Source: Talk Is Jericho
On episode 254 of Talk Is Jericho, former WWE Senior Vice President of Creative Writing, Brian Gewirtz, addressed a number of topics including The Rock getting his foot in the door at WWE, being brought before wrestlers' court, getting powerbombed by Bubba Ray Dudley, and working as the personal writer of The Rock.
According to Gewirtz, The Rock is the reason he first landed a job with WWE, as The Rock put in a good word for the writer after the two worked together on a one-off project for MTV to promote WWE SummerSlam.
"Yeah, we always got along great from the beginning. He's the reason I was even hired in the first place. Yeah, well, the whole story of that was how I came to be, I guess, in WWE, was there was a series of specials on MTV in the summer [of] '99. And my sister, who would eventually go on to win three Emmys at MTV, she was an intern back then, said, 'hey, we need a writer for these SummerSlam specials and everyone's too cool at MTV to know who Gangrel is, so would you want to write some samples?' and I did." Gewirtz continued, "we hit it off, right [from] the start. He was like, 'wow, you really captured the voice real well. Did you ever consider writing for WWE?' I was like, 'well, no. I don't know how that works.' He was like, 'yeah, well, let me put in a word with the WWE officials there and stuff.' And then, the next thing I know, I got a call saying, 'hey, would you want to come in for an interview in Stamford [Connecticut]?'"
"As a kid I loved The Flash. That was my guy. And Edge was doing a signing somewhere and someone gave him a Flash thing. And, at the time, there was a death in his extended family and he had to leave the show, so he's like, 'hey man, I was going to give this to you later, but, hey, somebody gave me this at a signing. It's a Flash figurine thing. Why don't you take it?' And I think Bob Holly oversaw that."
The trial was held while The Rock was away from WWE filming The Mummy Returns. The Undertaker served as the presiding judge while JBL was the prosecutor. Although Gewirtz expected Vince McMahon to tell him that he did not have to attend, he would not be so lucky.
"It was the day after WrestleMania 17, after Rock left, so my biggest advocate was gone. But it was in Oklahoma City [Oklahoma]. I was told [Jericho], Edge and Christian, are going to wrestlers' court. I don't remember who told me. I don't know what it was. I expected Vince to be like, 'no, you don't have to go to that!' and he says, 'good luck, pal!'"
While Mr. McMahon failed to impart any wisdom on Gewirtz before his day in court, Stephanie advised him to bring beer and pizza. Ultimately, Gewirtz was found guilty and ordered to write an essay on why he respected the professional wrestling business.
"Here's how stupid I am. I don't remember who I talked to. Maybe it was Stephanie. I assumed it was like a tribunal of sorts. So they're like, 'bring beer and pizza. You're going to want to appease the people judging you.'" Gewirtz added, "I found a six-pack [of beer] and a single box of pizza. Yeah, a six-pack and one box of pizza, plain. And I kind of just sauntered in, thinking there would be five people in and it's every single worker, wrestler, referee, diva, agent, every single [crew member]. Yeah, if catering was in there, I wouldn't be surprised. Like, literally, every single person in the company was in there. And the three of us went on trial."
As for getting powerbombed by Bubba Ray Dudley, Gewirtz said that Shane McMahon wanted the writers to take bumps to understand what the performers experience in the squared circle. When a SmackDown taping was cancelled, Gewirtz found himself in the ring with The Dudley Boyz.
"Yeah, there [are] lots of potential lawsuits that could have happened. I mean, I took a top-rope powerbomb from Bubba Dudley once. Well, first of all, Shane [McMahon], coolest man alive, we used to have a ring in the studio where we'd work and he thought the writers, at the time, now, there may have been four of us, should kind of take some bumps to kind of experience what the boys experience and everything." Gewirtz recalled, "Bubba and D-Von were in [the ring] and he's like, 'lets do a powerbomb!' I'm like, 'what?' Now the boys are sort of gathering around the ring and everything. I can't chicken out, so I'm like, 'yeah, lets do a powerbomb!' And, again, today, never in a million years would they let one of the writers [take a powerbomb]."
Gewirtz claimed that taking the bump was exhilarating, but he knew that he would never do it again. Gewirtz compared the pain to a scene from Home Alone.
"I sort of describe it as, like people always ask, like, 'what did it feel like?' I'm like, 'to me, you know that scene in Home Alone when Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci go, like, through five floors of the house down right to the [basement]? Yeah, that's what it felt like.'"
On the subject of being The Rock's personal writer, Gewirtz claimed that he is part of a team that works collaboratively on The Rock's live hosting gigs, including work with WWE.
"It's the same formula of [working] at WWE. I'll send him an email and he'll send it back. Yes. Exactly. Yeah, I mean, myself and Hiram Garcia, we're like the team, and, Rock and Dany [Garcia] are this team working on all this type of stuff. And, obviously, when he's doing movies and everything, I'm not coming in. Yeah, the live hosting stuff, and, obviously, the WWE stuff too."
In addition to these topics, Gewirtz talked about expecting to head up SmackDown instead of Monday Night RAW during the initial brand split, his favorite angle to work on as a writer, and much more on this edition of Talk Is Jericho. Click here to check out the show. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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