Source: Sam Robertsí Wrestling Podcast
Recently on Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast, actor and former WWE writer, Freddie Prinze, Jr. discussed his stint with professional wrestling's biggest promotion. Prinze talked about picking the brain of 'Double A' Arn Anderson, convincing Vince McMahon to drop his promo class for WWE talents in favor of Prinze's acting workshop, and John Cena disrupting his classes.
"I'm the guy that asks Arn Anderson questions to the point where he's like, 'damn, boy. Nobody asks as many questions as you. I like it'. I'm like, 'okay, we're okay?' and he's like, 'yeah, ask some more.'" Prinze continued, "and he has Vince [McMahon]'s ear and very few people do. Vince respects Arn to the umpteenth degree and everything he brings to the table, so, for me, that was just a dream job. Like, I worked right side-by-side with Vince."
According to Prinze, McMahon used to have a so-called 'promo class' for WWE talent. When Prinze realized that the class may not be the most constructive learning environment for some talents, Prinze offered to run an acting workshop in its place.
"They did something called a promo class and he would have kids come up, and I don't think I've ever talked about this before. He would have two wrestlers come up, two talent come up, and he would give them a scenario and force them to improv. But a lot of them didn't have any experience in that. And so I get throwing kids in the deep end of the pool." Prinze continued, "so I just spoke with him, like, 'look, man, you're using verbiage they don't understand and this is something that I went through as a student and know certain directors could affect me better than others. Let me do the things that were done in my acting class with them and it will sort of break them down to the point where they feel like it's safe to fail because it sucks failing in front of your peers and in front of your boss.' So once I had the room and I told everybody, like, 'Vince doesn't see any of this. We're not recording this.' I was communicating with Vince [about] who I thought was strong, who I thought he should give a chance to, who I thought was weak. But I didn't tell them that. I wanted them to feel safe and comfortable to fail because my whole thing with live TV is, if you're afraid you're going to screw up, you're going to screw up."
Apparently, Cena could not see the benefit of Prinze's acting class and he would intentionally disrupt it. Prinze admitted that Cena was tough on him and he does not know whether he ever truly gained Cena's respect.
"I would be running an acting workshop and he would just come in and interrupt it and sort of take over the room. And I'm like, 'hold up, man.' I said, 'let's go talk outside'. So he came outside and he gave me this speech, and I respect his view. He goes, 'look, I may be a neanderthal' and he said, 'but you either got it or you don't'. And I said, 'look, I agree, philosophically, to a certain point.' I said, 'but you can get better or worse at something depending on how hard you work at it.' I said, 'you don't need my help. I'm not writing for you. But they do, so let me do my job. I'll let you do your job and that'll be that.' And it wasn't."
To check out this edition of Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast, click here. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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