Brian Gewirtz On Young Rock Season Finale, The Rock Skipping WrestleMania, Adam Ray's Vince McMahon, Chad Frost, And More - Exclusive

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Die hard wrestling fans know Brian Gewirtz as a man with a long history in wrestling -– writer, creative consultant, producer, author of "There's Just One Problem ... True Tales From the Former, One-Time, 7th Most Powerful Person in WWE," and friend/business partner of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. He's also an executive producer and writer for "Young Rock," and the show's flashback timelines are far enough in The Rock's story that Gewirtz himself appears as a character.


Season 3 sees The Rock try to hash out a coffee deal with Gjelgjiughm, during which he tells stories about how he had to deal with family issues, shaky finances, and the pressures of the WWF in his younger days. The season finale features The Rock reflecting on his burgeoning acting career in the middle of the Attitude Era, especially in the aftermath of his well-received "Saturday Night Live" appearance.

Ahead of tonight's finale, Wrestling Inc. spoke with Gewirtz. He discussed the future of Adrian Groulx as the Youngest Rock, the appearance of the Universal Title, and Brian Gewirtz being an on-screen character.

Will The Youngest Rock return?

Adrian Groulx has been excellent as the Youngest Rock and there is a brief scene with him in the final episode. Given the fact that he's getting older and has functionally been replaced in the show, is that the last we're going to see of Adrian if there's more "Young Rock"?


That's a good question. We have the ability to basically tell whatever stories we want. Something that we've discussed is if we're fortunate to have Season 4, we don't have to go forward in time linearly. We're already operating with four different timelines as it is, so if we want to tell a story that basically takes place over the course of a week or something like that, we have the ability to do that. If we want to go back, forwards, whatever it is, we'll be able to navigate that. We love Adrian just like everyone else, so it's a challenge that we're more than happy to tackle.

The Universal Title and The Rock's WrestleMania absence

Some eagle eyed fans also couldn't help but notice that the Universal Title was part of the Prime Minister's collection. Is there a comment on that?

Yeah, I thought that was hilarious because I saw Twitter explode with the Universal Title and everyone jumping to these conclusions, and everyone's saying "The Rock wouldn't put that universal title in if it wasn't for ..." Basically we stepped in to set that day and saw all that stuff laid out, so maybe our set designer or props have some knowledge that we don't. [Laughs] I know former referee, Marty Elias, who was working with Chava Guerrero, as far as our wrestling coordination and stunts and stuff like that, he had a lot to do with getting a lot of those props in that room.


We just stepped in there and it was like, "Wow, they got everything in here." Didn't think twice about it, we shot our scenes. I did make sure to put my book in the display case talking to the producers. [Laughs] They were cool with that, but that was really the only piece of memorabilia that was strategically placed, as far as I know. Everything else, we stepped in the day of and marveled at it, felt kind of jealous because I wanted to take home the Wrestle Fest game, but everything else just happened to be there.

That leads to a question you've probably been dreading ... The Rock has been extremely busy these last few months between "Young Rock," "Black Adam," the XFL, his tequila, energy drinks, everything. Between this and a few lines you've had in "Young Rock," it sure seemed like this was going towards a WrestleMania appearance. It would also make a certain degree of sense for the Rock to be involved, at least from many fans' perspectives because it would provide a lot of promotional opportunities. Do you have any insight as to why this Rock/WrestleMania thing ever happened?


Look, time is ever moving forward. There's many reasons from scheduling and stuff that I probably don't even have any idea in terms of why something would happen or not happen. Organically, it makes sense. Who knows? All I know is if I get a call saying, "Hey, I'm going to Mania. I'll see you there," I'm ready to hop on a plane and go to Mania. I know that's not a well detailed, documented answer, but that's the case because that could happen anytime whether it's this one down the road, five years from now, 10 years from now, who knows. Dwayne, and myself to a much lesser extent, we always have ties with WWE. They're always going to be part of the family and part of us. If it happens, great. I'll be ready to go. Dwayne will be ready to go. If it doesn't, it doesn't, but we'll see what happens.

Did Vince McMahon's year affect the Young Rock Vince?

Speaking of ties with WWE, Vince McMahon is a very prominent character in the show. The last year or so has been very tumultuous for Vince McMahon. Was there any discussion about how he was presented, any thoughts on changing things? Or was it always just "stay the course, this is part of the Rock's story, we're going to keep it that way"?


As you know, it's a Friday night family comedy at 8:30. The way Adam Ray portrays Vince, it's a version of Vince that is peculiar, eccentric, sort of a mad genius and perfectly fits within the world of "Young Rock." We didn't really feel a need to change it because, first of all, none of the current stuff is taking place in the era that we're showing, which is the Attitude Era. Sometimes the '80s, sometimes late '90s. Also, Vince, his character is not extraordinarily prominent on the show. He comes in and out and Adam plays him perfectly. Very, very, very funny, in some cases, very accurate. I know I've taken specific conversations I've had with Vince and have gotten it into the script to perform, especially Vince's love of someone stepping in dog crap. That's well documented. Adam and Uli [Latukefu] had a great mostly improv back and forth about it.


So, no, it wasn't. We discussed it for a little bit, but felt like we could continue and stay the course with the show.

Chad Frost, totally not HBK

There was also an interesting character this season, Chad Frost, and it was heartbreaking what that kid did to Dwayne Johnson. Was there any discussion about how he was going to be presented? Was he always going to be that obvious for fans in the know?


Chad Frost could be any one of a number of people. We had the Mantaur on in Season 2, and then you mysteriously didn't see him in season three, could easily be a representation of that character. I don't want to start spreading – no, I'm just kidding.

The producers, Natch [Khan] and Jeff [Chiang], had a very interesting way of portraying this particular character. I'm not going to just say, "Oh yeah, it's clearly Shawn Michaels" because the truth is it's an amalgamation of lots of characters and lots of people. If people want to draw conclusions, whatnot, obviously they can, but rather than burying someone or showing a character in a certain light, the truth is in 2023, whatever backstage disputes that were going on in 1997, '98, that's pretty much water under the bridge. It's not like Rock or anyone else are like, "Damn, that conversation I had in 1998, it still tears at me." Maybe there are some people like that. It's certainly not that way for the Rock.


You need conflict on TV shows and if everyone gets along and everything is going smoothly in the locker room – and we know and you know that's not how WWE or any locker room is with everybody always getting along, there's always going to be a fight for a certain spot and people talking behind people's back – and we wanted to show that in a way that was entertaining, that got people speculating and talking and going frame by frame or whatever, but also not just coming out and saying, "Yes, it's this person, and this person did bad things and shouldn't like them." Because that's not really the case. There's many sides to a story. I just thought when it was proposed to us, rather than say this person or that person, let's come up with a fictional person that people could speculate on. I just thought it was a really clever -– Dwayne did too -– really clever way of doing it and a fun way of doing it.

Young Brian

There's a character in this season that you know a lot about — specifically, you. What's it like seeing yourself? How much input did you have into your own portrayal here?

Yeah, thankfully they gave me a lot of input on that. They gave me a pretty long leash. That was something that Rock had talked about at the beginning of the season before we started even writing, before the writers and producers started getting into the room saying, "We got to show this relationship," as uncomfortable as it's going to be for me. In fact, I think the level of uncomfortableness for me was part of the reason why Rock was so insistent on having the character in. I think that gave him somewhat of a kick to watch that, [laughs] but also true. It was surreal, but it was also very gratifying to see this relationship between myself and Dwayne that started summer of 1999 when we met backstage at the Meadowland shooting these things for MTV that led to me getting hired by WWE at Dwayne's recommendation.


Then seeing that play out, it was really, really cool because I was texting with Dwayne at one point when I was showing him pictures of shooting those days that week, and he's just like, "Could you just imagine this? Could you ever believe when we were coming up with our crazy stuff back in the late '90s, early 2000s, that now it would be portrayed on NBC on a sitcom 20 years later?" It's just amazing. Yeah, it was really cool, even though it's something I'd naturally be cringing and shying away from. I thought Clark Duke -– who's a huge wrestling fan and a friend of mine, is one of the reasons why I recommended him for the role, and everybody was a big fan of Clark, so that was an easy decision to cast him -– I thought he knocked it out of the park. He was really funny. Much, much funnier than me.


Are we ever going to see a "Young Brian" spinoff show?

I mean, if NBC played their cards, that would make one hell of a comedy hour. I think there might be a massive drop-off from "Young Rock" to "Young Brian," so it maybe needs to be streaming or a web series first and build up a following, and then yeah, that would make quite a one-hour entity in some alternative universe for sure.

Catch the season finale of "Young Rock" at 8:30 pm Eastern /7:30 Central on NBC, streaming tomorrow on Peacock.