Former WWE writer, Freddie Prinze Jr. recently spoke with The Ariel Helwani Show about Jeff Hardy’s first push in WWE. He revealed that Vince McMahon personally greenlit the push to take place.

“We were on the road to making Jeff champion, which some people were against,” he admitted. “It turned out to be rightfully so because he was not responsible with his life and he was having drug issues at the time. That was the reason they were nervous to do it, but Vince had greenlit this.”

Freddie Prinze Jr. admitted that his desire to push Jeff Hardy led to a fallout with Triple H. The Game was the man who was against the idea, which Freddie admits he was correct about.

“The Jeff Hardy storyline was the end of any relationship I had with Hunter,” he admitted. “I’m open about that, but it wasn’t a secret. He was very against it, he didn’t think we could count on Jeff. Hunter is a company man and I felt, creatively, it was worth the risk. He didn’t, and in hindsight, he was right. Jeff was released from the company I think a year later because he got in more trouble. I never blamed him for it. But at the time, I’m sure he doesn’t care now. At the time when I worked there, he wasn’t having me.”

The former creative team member then told a fun story about Stephanie McMahon. During the Armageddon PPV, she ended up saving the day during a disastrous backstage interview with Jeff Hardy.

“We are going to Armageddon and he had sort of the promo of all promos. The payoff promo, he’s going over at Armageddon. Not everyone is happy about it, but it’s for sure happening. I know that there’s no tomfoolery going on because I saw some secret stuff. We’re getting ready to shoot it and I would write it on cue cards. I would move the cue cards around so that Jeff could look tormented and pained during all this. He would have a hard time learning the lines in the three hours that they would give them. The power goes out in the whole arena. I’m like, ‘We have to pre-tape it, we can’t do it live, there’s no way.’ I’m like, ‘Wow, okay. We’re dead. I guess I’m waiting for the power to come back on, we have no lights, nothing.’

“Stephanie blasts through the door and she goes, ‘What are we doing? We’ve got to get this.’ I’m like, ‘What are you talking about, we have no power?’ She’s like, ‘The cameras on, the battery, sounds on, we’ve got to go.’ I’m like, ‘There’s no light,’ and she says, ’We are finding lights.’ We are in this suite/cafeteria on the upper deck of this arena. She’s like going through cabinets and drawers, so I just start going through cabinets and drawers. I don’t know what we’re looking for but I’m just looking for stuff,” he admitted. “She grabs a green penlight and she goes, ‘We got a light,’ and the crew guy goes, ‘I’ve got a flashlight.’ I go, ‘Okay, give me the flashlight.’

“I hand her a scotch glass from the bar and I go, ‘Shine the green light through the glass and it’ll make a cool effect on Jeff,” he stated. “I’ll shine the flashlight on the queue cards so he can read it, and I’ll just float around the camera. Stephanie is like, ‘Alright, let’s go.’ She’s just a steamroller. I was not thinking solution, I was like, ‘Well, we’re screwed.’ She comes in and she’s not having it, rolling up her sleeves, getting her hands dirty, digging through cabinets. But for real, getting her hands dirty. We ended up shooting it. We do one take, Jeff kills it.”

Freddie Prinze Jr. spoke about how that moment made it clear how much the McMahon family cares. He says they might not always get it right, but they are invested in the product.

“I remember seeing that, how much she cared,” he admitted. “I am not just trying to big up the McMahon family. I will watch the product. There are segments I know are for kids, there are segments that I know are for me, and sometimes, I don’t like either one of them. I don’t always like the way they book things, but I know they give a damn. I know how hard they fight, and kick, and scream with each other. With people they shouldn’t, people who genuinely could help if they’d let them. I know they care, they just don’t always get it right.”

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit The Ariel Helwani Show with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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