Former WWE Writer Chris DeJoeseph recently was on PWTorch Livecast. Here are a few highlights.
DeJoseph on what it’s like behind the scenes when Vince McMahon decides to appear on TV after an absence: “I think there were numerous times where that could be brought up in totally different ways,” DeJoseph, also known on air as Big Dick Johnson, says. “Sometimes it could be a request from the writing team. For the most part Vince didn’t like to be on TV if he didn’t have to be. I’m just using my own judgment here; I think this might have something to do with – usually it’s like the McMahon Million Dollar Mania, or now the three hour Raws – I’m wondering if it’s some kind of play to make some kind crazy announcement to get ratings.”
Did the writing team usually collaborate with him or did he just say “this is what I’m doing”? “There were lots of time where it was, ‘We have this idea, we’d like to do it.’ And he would be, like, ‘Okay, that’s great.’ There were other times, for instance the Million Dollar thing, where he came to us with the idea and [that meant] we were doing it. (laughs)”
Does Vince care about storyline consistency?: “It would always be brought up. Logic would always be brought up, but sometimes it’d just be thrown right out the window. He’d sometimes say he couldn’t even remember what happened three weeks ago, so how is the audience going to remember it? I think sometimes that was his thought…”
DeJoseph says the blame should be on Vince himself, and not the writing team, for the big gaps in logic, dropped storylines, and stream of aggravating contradictions. “I’m sure they’re going to try or at least they’ve been pitching all week or they’re going to try to explain something. I’m sure they have something in mind to explain it logically. If they don’t that’ll be interesting, too… It’s a big promotional thing that’s going to get eyeballs on this TV show and I think that’s what he thinks [matters].”
Does it chip away at fans investing in the product? “Yeah, it sucks. [Fans have to be thinking,] ‘Why should I invest my time and everything into this storyline when they’re just going to sh– on it without explanation.’ I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe they will on Monday. I don’t know what they’re going to do on Monday.”
DeJoseph says the writing team cares even when Vince doesn’t: “At least when I was there, and I’m sure it’s still the same way, we would try to present every logical thing. We’d say we need to explain that, and whether it was ignored or we were told ‘No, we f—in’ don’t,’ that’s the way it was… If not for Vince, the writers such as Michael Hayes, Ed Koskie, and Brian Gewirtz would try to make sense of their ideas, but with Vince “you’re constantly dealing with switching and changing things.
“Sometimes it’s even hard for yourself to keep up on everything. I think they would try for sure. I’m sure when they knew that Vince was coming back, it was probably one of the first things that came up – how in the hell are we going to explain why he’s back. And then it was probably, like, ‘Don’t f—in’ worry about it.’ And they go, ‘Okay.’ I think the writing team wants what most fans want because, for the most part, they’re all fans.”
Another major Vince McMahon storyline was abandoned five years ago this month, when he appeared to die inside of his limousine when it exploded. Chris DeJoseph was part of the team who wrote that storyline. He reveals who came up the storyline, why it was created, and where it was headed before the Chris Benoit Family Tragedy caused the limo storyline to be immediately abandoned.
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