Former WWE head writer and the current Senior Vice President of Development for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s “Seven Bucks Productions” company, Brian Gewirtz, recently appeared as a guest on Edge and Christian’s podcast, E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness for an in-depth interview. Below are some of the highlights.
On visiting the Cena household to get content for an Edge/John Cena feud and how Cena’s father, John Cena Sr., kept going into business for himself: “I think John gave us a little warning before we went over there too. He had a [comment like], ‘oh, Johnny Fab, huh? Good luck with that.’ And then, so me and Bruce Prichard, we were the co-producers of this. We liked teaming up together because, if there was heat, at least it would be split. Yeah, [split between the two] we could at least handle it together. So [Edge] and [Lita], we went to the Cena house, yeah, and the idea was [Edge] would go in, make fun of his upbringing, make fun of his house, and eventually get into it with his dad and everything.
“But what we didn’t know was Mr. Cena is a bit of a performance artist in his own right. Yes, so and the line was just ‘Edge berates John Cena’s dad and storms off,’ so then, [Edge] would berate him, and he goes, ‘well, let me tell you something, I’m going to put you over the edge!’ And then, he looks into the camera. We’re like, ‘what the f–k? What? Hey, Mr. Cena, in this particular set of circumstances, you are just going to stand there and kind of get berated. We’re going to get sympathy for you and your character and everything.’ [Imitating Cena, Sr.] ‘Oh, got it. Okay.’ So then, [Lita] cuts her promo and it’s like, ‘let me tell you something chicky-poo, you’re nothing! And I’m going to make sure you’re both put over the edge!’ He kept going back to that for some reason. He was doubling down on the ‘over the edge’ and [Edge] had to do [his] best to stop from laughing at everything. [Imitating Cena, Sr.] ‘I don’t care if you do it till the cows come home! Hahaha! See, because that’s how it works around here in West Newbury, Massachusetts!’ I’m like, ‘what is happening?’ He couldn’t help himself and Cena warned us about it.”
On being most proud of the work in the Chris Jericho/Shawn Michaels angle during his time in WWE: “To be able to have that Rock/Hogan promo segment in Chicago [Illinois], which, that is, again, I don’t know if anyone really remembers the actual words that were used in the promo segment, but just to be associated with that. It’s the same thing with, again, it’s like, ‘well, it would take a really talented writer to screw this up,’ the Shawn [Michaels]/Bret [Hart] reunion in, I think it was Dayton, Ohio, when Shawn and Bret were back in the ring. I mean, I was the ‘writer’ tied to that. And, for me, personally, and I’ve said this before, I always took pride in the Shawn Michaels/Chris Jericho angle that we did for many, many months, because I was not… I mean, I always respected Shawn Michaels, but as growing up and everything, I always rooted for Bret Hart against him. I wasn’t like The Kliq fanboy or anything like that even though my friends and I followed him to a hospital once in Syracuse [New York], War Memorial, house show when we were in college and they asked my friends directions to the hospital and then, we followed them there and we got kicked out in the waiting room.
“That Shawn/Jericho thing, which wasn’t supposed to be more than a couple-week angle that eventually went on from December into SummerSlam into WrestleMania. That was completely devoid of humor and it was completely serious. That I think I took the most pride in because I didn’t want to when I first started working there, it was always trying to look for the, I don’t want to say, ‘do just comedy’ and stuff like that, but that kind of… I was a comedy writer in L.A. [California]. That was completely serious. It was an honest-to-goodness, I believe, money-drawing huge angle. I got to know Shawn better and work with him, which was really rewarding. And then, I think it’s something the fans look back on pretty fondly as a storyline/angle, so I’d probably say that one.”
Check out the complete Brian Gewirtz interview from E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness at Art19.com.