How Rock Prepares, Behind-The-Scenes Process, WWE Production, Now Or Never?

When two wrestlers who have never faced each other - like The Rock and CM Punk - did they work together for the first time on PPV or did they train and/or rehearse their moves together in a gym a few days before the show?

The Rock vs. CM Punk is a unique situation as most pay-per-view main events get to be rehearsed at live events leading up to the pay-per-views. Due to the fact The Rock is part-time and doesn't work live events; he has to find other time to brush up on his in-ring work. To the best of my knowledge he didn't physically work in the ring with CM Punk until Royal Rumble. He trained for the bout with Michael McGillicutty. You can view a photo of them together at this link.

How many days or hours before a show does a wrestler know the outcome of his match? Do they meet with the creative team?

Here's how the process goes. The writers write the script and it goes to Vince McMahon for final approval. Once Vince has signed off there is a production meeting where the writers meet with producers. The producers are assigned matches to produce on the card and its their responsibility to convey what the writers have written to the talent. The workers involved will usually meet and discuss what they want to do in the match. As for the timeframe, it depends on the show, the match and the situation.

When WWE turns out the lights to get workers in the ring (as was the case on Raw with Sheamus, John Cena & Ryback), how do they know when to turn them back on?

Everything is planned out and coordinated beforehand. They know exactly when the lights are going to go out, when the workers are going to leave gorilla, etc. What you see on television follows a script that has went through a process like I mentioned above.

Is it now or never for the WWE Network? It seems like announcing the network at Wrestlemania 29 is very important given The Rock is at the peak of his popularity.

It's not now or never but WWE has to get clearance. Last week there was a very noteworthy development with DirecTV surveying subscribers about the network. Should WWE sign an agreement with DirecTV it would be enough clearance to force the cable providers to carry the network.  The best possible time WWE could make an announcement would be live on an episode of WWE Raw the week before or the week after Wrestlemania 29.

Remember questions with proper grammar and spelling stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, February 18, 2013.

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  • sir-rusty82

    Iv always wondered when the lights go out were do the hidden wrestlers come from, I cant imagine 3 grown men (the shield) or Undertaker crounched under the ring for 10-20 minutes waiting for the match to get to the point for them to come out and I cant imagine it being very compy if they do???

    • Joey

      If you remember HBK hid in a casket for quite a while before popping out to attack The Undertaker during the buildup to one of their matches. I think they will do whatever it takes to make it good. (At least some of them)

      • sir-rusty82

        Yeh but my question is were do they hide before the lights go out, under the ring would be the obvious place but that would mean they would be there for almost an entire match (except when doing a promo) also if they are under the ring when do they go out and hide under the ring cant see them doing it before the crowd takes their seats

        • Fan

          To answer your question, there are different methods, and under the ring, is the only method I’ve seen live.

          I was fortunate enough to sit ringside, when Undertaker came back at SS2010 (Kane vs. Mysterio). Prior to the match, during the video montage of the feud, production crews came from the side (by the announcer and timekeeper) as they occasionally did in between matches. At one point of the ppv crews swapped the mat, and at other times they just rearranged the steps and cabling. In this case, one of them was definitely bigger than the average crew member and was wearing a hoodie, that one “crew member” casually slipped under the ring and after, all of the crew left the same way they came in, minus the one big “crew member” wearing the hoodie. I noticed instantly as they were coming out, that there was one crew member that stood out. I proceeded to spoil the surprise, by pointing it out to one of my friends and speculating, it had to be the returning Undertaker. Sure enough after the match Taker came out of the casket that was next to the ring. (I think I’m remembering everything.)

          Please note, there was a video playing the whole time, about Kane and Mysterio’s feud, so the crowd was focused on the big screens, and the only way anybody would have noticed is if their eyes were fixed to the ringside the whole time. The only reason we noticed, was because a) we were ringside and it took place right in front of us. b) we kept our eyes on the one guy that stood out the whole time. c) the rest of the ring crew was walking/running around the ring as if they were doing something, when they were only distracting anybody that cared to stare at them the whole time. d) we didn’t care about the video montage at all, as we already knew how the feud started.

          Hope this helped answer your question.

          • sir-rusty82

            HAHAHA excellent thanks heaps for that its always been a thing Iv thought about

  • Chris

    The matches with Rock and anyone lately should be seen as compliments to both he and whomever is in the match with him. I can only imagine the difficulty of working live, on PPV, usually in one of the most prominent matches of the night, having zero practice with one another aside from MAYBE a couple minutes preshow during the day.

  • Charlie Lowery

    Richard I thought Rock and Punk hung a curtain around the ring to practice sometime before Royal Rumble?

  • #inthewrestlingbusiness

    I know the old days they would hide them under the ring during a commercial under a WWE camera man or some sort of staff gimmick and then there would be a monitor under the ring so they knew when to come out. I think now they do it different ways.