How The WWE Writing Team Is Holding Up Following Raw's Expansion, Details On A Top WWE Star In Which The Company Has No Long-Term Plans For, Plans For Charlie Sheen At SummerSlam, CM Punk Makes A Major Request Following Randy Orton's Return & Why He Hasn't Taken A Backseat To The Viper

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- I'm told there is a considerable amount of burn out amongst many members of the WWE writing team, almost to the point where they are having a hard time keeping up with gimmicks and angles from one show to the next. Remember there was a lot of opposition from writers about WWE Raw expanding to three hours due to added stress and the extra work it would require of them.

- There is no long-term plan in place for Daniel Bryan's character and while the company wants to do a celebrity angle with Charlie Sheen for SummerSlam, Sheen is seen as so unreliable WWE is having a hard time putting anything together. As one source pointed out, if WWE can't rely on him to post Tweets how can they rely on him to appear at a major pay-per-view?

- The plan is for WWE Champion CM Punk to re-join the Raw crew on the touring schedule now that Randy Orton has returned. I heard Punk actually requested to be placed back on Raw live events because he wanted to be with the company's top brand and feels it offers him a better opportunity in terms of drawing power. Punk's move isn't seen as a backseat to Orton but a call of his own. While Orton really wanted to come back heel, he's not in a good position to negotiate right now and Punk told the office he'd go heel and play out real-life gripes. He wasn't worried about it hurting his merchandise sales either because the feeling was his fans were going to be his fans no matter what.

  • snuggle

    Why don’t Vince just hire more writers to write for each show.

    • Ryder

      Or better yet how about hire writers that know about wrestling 😀

  • Gary

    Why is adding another hour such a big-deal. Perhaps they need to hire qualified writers that actually have degrees and true writing experience, rather than just giving the jobs to ex-wrestlers. Adding another hour gives them an opportunity to simply add more matches and get more talent on TV as opposed to some of those guys sitting in the back and doing nothing. As for "keeping track" of angles. You simply have a big board in the writers room for it. Its not THAT hard.

  • Let's make this clear. There is many writers where there is a home team (stays in Connecticut) and an away team (on the road). Here's the process from listening to tons of interviews with former creative writers/head writers:

    1. All writers submit and pitch their ideas on Wednesday. Basically the first drafts from everyone.
    2. The head writer creates the script combining all of the ideas to make the second draft.
    3. On that Thursday, Vince gives his critiques, what he likes and don't likes, then the head re-writes the script, making it a third draft.
    4. They have a conference call with Vince on Saturday, have Vince critique it, then create a fourth draft.
    5. Production meeting on Monday and whatever is the outcome out of that creates the fifth draft.
    6. If Vince is completely satisfied with that fifth draft, then it's considered the final draft. If not it goes on to the sixth, the seventh, the eighth, etc. until Vince actually likes it.

    In other words, why are they so burnt out? I don't know, maybe it's because they have to make 5+ drafts of the same show in one week and many of the writers ideas don't get used, bringing moral down with it. I think people really underestimate what the writers go through. It's not "Oh, let's do this." It's "This is not an idea! But what if…" type of deal.

  • _JIM_

    Adding another hour to Raw really shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Here’s a novel idea, HAVE MORE WRESTLING ON THE SHOW to suck up that extra time they have to fill. Problem solved. Have Vince send my check to my home address. Lol. I just don’t see what the big deal is. The performers would love more ring time and it would give them a chance to involve workers who wouldn’t normally have gotten the chance when Raw was a 2-hour broadcast.

    • Gary

      exactly….add in matches, like I said, to use talent that just sits back stage doing nothing.Not every single match needs to have a soap opera behind it.

  • Richard Gray

    Couple of things. Vince McMahon is very difficult to write for because there are situations where he'll leave everyone in the dark as to which direction he wants to go with a particular storyline. He does this because he wants to keep things a surprise and prevent them from leaking, however, it puts enormous pressure on those that are going to script segments when they have no idea which direction McMahon may turn. Vince has even been known to change his mind hours before a show goes live.

    Further, let's look at the time frame. Say we're coming off a pay-per-view which ends at 11 PM ET Sunday night. Vince and the writers didn't get the script finalized until late Saturday evening and had to script some changes Sunday afternoon. They then have to figure out how to factor in angle blow-offs as well as those are continuing to make them interesting on a live television show the next night. Let's not forget this is all being done on the road and travel must be considered.

    Now, rather than assuring everything is in order for two hours, try filling another hour. Keep in mind Vince may change his mind at any moment and there's a lot of pressure each and every week.

    TV shows, movies, plays, etc. all have scripts that are written and edited over a period of several months and then are approved before they're ever acted out. WWE writers literally have less than 24 hours at times with some shows being written when they go live on the USA Network. Let's also not forget the writers are the first people to take heat when the show sucks and they have the entire IWC to critique their every move.

    • PainOfDemise

      Instead of trying to make up storylines for everything, they should just throw in a few more matches, just for matches. Just like Superstars, there really is no storyline for those matches, they just are good ol matches. They need to throw some more of those in there instead of needing to have a reason why every single thing happens.

  • Guy Landau

    I've been slowly developing the idea that writers should be put in charge of different divisions and get bonuses for drawing big ratings for them. When you have a person/bunch of people in charge of the US title, and a different person/group in charge of the IC title, etc. etc. with a portion of the roster relegated to each they will all work to make their "brand" the best. The show can still have a flow because Vince could give weekly guidelines "your division's in charge of the opener, you have the first hour main event, you do the following lighthearted segment", etc. etc. (because, as we all know, having each match at main event quality will cause burnout for most fans). Vince likes to create competition and drive in his wrestlers and it shows in workrate – I think doing the same for writers with each vying for their brand to be the most successful will increase their workrate as well. If a wrestler can be promoted from a midcard role to a main event role (as constant motivation) I don't see why a producer can't be promoted from a midcard writer to main events writer. That way it also leaves each writer with less segments to write. Regardless, I think hiring more writers is welcome.

  • Patrick Peralta

    "Punk told the office he’d go heel and play out real-life gripes. He wasn’t worried about it hurting his merchandise sales either because the feeling was his fans were going to be his fans no matter what."

    Punk's feelings on that is true if only Vince would realize Cena's fans will buy his merchandice no matter what wiether he is a face or heel.

    The big issue is Merchandice which is the one main issue of Vince not wanting to turn Cena Heel, plus Cena himself who has said in interviews he prefers being a face over a heel.

    • Gary

      Exactly. Same with the spinner belt. Keep it on the website and the kids will still buy it but bring the real belt back.

      • Guy Landau

        No… Cena's merch fans are not the same as Punk's merch fans. If Cena turns heel a large percentage of his merchandise sales will drop. Punk's merchandise fans are like Austin's, in that he is loved for his BAMFiness, face or heel. We can want Cena to turn heel all we want, but let's not warp the reality of the situation – Cena is selling because he's super Cena. If he turned heel some would buy his new merchandise, but his sales will drop bigtime. Cena's majority of fans (and, in his case and unlike Punk's, the people who buy his merch) are casual fans. Punk's merch-buyers are "diehard" fans of Punk, not viewers liking his face/heel persona.

        As for the spinner belt – why would anyone buy it once it's not on TV? At that point the belt is nothing but a nostalgia act, and a shameful, embarrassing one at that.

  • crabtree91

    How can Daniel Bryan go from Vince wanting to put the WWE Title on him, to nobody knows what to do with him?

  • AntGilroy

    They better not get rid of Bryan!! And listen someone. Needs to tell the writers they don’t need to write more material!!! Let the wrestlers wrestle for 15-20 min have 4-5 15-20 min matches that’s half the show we want to see wrestling and throw some stories in there have more then one fued with certain guys it doesnt need to be this guy vs this guy for three months then on to the next guy fued multiple guys at once it makes for better angles and better tv!!

  • AntGilroy

    They have three hours of show now no need to run video when they could be using guys who can be stars!

  • dong

    Should of let orton return heel, would have been a better return