Pro Wrestling Writers Try To Argue Their Existence
In the midst of Vince McMahon proving himself to be everything we’ve said he is and fooling mainstream media into thinking he was going to step down in favour of his daughter, a smaller controversy brewed up over the value and usefulness of pro wrestling writers.
Much of this started when this WWE shareholder who states he’s a “humorist” and almost directly after, “Basically an idiot” suggests that, “Your favorite wrestler probably has a writer that helps them with their promo work.” and, “The wrestling in AEW is great, and sometimes, the promo work is really good too. But man, you can’t rely on “sometimes” if you’re going to grow the audience.”
The first tweet could be correct. There’s actually NOTHING WRONG WITH HAVING THE VALUABLE EXPERIENCE OF A WRITER TO HELP PEOPLE SHAPE IDEAS. Dwayne Johnson used Brian Gewirtz for so many of his promos he eventually hired him to his production company Seven Bucks Productions. When The Rock needed a new way to say roody poo candy ass he had Brian to help him. Lucha Underground is still my favourite wrestling company of the past decade and it was definitely a written wrestling show and not traditionally wrestler controlled.
I’m not against hiring anyone who can help a company like All Elite Wrestling refine their ideas and concepts. But a WWE shareholder talking directly about All Elite Wrestling and trying to make a smug point about your favourite wrestler probably has a writer when trying to argue for AEW to add writers means he’s trying to say AEW wrestlers who do your favourite promos already have writers but AEW needs writers. See the problem? He didn’t. He just wanted to be smug about The Rock.
The second point is where he has zero evidence. There is zero evidence to suggest that writers working on wrestler promos helps grow a wrestling audience. Not in the past, and certainly not in 2022. There is no statistical argument or even data compiled of promos done by the wrestler only and promos with writer assistance and to gauge which ones got better ratings, better fan retention, and better audience support. None. All we have is 20 years of World Wrestling Entertainment having a room full of writers work to the whims of one old creep. And a 20 year decline of their ratings since relying on writers over wrestlers for creative.
And that Lucha Underground I loved? It got cancelled due to low ratings.
We also have evidence that AEW’s television ratings since 2019 have only gone up despite cord cutting, switching television networks, and not using writers. Now, does this mean writers are absolutely inefficient to assist in pro wrestling storylines and promos? No. It just means they are unnecessary. They can be a feature, but they are not what makes the whole game run.
Of course writers in Hollywood think All Elite Wrestling needs writers on staff to help the wrestlers and Tony Khan do the show. Before the WWE brought in Chris Kreski, writing for pro wrestling was not a viable financial option for them. You either wrote jokes for your stand up comedian buddies or you got on a writing staff of a television show. You didn’t have this avenue. For over 20 years you now have it and the number two wrestling promotion in the world is saying not for us.
When you tell any of these guys that they are unnecessary they take it as you saying they can’t do their job here. They will be immediately defensive. They are going to say things that they have absolutely zero evidence to support.
There is nothing found to suggest that All Elite Wrestling is going to grow to two million viwers per week if Marina Shafir gets a writer. There isn’t even anything saying they will gain 1,000 viewers doing it. Could it help? Sure. I’ve been an advocate of all pro wrestlers getting an acting coach to improve their abilities connecting with an audience. I’ve yet to hear someone say they weren’t going to watch AEW because the promos are only great sometimes. Not only that, but only a wrestling writer that’s a WWE shareholder would say that AEW promos are “usually not good” since every week we hear about someone saying a promo in AEW was one of the best they’ve heard. The MJF promo in front of Discovery executives. Every Eddie Kingston promo. Heck recently the best promo of wrestling wasn’t AEW or WWE but New Japan Pro Wrestling, when Jay White cut his championship victory post show promo.
Not only that, but wrestling writers having WWE as their example shouldn’t be trying to throw stones on the quality of promos from All Elite Wrestling. WWE promos are generally awful. Not mediocre, but awful. Roman Reigns is right now their crown jewel of cutting promos and it’s mostly due to his delivery and confidence and not the actual content in the promos. Put those promos on Ricochet and it won’t hit the same because Ricochet lacks confidence with a microphone. The wrestler still has to be the one to elevate the material, not the writer elevating the wrestler. Which completely defeats the logic for these wrestling writers trying to get jobs in AEW. They are not helping in WWE. They didn’t help when in WWE. So what do you bring to AEW?
But hey, that’s a logical argument instead of an emotional argument. And the writers are arguing from a stance of emotion. People are calling them worthless. Useless. A problem. They are trying to argue they can be worth having. Useful. A solution. They want to be able to make money somewhere other than under the shadow of Vince McMahon and companies like All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling are proving you don’t need a writer to cut a good promo. You know, how pro wrestling was for its entire history prior to the past 20 years.
I don’t fault them for their hustle, but if they want to prove their value? They should be proving they can write a better argument for their value.