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Chris Jericho On How Much Freedom He Had to Change Things in WWE, Whether Vince Will Ever Change the Process or Retire

December 11, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Chris Jericho

– On the latest Keeping It 100, Chris Jericho discussed the creative process in WWE, how much ability he had to change things and working with Vince McMahon. Speaking with Konnan and Disco Inferno, Jericho recalled some of his favorite guys to work with and weighed in on whether Vince McMahon will ever change how WWE does things creatively or retire. Highlights are below:

On how much freedom he had to say what material he didn’t like: “So I mean, obviously I was there like 20 years. So I had a lot of freedom to say, ‘I don’t like this.’ I also had a lot of input into [storylines]. You know, all the Shawn Michaels stuff was my stuff with Shawn. And same with Rey and Kevin Owens and all that stuff. I had a lot of say in it. But you know, when you’re talking about having to write a promo together — I mean, all of my promos in AEW have been off the cuff. All off the top of my head, everything … But in WWE, you have to write the promo, you have to construct them and then you have to get Vince to approve it. And then he’ll change whatever he doesn’t like, which, he’ll change something because that’s just what he does.”

On the Creative team members he loved working with: So prior to kind of in the first era of Jericho, Brian Gewirtz, who is now one of the higher-ups for the Rock because the Rock loved working with him too and made him one of his right-hand men in his [Seven Bucks] production company, he was great. So I would work with Brian Gewirtz pretty much all the time. He was my guy. Then when I came back, it was Jimmy Jacobs. He was amazing. He came up with The List and all that stuff in 2016 and 2017, 2015. So those were the two best guys that I worked with, that really knew who I was as a character.”

On the process: “We would collaborate, like writing a song. Sit down, ‘What do you got? Here’s what I got, here’s what Vince wants, what do you got? I got this, put it together, construct it, kind of BS back and forth. If you were working with someone that you enjoyed working with, like Kevin, and he would put in his two cents as well. And then you’d take it to Vince and you’d get either approved or disapproved. Sometimes the writer would come back and say, ‘Vince hates all of this, he wants it all changed.’ So eventually I would go in there and just read the promos in my voice, and listen to what Vince has to say. But you know, a lot of times you would spend hours working on this great piece of work and then Vince would hate everything. He’d want to change the most important parts. But once again, that’s Vince’s world. That’s what he wants, and you have to follow it.”

On which will come first: Vince retiring or changing the process: “Neither. Vince is never going to retire, and I don’t think he’s ever going to change his mind on how he wants to do business. He’s been doing this far too long, you know, and he feels his way is the right way. And you know, I mean for 40 years it pretty much has been the right way. AEW now exists, obviously he doesn’t like it. Doing everything in his power to harm us, or to take people away from watching us. But I don’t think you’ll ever see Vince change his philosophy. There might be a time when maybe he cuts back on the writers, but I don’t think so. It’s just the way they do things now. The writer’s meetings, and promos, and I don’t know if he would know what to do if there was no writers and it goes back to just all him and Pat Patterson sitting at his house by the pool putting everything together. That’s not gonna happen either. So he’s not going to retire, he’ll die in power so to speak. His mom is 97, and she still plays tennis every day. [laughs] So I wouldn’t be planning on that any time soon.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Keeping it 100 with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.