Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Gewirtz End

Anyone who reads wrestling news websites will likely be aware the Brian Gewirtz was removed as head writer of Monday Night RAW before last night's live show. Vince McMahon has reportedly been unhappy with the creative direction of his flagship show for weeks and it was decided that Gewirtz, as creative head, was to blame. It's been said he'll stay on in a consultancy role, but I suspect that will involve him working more with talent on promos (apparently his strong point) than with scripting the TV show.
Vince is also alleged to have told the remaining writers that he wants results or resignations. Presumably this ultimatum does not extend to his daughter Stephanie and son-in-law Triple H, despite the fact that they oversee the scripting of all WWE television (as does Vince for that matter).
The secretive nature of the WWE writing process makes it difficult to say exactly when Gewirtz assumed the duties of head writer. He has been involved with the creative process of WWE for over ten years and it’s believed that he has been head writer for the majority of that time. His official job title before being moved to his new consultant position was Senior Vice President, Creative and Development.
The most influential person on WWE's creative direction outside of the McMahon family will no longer be involved in the process. It's hard to herald this as either a wholly good or bad thing. While there has been some fairly shoddy material aired under the Gewirtz initiative it's impossible to know what the man himself was and wasn't responsible for and what he did and didn't agree with. All we can say for certain is that Vince, Stephanie and 'The Game' okayed everything.
For these reasons a bright new beginning for WWE seems unlikely. The same people are in charge. They've just gotten rid of, to quote CM Punk, a spoke on the wheel. If a new approach to WWE's booking does appear (and that will be a gradual process) then it will be because a conscious effort has been made to strive for change.

Anyone hoping for Paul Heyman to make a triumphant return to the writing team (it was one of the first things to cross my mind when I read this news) will be disappointed: Gewirtz is to be replaced by Eric Pankowski. Heyman has had his time as a member of the committee. He may be one of the greatest creative forces to ever work in wrestling but he wasn’t cut out for working with Vince McMahon on a daily basis (or as part of a group for that matter). I imagine Heyman is already making small suggestions directly to wrestlers but I can’t see him being brought back into the creative process formally, especially now a replacement has been announced.
Anyone hoping Paul Heyman will rejoin the creative team is probably going to be disappointed
The new boy was hired in February and has been working closely with Stephanie McMahon since starting with the company. The likelihood is that Steph was grooming Pankowski for his new spot, teaching him how to conduct himself in the position and where the company is ultimately headed.

WWE’s writing team are often talked about in general terms but specifics regarding them are few and far between. Stories such as this are interesting because they hint at changes coming to the product. As I said above that’s not something anyone should be pinning their hopes on. Any changes will be gradual and will not be attributable to Eric Pankowski. Vince McMahon, his daughter and her husband remain very much in charge.

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