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‘Definitely some talent that you cannot trust’: WWE Hall of Famer on micromanagement in wrestling

It is a dream of professional wrestlers to ply their trade in the WWE. Vince McMahon’s promotion has established itself as the leading organisation in professional wrestling and is successfully recognized all around the world. During the Attitude Era, WWE was at the peak of its powers as wrestlers like Steve Austin, The Undertaker or the Rock were household names around the globe. The popularity of WWE has dipped in recent years but still, the organization is going strong in terms of revenue.

It has been argued that WWE has failed to make superstars of popularity like Austin, Rock, or John Cena in the last decade. WWE have often been criticized for micromanaging the wrestlers in terms of promos and their actions on television.

WWE Hall of Famer and producer Road Dogg was a recent guest on Corey Graves’ ‘After the Bell’ podcast and talked about the skills that separate a talent like Cena and other wrestlers.

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“The message that we as a company are comfortable with telling and how far you go and how far you not go and then use the talents words, help me with these words. What would come out of your mouth if this is the message. A lot more lately, especially with the promos, they are including talent.,” Road Dogg said. (h/t to Wrestling Inc.)

“John Cena would fit, if he had a one segment promo, he would sit in that writers room for eight hours, and I mean he would go use the bathroom and come back and he would say, hey, what do you think about this? His promos for gold right? Because he spent the time. A lot of wrestlers will get their promo and go OK, cool, yeah I like this. OK, well, it’s your character.”

“If I’m going to put my product on the shelf, I dang sure want the label facing the viewer, facing the shopper. I want to present it the best way I can, so if you’re a wrestler and you have a 10-minute segment where it’s a promo and a match and you don’t take the time to make sure that’s the best it could possibly be, hey that ain’t on the writer, that ain’t on Vince McMahon as much as you’d like to put it there so you could be talent friendly. That’s on the talent.”

Road Dogg also talked about how he used to listen too much to other people in terms of ideas. Vince McMahon was the one who taught him to listen to people as it empowers them.

“One of my faults and attributes is that I listen to other people, and I sometimes think if their idea is better than mine, I will always go with their idea,” Road Dogg revealed.

“And that’s actually something I learned from Vince McMahon. He said, even if their ideas aren’t as good as yours but it gets you to the same place, let them have their way because it empowers them, and that’s a people lesson thing like Vince’s has taught me so much about stuff like that.”

“Look, I would love to come up with the story or the angle and let the talent fill in the blanks, but there’s very few talent, I’m not saying there was more back then, I didn’t know about this part back then. I didn’t know the part where they either let you go and give you some rope, and you either zip line to the other side or you hang yourself. So I didn’t know about all that, but there are some talent nowadays that you can trust to fill in the blanks, and there’s definitely some talent that you cannot trust. So as far as the micromanaging goes, I was guilty of that for sure.”

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