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INSIDER PERSPECTIVE: Just-ousted head of creative team was once a top Vince McMahon confidant

Oct 9, 2012 - 12:22:36 AM
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Former WWE Creative Team member John Piermarini spoke in unprecedented detail to PWTorch editor Wade Keller about his two years on WWE's creative team (2009-2010) working under Brian Gewirtz. Gewirtz has been relieved of his lead writing duties. This is shocking many people who have worked behind the scenes in WWE over the past ten years because of how close Vince McMahon and Gewirtz seemed to be. Here is an excerpt of Keller's interview with Piermarini detailing the dynamic with Gewirtz on creative.

Wade Keller: Your relationship with Brian Gewirtz, talk about how that built over the two years and if you left thinking Brian was a friend or was he a co-worker you never got close to or there's mutual respect and you'll stay in touch and exchange Christmas cards?

John Piermarini: Well, let me give my thoughts on Brian. Here's sort of the way I see Brian. I think from what I saw there—and listen there were probably people before me, but I watched the product, so I think I'm a good judge of being able to say this—I think Brian could be the best writer WWE has had, but I say that in the sense of I think Brian writes the best promos of anybody who's walked through that door. I just don't get why Brian didn't use that creativity and put that toward making compelling stories and put that toward really creating characters and building and establishing young stars to be tomorrow's main eventers. You know, I don't think we ever saw eye to eye on what we thought was good. But he's a tough guy to crack. He's not the most personable person, but really I don't think I was, either, there. I don't think I really made great friends with the writers. I think I got along better with the talent than the writers. I mean, there were certain guys on the writing team I would consider myself friends with, but Brian's tough to crack, man. I have all the respect in the world for the time he's put in there and what he's accomplished there, but I just wish he would—I know he could write good stories and I know he could create characters, I just wish he would do that. I think his forte was writing great promos and I felt like he wanted to build everything around writing great promos.

Keller: Is he a lifer? Is he as dedicated to WWE—not blindly, but certainly faithfully? Or do you think he has moments where he's thinking, "Maybe I want a different chapter in my life?"

Piermarini: To be perfectly honest, I would be guessing. I don't know. There comes a time where everybody there vents and has frustrations, but do I think he's a lifer, I don't know what goes through his head because he doesn't necessarily really tell anybody that. If he did, it definitely wasn't me. He's been there, what, ten years? Maybe this is what he wants to do, maybe it's not, I really don't know.

Keller: Did you get a sense of the dynamic between him and Vince McMahon?

Piermarini: I think Vince values Brian's opinions probably more than maybe everybody's except Kevin Dunn's. I don't know if that was the ten years of experience or if Brian just built that trust with him. If Vince is convinced about something, Vince is convinced about it, and no one is really talking him out of it. The only people that I've ever really seen change Vince's mind is Brian and Kevin Dunn.

Keller: Is there anybody you worked with that you have no problem saying you never want to work with them again, wrestler or otherwise. You want to get it out there that you were miserable or hated working with this person.

Piermarini: Oh, wow. Brian Gewirtz. That's not a knock on him as a human being. I'm sure he's a great guy if you're friends with him. A working relationship, I'm not interested in.

***

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