The most recent edition of the Edge and Christian Podcast was a funny episode featuring former long-time WWE head writer Brian Gewirtz. Edge and Christian worked closely with Gewirtz during their WWE careers, so they had a lot of funny stories about their time together. Gewirtz said they were two of his favorite wrestlers to work with along with The Rock and Chris Jericho among others. These days, Gewirtz works for The Rock’s “Seven Bucks Productions” company after leaving WWE a few years ago.
During the podcast, Gewirtz told a story about how WWE Chairman Vince McMahon went through a period where he wanted to try to create backstories for characters. That led to Gewirtz talking about “Little Dave Batista.” Here’s a transcript of it courtesy of WrestlingInc:
“Everything is done for the right reasons. It’s just not executed the right way sometimes. So one day, we were in the writers room and Vince told us, ‘dammit, characters need backstories. We don’t know anything about these guys when they come in. We need nuanced, layered backstories.’ I’m like, ‘okay.’ [Imitating McMahon] ‘So, with that in mind … ’ We’re like, ‘oh boy, here it comes.’ [Imitating McMahon] ‘What if Dave Bautista was a foster child?’ I’m like, ‘what?’ He’s like, ‘no, it’s why he has a chip on his shoulder and that’s why Ric [Flair], because he’s in Evolution at the time, Ric is kind of his father figure,’ so all that kind of makes sense.
“Okay, he’s a foster child. That’s why when someone attacks Ric, he gets all worked up because he has this real life respect for Ric and his father figure. Great! So Vince kind of lays out this promo for Flair where it’s this very nuanced, interesting story about how Dave was abandoned as a kid and bounced around from foster home to foster home and grew a chip on his shoulder. And so, okay, it’s my job to take that and kind of, not rewrite it completely, but get it formed in form where it makes sense for television and everything and a little less rough.”
That was Gewirtz explaining the setup using Vince’s foster child idea. Shortly after that, he spoke about how the execution of the story just didn’t work out as well as they planned it.
“As I’m writing this promo, I am thinking, ‘this is it, this is what changes people’s perspective on professional wrestling because it’s that good.’ So in the production meeting, I’m reading this promo. Ric has pulled Dave aside. He’s like, ‘alright now, big man, listen. I know why the pain inside of you feels like it’s growing every day and because of your history of being a foster child’ and all this type of stuff.
“As I’m reading it in the production meeting, I see Vince take his, peripheral vision, he doesn’t like it when I do this, but I see this giant X being formed over this precious promo that I’ve spent all weekend working on because he’s like, ‘God, it’s so boring! You’re putting me to sleep!’ I’m like, ‘but you wrote most of it!’
“This is what actually aired. This is the whole vignette, his whole backstory, ‘we need backstories’: It’s Ric warming up Dave and going, ‘alright, big man, tonight, you’re going to walk down that aisle, woo, because you’re an animal! You’re the man! You’re also a foster child. Now, later tonight … ’ That’s the whole thing, one little throw away [line]! Yeah, and never mentioned again ever.”
It’s one of those things that did air on TV once as Gewirtz said, but there was no follow up to this story. Needless to say, it didn’t hurt Batista since he’s a six-time World Champion in WWE and he’s going to be in their Hall of Fame one day.
There were a lot of other funny stories on the podcast as well and I enjoy listening to E&C every week. Check it out by searching on iTunes or you can get it here too.