In the aftermath of WrestleMania 35, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon had a video interview with Sports Business Journal, where they spoke about how WWE does what they do. That included a conversation about Vince McMahon’s current involvement, which Triple H says is about as extensive as fans tend to assume. He also defends Vince from common charges of micromanagement and holding people down, although you can judge how sincere that part is:
He has the most incredible work ethic of any person I have ever seen. It’s impossible to hang with him on a long-term basis even at 73. It’s crazy. Still trains every day, still does everything. But he’s hands on on so many things, not because he micromanages or not because he can’t let people succeed or do things, but when it comes to the creative and shows, he’s still at RAW and Smackdown every week because that’s the part that he loves. He found himself later as a businessman but that’s what he loves to do. He’s awesome at it and that’s his…it’s his passion. He won’t give that up. Not because he should. It’s his passion. It’s being a songwriter. He’s always going to want to collaborate and work on a song. Always.
The conversation also including some discussion about the booking and planning of wrestling storylines, during which Stephanie McMahon climbed they “try” to plan things out a year in advance, although she at least acknowledges it often doesn’t work that way.
We try to have a basic plan with their script a year out, you know. But inevitably, things happen and storylines change. Another beautiful thing about WWE is because we are live 52 weeks a year, we have no off season, we have no reruns, and we essentially have a live focus group every single night at these live events telling us what’s working, what’s not working, and what they don’t care about so we can shift and adjust our plans as needed.
Triple H added ;that the need to change plans at the last minute can sometimes lead to some of the best stuff. He doesn’t say it, but KofiMania is the most obvious recent example.
And you’re dealing with athletes and you’re dealing with injuries and the ability to shift and pivot at a moment’s notice to where you want to go. The beautiful thing for us is – I was told this early in my career – beauty comes out of chaos a lot, and sometimes when you get into a situation where the worst possible thing happens, leading into a big event somebody gets injured and you think ‘oh this is the worst thing that could happen’, it leads you to come up with something better.
Thanks to 411Mania for the transcripts, by the way. Even if it’s clear that Trips and Steph are always in “branding” mode and only occasionally halfway sincere, it’s still kind of interesting to hear their insiders’ perspectives on how the business is run.