There’s Just One Problem… By Brian Gewirtz

February 17, 2023

Depending on your viewpoint and what you know about Gewirtz, he represents everything that’s right or everything that’s wrong with WWE’s modern TV product. This book does a good job of proving the truth is somewhere in between, but will entertain you even if it doesn’t change your mind.

For those who don’t know, Gewirtz was a WWE writer throughout the 2000s, including a lengthy run as the head writer. His account addresses that era, including both the development of full-blown Hollywood style writer rooms and the switch to more heavily-scripted promos.

Above all else, the book conveys the sheer insanity of applying this process to a TV production like no other (live broadcasts with scripts completed or even written on the day, then handed to athletes without formal acting training) and a boss like no other in Vince McMahon.

Many of the best-remembered (for good or worse) storylines are detailed, giving a unique insight into everything from guest hosts on Monday Night War to Katie Vick to the anonymous Raw GM to Goldberg in a wig. To Gewirtz’s credit, he explains the rationale and development process behind each moment, but never tries to pretend something was well-received or effective when that’s clearly not the case.

There’s also a detailed look at the three year Rock-Cena program (including confirmation the “Once In A Lifetime” tag was used for the first meeting despite the rematch already being on the books). It’s one of the more dramatic examples of a situation where much of what was delivered was very much not scripted and agreed by all concerned.

It’s all told with an engaging style and humour, somewhat reminiscent of the early Mick Foley books, making for a quick and easy read.

Perhaps surprisingly many of the positive reviews on Amazon are from people with little or no pre-existing interest or knowledge in wrestling. However, for more dedicated fans it’s also a strong recommendation, no matter what your prior assumption about the writer.

Read on Amazon

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