In a recent interview on Insight with Chris Van Vliet, Freddie Prinze Jr. discussed working with Vince McMahon in WWE, why WWE struggles with storytelling, and much more. You can read his comments below.
Freddie Prinze Jr. on Vince McMahon’s mindset on wrestling and money: ““There was somebody who worked there when I worked there. They took charge of another division within the company, one that Vince didn’t care as much about. I noticed that the products they were purchasing were simply old products that this person had done and then simply put a different name attached to the product. So, it was basically selling his own stuff to the company. I knew what their budget was, and it was a lot. We’ll just throw a number: $20 million. We’re on the tarmac and I said, ‘Vince, this guy is just giving you stuff that’s already been rejected and it’s $5 million a pop. That’s $20 million, man!’ He looks me dead in the face and he goes, ‘Freddie, it’s $20 million. Get on the fucking plane.’
“His mind is wrestling all the time. His way to fix the problem is ’80s Reaganomics. Money – that’s fixed every problem the company’s ever had. So, when you present a creative solution to a problem, it’s a much harder boulder to roll up the hill and you start to feel like Sisyphus. It’s not just that it’s going to roll down. His story was cursed to roll it up, even though he knew he was going to roll all the way back down. That’s what you deal with as a writer in that company, and that’s why it breaks so many of them. They won’t fight because it’s this treadmill of doom, but it’s still my favorite job I’ve ever had, man. I swear to God.”
On Vince’s understanding of psychology: “I love him. He understands psychology at a level he will never get credit for. For better or worse, his understanding of the human condition and that there are no good or evil people, there are just people whose morality shifts depending on how much pressure they are under and that is a direct quote that I will never forget from VKM. It’s that shellfish in a bucket philosophy, and he’s not wrong. His understanding of how to market to the different territories, who’s gonna win, what kind of the match they’re gonna have – it is next-level genius.”
On Vince being stuck in the 80s and WWE’s struggle with storytelling: “His understanding of acting and writing is also locked into the 80s, so that’s where he lacks. That’s his shortcoming. That’s why you want balance in wrestling. You need those minds who can book and understand how to book and where this match will have the most impact and where it won’t and why you can’t have a steel cage every week. All these philosophies are virtually impenetrable, but their lack of understanding of storytelling outside the ring is really where I think they struggle.”
If using any of the above quotes, please credit Insight with Chris Van Vliet with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.