Even at 71-years-old, Vince McMahon is as meticulous as ever when it comes to his product. And that was made evident in the latest set of leaked WWE notes. This time, a list of instructions for producers Jamie Noble and D-Von Dudley for one of the company's WWE Live house shows was revealed to the public
Although the vast majority of wrestling fans are in on the fact that pro wrestling is scripted entertainment mixed with athletics, there has often been great interest whenever WWE backstage literature leaks out into the open. One example came in 2015 when a nine-page script for Monday Night RAW announcers was published online. A report from SEScoops shared pages from the script, which, for instance, instructed announcers to be aware of the latest news about WWE's Superstars; to know the history of professional wrestling and to be up-to-date on international news events.
That particular WWE leak had also confirmed some of the unique quirks Vince McMahon has as a wrestling promoter. These included his refusal to have the words "belt" or "strap" refer to one of WWE's championships; the insistence on calling wrestlers by their full names as opposed to pronouns, and even his refusal to let announcers use terms such as "pro wrestling" or "pro wrestler." In fact, the term "sports entertainment" was listed among the do-not-use terms, with a note from McMahon himself mandating that announcers should use the word "entertainment" instead.
All in all, the leaked set of announcer rules, guidelines, and dos and don'ts underscored how difficult it is to call a match in the WWE. They also provided keen insight into the inner workings of the company's business.While far from being as lengthy or as comprehensive as the leaked WWE script/guidelines from last year, the new leak was similarly rich in specifics, which included Vince McMahon's own rules for WWE Live events. As shown above, the main takeaway from those rules was McMahon's strict ban on piledrivers in the ring. This highlights a rule WWE quietly enforced on its talent in 2000, which, according to SLAM Sports, was done in the light of the career-threatening injury "Stone Cold" Steve Austin suffered after taking a botched reverse piledriver from Owen Hart at SummerSlam 1997.
Due to the small size of the text on the leaked WWE document, Wrestling Inc retyped the list, including all of the "VKM (Vincent K. McMahon) Notes" for WWE Live events. As the script is for "Red Live Events," it appears to be a set of guidelines for running house shows under the RAW brand.
According to the notes, referees should remain credible at all times and not be placed in situations that would compromise their integrity, and wrestlers should neither stall too much nor climb to the top rope when making their entrance. Wrestlers also aren't allowed to hit low blows and would need to get approval before using tables, chairs, or other foreign objects in matches. And in a new note, McMahon warned that wrestlers should not cut unscripted promos unless approved in advance by a road agent or producer.
"NEW: No impromptu talent promos. Promos must be approved ahead of time by Michael Hayes, or, by the LE Agent/Producer and talent must run the promo content by an agent/producer and agent/producer must approve."Quite interestingly, the leaked WWE Live Event script states that wrestlers aren't allowed to "do the Yea-Boo stuff," with John Cena being the exception.The Mirror did point out that WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens may have run afoul of the "no impromptu promos" rule. At a recent house show, Owens had earned the ire of a young fan's mother after he had gotten into an unscripted, yet in-character argument with the young boy. There hasn't been any word as to whether Owens had been sanctioned by WWE for going off-script at the event, but the wrestler appeared unperturbed by the mother's complaint in recent Twitter posts.
Chances are it could have been a case of Owens running his actions by the producers ahead of the show. But in any case, the newly-leaked WWE script underscores the fact that even if Vince McMahon is hardly on television these days, he still has a lot of say, and also the final word, in terms of what happens in his company's shows.
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