After Jon Moxley spoke at length about the issues he had with WWE’s creative process while working there as Dean Ambrose, the floodgates have opened. Past and current Superstars seem to routinely be going on the record about what previously had only been rumor.
In an interview with The Sun, promoting the DVD release of Fighting With My Family in her native England, Paige is the latest to chime in. The retired former champion talked about the team she currently manages, Kabuki Warriors. Asuka and Kairi Sane got a big, post-WrestleMania 35 introduction on SmackDown, then pretty much disappeared from television.
“If we don’t get used I get really frustrated because we’re a good tag team and we need to be utilized. Sometimes the writers have so much on their plate with everyone else’s storylines, they put things on the backburner. I have to remind them, ‘Ok, but there is a women’s tag team title… I’m like, ‘What the hell dudes? Let’s make something happen.’”
The way Paige says you handle issues like this is likely part of the problem, however:
“It frustrates me but once you actually get to speak with Vince [McMahon] and Hunter [Triple H] about your problems and frustrations, they’re always the first to say, ‘Let’s change this.’ If you go up to writers it’s like talking to a brick wall sometimes, whereas if you go to Vince and Hunter they’re like, ‘If you have a problem we can change that for you.’”
While it is ridiculous time wasn’t dedicated to pushing Kabuki Warriors (and the Women’s Tag division in general) after their big introduction, if the creative team’s work can be undermined because a performer has one of the bosses’ ears, that’s got to be frustrating for writers. A reason Brian “Road Dogg” James reportedly left the SmackDown head writer position was frequent late script changes. And long-term storytelling is difficult when the “fix” for wrestlers not happy with their usage or direction is to go to the top and get it changed also makes
Kabuki Warriors earned a future Women’s Tag Team title shot by defeating The IIconics in Tokyo on Friday night, and that has Paige feeling slightly more optimistic about the future. Something she credits to her talk with the man at the top:
“The Kabuki Warriors can be a force to be reckoned with and that was the plan from the beginning… After the match in Tokyo hopefully we’ll get to build towards a pay-per-view, which gives the girls something to look forward to. So I’m happy we have a boss that really listens to us.”
It’s not the wrestlers’ fault. They’re just doing what works (the ones with access to and/or pull with McMahon and Haitch, anyway). Paige herself acknowledges that, and it’s why she has no interest in joining the creative team:
“I have to give the writers some credit where it’s due. They have to deal with a lot, they truly do. I would not want to be in their shoes – I don’t want to be in creative. It’s a lot of pressure because you’ve got to make everyone happy all the time. I don’t think I have the patience to deal with everyone screaming at me all the time.”
Without having ever been backstage at Raw or SmackDown, it’s hard to say how likely it is this process will change. But it seems that if new Executive Directors Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff can figure out a way to work with the writers and performers to develop a plan and stick to it, that would solve many of WWE’s creative woes.
Check out the whole interview with Paige here, and let us know what you think below.