Paul O'Brien talks WWE developmental

WWE Developmental and the Missing Thing.
by Paul O'Brien

“Talent is the WWE’s only natural resource. Without it we have nothing.” - HHH

It was to that end that WWE systematically sketched out its future and divided it into key areas. It then apportioned square footage to the importance of those areas and made the call to break ground on their new building.

They settled on seven rings, 25,000 square feet of cutting-edge facilities including a world-class strength and conditioning program, HD production facilities, an on-site doctor, a voice-over room, a character development space and an announcer booth. The center is also to be awash with veteran stars and Hall of Fame mentors.
With their new Performance Center, WWE has made one giant, wonderful statement towards its future and is trying to finesse the odds of having successful talent as the machine gets bigger and hungrier.
They are hoping for a star factory. Some place where talented, athletic, charismatic people enter and future main roster players might exit.

They have risen through the territories, nationalisation, boom and near bust, scandal, globalisation, controversy and tragedy to cement themselves, and invest in themselves. And the Performance Center has everything to make sure the juggernaut continues to roll.

Well, almost everything.

Let's wind it back a little while.

What made Austin v McMahon the best feud in WWE history?

Well, there was Austin and McMahon for a start - both brilliant at their respective roles. And there was the era itself. It was a different, less uptight time in American TV. It was also a time of two huge national companies, both of which were hungry to see the back of the other one.

There was timing. The world was ready to see a Steve "One for the Working Man" Austin smack is uppity, millionaire boss around. The anti-hero was cool and social disobedience was a little more lazy in that it happened in the stands of arenas all around the U.S.

It felt lawless. But something just doesn't feel that way.

It's written that way.

Do you remember how long you were waiting for that first Stunner? Or how about the 'Beer Truck Shower?' Or their first match? Austin's first title win. His first title loss? How about his first five challengers and the way he was written in and written out of the feud, health permitting.

What makes an angle and great angle?

McMahon didn't hold his end up because he was capable of five-star matches. He held his end up because of the story. Every facial expression, every tantrum and, every grunt and every twist, turn and swerve. McMahon had story, story, story and more story dripping from his face.

And someone - or many people - put that story together. Week by week, angle by angle, PPV by PPV. There was a direction for the huge talent to follow, disagree with, care about and ultimately, execute.

So where then was the writing programme in the Performance Center? Every great theatre company in the world has one under their roof because they understand that talent isn't just what the audience sees or hears - it's what gives shape to the whole presentation.

Is writing for wrestling an art form? If so, can't it be taught and passed on? Shouldn't WWE be as active scouring the world in search of the best most creative minds as well as bodies?

“Talent is the WWE’s only natural resource. Without it we have nothing.” - HHH
Maybe that talent could be cultivated evenly on both sides of the curtain?
Paul O'Brien is the author of the Blood Red Turns Dollar Green series. They're crime novels set in the 70's pro-wrestling territory days which are officially endorsed by Mick Foley, William Regal and Prince Fergal Devitt. You can find out more about these #1 Bestselling books here.
"Enthralling. I am in awe. I loved the books." - William Regal
"There's only two great wrestling novels out there and Paul O'Brien has written them both" - Mick Foley
“The research and inside knowledge is amazing. Loved Blood Red.” - Prince Fergal Devitt
You can also reach Paul on twitter @tweetpaulobrien or visit his site at:

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