Tag Archives: Vince McMahon

Manopera! Episode 40: All Shook Up


We cover a lot of ground as the dynamic duo analyze the Superstar Shake-Up, the growing Mauro Ranallo/JBL situation and more. Chris recaps his experience at the WWE shareholder meeting and reads the news as Dusty Rhodes. Spaceman Frank cuts a promo on United Airlines.

This episode is dedicated to the memory of Matt “Rosey” Anoa’i.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Spaceman Frank’s Top 10 WrestleMania Moments: #6 – Hail to the Chief

by Frank Lucci

Welcome to Spaceman Frank’s Top 10 WrestleMania moments! Rather than just create another generic Top 10 list, I will be discussing the greatest moments from WWE’s biggest show of the year and explaining why I consider them the cream of the crop. This is based on in-ring quality, storyline quality, meta quality, as well as my own unique bias. Be prepared to read about triumph, heartbreak, and above all else, some truly unique moments in this unique form of entertainment.

The Moment: The Battle of the Billionaires, WrestleMania XXIII  

This moment may be controversial due to the current real life situations surrounding it, but it is still one of the more interesting ones in the company’s history.

Although there are plenty of ‘Mania moments that involve much more talented wrestlers and personalities along with moments that add more to the world of wrestling, this moment is on my top 10 list because there is nothing in wrestling period that can compare to something like this. That is the Battle of the Billionaires featuring the current President of the United States and WWE Hall of Famer Donald J. Trump.

Now Trump is an incredibly polarizing figure, and his very mention may incite plenty of negativity, but this is a column about WrestleMania moments and not a political forum.  That said, it is now impossible to see the match between Umaga and Bobby Lashley and not find it surreal. What we have is one of the most powerful men on the planet shaving Vince McMahon’s (not exactly an insignificant businessman today as well as back in 2007) head. This is the President of the United States of America, and he is part of one of the marquee matches on the biggest wrestling event of the year. No other President has ever been involved in a sport or form of entertainment to this degree, with the possible exception of Teddy Roosevelt getting involved with football’s early outlaw history.

The match itself is pretty average, and just taken as Lashley vs. Umaga this feels like a main event of Raw instead of the third to last match at a WrestleMania, but Vinny Mac and D-Trump are having a bit of an issue, and these monstrous men are fighting for their honor like the billionaires are their maidens fair. In hindsight, it is slightly uncomfortable that these two old rich white men have two minorities fighting each other for their amusement, especially with Trump’s checkered history when it comes to race relations. What is at stake is not a title, or even simple bragging rights for that matter. The outcome of this wager is that whoever’s champion takes the pin must shave their head, and it is no surprise that Vince took the impromptu haircut here. To add to the proceedings, Stone Cold Steve Austin is here to collect a paycheck as a special guest referee in a role he goes back to every few years.

Nothing too special in the ring stands out, as Trump overshadows every single big move during the match. In 2017 every glance by the camera at the future President causes me to study the screen. I feel like I’m dreaming when I see the man with the nuclear codes throw possibly the worst punch in wrestling history. Then Stone Cold Steve Austin earns a spot on the no-fly list by giving the Stunner to a man with a fleet of Secret Service agents current protecting him and his family. All these moments are amazing in retrospect, and it is hard to compare something like the Undertaker’s WrestleMania win streak ending to something like this. What if Ronald Reagan actually played football instead of being in a movie about it? What if Grover Cleveland was on the New York Yankees before entering politics? I cannot wrap my head around any of that, but I have video evidence of the leader of the free world hanging out by a wrestling ring and being part of a Hair vs. Hair match.

Donald Trump will leave behind a complicated legacy when he passes, but for one night in Detroit he was the good guy fighting against the elitist billionaire. Much in the alleged fashion of his electoral campaign, he was standing up for the common man, using his resources to stand up against someone who usually is unchallenged in power. Trump gets the people behind him and promises to humiliate the people who have been in charge and unchecked for decades. In the end (via his champion Lashley) he managed to get a victory that he assured us he would get, despite his own hiccups performing on the big stage. We see his opponents humiliated and he eventually goes on to become the onscreen owner of the WWE. We should have seen his run at the Presidency coming, and seeing his ascent from WrestleMania 23 to kayfabe owner of the company and Hall of Famer mimics his rise in politics in such a way that is completely bonkers watching it now. For involving the President in a WrestleMania main event and giving WWE something they can brag about for the rest of the company’s history, the Battle of the Billionaires rolls in at number six on my list of WrestleMania moments.

For more of Spaceman Frank’s antics, check out Spacemanfrank.com and listen to our pro wrestling podcast, Manopera!


Manopera! Episode 17: WWE Payback 2016 Feedback


What went down at WWE Payback? Chris and Frank have the answers (or at least they think they do). Find out what the boys have to say as they mull over Payback’s strong points, weak points and everything in between.

Re-Booking WrestleMania 32 With Injured Superstars


by Frank Lucci

Injuries have been the biggest story of WWE this past year, with the company suffering so many setbacks they might have inducted the Godfather into the Hall of Fame in hopes he turns back into Papa Shango and reverses whatever curse the company has over them.

It’s no doubt that with the exception of last-minute star power from yesteryear, WrestleMania 32 lost some luster. Considering the state of the active roster, many fans wonder what the biggest show of the year would have looked like with the WWE at full strength.

Spaceman Frank is here to do one better and fantasy book ‘Mania 32 with only injured WWE and NXT wrestlers.

Here are the rules:

  1. Only wrestlers who are confirmed or rumored to be injured at the time of this writing (March 31, 2016) will be included in the card with two exceptions: The Undertaker (because it would not be WrestleMania without him) and Titus O’Neil (because he is suspended through WrestleMania for bullshit reasons).
  2. No Daniel Bryan because his injury forced him into retirement, however Sting is still eligible due to the fact that he had refused to say he is calling it a career at the time of this writing.
  3. Champions will be the same as WrestleMania 31 (because they are all on the inactive list) with the obvious exception of Daniel Bryan as Intercontinental Champion. To recap: that means Seth Rollins is WWE World Heavyweight Champion, John Cena is United States Champion, Cesaro and Tyson Kidd are Tag Team Champions, and Nikki Bella is Divas Champion.

Kickoff Pre-show Match: Hideo Itami vs. Neville

After his showing at the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 31, Itami jumps to the main roster and finds a niche among NXT fans and those who appreciate his hard-hitting style. Neville follows suit after a series of vignettes (instead of just one roughly 45 minutes before his debut).

The two smaller yet talented superstars manage to avoid a clash for some time, until the two begin a friendly rivalry after a confrontation during the Royal Rumble. They warm up the crowd with their fast-paced styles until Neville hits the Red Arrow to pick up the victory. Itami then attacks Neville and begins an epic post-Mania rivalry.

Titus O’Neil vs. Randy Orton

Orton bounces around in his generic babyface role until he snaps and becomes his slightly less generic heel role. Meanwhile, “Big Deal” Titus O’Neil has gradually won over the WWE Universe due to being an all around nice guy, legit athlete, 2015 Celebrity Dad of the Year and having a fiery comeback that rivals Hulk Hogan (I may be a big Titus fan).

O’neil finally gets a big singles push against The Viper when he eliminates him from the Royal Rumble. This causes Orton to snap, injuring O’neil’s tag team partner Darren Young and several attempts to make Titus look like a terrible family man.

With his status as Celebrity Dad of the Year hanging in the balance, O’neil brings it to Orton until the voices in Orton’s head tell him to DQ himself by hitting the mega-dad with a steel chair; setting up a hardcore rematch between the two at Payback and finally the first-ever “Celebrity Dad of the Year Award on a Pole” match at Extreme Rules.

Cesaro and Tyson Kidd (C) vs. Alberto Del Rio and William Regal (Tag Team Championship Match)

The “Brass Ring Club” (as dubbed by fans of Kidd and Cesaro) are the highly talented tag team with a bone to pick with The Authority. Cesaro is still resentful over Vince Mcmahon’s harsh assessment of him on Stone Cold’s podcast while Kidd is angry he had to claw his way back to the main roster from NXT.

They wage war with WWE management until Triple H brings in some ringers to stop the duo. Those ringers turn out to be Del Rio (who may or may not be hurt, but since he is not working live shows I’m including him here) and NXT commissioner William Regal (who recently had neck surgery and for storyline purposes comes back for one last shot at glory). The League of Nations cannot beat the Swiss-Canadian connection, who eventually convince the League to join them as the much more diplomatically efficient United Nations.

Nikki Bella (C) vs. Dana Brooke (Divas Championship Match)

Nikki Bella, the longest reigning Divas champ of all time runs through the roster searching for a worthy adversary. Eventually one of her rivals, Emma, brings in her protege’ Dana Brooke to try and take on Nikki.

Brooke claims to be a younger, fitter and most importantly prettier Diva, but falls victim to twin magic at Fastlane. Brooke demands a rematch between the two with a special stipulation: to avoid the Bellas potentially cheating again, the two Total Divas meet inside a steel cage. To further the drama and cross pollination with the Total Divas reality show, Rosa Mendes (who is out with maternity leave) is the special guest referee.

Brooke uses her strength to throw Nikki around, but Brie climbs the cage to dive on Dana. This being Brie, she accidentally takes down Mendes and Nikki instead. Brooke sprints out the cage door to win the belt, giving Nikki an excuse for a rematch (due to Brooke winning the title via the lamest way possible).

John Cena (C) vs. Luke Harper (United States Championship match)

Cena dominates everyone during his reign as US champ because America.

After weeks of seeing every up and coming Superstar lose the US Open Challenge, fans are ready for something new. Harper steps up to the plate with Bray Wyatt giving his blessing for his disciple to take on his former rival.

The two have an epic match, with Harper showing why Cena himself calls him the most underutilized wrestler on the roster. While Harper doesn’t walk away with gold, he does turn face through a hearty American-sized handshake from Cena. This leads to a feud with Wyatt for Harper and more open challenges for Cena.

Bray Wyatt (C) vs. Sting (Intercontinental Championship Match)

Wyatt wins the Intercontinental Championship at Elimination Chamber after Daniel Bryan is forced to give it up in a match rather than the depressing way things happened in real life. Bray uses the Wyatt Family to help him keep the title as he cuts promos promising to hold the belt indefinitely to deprive the WWE Universe of one of it’s most sacred prizes.

The vicious gang attacks draw the ire of Sting, who goes old-school on the family by descending from the rafters to beat them down with a baseball bat. This leads to weeks of spooky guy videos from the two with no actual encounters between Sting and Wyatt.hisAt WrestleMania Bray and Sting fight for the gold and also to avoid being known as the guy who always loses his feuds. Sting looks to have everything locked up, but Wyatt reverses a Stinger Splash into a Ura-Nage slam and gets the win. Sting decides to hang up with boots as an active competitor and instead becomes Commissioner of the WWE to continue to fight injustice.

Seth Rollins (C) vs. The Undertaker (WWE World Heavyweight Championship match – if The Undertaker loses he must retire)

Rollins is the slimy champ you can’t help but respect in the ring.

With The Authority backing him he beats each and every challenger one way or another. He feels invincible until Undertaker wins the Royal Rumble. Rollins’ usual tricks to injure his opponents fail due to Taker’s veteran instincts (and, you know, magic). However, at Fastlane Rollins wins a match that lets him choose the stipulation for his WrestleMania dance with the Deadman. He decides that the main event of WrestleMania will be Title vs. Career, with ‘Taker being forced to retire if he loses.

In front of tens of thousands of fellow Texans Undertaker pushes Rollins to his crossfit limits, but Rollins wins in the end with a ridiculous Pedigree/Curbstomp combo. WrestleMania ends with the massive crowd cheering Taker and the roster lining the entrance ramp to show their respect to the Deadman. The last shot is Vince Mcmahon  holding up Undertaker’s arm as pyro goes off behind them.


Manopera! Episode 15: ‘Mania Week Part 2 – WrestleMania 32 SuperShow


What did Chris and “Spaceman” Frank think of ‘Mania 32 and the aftermath on Raw? Find out in the second and final part of this leviathan podcast as they are joined by Nicholas Jason Lopez of ProWrestlingOpinion.com.


Manopera! Episode 12: Roadblock and a Half Shell


After a brief hiatus, Manopera is back with a vengeance. Chris and the Spaceman talk WWE Roadblock, WrestleMania and more in a podcast sure to knock you’re New Day socks off (we know you bought them).

Manopera! – Episode 11: Thank You Daniel Bryan


In the aftermath of Daniel Bryan’s retirement, Chris and “Spaceman” Frank discuss the news, possible career moves for Bryan, the build for WWE Fastlane and more.

WWE 24 – WrestleMania: Silicon Valley


by Frank Lucci

WWE 24 is a great concept for original programming on the WWE Network, but so far only a few episodes have been produced. Immediately following the Royal Rumble however, the WWE released a new episode following several superstars in the immediate lead up to WrestleMania 31.

How does it stack up to previous entries that chronicled WrestleMania 30 and NXT Takeover: Brooklyn? Spaceman Frank has the answers.

Authors note: Don’ t know why they subtitled this Silicon Valley. Is Santa Clara copyrighted? Why not just call it WWE 24: WrestleMania 31?

Sting is first, and as he arrives at his hotel there are dozens of fans waiting for him. Good guy Sting signs autographs and takes photos. Sting runs into Ricky Steamboat and they share some dad humor. Sting looks like a CEO of a tech conglomerate that always shows up to the office late because his morning workout went long.

We then see various WWE personnel doing press for a wide variety of outlets until we settle on Roman Reigns. Reigns talks about how he feels it is fate to headline WrestleMania in his favorite football teams (49’ers) stadium. One of the many production members Jason Robinson talks about the several week setup for the WrestleMania set. This is a huge production which is cool to see. In addition, we see how having a WrestleMania in the daylight affected the design of the stage.

Cue the Axxess montage. Several wrestlers are interviewed, but the highlight is Zack Ryder confronting a fan for buying Seth Rollins merch instead of his. The Ultimate Warrior statue is unveiled as we see the late legend’s ex-wife and daughters tear up.

Don’t blink because here comes the Hall of Fame montage. Although nothing too exciting initially as it is all footage from the ceremony with small bits of candid backstage talk. The highlight again being Ultimate Warrior’s and Connor the Crusher’s family being honored with a hard shift in emotion from the previous fun and excitement vibe from before.

We get to the big day and (shocker) everyone is nervous, particularly Seth Rollins (working his first singles match at ‘Mania) and Paige (wrestling in front of her mom). Cool guy Reigns drops an F bomb before we cut to the crew trying to get everything together hours before the event. My biggest question is how they got the tank for Rusev into the stadium, where the biggest disappointment of the show is that it ignores this completely. Good guy Sting continues to be super grateful to be there and Paige refers to Kid Ink and Travis Barker as “superstars” (right….).

Paige tries to knock out an interview only for Scott Hall, X-Pac, Kevin Nash (wearing a gold helmet of all things) and Shawn Michaels to drive into the shot on a golf cart.

Can we get a show featuring these guys just causing shenanigans?

We spend a long time seeing how the Triple H/Terminator entrance came together. This tidbit is fairly cool, but I thought his entrance was just OK when I saw it live (It ain’t no tank!).  Several NXT guys are interviewed being super stoked that they get to wear masks and stand in the middle of the fog during the entrance.

Showtime! Paige continues to be nervous as we see the participants of the opening ladder match warming up (I guess pre-show match people didn’t warrant being shown). Luke Harper is briefly seen before they actually go into the match (Another missed opportunity: seeing how Stardust’s ridiculous outfit and bedazzled ladder came into being). We then get more focus on Paige being nervous, so much so you forget that three other women are in her match.

Next are some quick highlights of Rollins vs. Orton before we see Sting preparing for his WWE debut. Easily the highlight of the show, Sting is getting pumped for his match while trying to come to grips with the scale of it all. Vince McMahon gives him a hug and some words of encouragement as good guy Sting is just happy for the opportunity to be there. This is great stuff and really makes you fall in love with Sting as a person and not just a character. It’s also nice to see Stephanie McMahon yell “Get ’em, Sting” as the NXT guys cheer him on before his entrance to get him psyched ( The poor guy probably needed that based on his blank expression as the ‘Mania crowd is easily his biggest audience in a long time if not ever).  Triple H enters and the match goes well. Wrestlers watch backstage looking like excited kids, especially John Cena with a big grin on his face (cue Hulk Hogan alert!).

Montage of random moments from the show are then dragged down by having to hear the lackluster live performance of the WrestleMania 31 theme song. We skip over  Cena and Rusev’s US Championship match (why all the tank hate, guys?) and The Rock’s segment to get to Paige’s match. Paige is so nervous that she has to be told by the cameraman to keep moving down the ramp (dawwwww). Afterward the match she has a touching moment with her mom as A Day to Remember guitarist and boyfriend Kevin Skaff just stands there awkwardly.

Undertaker is here.

This is followed by some quick footage of him backstage with Brock Lesnar exchanging words of advice. It’s funny to see ‘Taker being human before he gets in the zone. Footage of his match with Wyatt plays as Rollins talks about how Reigns is “like, such a cool dude” (really sick of WWE getting Reign’s much more talented friends to try and convince us of how great he is).

Reigns is awkwardly trying to get pumped up for his entrance in front of a bunch of fans as Lesnar looks like he is ready to murder someone. More montage of in-ring action where the best part is seeing Reign’s laugh followed by a fan yelling “Stop laughing Roman, it’s not funny.” Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase and we get a cool shot of him sprinting out from backstage. Rollins wins and he is understandably blown away. Cue the montage of people hugging Rollins even though he looks pretty gross (how much do wrestlers spend on dry cleaning?) followed by the ending montage and we are out.

Overall, this is a decent way to kill 40 minutes. Sting steals the show as the dude is just so humble and comes off really well. While not as good as the Takeover: Brooklyn show, WrestleMania 31: Silicon Valley still shows some pretty candid moments behind the scenes. There are a little too many montages of footage we’ve seen before but this is the WWE and we know how much they like recapping things.

Manopera! Episode 10: Bonesaw’s 1 Year Anniversary Podcast (Featuring Royal Rumble 2016)


It’s the one year podcast anniversary for Bonesaw and we couldn’t be more excited. Chris and Frank are once again joined by Nick Lopez of Prowrestlingopinion.com to mull over the 2016 WWE Royal Rumble and the puzzling aftermath on Raw. Enjoy countless thrills, spills, chills and of course, Manopera!

Interning for WWE: My Improbable Journey


In the summer of 2013 I achieved a goal I thought was unattainable. I interned for WWE. While every experience is different, here’s my account of what it’s like to hit the proverbial ropes for the pro-wrestling juggernaut.

Chapter One: The Application

Long story short, I needed to graduate college.

After a year and a half of applying for internship after internship, I was getting nowhere and was in a mild state of depression. To be honest, applying for this internship was a complete shot in the dark to humor a friend of mine (who happens to wrestle on the indie circut). After watching Raw one Monday, he informed me there were internships available and that I should apply (being a writer and all). I laughed it off and told him I didn’t have a prayer but I would apply because he told me to (and because he was willing to put me through a table if I didn’t).  When I got home I threw my hat in the ring (no pun intended) and figured that was that.

How wrong I was.

A few weeks to a month later I got a literal wake up call from WWE’s Human Resources department about the internship. I don’t remember a whole lot about the conversation because I was still groggy but at the end I was told I would be meeting with then Executive Editor Craig Tello (who went on to write WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan’s best-selling biography in 2015).

I was so petrified of jinxing myself that I didn’t tell a soul until I was about to leave for my first visit to WWE Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut (four hours prior to my interview with Tello).

To calm my nerves, I listened to Clutch’s discography for the entire duration of the three hour train ride (and 15 to 20 minute bus ride from Stamford’s Metro North stop to WWE’s Headquarters). When I walked in, it turned out I was an hour early. Being raised in a traditional Italian household, I naturally went to the deli across the street and ate to calm my nerves. It was then that I called one of my best friends and fellow WWE lifer to tell her the news.

To say I was quaking in my little space boots would be an understatement.

I once again walked into WWE Headquarters, resume and portfolio in hand and sat down in the lobby, admiring the golden life-sized Andre the Giant statue proudly residing there (as well as the giant banner boasting the upcoming Pay-Per-View). An escorted elevator ride later and I was sitting down in one of WWE’s many conference rooms.

After admiring the room and all it’s majestic memorabilia in a comfy rotating chair, Tello walked in and introduced himself. Unbeknownst to me I didn’t stand up to shake his hand because I was still basking in the glory of being in the building. When I realized what I had neglected to do, I thought I had already bombed the interview. Since I figured this was as close as I would get to the WWE, I no longer cared about my first impression and proceeded to say what came to mind (in the most professional way) after Tello asked his questions (which seemed very on-the-fly for the most part).

The conversation mostly revolved around re-iterating my resume, what I liked and disliked about the current product, what I would change and where I saw myself eventually (I kept pushing a magazine project I had done for a recent class I had taken, but since this was for digital content, Tello politely refuted my requests). He kindly escorted me to the door and I was happily complacent with the memory of being in the building once. On the way out, I placed my left hand in Andre’s hand and said goodbye (a weekly ritual I subconsciously kept).

A few weeks later, I missed a call from human resources during my shift at a deli for a local Key Food (which I hated and was the sole motivation for college graduation at the time). I figured the voice mail was just kindly telling me I didn’t get the internship, but an e-mail from Tello days later told me otherwise.

Memorial Day 2013 was a big deal.

After hammering out the details with Tello, it was decided that I would start May 28, the day after one of the many American holidays ruined by retail. I was stationed Monday through Wednesday and had the good fortune of having family in Connecticut. It was during this time I would become close with my cousin Tim, a retired Connecticut police officer. I stayed at Tim’s with his longtime girlfriend Debbie Mondays and Tuesdays for the duration of my internship.

I was going to be writing for WWE.com in WWE’s headquarters three days a week for practically the entire summer.

Chapter Two: The First Day

 It was a rainy Tuesday in Stamford.

I gathered in the lobby with the other interns, stunned that I would be engaged in a three month passion project in the least likely place I ever saw myself.

We were a large group, so we were herded like cattle into separate elevators that brought us to the confines of the cafeteria, catered by Panera Bread. Inside, we sat down in assigned seats adorned with care packages from our “mentors” (mine happened to be Tello). What followed was a standard orientation. During introductions, fellow interns proudly announced the prestigious universities they attended, but none more proud than I, the scrapper from Brooklyn College who clawed his way to the top.

After the orientation, paperwork was gathered and mentors collected their youth for the day. It was then where I was given a brief tour of the floor by Tello, greeted by legendary ring announcer Howard Finkel and former ECW and WWE color commentator Joey Styles (who’s desk was directly in front of mine). As the shock settled, I was seated at my first desk ever, briefly introduced myself to my temporary coworkers (all brilliant in their own right) and given a choice of a Christian, Eddie Guerrero or “Stone Cold” Steve Austin action figure to emblazon my desk (naturally, I chose Austin – who is proudly displayed in my man cave).

Unfortunately, I was also introduced to my arch nemesis, Chris Buetra. Buetra was a spelling error of my last name the IT department made that has become my claim to blame whenever bizarre events occur. I was told of a Seamless account stipend I could use after a certain time. Since I was set to cover Monday Night Raw (WWE’s Flagship show) I qualified. For my first meal, I ordered a recommended Italian favorite from a well reviewed establishment. Unfortunately, Buetra ordered eggplant parmigiana from a Chinese restaurant and Tello informed me in front of the entire office after receiving a phone call from the restaurant.

Damn you, Buetra!

After the non-Raw coverage staff left for the day I met my Monday team, (also brilliant in their own right) rounded out by the voice of ECW himself (I made it a point to sit next to and ask questions as often as I could, absorbing his knowledge like a sponge). While watching the show, I naively conversed with Styles about storyline decisions I didn’t agree with before he politely told me to shut up and learn because this was after all, a learning experience. This was the first of many professional subtleties Styles would explain without having to.

Chapter Three: The Internship

Raw coverage would run smoothly (and mostly silently) over the next few months and my mind expanded to then unprecedented heights. The amount of talent in the entire Content department will destroy even the most prestigious of publications without blinking an eye.

Most Mondays would start with leaving my Brooklyn home three hours before scheduled and heading down to Stamford. If I was lucky, I’d catch WWE’s shuttle bus from the terminal and arrive 15-20 minutes early. On other days, I’d be forced to take the half-hourly city bus and cross my fingers. Upon arrival, I’d chitchat with coworkers and dive into whatever I had to do before Raw coverage. One of the big perks of interning with WWE is access to early and final drafts of scripts (I printed many for my private collection, but have never shared them out of respect for the company).

Tuesdays were interesting and busy. As always, it would start with a cup of coffee and a chat with coworkers in the action figure adorned cubicles while waiting for our computers to start up. We would then read the list of e-mails and I’d hit the bullet points for main stories up on the whiteboard. Shortly after, the content team would assemble into the conference room for a post-Raw meeting where we would pitch ideas based on events that occurred the previous night. After the meeting, I’d grab another cup of Joe and create whatever content was assigned to me for the day. At the end of my shift, I’d head down the hallway to the company gym – which is the size of a small Blink Fitness or local facility that screams 1988. It was here I would sporadically train with Mike – Vince McMahon’s personal trainer. Mike is one of the nicest and most humble people I’ve ever met and easily the most jacked. It was hard to tell what was and wasn’t muscle but knowing Vince, it was probably a requirement. After intense workouts, I’d head to the shuttle bus (if I was on time), hit the train to Tim’s and hang out with him and Deb.

Wednesdays was a bit more of the same, but the office would begin to dress up as figureheads were arriving to round out the week since all televised programming was finished until Monday (with the exception of monthly Pay-Per-Views). Content would have a weekly meeting concerning highlights and improvement areas while Creative would meet for the bulk of the day in a separate conference room on the same floor. On occasion I would run into tag team legends Brian James (better known as the New Age Outlaws “Road Dogg”) and Michael “P.S.” Hayes of the Fabulous Freebirds. During the afternoon, I’d meet with Tello to discuss my progress and the knowledge I had obtained. After my regimen I’d say my goodbyes, explore Stamford and head home to a very temporary job I disliked (fun fact: Key Food fired me on the Fourth of July after the deli manager tampered with my schedule, didn’t tell me and pretended I no-showed. I took it in stride, but would have preferred to have quit on my own after my internship expired. After non-stop work 28 days in a row, I was now technically unemployed).

Side note: To take a gig with WWE Creative requires an unparalleled iron will. This cannot be taught or learned. Positions rotate constantly for various reasons. If you have no prior knowledge of WWE or only view this as a resume booster you should apply for something else. Creative is not “just a job,” it’s a lifestyle.

Roughly a month after my unceremonious ties were severed with Key Food’s deli, my internship was set to expire. Throughout the remaining weeks of my internship, Tello and I would set up meetings with heads of different departments to help me attain a better grasp of how the company runs as a whole. While I wish I had recorded said meetings with Big Red, my trusty mp3 player and beloved recording device; I always had a small notebook where I jotted down every piece of information I could until my hands cramped up (tip for aspiring musicians/journalists: always stretch your hands). To quote journalism legend Mark McSherry (the professor of the above mentioned magazine class), I “got my tuition.”

I still have that small notebook.

Chapter Four: The “Dusty” Finish

My internship was expiring in a week and I didn’t want to go. I felt I had some sort of unfinished business to take care of, since my requests to cover live events and Pay-Per-Views were rejected by higher ups (though Tello fought for me). SummerSlam, one of WWE”s biggest and oldest events was two weeks after my internship expired. During one of our final meetings, I  pitched covering SummerSlam in the building with the rest of the staff to see how it’s done since it was improbable that the company would fly me to Los Angeles, California where the event was being held. Tello approved and I felt a rare sense of importance.

The week before the internship expired, Human Resources arranged an intern only event with the Boys and Girls Club of Stamford. While it was fun schmoozing with the interns and participating in activities, I would have rather have been grinding it out in the office (plus, the kids thought they’d be hanging out with WWE Superstars instead of interns).

My last official week was bittersweet. While I finally was able to interactively participate in and manipulate an episode of WWE SuperStars (one of the smaller shows) via the then very new WWE App, I was unable to transcribe an interview with former Superstar and gigantic actor Kurrgan due to the Stamford bus and New York bound Metro North’s schedules; putting the only loss in my assignment completion column (much like The Undertaker’s WrestleMania record).

Two weeks later, my family and I had our traditional Italian Sunday dinner and I bolted to Stamford like a bat out of hell, for I’d be gone until the morning came. Unfortunately, Buetra beat me to it – making sure I had forgotten my key card and that IT ignored the sign on my desk and deleted my account.

It was WWE’s biggest party of the summer and my invitation got lost in the mail.

While I played the best hand with the cards I was given, I couldn’t quite shake off my questionable luck and was off balance with my tasks. Needless to say, I was not pleased with my performance. There is no doubt that Buetra was laughing manically on WWE’s roof (joke’s on him, I graduated the following year).

After a handful of apologies, handshakes, thank you’s and goodbyes, my arranged car was ready to take me home. I grabbed my gear, basked in the moment and shook Andre’s titanic golden hand for the last time.