Former Impact Wrestling creative writer Dave Lagana recently did a Q&A with Justin Barrasso of SI.com. Here are the highlights.
On his decision to leave TNA and work on a project outside of wrestling with Billy Corgan:
“When I left TNA, Billy brought up a project when he traveled around America in an RV and he wrote music that is going to come out this May in an album he produced with Rick Rubin. We decided to follow up that project with “Thirty Days”, and do daily documentary pieces, sort of in the vein of a guy by the name of Gary Vaynerchuk. He has a daily vlog where he has a camera guy follow him around. Billy loved the concept, so we started at day zero in Chicago on the Mancow Show, and that one video we shot—where he said, “It’s looking good that the Smashing Pumpkins may get back together”—became the biggest story that the Pumpkins were reuniting. It was interesting to see, on day zero, how the media will take one line and twist it into what they want it to be for a better headline. That’s where the project started.”
On the creative process behind the ‘Broken’ Hardys story:
“It’s about learning what people do well, how they do it, and what the audience is hoping for. The Hardys storyline began in January when Matt Hardy turned heel, but he didn’t want to do a storyline with his brother. Every time they had done it, it had not been what they had hoped it would be. Those storylines are hard. Matt was “Big Money” Matt, and that was starting to gain traction, and then we did the “I Quit” match where Jeff put Matt through the table. We asked Matt, “What if something broke in you and you changed when Jeff breaks the table with you on it?” If you remember the early stages of “Broken” Matt, it was very dark, the accent was kind of weird, and the contract signing—that JB [Jeremy Borash] went to North Carolina to shoot—was one of those moments that became great. It was campy, but it was also disruptive. How many contract signings have you seen in WWE? I think they’ve probably had 1,000, and that’s no disrespect, but we asked ourselves how we could do a contract signing differently. The Hardys had a completely different contract signing. I remember the day after it aired, when the clip got shared on Twitter, and it started to gain traction. You got the normal “I hate TNA” response, then people dove deeper into this and found something special in this. Matt and Jeff and JB deserve all the credit for pivoting the storyline. After that moment, we saw something completely different and trusted the talent to do it.”
You can read the entire interview here.