Justin Roberts talked with memorabiliaguy.com. Below are the highlights…
On Being a Fan & Then Getting to Work For WWE: I was the ultimate fan, I didn’t just watch it I wanted to go to every live show and meet every wrestler. I lived wrestling, it was all I wanted to watch on TV, it was on my mind all the time. As I got older I wanted to do something in wrestling. I talk about that quite a lot in the book as far as the steps I took and what I was able to do in wrestling. I wasn’t a big guy and I wasn’t trained, so I had to figure out what I could do. It was really hard to figure out how I was going to get into the business. I talk about that whole journey in the book. From being a fan to doing it as a hobby and then not being able to leave it at that. I wanted to see if I could get a shot at being in the WWE. I go through reaching out to them and sending them my material.
On His WWE Departure: They told me they were going in a different direction and that the door was always open. They weren’t firing me but they were not renewing my contract. In the book you will read it is a complicated subject and I talk about lots of variables that could have been a factor. When they told me I was done, at that point, I was ready to be done. I wanted to get out of there and I didn’t have an excuse to give up everything I had worked for. So by them doing it for me, my natural reaction was relieved that all the issues that were going on, were over. I didn’t have to worry about that anymore and the never ending rollercoaster of my life was over. I was happy to be done. I don’t feel like a have another run in me with the WWE and I don’t want another run. So when I wrote this book I didn’t hold back. If there is anything I wanted to say – I said it. It is a very open and honest story. I tell you the full story without taking creative liberties. I tell stories about when on behind the scenes and it’s very honest and fair. Some people have said the book might be too honest.
On The Environment Always Changing: I’d do Monday Night Raw and go on the air many times without a script because they would rewrite the show while it was happening. I couldn’t prepare and it was hard to ask questions and not many people had answers. Even if you did ask questions upper management were not too keen. So I was left out of the loop and left to sink or swim. This was live TV. On social media people love to jump on you when you make a mistake, and there were so many times where I just didn’t know what I was supposed to do and hope that was I making the best guess. Otherwise you’d hear about it. Well the writers would put the show together, then Vince would approve it, once it got to show day he would decide that he didn’t like it and certain things had to change. You’d be at the arena all day and the hours would go by, we’d be about to go live on TV and we’d have heard nothing. Sometimes I’d get the script right before I went out there, sometimes while I was at ringside, sometimes I’d only get the few two segments, even after the show had already started. As the show went on you’d get updates.
On WWE Not Catering to Its Fans: When you do a live wrestling show you have a live audience telling you what they like and what they hate. Instead of appeasing the fans and writing the show the fans like, and believe me they have some of the greatest minds and talent in wrestling, they could put on a Wrestlemania every week. Like the attitude era. You watch it now and its really flat for three hours and once in while the crowd kind of like some of it. It’s not the talents fault. As an example, say the crowd really like Cesaro but the company wants you to like Sheamus so they are going to give you Sheamus until you like him in the same way you like Cesaro. Look at Roman Reigns, the company wants you to accept him, but if you like someone else, no you have to like who the company wants you to like. The fans aren’t getting a show that is catered for them, it’s catered to running with the guys who they want to push. The higher-ups at that company are the sort of people who say, “You’re not going to tell us what to do. This is our company and we will run it how we want” – that’s it. Wrestling fans are so loyal they will find one or two things every week that they like about a show, even if they hated everything else. Its unfortunate and I want WWE to thrive. I just want the fans to have great shows and the shows I had growing up. I loved wrestling as a kid because it was great, and I want it to be the same way for current fans. I want the business to keep going strong.