Former WWE Writer Brian Gewirtz has opened up on which of his storylines deserves to be nominated for an Emmy Award, saying that the 2008 rivalry between Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho should receive the accolade.
The Co-Executive Producer of ‘Young Rock‘ was answering a question put to him on The Masked Man Show when he named the classic storyline which saw Jericho turn on Michaels and become a well-spoken, suit-wearing heel.
“I’ve always been really proud of the Jericho – Shawn Michaels year-long, practically, angle that we did when Jericho was transitioning, in terms of his character, as far as this begrudging suit-wearing heel.”
The transition happened over a period of time, beginning with HBK faking a knee injury to win a match against Batista in which Y2J was the Special Guest Referee. Over the following few weeks, the ‘Demo God’ finally got the truth out of Michaels and was laid out with Sweet Chin Music for his troubles. Jericho got revenge on Michaels, and the fans who continued cheering him when he admitted to lying, by ramming him into the ‘Jeritron’ monitor, causing a detached retina in-storyline.
Gewirtz noted that “it’s always magic” when a heel is right in what they are saying. In this case, it was Jericho pointing out that the audience would cheer for ‘The Showstopper’ no matter what he did, even when he cheated to win.
“As always, as you guys know, when a heel is, technically speaking, absolutely correct in what they’re saying and are just displaying their disgust and everything in a way that rubs people the wrong way, that’s it’s always magic because you can’t deny it. You see their side and yet you still cheer for them to get their ass kicked anyway.”
He went on to describe how the angle was devised between him, Michaels and Jericho, instead of him just handing them a script, and was all the better for it.
“So to be able to tap into that and work with him and then actually really get along with him well as well Chris and basically sit down with this canvas. As you guys know, the magic is not when you hand someone a piece of paper. That’s the worst version of it, I think, is when you’re just giving someone, ‘Vince approved it. You got to do it,’ and the wrestlers, they all hate that.
“It was just that great mix when you have that trust and respect that produces magic, especially when you’re not like, ‘Got to get this approved and got to make sure that everyone’s happy because the person didn’t have input.’ When all three have input, it’s great, and they all knocked it out of the park. Maybe not the writing but even for acting, I think Chris and Shawn deserve some accolades for that.”
The feud continued for much of 2008, culminating in a ladder match for the World Heavyweight Championship at No Mercy that October. Chris Jericho won the brutal bout and, ultimately, bested Shawn Michaels in the rivalry.
Credit to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription