Former WWE creative writer Court Bauer on TNA's front office woes,Ronda Rousey,WWE's ECW brand, more
"It's fun to see someone like Ronda Rousey. Going into her last fight, it sounded like the most quiet push, then the day of, everyone was in a frenzy. Then the deal for her movie, it's huge. She's really transcended. It used to be just dudes who watched UFC, then it was a date thing,
Former WWE creative writer and MLW radio Court Bauer sat down for an interview with wrestling inc and shared his thoughts about various topics including TNA’s front office problems, its management of talent, his life post WWE , Ronda Rousey and more.
On TNA’s front office woes
Court Bauer believes TNA has had a history of making bad decisions when it comes to the composition of their executive team.In spite of having access to Jim ross and Paul Heyman, they chose to hire underqualified and incompetent people who weren’t capable of taking up great responsibilities.John Gaburick was one such example.according to Bauer. “John Gaburick never sat in on talent relations in any capacity. He was never in the department, never oN the booking team and never sat in on a creative meeting or suggested a finish. He was kind of a second unit guy who would kind of coordinate the logistics of the audio and camera guys and the ringleader of that stuff.”
He states that there was a time when the likes Paul Heyman and Jim Ross were available, but TNA ignored them.Jim Ross is available even now who is one of the reasons responsible for getting WWE out of bankruptcy by aggressively pushing talents such as Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Brock Lesner.”JR would have done a great job handling TNA and was apparently open to it because he met with them at one time. I think it's everyone's loss, not just TNA's loss. Maybe they went with someone more affordable, and you get what you pay for." says Bauer
On TNA’s management of talent
Bauer states that its standard protocol that, any time you have fresh talent you ask for a termination letter or some kind of agreement so that its ok to engage in talks.All companies do this including the WWE. This did not happen in Lucha underground star Hernandez’s case which led to controversy according to Bauer.”That's the responsibility of talent relations, as you can see they've had a lot of guys frustrated with their dealings with TNA.” states Bauer. One of the talents who suffered was Samoa Joe who should have been their top star according to Court but due to mismanagement couldn’t be sustained."Samoa Joe should have been their guy, and they failed him creatively, they failed to retain him, and I understand a lot of losing him falls on John Gaburick.” says Bauer.He adds “They've made a lot of decisions that have hindered them, but they still have a really passionate fan base. These fans get ridiculed for still watching, but they're so god damn loyal, and I feel so bad for them.”
Has life become less enthusiastic post WWE?
Bauer explains that the best way to describe his state of mind was that his appetite for wrestling was full and that he wanted to try something different.He focussed on non-wrestling ventures and wanted to diversify.”It was doing the MLW podcast I do with konan that I found that mojo back and got excited, and got my appetite back for wrestling. I wasn't even looking to do a podcast, it was just something that happened and now we're at almost 200 episodes. I just think I needed to try something else” says Bauer.He developed an interest in MMA as UFC was on fire and creating waves all over. He states’s that he UFC was a bridge to something else and that quenched his appetite.He misses the crazy wrestling centric MMA promotion PRIDE, the atomic butt drop of Mark Hunt and the amazing entrances which couldn’t be replicated until now with only Bellator trying but not succeeding.
On Ronda Rousey
"It's fun to see someone like Ronda Rousey. Going into her last fight, it sounded like the most quiet push, then the day of, everyone was in a frenzy. Then the deal for her movie, it's huge. She's really transcended. It used to be just dudes who watched UFC, then it was a date thing, now I think women are really down with her and her journey. It's all empowering. When she did the ESPN Body Issue, she didn't starve herself. She's sending the message that you don't have to be an anemic skeleton to be sexy. I think she's going to continue to impress us and will continue breaking down barriers. Remember when Dana White said there would never be women in the UFC?" says Bauer. Bauer believes she's been a godsend for the company and that by breaking the barriers of life she has one of the great stories in sport.
When WWE was relaunching ECW. Was the plan always to put a WWE spin on it, or were they going to stay true to the ECW brand?
"A little bit of both. It was kind of going to be NXT in a way. They were going to run some of the smaller markets that WWE was too big to justify doing, with a little more of a grassroots approach. It'd have a smaller payroll and staff. You'd mix in a lot of young talent with some veterans, and try to take that ECW fanbase to something more commercial. At the end of the day, they probably had philosophical conflicts between Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman. They couldn’t recreate what ECW was all about and it ending up being just like raw or smackdown as they did not have a business plan for the venture according to Bauer.
You can follow Court Bauer on twitter and Instagram at CourtBauer and at MLWradio.com.