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Jimmy Jacobs opens up on his backstage role, being responsible for 'The List of Jericho' and more

Jimmy Jacobs and Chris Jericho.
Jimmy Jacobs and Chris Jericho.
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 09 Oct 2020, 22:46 IST
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Jimmy Jacobs recently appeared on the latest edition of The Dropkick Podcast. The former WWE Creative team member spoke on a host of topics, including the transition from being a wrestler to a writer, and the creative plans that went into the formation of the Chris Jericho-Kevin Owens storyline. Hosts Danial and Vikram Prashar asked Jacobs several interesting questions during the interview. 

Jacobs took up a creative role in the WWE around five years ago. Jimmy Jacobs explained that while the buck stops with the wrestlers when it comes to the job's creative aspect, the same rule doesn't apply to the writers.

Writers have a vision entrusted to the performer to carry it forward, and there are times when it all doesn't go according to the plan.

However, Jacobs noted that when the writer and the performer share a great relationship, the collaboration leads to instant magic on TV. Jacobs cited the example of his work on the popular storyline involving Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens.

Jacobs, who currently works behind the scenes at IMPACT Wrestling, said that standout performers take a great idea, build upon it and take it to the next level.

Yeah, well, that was a transition I made about a little over 5 years ago when I started working for WWE, and in their creative, you know, on their writing team, but you know it was a transition to make certainly. There are certain things you give up, you know, and one of them being you know it's like when you're a performer, the buck stops with you. No matter what anybody wants, no matter what they say, no matter what's talked about, the buck stops with you, and as a writer, the buck doesn't stop with you. You have this vision of trusting somebody else to carry it out. Now sometimes that doesn't work out as the end picture isn't how you imagined it. Sometimes you know when you get with the great performers. This is when you have a great relationship, and you're with a great performer, and you have that co-collaboration is that you bring one thing to them, and then they bring something else out of it, and that's what it was like you know, working with all the stuff I did with Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens in WWE. It's like one thing into it, and they brought ideas too but then whatever the original thing was to life in this magnificent thing. When you have performers like that, and we do have performers like that in IMPACT Wrestling, you know somebody like Rosemary. I can give the skeleton of something, but I know that they're going to embody it and bring their souls into it to bring forth something that's magic.

Jimmy Jacobs on 'The List of Jericho' angle

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It's a known fact that Jimmy Jacobs was the brains behind 'The List of Jericho.' Jacobs also revealed how the angle was formulated. Chris Jericho was scheduled to air his grievances on WWE TV, and Jacobs pitched the idea of the veteran Superstar having a list during the segment.

Jacobs was reminded of former ECW and ROH wrestler Steve Corino, who had a real-life list. However, Jacobs said that Chris Jericho understood the concept and added his inputs to make it even better.

The click of the pen and Jericho's verbal build-up before he added names to the list added to the visual impact of the act. The iconic click of the pen managed to draw some of the biggest reactions in 2017. Despite being a heel, Chris Jericho used to get babyface reactions at live events. Jericho, however, even managed to find a way to get heat utilizing the list. Jacobs noted that the Chris Jericho-Kevin Owens storyline is a perfect example of how writers and performers collaborate to make an idea into a successful TV angle.

Right, I came up with The List Of Jericho. We'll just use that as an example of something you know, I think we were in Memphis, and Chris is supposed to come out and air his grievances about Mick Foley or something. I said, well, he should have a list if he does this, and then I thought Steve Corino in real life has this "Carino Sh*t List." When Chris Jericho had his own list of people that crossed him, but it was a pity that it just takes one little thing like they make his list and so I came to Chris with this idea, and you know Chris brought it to life. Chris knew I always crumpled up pieces of paper he would have he would have in his tight team like you know what you just made the list! They know this needs to be visual it's like yes right, he came up with the you know the click of the pen you know what happens huh you know what happens when you make one of my best friend Kevin Owens you know what happens. An example of something that you know you conceive one way then somebody else you know collaborates with it and then the performer goes, and they bring it to life in communion with the audience and the feeling what the audience wants, and all of a sudden, a click of the pen becomes the loudest reaction to Monday Night Raw. You know that's how they used to close the live events towards 2017. To some of them, Chris was a babyface. He would go, you know what happens, Phoenix, you know what happens when you cheer for Chris Jericho, you know what happens you've been a great audience all night Phoenix Arizona you just made the list. You send them home with the biggest spot. You know there are so many ideas that don't make it to air, it's hard to even think of one because it's just that's just the game you play there.
Published 09 Oct 2020, 22:46 IST
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