Hey SCU Peeps, its your old buddy Mike Draven & after a little break I’m back with another installment of interviews for socaluncensored.com. Today’s interview is with a gentlemen who’s been around the world of professional wrestling for many years working behind the scenes not only in the independents but also in the “BIG” company. Allow me to introduce to you to Pete Doyle.
1. First of all, how are you & how are you feeling right now?
PD: I’m good. Very excited about the birth of MWE and where we can take it.
2. Can you tell me about the first time you ever saw a wrestling match? Do you remember who was wrestling on TV?
PD: I was born and raised in Ireland, so my first glance at wrestling was Big Daddy. He was to English wrestling in the 70’s and 80’s what Hulk Hogan was to wrestling period (on a smaller scale of course, but to give you an idea). I even remember watching a very young William Regal on there too soon after. Giant Haystacks, Kendo Nagasaki, and others I’m sure you’ve never heard of and I barely remember. That’s what I started out watching. then WWE came over and it was WOW!
3. What was it about pro wrestling that made you decide that this was the thing you wanted to get into?
PD: We were the poor family on the block so to speak, we (my sisters and I) didn’t have what the other kids had and I was bullied a lot. I loved football/soccer, but since the other kids were all playing that I wanted to do something different. My mother would tell me when I was a baby, my granddad would sit me on his knee when he watched British wrestling. So I think I felt that connection, since I never got to know my granddad, I think that was my way of doing his thing and I just fell in love with the business.
4. Did you attend a training school & if so, which one?
PD: I came to America in 1997. I heard about the School of Hard Knocks in San Bernardino ran by Jesse and Bill. So I did about a month out there. I was a scrawny 20 year old with no desire to be a wrestler, however, I felt, if I was going to get in this business, then I should know what these guys go through. It was tough and fun and I’m glad I did it. I think anyone who wants to be in this business, that should be part of paying their dues.
5. Tell me how did it come about where you wanted to work behind the scenes in a creative role?
PD: My first taste was with a show in LA that was ran every few months by a guy, The Night Shadow. I called him up and got on his show as a manager. That was fun but I wanted to learn the business side of it. I then went to ring announce with UPW and started helping out with other stuff before becoming one of the main guys to run UPW. If you’re not a wrestler, you gotta be something and I’m good at business, so that made most sense.
6. Did you work for any Indy leagues early on?
PD: Yeah, I worked a few Indy shows at some high schools in LA, but once I started with UPW I didn’t work for anyone else, except one show in Oxnard as a favor to someone.
7. With the hard work you were doing with UPW, it landed you an opportunity to work with WWE. How long did were you with the company & what was your role there?
PD: Just over a year & I was part of the creative staff
8. So you worked on all the Raw, Smackdown & PPV shows?
PD: Yes sir and eventually was the only writer on Sunday Night Heat
9. So you were in WWE during the Attitude era?
PD: I was there during the tail end. I was there for the WCW buyout..Crazy times
10. At that time, how many creative writers were staffed?
PD: Hmm, well there was Stephanie, Brian Gewirtz, Bruce Prichard, Michael Hayes, Paul Heyman and I. Shane would sit in on the meetings and of course Vince, but the aforementioned was the creative team
11. Any fond memories while working with WWE or any fond matches you help created?
PD: I co-wrote WMXVII, my biggest and proudest moment in the business. I pushed for the gimmick battle royal, was heavily involved in Jericho/Regal program. Writers create the program, but the agents and the boys, they put the amazing matches together
12. Vince McMahon is known for rewriting shows up to the day of, do you remember him doing that at your Wrestlemania?
PD: Not so much at WM, but weekly sure. You’d spend a 12 hour day in the office and we’d even call it in and he’d be OK with it. Then you get on his plane Sunday night and he could just rip it up and re-write. Funny shit.
13. During your time in WWE, how did talent go as far as giving input to a particular storyline? Did you take it into consideration or not use at all? Did anyone ever feel that a feud with another particular star will work if given that chance?
PD: Talent would approach creative back then, back then it was acceptable. I believe now, creative and talent aren’t allowed to mix due to some issues. But back then, once talent were comfortable with you and knew you were a decent guy, they would approach. Being a new writer, less used talent would try to get your ear more because now there was a fresh set of ears to push their ideas too. So once they saw you were not a stooge or anything, they would bounce stuff off you. I had people like Jerry Lynn, Billy Gunn, WCW guys, etc. come to me at first and then the more ingrained you get, I would have people like ‘Taker, Austin, Angle bounce a line or two for a promo or an idea for that night or the next off me as we walk down a hallway. Then if both the talent and I talked something out and it seemed plausible, I would bring it up in the next creative meeting.
I would even have guys from OVW and lower card guys pitch ideas to go up against Rock or Austin. This is where you have to tell the talent that’s not going to happen. I was always upfront and honest. Some guys would nod and tell the talent that’s a great idea, let’s see what Vince says. Honesty will go a long way with the boys. If it sucks, tell them. Otherwise you’re not helping the talent or the product.
14. As part of creative, was there any superstars who you felt deserve for a push who didn’t get one & was there any superstars who you felt didn’t deserve the push at that time?
PD: Mr. Perfect was backstage a few times and we got along great, had some good laughs. Always thought he was an amazing talent who could put a match on anywhere with anyone. I pushed to get him back in but due to some issues, they didn’t want him at that time (although a year later they did, go figure).
15. what was the reason why you left WWE if you don’t mind me asking?
PD: You know, the whole WWE thing was irony. I wanted to get into WWE so bad at the time because my mom was sick. She was sad I left home, but she never discouraged me or said anything negative, ever. Never made me feel bad that I was going to go after my dreams. So, here she is, cancer and I’m flying back and forth to visit once a month. UPW was all about pushing the big guys so I decided I’ll push myself and get in to WWE while my mom can still see it. So I had gotten to know Bruce Prichard, Steph and others through their work with UPW, so I contacted Steph and did the necessary steps back then to get looked at.
Well my mom passed and as I’m organizing to go home, WWE calls asking me to come out and start. Obviously they understood they would have to wait until I got back. when I did get back, I went straight on the road. I was devastated about my moms passing and tried to put up a front with this new job that was my dream. But I got drained and then issues at home due to traveling so much. I just couldn’t do it anymore and Steph and I had a conversation ad we both agreed it was best that I regroup and walk away.
16. After you & WWE parted ways, did you continue to work again with any Indy leagues?
PD: I came back to California, had a bit of a chip on my shoulder from working for WWE. I did some UPW stuff, but after 2004, I didn’t do anything. I always wanted to start my own promotion, but it takes money and the proper mindset. I didn’t have either just yet.
17. And now many years later, Southern California will witness the debut of Mayhem Wrestling Entertainment at the end of march, is this your promotion or are you working with someone?
PD: Yes, MWE is my company. I think everyone dreams of either being a wrestler or/and putting on wrestling shows. I have been very successful in business, thankfully, and learned a lot from WWE and my current employer. So, once I had put away what I felt was enough to give this a decent shot, I talked with my wife and here we are. However, the team MWE has is amazing. Mike Mondragon (Nerdy Connections) has done amazing work on our Social Media and Website. Jon Ian, Josh Waldrop and James Prentice have also played a huge part in our direction. A team effort makes this work. Everyone has their own directive and I try not to step on their toes.
18. Like Vince McMahon wanting to be a on air personality, Do you see yourself wanting to be part of the show as a character somewhere down the road in MWE?
PD: I honestly don’t want to be a part of the show. I’m quite content running things and taking care of the company. However, if it made business sense down the line, never say never. But I’m not just going to book myself on a show just because.
19. At the debut show, we’ll see the crowning of the first MWE Champion & a #1 contender for the title but will we see other championships being introduced for MWE? Tag Team? A middleweight (IE: Intercontental, Southern California) type champion?
PD: Yes, we will definitely see more titles after the first show. the debut show will focus on the Championship as it should. But show 2, we will introduce something new, which I’m not going to give away until then.
20. Will MWE showcase Women matches, Lucha Libre & possible Hardcore/Extreme matches?
PD: We will have some very beautiful women, but no women’s division or matches at this point. Heather Lynn is already saying she will be somehow involved in our debut show. There is also talk of Shelly Martinez being involved. So there’s two awesome females right there. As far a Lucha Libre, there is a plan for some Lucha style, but that will be revealed on the show. I don’t mind hardcore/extreme stuff, but it has it’s time and place. Less is more and depending where you want your company to go depends on where, if at all, that kind of match will fit.
21. Will MWE will be looking to bring in Managers or maybe create a Stable?
PD: I feel managers add a lot to a show and would like to see some stables or factions. Who? Well that’s to be seen….sooner than later.
22. How often will we see MWE shows throughout the year? Will The Rink be the main venue for MWE or are you looking to move MWE around So Cal?
PD: Every 3-4 weeks we should see an MWE show. the Rinks is the location for now, however as we grow, MWE does intend to have a venue that is it’s own.
23. Do you see any current So Cal stars who has the “IT FACTOR” to make it to the big companies?
PD: Yes, I know of a good few guys who have immense talent could and should be on WWE’s radar. Brian Cage, Johnny Goodtime, Tommy Wilson, James Morgan, Mikey O’Shea. Just some of the awesome talent out there right now. I’m sure I’ll add more to that list once MWE gets rolling.
24. Some promotions will bring in former big name talent to shows, will we see any former big name talent eventually make there way to MWE?
PD: I’m not big on bringing in former WWE stars. I’ve seen people do that and draw small crowds. It would have to make sense to MWE and fit into a consistent storyline. As far as big name talent, I feel we already have that, some of those guys I listed above are big name talent who just haven’t been given the proper platform.
25. What do you think of the current wrestling scene here in Southern California?
PD: Honestly, I haven’t paid attention to the So Cal scene in years. No reason to. So I’m getting acquainted with some of the newer talent. A lot of great talent out there who are just waiting for the opportunity to shine.
26. As a creative writer, what do you think is a good formula for a great match?
PD: Well again, a writer and an agent are two different things. However, I’ve done both, but a good formula depends on the characters involved. One thing I’ve noticed in So Cal, is the lack of good characters that make sense and would appeal to an audience.
27. Since you were once part of the WWE, do you still watch it today & if so what do you think of the current product?
PD: Yeah, I’ve been DVR’ing it and flicking through RAW. It’s good. I think people are little too hard and don’t think ‘big picture’ and are quick to bash WWE. Yet there is WWE, the #1 company in the business consistently making big money. I love Ziggler and Punk. Great to see Hunter back in the mix for Mania.
28. Now on the flip side, do you watch TNA & if you do what do you think of their product?
PD: I’ve caught some TNA, and I’ll DVR it too. I’ll watch Joey Ryan, but overall, their product is sub par in my opinion. Maybe by going on the road it’ll bring more out of the wrestlers, because they have amazing talent, but creative. In my opinion they need to cut the chord on the older talent. So many young guys on their roster could easily get the same rating or even higher. With some better direction, they could definitely progress.
29. Final Question: Do you have anything to say to the indy fans here in Southern California?
PD: Sure, get out and enjoy the shows, support the local talent. So Cal is a mysterious hotbed, where you never know when the next superstar is going to be here honing their craft on the way to the top. People like Miz and Cena are a prime example. So support the local shows, not just MWE. Without promotions like MWE, there is no future of the business. Talent need promotions like us, different environments.
I would like to thank Pete Doyle for this opportunity to get to know him & to learn about his career in the world of pro wrestling. Make sure to catch the debut show of Mayhem Wrestling Entertainment at the Rinks of Huntington beach on Saturday, March 30th. Also if you want to get closer to the stars of MWE, this coming Saturday, March 2nd you can join them at Skyzone Anaheim for a free meet & greet as well as a chance to have a dodgeball game against them. Plus you’ll have a chance to win a ticket to the debut show. For more info on Mayhem Wrestling Entertainment visit: www.mwewrestling.com
Until next time, this is Mike Draven signing off.