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Freddie Prinze Jr. says he confronted John Cena for sandbagging a WWE promo class

Freddie Prinze, Jr. was interviewed by Chris Van Vliet this week to talk about his time as a writer for WWE from 2008-2009. He also worked for them again from 2010 until 2012.

Prinze, Jr talks about what it was like to work for Vince McMahon and what he thinks will happen to WWE when McMahon passes away.

Click here to listen to the entire interview. You can check out a clip from the interview by scrolling down on this page.

Freddie was asked, “Who is an example of someone you wrote 10 or 12 years ago that without your help maybe would have struggled?”

“It’s always a group. There is never one person.  Only the talent can get themselves over.  I’ve written some great promos but the talent couldn’t get it over.  I’ve also seen some horrible promos, but the talent was so good, you couldn’t write them bad.  They could get anything over.  When I started there, once I got my bones and did some good promos for Big Show, I wrote an Undertaker promo that Taker said, ‘That’s who I want writing my promos.’  That gave me a lot of credibility.  That’s when Michael Hayes came up to me, and Chris DeJoseph and they said, ‘Jeff Hardy.  You have to make him champion.’  Hayes said, ‘Listen.  You can do this.  The boss loves you right now.  You’re going to write the story.  We will book it because you can’t book for sh*t.’  I can’t (book) to this day.  I can’t book a match, but I can write you a promo that will get your match over.  I just need a legend to book it for me because that’s not my skill set.  But I can write any match you book.  I can make people care about it.  I start writing this story for Jeff.  He had been in the news.  He had been taking heat.  Instead of hiding from that, I embraced it and called it this gray area that he can exist in his imagination.  There is no black or white and the people that commit to that world want to pretend people like me don’t exist, but I’m going to show both sides that I do.  We started writing these promos for him and I started working with him and talking to him about the feeling that we would do and the look we would have to make it look creepy.  Chris DeJoseph shot almost everything.  Chris shot it, Freebird booked it, and I wrote it.  They executed it beautifully.  It started with him and Undertaker and this argument they were having from backstage and in the ring.  It blossomed at Armageddon in a triple threat match that he ended up winning.  He stood on the Armageddon sign and he had his hands up.  In the production meeting, a lot of people did not want Jeff to be champion.  My whole strategy is it’s show business and one of those words is stronger than the other.  That’s my philosophy on a lot of pitches and a lot of ideas in my head. I went to Vince after everybody said no and I showed him Jeff’s merchandise sales.  I said, ‘He’s selling more than anyone by almost double and there is no belt on him.’  We go in and I’m sitting there.  There are people working against me.  Not everybody in the company liked me.  It took about six months for people to be really cool to me and start respecting what I was trying to do with the talent there.  Vince looks over at Kevin Dunn and Brian Gewirtz.  He said, ‘Nobody touches Jeff until Armageddon.’  Right there I knew he was winning the belt.  Michael Hayes is kicking my feet under the table because he knows if they see me react, they will take it away just to teach me a lesson because they are psychos.  I calmed myself down and some of the people that were mad at me stormed out.  I stayed in.  Vince looked at me and gave me the nod so I knew we were golden.  I wrote it out from there and we got to make him champion.’

Freddie said John Cena never liked him:

“This is how it started.  He started off calling me Ashton Kutcher and Hollywood.  I started an acting class, a promo class basically.  The class started and we had like two people.  By the time we left, we had like 80% of the roster.  I would have like 40 or 50 people in the room, all trying to get time.  We’re in there and I would bring them scenes from movies that I knew they liked.  I would bring them a scene, a two person scene, where they could act with another person and I would show them how the actors in that movie broke it down based on my experience.  I told them they have to own it and believe in it.  We were doing this scene and John walks in and totally interrupts the class and just sandbags the whole thing.  I stood up and I said, ‘Hey man.  Let me talk to you outside.’  Now I’m not getting fired.  I can say anything I want to this guy.  The only person that could fire me is Vince and he’s already empowered me enough that I know that.  We walked outside and I said, ‘Dude, what are you doing man?’  These are his words, not mine.  He said, ‘Well maybe I’m a neanderthal, but you either have it or you don’t.’  I said, ‘Brother, you have it, so you don’t need to be here, but someone has to show these other people how to do it.  If you’re not gonna, then who is?’  He didn’t say anything to me and he walked away.’

There’s a lot more covered in the interview including what it was like to work for Vince McMahon, why he left, WWE and more. Freddie also talked about his work in “She’s All That,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” “Scooby-Doo” and “Summer Catch.” He also reveals why he left acting and he shares stories about Chuck Norris, Muhammad Ali, his wife Sarah Michelle Gellar, and his role in the Punky Brewster reboot.

Click here for the entire interview. Click on the video below for a clip from the interview.

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Chris Van Vliet with a h/t to for the transcription. Also, be sure to subscribe to “Insight with Chris Van Vliet” on your mobile device by clicking here if you have an iOS device or here on your Android device.

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