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Posted in: Freestyling
Freestyling: Stephanie & Creative's Super Awesome Booking
By Freeman
May 30, 2013 - 10:57:34 AM

It was Monday lunch time and Stephanie McMahon and her Creative Team were sitting down to a meeting. They had a huge episode of RAW that evening to plan for, and Stephanie in particular was on a high after the previous week's instalment of cable's longest running episodic show, which had scored a whopping 3.1 rating. This wasn't quite as good as the year's highest rating of a historic 3.2, but Stephanie still felt a sense of achievement and didn't hesitate to congratulate her colleagues for their efforts, although secretly she was taking all of the credit for herself. You see, for most of the year, the show had been averaging between 2.6 and 2.8, still good numbers Stephanie told herself, but that 3.1 was a landmark that her and her team were hoping to build on, and Stephanie was confident that they had the material for this week's episode to hit that number again.

The first item of business, of course, was what John Cena would be doing that evening. He was already cutting a promo at the top of the show, competing in the main event, featuring in several backstage segments, starring in various Be A Star and Make A Wish video packages, as well as being involved in a cutting edge storyline where he would be made to look like the underdog overcoming incredible odds to come out victorious. However, a match was still needed for the company's top star, and after much deliberation, Wade Barrett was chosen as the man who would be facing him in the main event. Wade had been in the middle of a nice push up until that point, getting big wins over the likes of Randy Orton, Sheamus and The Big Show, so Stephanie decided that losing to John Cena clean in two minutes, without getting in any offence, wouldn't hurt the Preston brawler too much. Furthermore, Wade just wasn't getting over after three whole weeks of being pushed, so it was about time to shift the focus on to someone else anyway. Stephanie did make a mental note to make sure that Michael Cole references Wade Barrett's bare knuckle fighting background during his match with Cena though, as she wasn't sure if that had been mentioned on WWE television yet.

Unfortunately, with all of their attention focused on the John Cena storyline, no one had spent much time planning out what would happen for the remaining two hours and fifteen minutes. This was okay, Stephanie told everyone, because they could still write an entertaining show in the twenty minutes they had left before the meeting was adjourned. Stephanie thought outside the box, and decided that a dance contest featuring Fandango and someone else should be in the 10pm timeslot, which everyone agreed was a great idea. Just as they were ironing out the fine details of the segment, someone piped up and suggested that the dance contest theme had been done quite a lot lately. Unfortunately, no one could remember if this was the case or not, so they went with it anyway. Plus, it would be a great opportunity to plug the fact that hip mainstream celebrity Johnny Knoxville had been pictured doing the Fandango for a publicity stunt recently. That would certainly put more eyes on the product and make WWE more relevant in popular culture, which Stephanie thought was a master-stroke.

As the creative team were throwing around more ideas for tonight's RAW, someone made a funny remark about Brodus Clay and Tensai. This reminded Stephanie of a particularly humorous incident a few weeks ago during another meeting, when they were discussing ways to improve the creative process within WWE. One of the junior members of the team suggested hiring a writer with a background in professional wrestling, which sent the rest of the members of staff into hysterics. At one point, Ranjin Singh fell off his chair and began rolling around on the floor whilst clutching his stomach, such was the ridiculousness of the comment. Stephanie was struggling to hide her amusement as well, I mean, who could possibly imagine hiring a writer with previous experience in wrestling over a Hollywood sitcom writer? Stephanie shuddered, and thought that if such an atrocity were to happen, then she could kiss goodbye to those blockbuster 3.1 ratings, that was for sure.

With time ticking away, there were still several more slots to fill, meaning the team had to come up with ideas quickly. Fortunately, someone remembered that Cody Rhodes had beaten Intercontinental Champion Sin Cara clean the previous week, so they could have an Intercontinental Title match tonight to fill up some time. Stephanie then suggested that Cody should come out victorious and win the title tonight, with her reasoning being that Sin Cara had held it for a whole two weeks now, and the time was about right for him to lose it. Cody had just lost nine straight matches on television, but that was okay because he'd pinned the champion the previous week, so him winning the title would definitely be believable to the audience. No one had any idea what to do with Cody as Intercontinental Champion after next week's rematch with Sin Cara, but Stephanie was sure they'd think of something when the time came around. Stephanie then remembered that Sin Cara had been feuding with Jack Swagger as recently as two weeks ago, and that the feud hadn't reached a conclusion. She was pretty sure her colleagues had forgotten about it, so that meant the fans had probably forgotten about it too. Shame, because Swagger had looked pretty good recently, but Sheamus hadn't been booked for anything yet, so they decided to go and have Swagger lose to him, despite a lot of interference from Zeb Colter on Swagger's behalf.

The next item of business was what to do about Alberto Del Rio. The Mexican Aristocrat hadn't been getting over as much as the team had hoped, which puzzled Stephanie since he'd just held the World Heavyweight Title, and World Titles always get guys over. Nevertheless, it was vital that Del Rio succeed in WWE, since he was essential to capturing the imagination of the all important Mexican demographic, which makes up 0.35% of WWE's total audience, plus Del Rio seemed to be the only thing Stephanie’s father Vince was interested in these days. Stephanie decided that since Alberto is a face, he should be funny, because successful babyfaces in WWE's history had always been funny, and this was sure to endure him to their audience. Fortunately, Del Rio was currently feuding with The Big Show, which gave the team plenty of opportunities to write some great jokes for the former Dos Cara Jr. In fact, the entire room was soon laughing hysterically at the suggestions that Del Rio call The Big Show “fat head”, “blubber butt” and “gargoyle breath”, and if that didn't work then they could always make Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler force out laughs on commentary to really sell the humour. Stephanie was slightly concerned that these terms were pushing the envelope a bit, but she soon reminded herself that WWE made a name for itself by pushing the envelope and being controversial, and tonight would be no different.

With just enough time to spare, the team barely managed to make their deadline. However, upon presenting the finished script to Vince McMahon, he demanded it to be rewritten another four times before he was happy with it. Unfortunately, the script would be subject to three more rewrites during the show itself, as upon arriving at the arena, the team discovered that they still had ten minutes of television time to fill. Panic swiftly ensued, until one employee had the brilliant idea of looking down the list of talents that weren't booked for anything that night, and throwing them all into a segment together. Stephanie was concerned that this might not come across well on television, but The Great Khali, R-Truth, The Usos, 3MB and Hornswoggle were all really talented performers, and she was sure they could pull it off. Actually, come to think of it, she did remember R-Truth pitching what he thought was a really good programme with Bo Dallas to her a few weeks ago, but she had only pretended to listen, since she was too busy thinking about how many times they should mention the WWE App on RAW that night, and wasn't Bo Dallas a city in Texas? She'd heard R-Truth could be weird at times, but this was a bit much by his standards.

At the conclusion of the show, most of the creative team were satisfied with the outcome of RAW, but some were apprehensive about the final rating. They ended up cutting out quite a few segments due to time constraints, and morale was low backstage that night due to the slightly chaotic way the show was run, but Stephanie and the team were still hoping for another awesome 3.1 rating. Unfortunately, by the time the numbers were in, the latest episode of RAW had only managed to do a 2.9, still a great number Stephanie told herself, but not quite the dizzy heights of last week. Stephanie quite correctly reasoned that this week's dip was not due to her or her team's booking methods, but because they were facing stiff competition from that new wildlife programme on the Discovery Channel, plus ABC were showing re-runs of Desperate Housewives, so all in all they could be quite pleased with the results. However, next week, Monday Night Football was back and they would be facing tougher opposition, but that was okay, because they had an awesome never before seen match between Randy Orton and Antonio Cesaro planned that was sure to draw in viewers. Stephanie wasn't particularly fond of Cesaro, but Paul said he was good in the ring or at promos or was nice to The Undertaker or something, so she had to find things for him to do. Not like Alex Riley though, who had the cheek to once suggest that she didn't know what she was doing and wasn't qualified to be the Creative Executive Officer in WWE. He would be punished for that little outburst, and anyway, who does he think he is?

...She has a degree in Communications, of course she's qualified to be the Creative Executive Officer in WWE...

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