Current AEW producer and former in-ring star Dean Malenko was a recent guest on the Talk Is Jericho podcast to discuss a number of different topics, including the Iceman’s relationship with Vince McMahon and the pressure he felt as a producer for WWE. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
What his relationship was like with Vince McMahon:
It was fine. We had a great relationship in the beginning and the middle. It really went bad at the end there and it was time for me to go. Vince is very stern and it’s his show and we get that. He didn’t expect anything less than perfection. He trusted me a lot to go out there to help the talent try to get the best match and camera angles and teach guys the business a little. There, you’re a producer/agent.
How the role of agents turned to producers in WWE and the stress that the job caused:
I remember at the Hammerstein Ballroom when Vince said, ‘there are no more agents. I don’t know what agents do. You’re now a producer and help produce matches. From this day forward, you’re a producer.’ I couldn’t help but raise my hand and go, ‘Do producers make more money than agents?’ He goes, ‘No, pretty much the same.’ You want to do the best you can and it’s his show. If he wants to scream and yell at you, it’s his business. It’s not the easiest environment to work in. A lot of guys could have been good producers and they’ve looked at me and gone, ‘There’s no way in hell I would take that job. I couldn’t do what you do.’ I used to hear that a lot. It’s a very taxing and stressful job because there’s expectations to succeed every night. One time there was a match and Vince goes, ‘Who is this? You wanna talk about the match?’ ‘Well, if you liked the match it was Dean’s, if you didn’t like the match it’s Steve Keirn’s’ Steve wasn’t working there. You have to be very selective and careful when you wanted to play around with Vince. If he didn’t want to, you knew real quick. Back in the day, he liked to have fun with the boys, but there’s a time where you don’t do that.
(H/T and transcribed by Fightful)