WWE’s former Vice President of TV Technology Kevin Quinn did an AMA chat on Reddit earlier this week at this link. Quinn revealed that he was let go from the company back in September after being on the team for more than 35 years.
Quinn noted that he was let go for reasons related to COVID-19, and has no issues with the decision. He is now headed into retirement. Before being promoted to Vice President of TV Technology in May of 2008, Quinn previously worked as a Senior Editor, Director of Editing, Technical Director and Director of TV Technology.
Below are highlights from his chat with fans, including stories on WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon, how WWE Executive Producer & Chief of Global Television Distribution Kevin Dunn is, the relationship between wrestlers and the crew, his XFL work, challenges that came with the job, the Monday Night Wars, the Chris Benoit Family tragedy, and more:
Of Vince, Stephanie, and Triple H, who is the easiest to get along with? Additionally, is Vince as eccentric as he sounds?
Stephanie was a dream to work with. She’d tell you what she wants, you tell her what you have to make it work and she’s thrilled with it.
How’d you start working for the WWE?
At Towson State College in MD there was a teacher that moon-lighted at the facility in Owings Mills, MD that asked me one time to come help him copy and edit some WWE shows. The rest is history.
Which PPV or show were you most proud of being a part of?
WrestleMania 29 preshow. I directed the preshow which had a match or 2 in it. I’ve edited millions of matches but never directed one live before that.
What’s the relationship typically like between the crew and the wrestlers? Any particular examples of good and bad interactions with some of the talent?
The talent heavily relies on the production team to put them over. Almost never negative interactions.
This may be more subjective than objective, but what do you feel is the most important quality for a wrestler to have in order to thrive in WWE? Based on personal experiences or even conversations with Vince McMahon himself.
A character that the fans will fall in love with.
Over 30 years, you’ve seen a huge amount of changes in technology, social norms, and company structure. What was the most jarring “new” that you experienced (can be out of one as an overall or one out of each)?
Some people would think that the transition from standard def to high def would have been the biggest challenge. But going from mono audio to stereo was a huge challenge.
Craziest thing you had to edit out?
Jerry Lawler was accused of statutory rape and we had already shot 3 hours of program. We had to remove him from every show already shot. It took 2 over-nights.
Is their anything you’d change about today’s production?
Yes, re-hire Kevin Quinn. Haha
What was your favorite moment or moments you had directed?
I really enjoyed directing the XFL Pregame shows this past year.
Who do you have the fondest memories of working with and what are they?
I’ve loved working with the late Lord Alfred Hayes. He helped me get to know my future wife. Then when I got engaged he tried to talk me out of it.
How difficult was it to edit the episode after it was found out the Benoit murdered his family?
Can I just say “difficult”?
Who was the funniest wrestler you worked with and who was the most straight-laced?
By far Mean Gene or Bobby Heenan were the funniest. Bob Bachlund was the most serious. He would take 40 takes to get something right.
Is Vince really as crazy as rumours seen to insinuate or is it blown out of proportion? Any good Vince stories?
Vince invited me and my wife to both of his kids’ weddings. He loves the people that help him take care of the company. He’s very personable behind the scenes. But business is business.
What is your own most memorable interaction with a wrestler?
Recently Bret Hart was backstage and asked me if I’d help him tighten his tux pants. After I helped him is when I got that photo with him.
Can you reveal why you were released after so many years with the company?
All covid. I have no issues with the company decision.
What was your favorite year working for WWE and why?
I was thrilled and excited when we won the Monday Night Wars. The show that we aired when part of our Raw show came from the Nitro show was complex and thrilling.
Can you share the story of when Vince was maddest at you?
During a WrestleMania press conference he wanted more crowd shots. I had to tell him we only had 2 cameras and the press people weren’t reacting the way he’d want to see. It was lose – lose.
Being in the same company for all those years is nothing short of amazing. In 35 years almost everything change: how did you went through with all these “transitions”?
We were innovators. A lot of the television industry looked to what we were doing to come up with new technology.
Could someone transition into wrestling production after working in TV, given the similarities of tech and production, or would you require an in depth knowledge of what makes wrestling tick to really succeed?
You can take the basics of TV production to WWE but then you’d have to learn how to apply them in that environment to make them happy.
Out of all of the rival wrestling companies that popped up over the years, which ones really had the WWE backstage talking? And what technical aspects of their shows did you really like?
Monday Night Wars was the most intense time to live and work through.
As the (former) Director and VP of TV Tech for WWE, what was some of the most interesting people you met specifically from that field from outside of WWE?
We had tremendous relationships with outside vendors. We frequently became partners with them so they could make what we needed to move our technology ahead.
Which wrestler was the most polite to the “Techies”?
The Rock made a plaque that still hangs this day in the TV Production facility thanking all of the people behind the scenes that helped make him what he is.
I know TV networks have one, but does the WWE production team also have a killswitch incase something goes horribly wrong? And if that’s the case have you ever come close to pressing it?
Anything live is always on a 5 second delay. Just incase anything inappropriate gets said.
How much did you have to deal with Vince, and how much control or influence did he have over your day to day work?
Vince has his say in every aspect of the productions. You made the project then it had to be ok’d by him.
I wanted to ask about your thoughts on Kevin Dunn. How was Kevin to work with and how is he as a human being?
I’ve known him longer than I’ve known my own wife. If you can figure him out you can work well with him and he appreciates you.
I keep hearing stories about Vince tearing the script hours before the show aired live and called for meeting in the dead of the night. how often this happen and how much it affect your work?
It’s very common for changes to be made last minute … VERY COMMON.
What was the worst segment you ever saw?
The answer will always be the Mae Young-Mark Henry hand baby.
How was the Benoit murder/suicide handled behind the scenes from an editor standpoint?
It was a strange time when nobody knew the truth at first. Then it was a horrible situation.
There have been a lot of negative reports about WWE lately. Hell, negative reports for years. What is something positive that Vince McMahon does for his employees?
Very well paid and tremendous benefits.