Mike Mansury, who previously worked for WWE as the belief was that he would have taken over for Kevin Dunn, was recently hired by AEW as the Senior VP and co-executive producer.
He spoke about his time with WWE on The Sessions with Renée Paquette. Here are the highlights:
Working with Triple H in NXT:
“To this day, probably the most magical time in my career. We were, while so under the WWE umbrella, we were kind of all together creating the anti-WWE product. It was a combination of just good old fashioned sports entertainment from like the late 80s where we’re creating all these characters, but also leaning into what wrestling had become in like, you know, the early 2010s. You’re hearing all the buzz that Ring of Honor, PWG, like all these promotions have. In essence, a lot of the very best of the best from the Indie scene found themselves at NXT with a nice mix of folks who had converted over from being, you know, from guys like Baron Corbin who were in the NFL, etc. So there was this nice collection of talent down there, and there was a collection of talent behind the scenes that were all hungry and looking to establish themselves. I don’t know that anything in my career is going to replicate what those first few years of NXT were like because it really was just an unbelievably special moment. It felt like a movement.”
Why he left WWE:
“I had gotten to a certain point in my career where I wasn’t really being developed any further. My schedule was pretty wild at the time. Those last six months before I left WWE, I mean, I would do RAW on Mondays. Tuesday, I would fly from wherever we were in the world to LA to go do Backstage. Take a red eye from LA on Tuesday nights to Orlando, sleep on the plane, go do NXT, which at that point had gone live on USA, work office hours on Thursday, like I would fly back to New York with Triple H on Wednesday night, get home at about two or 2:30. Thursday I was doing office hours and kind of prepping for everything to come after. Friday, we would do Smackdown. Saturday, maybe a down day, and then Sunday, it seemed like at that point in life, we had like a pay-per-view, like every other week. It was a lot, but I didn’t mind it.”
“So in terms of my professional development, you know, it was always inferred, and I think at some point, maybe even formalized that should anything have happened or if he decided to retire, that I was going to be the successor to Kevin Dunn on the TV side. But I, at that point, was self aware enough to know that I couldn’t do it, and not in the sense that I couldn’t do the shows. I can do RAW and SmackDown in my sleep. Pay-per-views, no problem, all that shi*. I’d shown them I can do it. But it’s more so the business end of it and the non-TV side of what that role is because there’s more to what Kevin does than just sitting in a truck and line produce RAW, Smackdown, you know, whatever show it is. I’d grown tired of hearing, ‘We can’t figure out what to do with you until we know what Kevin’s future is.’ My review was always, ‘You’re doing a great job, you’re killing it, but we don’t really know what to do until we get an understanding of what Kevin’s future is.’”
Quotes via WrestlingNews.co