WWE has reportedly hired a new lead creative writer, and lost a key member of the writing team.
WWE recently hired Mike Heller to work as a lead writer, according to Ringside News. Heller joins Ed Koskey and Ryan Callahan as lead creative writers.
Heller’s LinkedIn profile notes that he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006 with a Bachelor’s in psychology. He started working for Dickhouse Entertainment after that, from December 2007 – January 2010. Dickhouse has produced shows such as Jackass, Fantasy Factory, Ridiculousness, and the Jackass movies, among others. Heller’s longest stint was with MTV’s Ridiculousness show, from November 2011 through August 2017.
Heller’s LinkedIn says he started working as a full-time lead writer for WWE in February of this year. Before that he worked as a showrunner for Jukin Media’s “You Break It, We Buy It” digital series from October – December 2020, and before that he worked as a writer/consulting producer for E!’s Celebrity Game Face series from August – September 2020, and before that he worked as a supervising content producer/head writer for the Hip-Hop Squares series on VH1. Since his first job with Dickhouse, Heller has also had short stints over the years with shows such as People Puzzler, The World’s Best, The Gong Show, Lip Sync Battle, Loiter Squad, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, and Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory.
On a related note, Andrea Listenberger recently left the company, according to Ringside News. Listenberger was a key creative writer who was influential in the SummerSlam 2020 storyline with Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. This is actually her second departure as she was released in April 2020 along with the COVID-19 budget cuts. She was brought back, and now she has left again.
Andrea’s LinkedIn page notes that she worked for WWE from December 2019 through April 2020 as a SmackDown on FOX freelance writer, and then from June 2020 through March 2021 as a full-time writer/producer. She is currently working for 2K as a narrative writer for an upcoming video game title to be announced. She has held that position since August 2020, while working with WWE.
Regarding Listenberger’s WWE departure, it was noted that some people say she quit, while other say she was forced out. It’s expected that she will tell her story when she’s ready.
Stay tuned for more WWE creative team updates.