It’s always interesting when former WWE employees shoot on the backstage meetings and decision-making process they were involved in during their time in the sports-entertainment organization.
The writer of the 2006 WWE Studios film See No Evil, Dan Madigan, wrote for SmackDown for a while as well. During an interview with Wade Keller on the PWTorch Livecast in 2013, he recalled the creative team considering various scenarios for an angle involving Big Show, and the staff on hand spitballing ideas as to how on earth the opponent for a man so large and intimidating can possibly get over on him. What do you do to secure an advantage against a giant? One idea was poisoning: it was suggested that “The World’s Largest Athlete”‘s burrito be spiked, leaving him passed out in the ring after eating it.
Madigan said, “It’s one of these stories that always repeats itself. I think the idea was they were trying to work an angle with Big Show and — like Andre (the Giant), here’s a guy who is so physically big and physically imposing — what can you do to get over on Big Show? And how are you going to do it?
“I think they were going to poison Big Show and give him a spiked burrito. The whole concept was: ‘We’re going to spike his food, spike the burrito, you cut to a vignette before that showing him eating it, and then he passes out in the ring.'”
Vince McMahon balked at this: not at the spiking angle (this is the man who greenlit Mae Young giving birth to a hand and the infamous Katie Vick storyline), but at the food item being mentioned, claiming that no one in the audience or at home would know what on earth a ‘burrito’ was. There was a moment of silence, and then the rest of the writers in the room nervously spoke up, one by one confirming that they all knew what a burrito was.
Madigan continues, “So, Vince goes, burrito?! Who the hell knows what a burrito is?’ It was such a far concept. And everyone in the room goes, ‘Well, we know what a burrito is.’ And Vince goes, ‘Well, where the hell have I been?'”
It was amusing enough that the firebrand who invented the World Bodybuilding Federation was so insulated from the outside world that not only did he not know what a burrito was, but that he assumed that anything he hadn;t heard of would be alien to anyone else, too. That, combined with the fact that rarely ever does anyone say ‘no’ to him, leaves us with a strange guy with some weird ideas and little in the way of a filter.
When you think about it, this explains a lot about some of the more peculiar segments and toilet humour on WWE television over the years. Anyone remember a pre-taped Sunny vignette where she had sex with a a life-size Elmo from Sesame Street? Or The Boogeyman eating Jillian Hall’s facial growth? Or Val Venis nearly having his ‘venis’ amputated by a katana? Or Big Bossman kidnapping Al Snow’s chihuahua . . . and feeding it to him?
Yeah. Let’s move on.
Oh, and the real reason for the writing staff’s utter bafflement? Vince never let anyone break for food during these massive brainstorming sessions, but would regularly have the same food delivered to him at lunchtime by his assistant, eating it in front of his half-starved writing staff. The meal in question?
A steak wrap with sauce, cut in half. You know . . . a burrito.
Madigan said, “But, the funny thing is, Wade, every day at noon, Vince’s secretary would walk into the office — the writing room — with a burrito. It was a steak-wrap cut in half. And he would put ketchup on it. Every day, he was eating a burrito and not knowing what it was. But, that’s the idea – when you’re in a bubble and in a business where you’re ostracized from society, it’s you and them, that’s it. Everyone else is an outsider, so things like that do make sense in the confines of the wrestling world.”