Edward Koskey, Steven Guerrieri and Ryan Ward. Who are these people you might ask? Well, they are quite significant when it comes to running the WWE. These three are the creative writers for RAW, Smackdown, NXT and Total Divas. Ryan Ward has received tons of praise for his work behind the scenes with NXT alongside Triple H.
As you might imagine, there are a lot of people running things backstage during a live telecast, from agents to producers to creative writers to backstage personnel. It simply isn’t as easy as it seems. There is a lot of people backstage running this well oiled machine every week. Ironically, most of these people are former WWE superstars. One of them that didn’t make this list is former ECW commentator, Joey Styles. The former voice of ECW is the Digital Media Content Director for the WWE.
Styles certainly isn’t the only former wrestling personality to be working for the WWE. Here are 12 other former wrestlers that you didn’t know are working for the WWE.
12) Billy Kidman: Producer
Billy Kidman parted ways with the WWE in 2005. His release was apparently due to an argument with management over their decision to stop booking first class flights for wrestlers. After his release, Kidman hit the independent circuit for a couple of years, and he later returned to the WWE as a trainer with FCW (WWE’s old developmental system). Kidman trained the likes of Sheamus, Kofi Kingston, Justin Gabriel and many other up and coming stars. After his run as a trainer, Kidman took a surprising career turn, working as a producer for RAW and Smackdown. Kidman took the place of Jerry Brisco. Kidman collaborates with the director and producers of RAW and Smackdown. His job entitlement is to make sure that all the segments on the show fit their allotted time slots. As you can imagine with RAW being live, this job isn’t as easy as it seems. Kidman is at the gorilla position every Monday and Tuesday night.
11) Finlay: Producer
Like Kidman, Finlay is another WCW alumni working as a producer for the WWE today. In 2010, Finlay hung up his boots as a wrestler and became a full-trainer and road agent. Unfortunately for Finlay, things didn’t turn out so well. Finlay was released in March of 2011 after he authorized the interruption of the American National Anthem during a live event. Many in attendance, including National Guard members, were very offended. Finlay claims he was just trying to draw some heat on The Miz heading into WrestleMania. After his dismissal, Finlay hit the independent circuit for a year. A year later in July of 2012, Finlay was once again hired with the WWE as a backstage producer, a job he still holds today.
10) Arn Anderson: Senior Producer
Following the demise of WCW, it didn’t take very long for Arn Anderson to find some work. Arn was signed immediately with the WWE as a road agent. Anderson’s role later changed to something more prominent as WWE’s senior producer. Arn is now one of the most respected individuals backstage amongst his co-workers. Anderson has been working backstage with the WWE for the last 14 years.
9) Norman Smiley: NXT Trainer
Smiley is entering his 9th year as a trainer for the WWE. After WCW was sold, the WWE did not hire Smiley as a part of the “Invasion”. Instead, Smiley would hit the independent scene for the next 6 years, wrestling for TNA Wrestling and other independent promotions. In 2007, Smiley relocated in Tampa, Florida, working as a trainer with the WWE for FCW (WWE’s old developmental territory). After FCW closed its doors to make way for NXT, Smiley was once again asked to continue as a trainer for the new developmental brand. Smiley is one of the most popular trainers amongst WWE’s developmental talent.
8) Michael Hayes: Head Road Agent/Senior Producer
It seems like this guy has been around forever. Still, to this day, Michael Hayes is one of the most prominent figures backstage today. Hayes has been working with the WWE since 1995 when he made his debut as a co-host for the show, WWF-Action Zone. Four years later, in 1999 Hayes was granted the position of backstage road agent, a title he still holds 16 years later. Hayes is also a senior producer for the WWE.
7) Gerald Brisco: Recruiter for NXT
Jerry Brisco has been Vince’s right hand man for years, not only on television but backstage as well. All the way back in 1984, both Brisco brothers convinced “Gerogia Championship Wrestling” to sell their majority stake to one Vince McMahon. Doing so enabled McMahon’s dominance on the world of professional wrestling. Brisco later was hired as a road agent and booker for the WWE. In 2009, Brisco received quite the scare when he suffered three strokes. A couple of months later, it was announced that Brisco would not return as a road agent/producer. However in 2010, Brisco did make his return in a different position. Jerry is the current talent scout and recruiter for NXT.
6) Jamie Noble: Producer
Through his run with Joey Mercury as “J & J Security”, Jamie Noble was still working as a prominent part of the WWE’s telecast as a producer. Following a severe back injury during a match against Sheamus, Noble decided it was time to step out of the ring for a while. The semi-retired wrestler started working as a producer backstage following his injury. Noble was written off television this past summer after a brutal attack from Brock Lesnar. However, he is still working as a full time producer backstage with the WWE.
5) Dean Malenko: Road Agent/Producer
The man of a thousand holds; just as WCW was flat lining Malenko along with Benoit, Saturn and Guerrero made the jump to WWE as “The Radicalz”. Just as the “WCW Invasion” began, Malenko was quietly written off television. The semi-retired wrestler would later accept a job as a full time road agent for the WWE. Malenko is still working for the company today, despite some heart attack scares in 2010 and in 2013 during a European tour with the WWE.
4) Joey Mercury: Producer
Quite the rollercoaster ride for Joey Mercury. In 2007, Mercury was released by the company; not only was he released, but he was also given a deep talk by the owner of the company Vince McMahon. McMahon knew Mercury had been battling with a long drug addiction, and Vince urged Joey to get cleaned up before it was too late. These words really helped Mercury down the road.
After spending a year on the independent circuit, Mercury was resigned, in large part due to the efforts of long time friend CM Punk. Mercury worked with Punk as a member of the “Straight Edge Society”, although Joey’s run was later halted after he tore his pectoral muscle. While rehabbing his injury in FCW, Mercury began to work there as a trainer, and he was later called up to the main roster as a producer. Mercury was the brains behind the faction, “The Shield”. Seth Rollins also credits Mercury for saving his career when things weren’t looking good for the current WWE Champion.
3) Dave Kapoor: Head Writer
Wrestling fans may not be too familiar with this name, but he’s certainly an important part of the company today. Dave Kapoor managed The Great Khali under the name of “Ranjin Singh”. Following his stint with Khali, Kapoor scored a massive promotion as the WWE’s head writer for Smackdown. Today, Kapoor is the WWE’s head writer, one of the most important backstage positions in the company today.
2) Jason Albert: Head Trainer for NXT
Jason Albert was able to find some great success outside of the WWE, working for “New Japan Pro Wrestling”. A few years ago in 2012, Albert decided to return to the WWE. After a two year run, Albert retired as an in-ring wrestler and began his new career as a trainer for NXT. Following Bill DeMott’s release, Albert was promoted as head trainer of the WWE’s developmental brand.
1) Billy Gunn and Road Dogg: NXT Trainer & Producer
Departing from the WWE in the early 2000s, Billy Gunn and the Road Dogg were not too pleased with the way they were handled. They were extremely bitter and took a lot of their frustrations out on Triple H during shoot interviews. Surprisingly in 2012, Hunter would contact the duo, and they would later make their in-ring return, shocking the WWE Universe. Triple H later eased them out of the ring and assigned them to new roles with the company. Road Dogg is working as a producer backstage, while Billy Gunn is a trainer with WWE’s developmental brand NXT. In addition, Gunn was also included as a trainer on WWE’s reality show, Tough Enough. Talk about a strange turn of events.