I was in, five pages in. When Jack moved backstage after that first match, watching how he interacts, first with the wrestlers, then with Big Jim who he wrestled, getting a beer from Diego, going over stuff with Willie, then the back and forth with Jack and Ace, cut to Jack running. It’s just like, “let’s hope that they at least come to a reasonable, equitable term in terms of numbers and finances, because there’s no fucking way that I’m not doing this show. I can say this now, but man, I was in.”
Jack is an interesting character with a cool backstory on paper. But when you’re in the ring as Jack, how much freedom did you have to create things like his move set? Because all the wrestling stuff on Heels looks and feels so authentic. And as the one with in-ring experience, other than the guest stars, of course, how much of this is you being like, “Okay, this is the kind of stuff that I know that Jack Spade would do.” And do you have any influence on the choreography for some of the other wrestlers as well?
The other wrestlers, not as much. They did lean into me and Luke Hawx. I would talk with Cody Rhodes, Alexander would talk with Adam Copeland. They would lean into me for that, although there was a lot of stuff where I wasn’t even there.
When they’re taking three days to shoot the Battle Royale, as much as I want to be involved, I also want days off. But when it came to Jack, I wanted him to be very much the Ric Flair, the Curt Henning, the Hunter Hearst Helmsley, where those guys are real technicians. Triple H even calls himself “the cerebral assassin.” So I wanted Jack to be kind of gimmick-less, which is why when you see him and he’s got the basic trunks, the vest, there’s a little Stone Cold in there.
We had a lot of freedom when it came to the wrestling. We end the season with a three-way ladder match between Wild Bill, Ace, and Jack. And when it came to putting that match together, or putting it together for me personally, my match with Phil, it was just kind of like, “Okay, what do we do? What are the spots?” Which is, aside from a couple of guys who liked to write out absolutely everything that they were doing, Randy Savage being one that comes to mind. If you look at his match against Ricky Steamboat in WrestleMania III at the Pontiac Silverdome, it was like 170 beats and Randy wrote all of them out.
But most wrestlers talk about the big spots, this is the finish, this is a run-in, this is where you blade, this is the table spot… In between, you fill in the gaps based on what the crowd is feeling. So, that’s how we built the matches on Heels.