During a recent episode of his podcast, Something To Wrestle With, Bruce Prichard spent some time talking about a match that WWE nearly booked that on paper today looks to be a dream match of epic proportions.
Around the time of the launch of the XFL, near the time that WrestleMania 17 was coming up, Vince McMahon wasn’t interested in bringing Hulk Hogan back to the company, despite his legendary run several years prior.
“First off, Hogan’s name used to always seem to come up with his contract was coming up and he was sending out feelers to see if there was any interest,” Prichard recalled. “At this time it was one of the few times Vince wasn’t really interested.”
Prichard continued, “He was thinking maybe if we would have gotten the deal done a month or two months early… maybe he might have considered it. He might have thought about it. But during this time there was so much going on with the XFL and just our company exploding in general. There wasn’t a whole lot of interest in Hulk at that time. We figured we can wait. Let Turner do their thing and maybe it would be good for Hulk to sit out a little while.”
Prichard also remembered McMahon not being interested in bringing Rey Mysterio to WWE when WCW folded.
“[Mysterio] wasn’t a hot property for WCW either,” said Prichard. “So it wasn’t like, ‘oh my god you’re missing out on this huge hot property of Rey Mysterio that WCW has dawn all this money [with].’ Rey hadn’t done anything yet. He was truly a great talent and tremendous talent, but what the hell had he done?”
Prichard continued, “The whole thing with Rey Mysterio was that Rey was asking for a lot of money that Vince didn’t feel that he warranted. Vince didn’t know him, felt he was small. He didn’t like masked wrestlers and again, what had Rey Mysterio done in WCW to make him worth all of this money? Plus he had a contract he was being paid out on. So he wasn’t interested in coming to WWE for less money.”
From there, Prichard spoke about some big matches that WWE wanted to make, but contracts and other situations got in the way from those coming to fruition.
“I think again without all the particulars, the first match that comes to mind was Austin vs. Goldberg,” said Prichard. “To have that matchup at some point. To be able to build to it. Same thing with Undertaker and Sting. There was thinking, ‘okay do you bring back Hall and Nash and put them back into the fold?’ There were a lot of what if’s.
“It all becomes mental masturbation at that point. Because with the exception of JR, I don’t think there was anyone who had really dealt with Goldberg and Goldberg showed zero desire, nil, zilch to come in. He had his deal [with Turner] and was going to be paid out. He didn’t want to come in so the fact that he didn’t want to come in — we sure as hell wasn’t gonna go after him. We didn’t want anybody that didn’t want to be here.”
Check out the complete episode of the Something To Wrestle With podcast at MLWRadio.com. H/T to WrestlingInc.com for transcribing the above quotes.
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