Court Bauer Recalls Pitching Vince McMahon A WWE Exploding Death Match
WWE went with the Punjabi Prison instead. Spoilsports.
WWE is about one thing above all else; entertainment, and a big part of WWE’s philosophy when producing content is that entertainment should come in the form of spectacle.
Arguably there is no greater spectacle in pro wrestling than an exploding ring barbed wire deathmatch, right?
MLW head Court Bauer thinks so, and when he was part of WWE’s creative team, Bauer pitched such a match to Vince McMahon, but plans changed, as revealed to the Wrestle Buddies podcast:
"I was at WWE, when we did the infamous Punjabi Prison Match, as you might remember. Now, full disclaimer, I had pitched Vince [McMahon] on that match, but it wasn't that match. It was - I’m not going to bury myself. Actually, I showed him a tape of an [Atsushi] Onita deathmatch with the exploding ring. I said I wanted to do that in WWE, and he signed off on it - members of the creative team have gone on record backing the story. And it goes to Kevin Dunn, who we didn't hear from for a while, everything was close to the vest. But hey, if Vince says it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen.
“We start seeing the mockups for what the exploding cage was going to look like. First of all, there was no explosions. This was about 10 days before the PPV. And the second thing we learned was it's bamboo. And it's almost like an Indiana Jones playset from Temple of Doom. And you're like, 'This is so perversely not what we talked about. Oh my god. This is going to bury the creative team once again.' Of course, we took the heat for that one. But it's interesting how you take risks, and sometimes, in different systems, it either turbo-charges the idea, or it mutates into a Punjabi Prison match."