Vince McMahon isn’t exactly playing with a full deck. While he’s a marketing genius, the head of World Wrestling Entertainment has made some questionable calls in the past to get there to the top of the heap – and back in 1996, Vince and his team very nearly made a move that couldn’t possibly have been good for…….well, anyone.
According to a recent article on SI.com, with info lifted from a podcast with Bruce Prichard – once an integral part of the WWE creative team – it was revealed that the original plan for Wrestlemania XII in Anaheim, California was to pit wrestling legend Rowdy Roddy Piper against….O.J. Simpson.
Keep in mind, this was March of 1996 – just six months after O.J. was acquitted of murdering two people. Yikes.
Prichard says the idea was floated by Piper, and he was for it. There were preliminary talks with O.J. Simpson’s people, who at that point, were looking for anything that had a paycheck attached to it. At the time, Piper was making comments about O.J. anyway – how he was what was wrong with America. The end game was to be the Rowdy One beating up Simpson in front of a capacity crowd just blocks from Disneyland – how patriotic!
Then, word leaked and……the backlash was extreme. Sponsors threatened to pull their advertising, etc., and the idea fizzled. Meaning that sometimes things DO happen for the best…not that it wouldn’t have been kinda fun to watch Juice take a suplex or two. ~ Jason