Bruce Prichard Talks About Why Steve Austin Vs. Hulk Hogan Never Happened

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During the latest episode of his Something to Wrestle podcast, Bruce Prichard spoke about bringing the nWo into WWE in 2002 and the decision to have Hulk Hogan fight The Rock instead of Steve Austin. Here are highlights:

On the idea to bring in the nWo: “It was probably Fall, 2001. There was not a lot of interest as discussed with bringing any of those guys in with the WCW purchase because their contracts were too high. They had too much left on them, and the talents wanted the money from their contracts. So, it was easier for them to sit out and collect their checks rather than go to work. On top of that, their contracts had limited dates in them, that we were not interested in honoring. If we were going to get guys, we wanted them to work, and not sit out and get paid. Fall in 2001 was the next time conversations started to happen.”

On Scott Hall returning to WWE: “There was a concern with Scott Hall because you think the guy is going to come in as a second chance and will tell you that he is going to straighten up, be on a straight narrow, and do whatever he needs to do and then go get messed up, people are going to ask questions. People are going to ask whether or not this is part of the effort he will show to be part of the team? Vince tried alleviating that as much as he could. We tried to get Scott with whatever Outpatient program that we could, to try and help him along. There were some guys, but I don’t know if there was a big stand that we demand we not use the guys. There may be murmuring among the boys that will say, “F these guys,” but I know there were concerns by Austin to work with Scott Hall at WrestleMania.”

On why Hogan vs. Austin didn’t happen at Wrestlemania: “Well I can tell you from my vantage point and my discussions were, where are we going to go because the match was Austin and Hulk or Rock and Hulk. I think everyone agreed that Austin and Hulk were the bigger match that we had to get to, so the feeling was, why to give to them first, let’s build it some more. Rock and Hogan were interchangeable in their careers. Originally it was planned for Rock and Hulk and then eventually get to Austin and Hulk at some point, whether that be at the next WrestleMania or not. There may have been discussions where one wasn’t going to put the other over, but that was just gesturing and positioning.”


On the match between Hogan and Rock: “The crowd was electrifying. I watched it over with Brian Gewirtz, who was the Head Writer of Raw, and he looked at me and said, ‘do they know that Rock is the babyface and Hogan is the heel’? I think they think otherwise, and that crowd was on their feet the entire match. They loved it. I thought both guys did a great job of switching roles. They tried to get them with the tradition with what they went into the match story, but both guys adapted and went with the crowd, so Hogan went babyface and Rock went heel, but it’s one of the teaching tools for young talents to go and watch how these two guys listened to the audience, changed how the match was laid out and went with it, and didn’t let the audience get to them, and took the audience for one heck of a ride. That was definitely the main event of the show.”


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