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NewsMuhammad Hassan Reveals All Regarding The Fallout Of The Undertaker Angle

Muhammad Hassan Reveals All Regarding The Fallout Of The Undertaker Angle

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During a recent appearance on the “Cafe de Rene” podcast with Rene Dupree, Marc Copani (Muhammad Hassan in WWE) recalled the controversial end to his time in WWE.

The Muhammad Hassan character became a top heel in a relatively short amount of time in 2005. However, WWE’s decision to air a controversial already taped segment featuring Hassan attacking The Undertaker on the same day as the 2005 London Bombings saw his character removed from WWE TV.

Commenting on the angle, Copani confirmed that as Muhammad Hassan he was set to become World Heavyweight Champion. The controversy surrounding the segment saw all of his future plans cancelled.

Speaking on the incident and the fallout, Copani said the following:

“So, I was working an angle with The Undertaker, where I was gonna beat The Undertaker at The Great American Bash. And then from there, I was going to wrestle Batista in Washington D.C, at SummerSlam and it was supposed to be like the FU from the Arab to the United States. I was going to beat Batista who was from D.C, hometown boy. Big babyface in D.C to win the [World] Heavyweight Title. 

“So, we filmed the segment and obviously I’m never going to beat The Undertaker on my own, I’m gonna have a lot of help to beat The Undertaker. We filmed that segment where we had a bunch of men in masks, one of ’em was Val Venis. And they came out after Shawn [Daivari] wrestled The Undertaker and got destroyed. And then they came out and beat The Undertaker down. I choked him out with a piano wire, and then they carried him.

“This is what I had said earlier, how the character had started out as a very truthful representation of what was happening in the United States. Well, you know and the WWE or in any business, when you’re getting heat like that, or when you’re getting results. Then you turn it up, you go to the next level. So, that character was continuously dialled up to become more radicalised and more fundamental in his beliefs. In the way that he reacted and acted.

“So, we carry Shawn out martyr style. You know SmackDown is filmed on a Tuesday… On Thursday the London bombing took place Thursday morning. WWE made the decision to air the segment in its entirety with a crawler in the United Kingdom. And, they did have the option, they could’ve cut it out. But, at that point it was ready to go. So, the segment airs and after that, it really was just a sh*tstorm of pushback from everybody. From Arab Muslim groups, from advertisers. It was looked at as if we were… not that we were mocking what happened in London, but [we were] insensitive to what happened in London. And, the truth is that it happened, it was recorded days before. I mean that [The London Bombings] happened Thursday morning, and Thursday night it looked like we were doing that segment live. And again, this was like sixteen years ago. Before people had literally any concept, they did but only the smart marks. People didn’t understand that SmackDown was not a live show.”

It was also confirmed that there was some discussion to try and fight to save the Muhammad Hassan character. However, there was just too much pressure:

“So that was really it after that there was just too much pressure. I mean, we had talked about trying to fight it, doing some sort of PR campaign to try and fight against some of the negative feedback, and what was happening. But really, time’s changed very quickly after that. Could you imagine a Hassan character these days, with an Italian-American playing Muslim, doing the S*it we were doing? Absolutely not! And I’m not saying it should fly these days, but it definitely would not fly these days. After that character, within the next five years I think everything really started to change, in this country, and around the world. That made that character wrong. A lot more wrong than it was perceived to be in 2005.”

Due to the controversy surrounding the segment, the Muhammad Hassan character was deemed by WWE as no longer possible to air. So, Copani was written off TV at The Great American Bash, before being sent back to developmental. However, he would never make a return to WWE either as Muhammad Hassan or as any other character before being released.

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