On the latest edition of Something to Wrestle, Bruce Prichard and host Conrad Thompson got into a bizarre discussion about the departure of Nicole Bass from WWE in 1999 and the circumstances surrounding her giving notice, as well as why Prichard never wanted to sign her in the first place. The discussion got into “apartment wrestling” which Conrad described as part of the “underbelly” of the wrestling industry and featured men paying to be overpowered by female wrestlers, while Prichard noted that it also included women being paid to wrestle each other in apartments. Conrad noted a report from Dave Meltzer at the time that Bass was claiming she could make more money doing “apartment wrestling” than she was making in WWE and that WWE wasn’t happy with her lack of improvement in the ring, as well as the reality that as long as she was around, fans would want to see her wrestle Chyna which could damage the illusion of Chyna.
Conrad also noted the rumors surrounding Nicole’s boyfriend/husband allegedly being a drug dealer who supplied drugs to wrestlers, particularly in ECW. Prichard said that he portrayed himself to be a police officer at the time Bass was involved with WWE.
Highlights of the discussion are below.
Prichard on why he didn’t want to ever sign Nicole Bass: “I’ll go on record as saying I was unhappy having to sign Nicole Bass. I didn’t want to sign Nicole Bass. I didn’t for reasons of the comparison to Chyna but also from the standpoint of, the different things that, and rumor and innuendo, but at the same time, was enough of it that there was some smoke to that fire.”
Prichard on why WWE gave in to her demands and signed her: “My initial contact with her was met with, ‘Well, I’m doing all of these other things and I’ve got to make X amount of money’ and so on and so forth, which was just so out of the ballpark, that I thought, ‘OK, we’re done.’ And I said, ‘Here’s the offer and that’s it.’ Then I got the word back, ‘Just get her to TV, do whatever you have to do to get her to TV.’ I didn’t pay anywhere near what she wanted, but it was still in my opinion a lot more than we ever should have ever paid her to get her there because Russo just had to have her to be Sable’s bodyguard or whatever it was that she was coming in to do.”
Prichard on bringing up “apartment wrestling” to Bass: “And I didn’t feel that Nicole was completely honest in what she was telling us she had done, because I did ask about the, ‘OK, is the things that your doing, wrestling men, is this pornographic, is this something that is out there that’s gonna come back to hit us in the teeth?’ And she assured us, no, that it wasn’t.’ and I said, ‘I need to know what it is, so that we, look, I don’t care what you’ve done, I really don’t, but I need to know everything.’ And she wasn’t forthcoming with everything and we kept having to find things out.”
Prichard on the rumors surrounding Bass’ husband: “Then after she was here, then the rumors of her husband started coming forward, then he portrayed himself as a police officer, whether he was or he wasn’t, I still to this day don’t know. There were so many things that were crazy about the entire situation with her.”
Prichard on Bass ultimately telling him she could make more doing “apartment wrestling” than WWE was paying her: “I still don’t know what the hell she did on the side, but when she finally gave the ultimatum of she could make so much more money doing this, I said ‘Why in the hell would you even want to consider staying with us?’ If you’re making — because she would say she was making between $5,000 and $10,000 a week, by the way — and I went, ‘OK, good God, you can go do that and you don’t have to take one bump? Go do that!’ Who wouldn’t do that? If I’m going to make between $5,000 and $10,000 a week, every week, and I don’t have to take one single bump, and I’m being flown all over the world, first class, and being treated like a Queen, go do it! More power to you! Because I can’t pay you that right now.”
Prichard on how “apartment wrestling” started: “It was a business. And I don’t know that they ever got into any pornography, don’t know if there was any nudity in it, but it was very, the women wrestlers that everyone was used to, they wore one piece gear and they all looked like Moolah and Mae Young. So the idea was, to have pretty women in bikinis wrestling. That was the allure. But I don’t think there was ever any nudity or any, certainly wasn’t any pornography involved in it. But it was just scantily clad, better looking girls wrestling, in an apartment. It gave the allure of being something more than it was. Then after that, what came is the ones that will either wrestle a guy, ya know, the guy will pay to have them wrestle, and then there would be people that would pay to have them wrestle nude, and different things, and that was a whole different industry, that some people got into. And funny thing is, I just learned about that whole paying to videotape a women’s wrestling match that some guy would write out what he wanted to see, I just learned about that a few years ago. It’s crazy!”
If using any of the above quotes, please credit Something to Wrestle with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.