In the latest episode of Something to Wrestle, Bruce Prichard spoke about why Vince McMahon and WWF were so interested in stealing Chris Jericho away from WCW in 1999, which led to him joining the promotion at the end of the summer. He also discussed the Big Boss Man appearing on American’s Most Wanted (the footage of him on the show is below) and Vince McMahon’s motorcycle accident. Here are highlights:
On why Vince was interested: “Pure talent and I think that when you are looking at what Chris was doing in WCW…everything that Chris would do, it garnered attention and he had that demo listening to him and watching him. He had a lot of talent. Jericho’s a smart guy so there was that allure as well. You like smart people working for you. And Chris was different. So coming in, I think that he was just someone that was appealing. He was new, he was young, he was fresh, why not? He was a hell of a talent and he was someone that had never been to WWE and we felt that we could do an awful lot with him.”
On The Big Boss Man appearing on America’s Most Wanted in 1999: “It wasn’t to have fun, it was just basically to draw attention to the fact that this guy had been doing whatever he had been doing and people were sending in tips, ‘I know where he is, he’s gonna be at the Mid-County Civic Center this Friday night! By God, I’d have a stakeout there for him because I’m pretty sure he’s gonna be rasslin’ the Undertaker!’ They were getting all these calls, were being bombarded with ‘I know who that is, that’s the Big Boss Man.’ And authorities got in touch with us and obviously with Boss Man and his schedule was nowhere near where any of these crimes were being committed. So John Walsh was a friend of the show and thought it would be a good idea to let folks know, ‘Hey folks, thank you for your tips, we greatly appreciate it, however this is the Big Boss Man and he looks an awful lot like this guy but it’s not this guy and we really need help finding this guy that’s doing all these bad things.’ But yeah they were getting those kind of tips. They came and questioned him. He looked just like the dude. You put their pictures side by side, they looked identical. The funny part was is people were basically giving them his schedule. ‘He’s rasslin this guy! I tell you what, y’all just let Undertaker take care of that sorry sumbitch. Tell ’em what he’s done.'”
On Vince McMahon’s motorcycle accident and him working the next day: “I was actually on a cruise. I’m out there on a damn cruise on the Wrestle Vessel or whatever the hell it was at the time and word gets back to me, I remember Dave Hebner coming in and say to me, ‘Oh my God, Vince was in a motorcycle accident.’ […] So we’re a couple of hours away from docking and we’re close enough to land that I could get a signal on my cell phone. And I call him and he picks up first ring. Because all we had heard at that point was Vince was in a motorcycle accident. It doesn’t sound good, especially Vince had this big motorcycle with an eight-cylinder engine on it, a boss hog or whatever the hell it was, a giant fucking motorcycle and he liked to ride his motorcycle quickly.
So he picks up right away! I said, ‘Hey! How you doing?’ ‘I’m great!’ ‘Great! I’m glad to hear it! Shit the word going around this damn boat I’m on, we heard you were in a bad motorcycle accident.’ ‘Ah god damnit I’m comin’ around…’, he tells me the name of the street and everything. I knew the path. He says, ‘I’m comin’ around the corner and this god damn woman backin’ up and didn’t even look! Didn’t even look! I went right across the top of her!’ ‘So you like, crashed into the car?’ ‘Yup! Damn bike went right into the car and I went right over the top.’ ‘Well…you okay?’ ‘I’m fine! God damnit, I’m fine. They took me away for precautions. I’m fine.’
What happened is he broke his coccyx or cracked his coccyx, the tailbone, that little gimmick there. But he got up and walked away. He was pissed off they took him away for observation. He was probably more pissed off that his bike was messed up. Did not miss a beat. Just kept right on going. ‘I’m fine! God damn. Just a little bump!’ Like nothing happened.”
If you use any of the quotes, please credit Something to Wrestle with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.