– Speaking on the latest Something to Wrestle, Bruce Prichard discussed the decision to have both Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit lose their world titles close together after winning them a few months earlier. Guerrero won the WWE Championship at No Way Out 2004 to Brock Lesnar, while Benoit won his title at WrestleMania XX. They would go on to lose the titles at June’s Great American Bash and August’s SummerSlam to JBL and Randy Orton, respectively. Orton would go on to lose his title less than a month later to Triple H.
Highlights from the discussion, and the full podcast, are below:
On if putting the titles on JBL and Orton was a conscious move to more ‘WWE-style’ talent: “I don’t think so, no. And it was a decision made, first of all, with Layfield because we needed new characters and that was the goal there. And that was something that Eddie Guerrero actually suggested. ‘What if I drop the title to him?’ It’s like ‘Well, you know what? That’d sure as f**k make him.’ On the Raw side, you just said it. You couldn’t predict it. This was a, ‘You can’t call it.’ And it was shocking, and it was one of those situations where you’re looking at it, and nobody — I don’t think anybody in the building could really call that match. So that to me is the perfect attraction: when you can’t call it. So again, Randy being the future, here was a kid coming up fresh and young. Looked the part, was the part, fit everything about it. And it was time to go that way. So let’s try it, let’s move. The business is fluid, and when you’re live every week and you’re in that situation where, ‘Well, let’s try something else.’ You have that luxury when you have live TV and a PPV every month. So it was like, ‘What if? Let’s try it with Randy and see what you’ve got there.”
On if Orton was a transitional champion between Benoit and Triple H so Benoit didn’t lose directly to Hunter: “No, you had a story with Evolution. You had the whole story with Evolution where Randy wins the title, does Randy get the big head. It was Triple H, you’ve got Flair and Triple H who are the big dominant dogs in that pack, that feel that Triple H should be the champion. That was the story, it was about Evolution. And you put that on Randy, now it’s ‘Well, yeah, you know what kid? Good for you, bringing the title back to Evolution but it really belongs to me.’ That was the story. It was all story-driven. There wasn’t that story, you go back and beat Benoit, ‘Okay, I beat Benoit.’ An Evolution guy beat Benoit, but it was the wrong Evolution guy in Hunter and Flair’s mind.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Something to Wrestle with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.