Former WWE writer Court Bauer recently appeared as a guest on the Wrestling Inc Podcast for an in-depth interview.
During the show, Bauer spoke about the origins of the Punjabi Prison match in WWE.
“The original idea actually was rooted in my pitch in the Spring of 2006 to bring the exploding deathmatch made famous in IWA Japan and FMW to the States because it’s one of the rare things WWE had never touched,” said Bauer. “And SmackDown needed a shot in the arm, we needed a specialty match, we needed something a little different.
Bauer continued, “We had some good brawlers and I thought well we could build to something with this. We were just talking out loud and [Vince McMahon] turned down War Games, he always does and always will. And I said what about this and I had a whole presentation, it wasn’t off the cuff, I showed him footage, I had a whole package — a real pitch put together for this. And Vince thought about it and said, ‘Let’s do it.’ There we started on our path to the exploding deathmatch coming to WWE for what was tracking to be the summer of 2006.”
Bauer would go on to elaborate, explaining that things were then placed in the hands of Kevin Dunn, the longtime WWE Executive Producer, to make it happen. Once time started passing, the writers noticed they weren’t being updated and weren’t being given mock-ups regarding the pitch.
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According to Bauer, it was then he realized that something wasn’t going as originally planned.
“Ultimately, Kevin sent us the final product,” Bauer said. “Not mock-ups, the final product, it’s built. And it looks like a set piece from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I don’t know what to make of it, a play set some poor child would get killed on. Unanimously across the writer’s room, jaws dropped. And we’re looking at this thing doing double takes. I remember Dusty Rhodes taking his granny glasses and pulling them from the edge of his nose, close up top to make sure he was seeing what he thought he was seeing. And he was like, ‘Man it looks like Lincoln Logs.’ And I thought to myself, unless the bamboo explodes, which would be a safety hazard, this has mutated into something perverse and it’s not what we had pitched Vince.”
Bauer continued, “Usually when you pitch Vince onto something and he gives you the green light, that’s locked, sealed and delivered going to happen,” Bauer explained. “For whatever reason, I never got a real answer, whether Kevin just wanted to do something different or something got lost in translation, we ended up doing this bizarre concept.”
Check out the complete episode of the Wrestling Inc Podcast featuring the Court Bauer interview at WrestlingInc.com.