Traina Thoughts: Vince McMahon once wanted O.J. Simpson vs. Roddy Piper at WrestleMania
The best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina.
1. Vince McMahon really is insane, and I don't mean that in a positive or negative way. Before I elaborate, some background. Thanks to my good friend and colleague, Andy Gray, I'm currently obsessed with the Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard podcast. It's simply the best podcast ever created and I thank Andy every day for recommending it to me. If you are an old-school wrestling fan from the '80s and '90s, I can't implore you enough to check it out. There are currently 47 episodes and I've been binging the hell out of them for about a month. This morning, I listened to an episode they posted in March on Rowdy Roddy Piper. That leads me to Vince McMahon being insane.
During the episode, co-host Bruce Prichard, who was part of the WWE's creative team for many, many years, revealed that the original plan for WrestleMania XII, held on March 31, 1996, was for Piper to have a match against Orenthal James Simpson. Yes, March of 1996, just six months after O.J. was acquitted of murdering two people even though we all know... [Legally, I can't finish the rest of this sentence].
Here's how the idea of Piper vs. Simpson came out, via Prichard:
"The original plan was for O.J. Simpson to have a match at WrestleMania against the Hot Rod. I remember calling Roddy and pitching Roddy the idea, which he was for. We had had preliminary talks with O.J. Simpson's people, who at that point, were looking for anything that had a paycheck attached to it. We floated the idea out there, we did talk to O.J.'s people, I talked to Piper about it, Piper was on board. We were bringing him back in to get involved. If you go back, in the early time of Piper's re-emergence [with the WWF], he does make comments about O.J. Simpson. He makes comments about right and wrong in America and 'what's going on and that he's here to make things right in the WWF. The end game to that was going to be the one off and have Piper beat the sh-t out of O.J.Simpson at WrestleMania in Anaheim, California."
Why didn't the match happen? Because word of the match leaked and all hell broke loose.
"Once that started getting out beyond the inner circle of O.J. Simpson's people and out in Hollywood," Prichard explained, "the backlash was deafening." "The people were like, 'if you do this, you'll never have another sponsor ' Just extremely, extremely negative. So we punted."
Prichard added, "We thought the end game of O.J. getting the sh-t kicked out of him would satisfy some people. As those words come out of my mouth, you realize how ridiculous this is today. But you always have to try something on even if it sounds ridiculous."
It's always been known that Vince McMahon has a mind like no other. This story is just more proof.
2. Here's another reason Aaron Rogers is a great quarterback. He gave all of his offensive lineman ATV's yesterday. It's much smarter to do this BEFORE a season than after a season, which is when most QB's hand out the gifts to their lineman. Up the incentive for them to protect you.
3. With Game 5 shifting from Cleveland to Boston tonight, the Cavaliers are only a 10-point favorite after being 16-point favorites in Games 3 and 4. 5Dimes already has a line up for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on June 1. The Warriors are 7.5- point favorites over the Cavs.
4. Peyton Manning joined Chris Stapleton on stage to perform Tennessee Whiskey last night.
5. We seriously hope Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones was just kidding when he revealed his favorite movie in his high school yearbook.
6. In case you missed it late yesterday afternoon, new Browns quarterback Brock Osweiler said he should be an NFL starter because "the proof is in the film." Twitter had a field day with this statement.
7. For all the talk about the NFL's sagging ratings and people saying they boycotted the NFL because of Colin Kaepernick, things ended up turning out pretty well for the league last season.
8. Mike Greenberg's upcoming morning show on ESPN is going to be revolutionary, cutting-edge television.
9: THE DAILY ROCK: Dwayne Johnson's movie, Baywatch, is finally in theaters, and he will not let the critics get him down.