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Big Show & Former WWE Writer Court Bauer Discuss The Punjabi Prison Match

July 25, 2012 | Posted by Larry Csonka

– On this week’s edition of The LAW’s “Review a Wai” podcast John Pollock and Wai Ting take a look at the WWE ‘Great American Bash’ event from July 2006 featuring the first Punjabi Prison Match involving The Undertaker and Big Show. The full podcast is available for download at http://fightnetwork.com/news/32163:podcast-review-a-wai-wwe-great-american-bash-06/ (also available on iTunes by subscribing to ‘Live Audio Wrestling’). On the show we were joined by former WWE Smackdown writer Court Bauer as well as comments from a 2007 interview with Big Show on The LAW discussing the match, here are some excerpts from those chats:

Big Show on the Punjabi Prison Match: On Saturday, I’m looking forward to watching the match on pay-per-view. Saturday night, I’m flown into the town to do the match because the other giant couldn’t do it. It was like, “okay.” I won’t even talk about the payoff I got for that match. Some idiot had the idea of making the bamboo out of steel, so it looks like bamboo but it’s really steel, and it hurt like hell every time you touch it. That was a brilliant idea.

Court Bauer on the creation of the Punjabi Prison Match: I thought it’d be kind of interesting to introduce a death match with the exploding ring, and try to do it in an arena where you could deal with the explosions and the pyro and all this stuff. I was thinking WrestleMania 2007, knowing that we were going to be in Detroit, would be big enough to handle it. Of course, when you think that long term in wrestling, it always gets sped up, and before you knew it we were talking about doing it at the Great American Bash. I think it was late Spring, Vince signs off; we’re gonna do the first ever exploding death match in WWE history. He (Kevin Dunn) was going to be taking care of the concept of the exploding death match, and taking care of the logistics. I said, “I can help, I can get you in touch with people over in Japan that were involved with this. Even Terry Funk can explain it fully, explain what goes into this, and try to make this as safe as possible but also succeed so it’s not a bust,” and I never heard anything from them.

A few weeks pass, and we finally get the mock-up artwork for the exploding death match, and instead of it being anything like what we had laid out, or what I had pitched, it is what would become known as the Punjabi Prison match. It was bamboo; it looked like bamboo furniture gone awry, and made into a prison. We’re just looking at this, and we’re baffled. I mean like, my heart sunk; this to me was going to be a big thing, I was really excited as a fan, and in terms of my career I thought I was going to introduce something to WWE that could be really cool. And if it was bad, it would be memorably bad. This had none of my DNA on it. It didn’t have anything I pitched. There was nothing exploding, it was just bamboo. There was even, at one point, leaves and stuff. It looked like a playground or something. I asked Steph (McMahon), “Is it okay if I give some feedback” and they said, “Well, um, Kevin’s already built it.”

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Larry Csonka

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