wrestling / News

Bruce Prichard Discusses How WWE Came Up With the Portuguese Man O’War Gimmick for Justin Credible

September 29, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Justin Credible

– On the latest Something to Wrestle, Bruce Prichard discussed the early run in WWE for PJ Polaco, aka Justin Credible. After getting signed by WWE, he appeared in the company as Aldo Montoya, the “Portuguese Man O’ War.” Eventually, Polaco would join ECW, where he became Justin Credible and got over. Below are some highlights and the full podcast:

Prichard on the Aldo Montoya gimmick: “We had high hopes for Aldo when Aldo came in. And I will never forget, and I’m pretty sure I shared the story before, when PJ Polaco — PJ Walker– came in, and Jerry Lawler saw him in Massachusetts or somewhere and brought him to us and said, ‘Oh my god. This guy looks like Jerry Seinfeld. There’s to be something we can do with him. Make him a comedian and do something with him.’ And Pete was a really good hand. He was a good worker, but just not a lot of personality. So, we were trying to do something with him, trying to figure out something with him when Vince learned that he was Portuguese. He spoke the language. He was fluent. And South America had always been an important market for us, so to have someone that speaks the language was important. So, we brought PJ and tried to do something with him. Some of the drawings and some of the concepts that were floated about for PJ were absolute hilarity. Because, ‘Hey, he’s from Portugal! So, we’ll make him Aldo Montoya, soccer star!’ And they’re showing in all these different mockups of what he’ll wear, ‘And we’ll have soccer balls! And he’ll kick soccer balls out into the audience,’ and all this other s***. So, as they’re going through and they’re making this big pitch, Vince [McMahon] goes, ‘Ah, goddamn. I didn’t even know that he played soccer. So, is he good?’ ‘Oh, we don’t know.’ [Vince,] ‘Wait a minute. You talked to him. You met with him. So, I’m assuming that this soccer gimmick is something that he’s comfortable with and that he’s played soccer. He likes soccer.’ Crickets. They didn’t even f***ing [talk to him] — because he was Portuguese and because soccer is the national sport, they thought, ‘Well, f***. He’s gotta like soccer. He’ll be a soccer player. And again, it goes back to Vince’s philosophy if you meet with the talent, you find something within them and try to bring it out. And that wasn’t it. PJ didn’t play soccer, didn’t know anything about soccer, and it was a s***ty concept.”

Prichard on the gimmick morphing into Aldo Montoya: “We came up with Aldo Montoya, the Portuguese Man O’ War. [Conrad asks, ‘Was that out of the box of gimmicks?’] Yes, Yes. It was in my office at the time, and they just pulled it out and said, ‘OK. Hey, you know what? He’ll be a jellyfish.’ But that was a — seriously, that was one of the monikers. You know, Man O’ War. Aldo Montoya. Portuguese Man O’ War. It’s f***ing jellyfish! But it’s a dangerous jellyfish. *Laughs* But we’re gonna make it good! We’re gonna put a jockstrap on his head! Kinda hide his face a little bit because you know how the Portuguese are.”

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.