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Bruce Prichard Discusses Mike Tyson’s Involvement at WrestleMania 14, Concerns Going Into the Match, and How Prichard Pitched WWE Working With OJ Simpson

April 28, 2018 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
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On the debut episode of WWE Network’s Something Else To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard (transcript via wrestlinginc.com), Bruce Prichard spoke about Mike Tyson’s involvement in the main event at WrestleMania 14. Below are some highlights from the show.

Prichard on WWE’s initial involvement with Tyson to referee a Hulk Hogan vs. Macho man match: “Well, Mike Tyson was scheduled, and he actually had been advertised and we were ready to go in February of 1989 with a match with Hulk Hogan and ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage and he said [imitating Savage], ‘mm-hmm, freak out, freak out!’ and Mike Tyson had a match in Tokyo, Japan against one Buster Douglas and the outcome of that didn’t go according to plan, per se, because Tyson got his ass knocked out and was unable to appear. And it wasn’t that he was unable to appear, he just didn’t for awhile for us. So we then circled the wagons and got Buster Douglas to come in and save the day for us. So yeah, [WrestleMania 14] was not our first encounter with Mr. Tyson.”

Prichard on the concerns about Mike Tyson going into WrestleMania: “I think there was a bit of a concern and I think that there were some people who thought, ‘man, are [people], especially the females, are the females going to get behind this guy, Mike Tyson?’ There was a little bit of concern, but I think that we knew what we wanted to do, and, at the end, Mike Tyson would be heralded as a babyface and get to know him, and after that, actually like him.”

Prichard on how he pitched to WWE to work with OJ Simpson: “No, not really. I think that there were the normal people that would bring up concerns, like some people in promotions and marketing that might say, ‘do we really want to associate ourselves with someone that is a convicted felon and put them in our showcase event?’ There’s always going to be that, but this is coming from someone that suggested, at the time, doing something with OJ Simpson, so you can always ask the question, ‘what if?’ And if you stick, ‘what if’ in there, it’s all fair game!”

Bruce Prichard on Tyson and King’s relationship going into WrestleMania 14: “I don’t remember the dollar amount, but I do remember the rumblings and I definitely do remember that there was talk that Don King may not have been entirely forthright in dealing with Mike Tyson and telling him everything that was going on in the negotiations with WWE, so that created even more of a rift because Mike was already looking at Don and looking at his dealings over the years and figuring out that maybe he didn’t get everything that he had coming to him at the time, so it was one more pancake on the stack.”

Bruce Prichard on the media coverage of Tyson in WWE and how there was some internal talk of having Tyson wrestle: “The media sources definitely jumped to conclusions on their own there; however, internally, yeah, it was discussed. There were a lot of ‘what if’ scenarios. If you were to have Mike Tyson in a wrestler versus boxer match, man, that’s gold. s–t, that’s platinum. And that’s something. That’s everyone’s dream! One on one, who’s going to win, the wrestler or the boxer? And to be able to pull that off with someone the likes of Mike Tyson would have been incredible! Believe me. But at this time, Mike wasn’t interested in that. Mike still wanted to pursue a boxing career and Mike was looking to get his name out there, get a good payday, participate, and have his name in a positive light.”