|By Raj Giri||July 25, 2012 | Comments|
Also, MVP's introduction. He goes in there and instantly was chasing a title, which I felt strongly about and was glad to see happen. A WWE guy doesn't just come in that you've never heard of or seen and have him go for the U.S. title and he's battling Benoit. It was very unorthodox for 2006. By 2012, they do it because -- underneath -- they just don't have the talent. They have to put those guys in that position. I don't even know if they'd do it now. So, those pop out at me.
I'd love to tell you that the Rey Mysterio world title run that we had created actually happened but it didn't. So, I can't that's one of my proudest, most interesting concepts because Vince saw another concept.
WrestlingINC: Were you ever told that some wrestlers were completely off limits as far as suggesting ideas involving them? We hear about Randy Savage and how whenever he's brought up, it's quickly kyboshed.
Bauer: Randy was never brought up, really. It was understood that you don't talk about that. Although, I had a colleague pitch him relentlessly one year for Hall Of Fame until Vince gave him a look of death and he realized that it wasn't going to happen and it wasn't a hill worth dying on. Still, I think Alex Springfield -- who would become Smackdown! lead writer -- gets a lot of props for trying to get "Macho Man" in the Hall Of Fame.
WrestlingINC: What happened with your exit from WWE?
Bauer: I had been looking to leave. I was there in 2005, 2006, 2007. By 2007, I was at a point where I wasn't feeling creatively fulfilled by the position. I was just ready to move on. I had been for a while. I started looking into other things. I had talks with the UFC guys who had just acquired WEC at the time. So, I was actually talking to them about going in there and running their WEC division, which would have been intriguing at the time. So, a lot of things were popping up.
The Benoit thing happened and I was at the point where I was just battling almost daily with Michael Hayes. I just couldn't take it. Even though I had a terrific relationship with Vince, I just felt that life's too short. My quality of life is starting to erode here and I want to get out of here. Having WWE on my resume at this point when there's Fox News, CNN, NBC -- every freaking production truck out there is trying to get interviews with you as you leave the building over this Benoit thing. This probably was the right time to get the hell out of there.
And I had had this one big falling out with Michael Hayes and we had this, World War III-level battle and I said, "I'm out." ... I prefer to keep [it] on the down low, but we just had a severe disagreement and there was no coming back after that one. I said, "I'm done." He said, "Well, f--k you. You're done," and I said, "Well, then I think we agree on something for once." [Laughs.] I left, went down I-95 to New York where I live and hugged my wife and said, "I am done and I am never looking back."
WrestlingINC: So, kind of turning the tables a little bit, what do you see the company currently doing right? What makes you say, 'Ah, they're doing that pretty well.'
Bauer: I think commitment to the younger guys is a big thing. I think fresh faces is always a good thing. I think guys like Sin Cara could be great for the company. I don't know with what they've done with del Rio squashing him on Raw in a real violent way, I don't know if that's still in the plans. I think they're re-structuring developmental and that seems encouraging. I think they really needed to clean house in developmental.
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