One of the most memorable moments of the Attitude Era was "Stone Cold" Steve Austin getting hit by a car. On Something To Wrestle with Bruce Prichard, the former WWE producer discussed whether or not the plan was always for Rikishi to be revealed as the driver who ran down Austin.
Austin was hit by a car at the 1999 Survivor Series as a way to give him time off because of his impending surgery. Nearly a year later, Rikishi admitted to being the driver, turning heel in the process. It was later revealed that then-WWE Champion Triple H orchestrated the entire thing and hired Rikishi. Prichard explained that there originally wasn't a plan for who the driver was because backstage officials, including WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, didn't see the significance in revealing who ran down Austin. They were just focused on getting Austin off TV so he can recover from his injuries.
"There was no original plan. There was no plan. It was, we will do this and then they came back to, well, who drove the car, and let's make that a storyline. The idea was to pull Steve Austin off of television because of his surgery. When it came time to figure out who drove the car, McMahon was asking why it mattered who drove the car? Well, somebody hit him with the car. How can you try and get away from that? It wasn't thought of prior to," Prichard said. "There were a lot of assumptions on whether or not Steve was coming back, so it was left open as far as who it was going to be and what they were going to do. There wasn't a whole plan on who it was going to be and what we were going to do. When we came down to it was like, now what?"
Prichard also discussed Barry Windham's run as The Widowmaker. When he returned to the WWE in 1989, Windham assumed the new character and whent undefeated for four months. The character was short-lived, as Windham ended up leaving the company again. Prichard said the character was his idea and he thought Windham's run ended prematurely, but there was nothing he could do because Windham desired to leave the WWE.
"I think that The Widowmaker would have worked huge. It was my idea and I loved it. I loved it. The Widowmaker was the 'baddest bull,' the one bull that couldn't be ridden. I thought the name was cool," Prichard said. "When Barry came in, and once again, I think travel and everything that came along with it that didn't fit his lifestyle and he did not want to be there. Vince McMahon liked Barry a lot. He said to Windham that if he didn't want to be here that he was going to let him go. At that time Barry chose to go."
If you use any portion of the quotes in this article please credit Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.