The Bizarre Steve Austin And Eddie Guerrero Feud That Started With Karaoke

During his 40 years in charge of WWE, Vince McMahon wasn't always the easiest man to please. Such was the case on the May 20, 2002, episode of "WWE Raw," when Eddie Guerrero and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin met in a bar for a segment that also involved Austin's wife, Debra.

On an episode of his "Something to Wrestle" podcast, longtime WWE producer Bruce Prichard discussed the feud that was set to begin between the two Hall of Famers in 2002, which got so far as the opening set-up segment in the bar. But Austin and the company were not seeing eye-to-eye at the time, and WWE had just re-hired Guerrero after his brief return to New Japan Pro-Wrestling. On the horizon, they were preparing Austin for a feud with Brock Lesnar that would ultimately never happen. It all felt just a little bit off to Prichard, who is on record as saying, "It was probably some of the worst TV that I ever did."

So why didn't it work out? There are any number of reasons to choose from, ranging from Austin's issues with the creative team at the time to his personal issues outside of the ring (he was arrested for domestic abuse three months after the bar segment), and even Guerrero's real-life struggles with addiction — he had gotten a DUI in November 2001, which led to his initial ousting from WWE.

Prichard Recalls How Uneasy Everyone Felt

As for the bar segment itself, it seemed as though nobody wanted to go through with it.

"That was a hell of an ordeal because of Eddie's addictions and everything," Prichard recalled. "Eddie was uncomfortable being in the bar. It was, 'Look, Eddie, you're either a performer or you're not.' He got over it pretty quickly."

Still, the idea didn't lend itself to great television. It's difficult to hear over the background noise, and it also didn't help that according to Prichard, nobody's heart was truly in it.

"I don't think Steve was really into it," he continued. "I don't think Vince was really into it, and Eddie was a little apprehensive. So it was an idea that Steve had that was only half thought out, and it was a situation where Vince really wanted to do it because Steve really wanted to do it. In hindsight, I wouldn't have done it, because it just did not work."

Austin walked out of WWE shortly thereafter, allegedly upset over upcoming plans to have him lose to Lesnar. He and McMahon would ultimately resolve their differences, leading to Austin's return in 2003, while Guerrero went on to defeat Lesnar at No Way Out in 2004 to become WWE Champion, though he tragically passed away the following year. Under the right circumstances, it would have been fascinating to see a feud between Austin and Guerrero, but the situation at the time made it an eternal "what if."

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