Bruce Prichard Claims Terry Funk Got WWE Shotgun Saturday Night Thrown Off The Air

In an effort to produce edgier programming at the onset of the Attitude Era, WWE aired a syndicated program called "WWE Shotgun Saturday Night" from January 1997 through August 1999, until it was replaced by "WWE Jakked." The show aired from various New York City nightclubs and other trendy locations, catering to adults visiting these places rather than the regular weekly television audiences. As such, the product included a lot of controversial content — case in point, Terri Runnels removing her top to distract The Sultan in his match against Goldust on the debut episode. 


Despite shooting for edgier programming, WWE had to be mindful of the language used in the show, as disclosed by WWE executive Bruce Prichard. On "Something to Wrestle," Prichard revealed he pitched the idea of the show to Terry Funk when he asked the late legend if he'd be interested in a WWE return at Royal Rumble 1997. That same weekend, Funk was slated to wrestle Bret Hart at the Denim & Diamonds nightclub in San Antonio, and prior to their "Shotgun Saturday Night" match, Funk was given a rundown of what was expected from him.

"Wrestle Bret, have a hell of a match, let's get him over, and maybe a little promo beforehand," Prichard recalled his instructions to Funk. "All I ask of you ... 'This is live ... I know it's late night but we're live, and we've got a lot of eyeballs on us. Please, just watch your language, no hells, goddamns, or s**t, please.'" Upon receiving the instructions, Funk assured Prichard "not to worry about me" and went about his business preparing.


Funk Refuses To Comply With Prichard's Instructions

Funk did not adhere to the instructions, and if Prichard's memory serves him right, Funk — in his pre-match promo — referred to Vince McMahon as a "Yankee bastard" and Jim Ross as an "Oklahoma son of a b***h" before turning around and telling Hart, "Your mother's a whore."


Prichard proceeded to blame Funk for several networks dropping WWE's Saturday night show, which, as a syndicated telecast, aired on multiple channels across the country. "When people say, 'Bruce, whatever happened to that show "Shotgun Saturday Night?" I say, Terry Funk.' So yeah, we got thrown off the air — for those comments. I think we had a goddamn in there, we had everything I asked him not to do."

"And there's one point in the match [against Hart] where they had the big troughs of beer, on ice, and at one point, he [Funk] grabs me and put me in it. I didn't have a change of clothes." Prichard was frozen, in a manner of speaking, and as he tried to compose himself, he still remembers "a bunch of drunk Cowboys" doing some line dancing and singing country tunes. Suffice it to say, Funk's brief WWE return in January 1997 lasted all of one weekend as he returned to ECW at the subsequent "Crossing The Line Again" event. Funk would eventually return to WWE in December 1997 as a new masked character called Chainsaw Charlie.