Former WWE superstar Shawn Daivari was a guest on Wednesday’s episode of the Wrestling Inc. Podcast. In it, Daivari provided some backstage details on WWE’s first Punjabi Prison match.
“Oh yeah, I did the first one,” Daivari recalled. “Those things are terrible man.”
WWE’s first Punjabi Prison match took place at The Great American Bash pay-per-view on July 23, 2006. The Great Khali was set to oppose The Undertaker but was replaced by Big Show due to the results of his Hepatitis C blood test not coming back in time. In order to write him out of the match, the company did an angle where General Manager Teddy Long removed Khali for attacking The Undertaker backstage.
“We did this thing, like we’d never done one before and we didn’t know what the thing was,” said Daivari. “Like, they were building it as we promoted it, it was like a Dusty Rhodes thing, you know, like, he came up with a thing that we didn’t have.”
“So they advertise this thing, we don’t know what it is, not even the company is building it, going out to like some concert stage company who build this thing,” said Daivari. “So the day before pay-per-view, they rent a soundstage like in Indianapolis or wherever the f?- we were, and they set it up. Just no, there’s a ring in a warehouse and like a soundstage and this giant wood cage around it. We go up to punch this thing, it’s solid steel.”
Daivari explained they hired a painter to paint faux bamboo texture on the structure. He explained how Pat Patterson, who was working for WWE as a creative consultant at the time, made up the rules of the match.
“And then Pat [Patterson] comes up and is like, ‘Why don’t maybe,’ cause there’s a little cage with four doors, there’s a big Hell in a Cell size cage outside of it. Pat goes, ‘What if the doors open once and then they shut every 60 seconds and once they shut, they don’t reopen. And that way we create a false finish by Taker can get out, but when the last one opens, you throw him back in, the door shuts, he’s locked in there, you look like it escaped and then Taker gets over the top,'” Daivari recalled.
“I was like, ‘This motherf—er is just making up rules to create false finishes. This is amazing.’ I knew he was smart but just seeing that process right in front of me, I would never have the wherewithal to create that scenario,” said Daivari.
Not only was Khali pulled from the show but Bobby Lashley was also taken out of his scheduled match against Finlay for the WWE United States Championship and replaced by William Regal. His Hepatitis C blood test results were also not back. It was reported at the time that both Khali and Lashley had elevated liver enzymes in their blood.
Daivari noted the Hepatitis C blood test results came back for both Khali and Lashley on Monday, the day after the pay-per-view, and were negative.
You can listen to Wednesday’s episode of the Wrestling Inc. Podcast embedded in the video above. Please be advised this was a wild R-rated version of the podcast and that a lot of the language used is NSFW. Archived episodes are available by clicking here.
The Academy: School of Professional Wrestling, which opened last December and is operated by Ken Anderson and Shawn Daivari, will be holding two seminars on July 2, 2017 with former WWE Superstar Nick “Eugene” Dinsmore. Those interested can obtain more details by clicking here.