O.J. Simpson is back in the headlines after being granted parole by the Nevada parole board on Thursday. The former NFL star is in protective custody at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada pending his release.
So what does this have to with professional wrestling?
Former WWE creative team writer Kevin Eck has a new article online for Sporting News, looking at how both WWE and WCW wanted to utilize Simpson after he was acquitted of the double murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman in 1995.
Bruce Prichard revealed on his "Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard" podcast that a match between Simpson and Roddy Piper was planned for WrestleMania XII in 1996 in Anaheim, California, less than six months after the verdict of his double murder trial.
The match didn't happen, with Piper going on to face Goldust at WrestleMania in a Hollywood Backlot Brawl (video included in the player above). The bout included a white Ford Bronco, similar to the one Simpson used to run from police in his infamous 1994 car chase.
Prichard claimed Piper was on board for the match and Simpson's reps were looking for anything that would be pay him. The match was nixed due to negative backlash.
"The backlash was deafening," Prichard said. "The people were like, 'If you do this, you'll never have another sponsor.' … So we punted."
Prichard revealed they wanted Piper to take out Simpson in the middle of the ring, with the thinking being the backlash would be less if O.J. got his comeuppance live on pay-per-view.
"We thought the end game of O.J. getting the s— kicked out of him would satisfy some people," Prichard said. "As those words come out of my mouth, you realize how ridiculous this is today. But you always have to try something on even if it sounds ridiculous."
In 2000, while Kevin Eck was the editor for WCW Magazine, he recalled head creative team writer Vince Russo pitching to bring O.J. Simpson in to help the company's dwindling television audience.
According to Eck, Russo wanted to pay Simpson millions of dollars to take a lie detector test on a WCW pay-per-view event. The idea was based on Simpson saying he would take a polygraph test on pay-per-view for $3 million, which would go toward a reward to catch the "real" killer. Simpson later said he would keep the money for himself.
Despite Russo's strong pitch, the higher ups at WCW didn't go for it and it never happened. You can read Kevin Eck's latest article by clicking here.