Former WWE creative team writer Court Bauer was recently a guest on the Wrestling Inc. Podcast. While on it, Bauer explained the original idea behind the Punjabi Prison match.
"The original idea actually was rooted in my pitch in the Spring of 2006 to bring the exploding deathmatch made famous in IWA Japan and FMW to the States because it's one of the rare things WWE had never touched," said Bauer. "And SmackDown needed a shot in the arm, we needed a specialty match, we needed something a little different.
"We had some good brawlers and I thought well we could build to something with this," said Bauer. "We were just talking out loud and [Vince McMahon] turned down War Games, he always does and always will. And I said what about this and I had a whole presentation, it wasn't off the cuff, I showed him footage, I had a whole package — a real pitch put together for this. And Vince thought about it and said, 'Let's do it.' There we started on our path to the exploding deathmatch coming to WWE for what was tracking to be the summer of 2006."
Bauer explained it was put in WWE executive producer Kevin Dunn's hands to make it happen. After some time passed, the writers weren't being updated and they didn't receive any mock-ups on the pitch. He believes something didn't go right.
"Ultimately, Kevin sent us the final product," Bauer recalled. "Not mock-ups, the final product, it's built. And it looks like a set piece from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I don't know what to make of it, a play set some poor child would get killed on."
"Unanimously across the writer's room, jaws dropped. And we're looking at this thing doing double takes," revealed Bauer. "I remember Dusty Rhodes taking his granny glasses and pulling them from the edge of his nose, close up top to make sure he was seeing what he thought he was seeing. And he was like, 'Man it looks like Lincoln Logs.' And I thought to myself, unless the bamboo explodes, which would be a safety hazard, this has mutated into something perverse and it's not what we had pitched Vince."
"And usually when you pitch Vince onto something and he gives you the green light, that's locked, sealed and delivered going to happen," Bauer explained. "For whatever reason, I never got a real answer, whether Kevin just wanted to do something different or something got lost in translation, we ended up doing this bizarre concept."
Bauer revealed former WWE head writer Alex Greenfield named it the Punjabi Prison. He admitted it's a hard match for everyone involved.
The Wrestling Inc. Podcast airs live Post-WWE PPV Sundays immediately following the event with Matt Morgan, Glenn Rubenstein and Raj Giri. On Mondays immediately following WWE RAW with Matt Morgan, Glenn Rubenstein and Raj Giri and on Wednesdays at Noon ET with Raj Giri and Glenn Rubenstein. The archive of episodes is available by clicking here.