Bruce Prichard On Why Andre The Giant Was Pulled From The 1991 Royal Rumble

The Andre The Giant documentary premiered on HBO to rave reviews. Andre's final televised WWE match was losing the WWE Tag Team Championships with partner Haku to Demolition at WrestleMania VI in 1990. Haku worked the entire match, although Andre turned babyface afterward and beat up then-manager Bobby Heenan and Haku.

Andre wrestled one WWE house show and a WWF / All Japan / NJPW event in Tokyo that year. He was not seen on WWE television again until the end of 1990 when he was announced for the 1991 Royal Rumble match. Andre was mentioned for several weeks before his name was removed without explanation. On an episode of the Wrestling Inc. Podcast earlier this year, I asked Bruce Prichard, who was a producer for the company at the time, why Andre was removed from the match after being advertised.

"It was health issues, it was the thought that we're not going to get Andre beyond this," Prichard said. "[We thought] maybe we do one where he wins it, but health issues just weren't going to allow him to be able to compete in it. Even bringing him out at number 30 wouldn't have been pretty."

Andre would return to the company at WrestleMania VII several months after the Rumble in March of 1991, and even worked a pair of house shows shortly after that (a six-man tag teaming with the Rockers to defeat The Orient Express & Mr. Fuji that April, as well as a 17-man battle royal in May that was won by "The Texas Tornado" Kerry Von Erich). His final WWE appearance was in October of that year in Paris where he cornered The British Bulldog in a match against Earthquake, which Bulldog won after he hit Earthquake with Andre's crutch.

You can watch Prichard discuss Andre being removed from the 1991 Royal Rumble match in the video above at the 22:45 mark.