On episode 144 of Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard, the professional wrestling veteran spoke in depth about WWE's release of Stacy 'The Kat' Carter in 2001. In addition to discussing the reasons for Carter's dismissal, Prichard shared Jerry 'The King' Lawler's reaction to the news. Further, Prichard explained WWE Chairman Vince McMahon's perspective on the situation.
Despite all the rumor and innuendo surrounding Carter's release such as Lawler and Carter meeting with Playboy Magazine officials without WWE or friction with other female performers, Prichard shared that 'The Kat''s ouster was brought on by WWE creative.
"Tuscon, Arizona," Prichard recalled. "We had gone out of the meeting and it came that Stacy had gone to some of the writers and was complaining and kvetching about whatever they had to do that night and it was a constant battle that everything was a debate. And they came in and they said, 'well, we just want to end it' because it was difficult and they were done at that point. Jim [Ross] was in talent relations and I think I was still in talent relations at that point to. So he says, 'hey, I need you to come with me.'
"And Jim told me what was going on. He says, 'we need to let Stacy go and I don't think it's going to be good because I don't know how 'The King' is going to react and out of respect for 'King', I want to do it and I want to do it face-to-face.' And he said, 'I hope he doesn't quit.' So we went upstairs to JR's office and we sat in the little dressing room there and JR said, 'King, I've got some bad news.' He says, 'we're not going to be continuing on with Stacy and we've got to let her go. And I'm coming to you first out of respect. We're friends and this is a difficult situation. I don't want to do this. It's tough, but in business sometimes, you've got to make tough decisions and I'm letting you know if you'd like to handle it.'"
Apparently, Lawler immediately threatened to leave WWE for WCW.
"Jerry said, 'you know, I've got a contract sitting on my desk at home for $300,000' or a half-million dollars, or whatever it was, 'from WCW and I could start tomorrow night if I wanted to,'" Prichard remembered. "JR says, 'well, I don't know if you can or not based on your contract here, but I wish that you wouldn't do this.' He goes, 'I don't know what to say.' And JR was very empathetic. It's an awkward situation. It's a s--tty situation no matter how you look at it. So Jerry says, 'well, if she goes, I go.' And JR said something about, 'I feel like Martin and Lewis' and named somebody else like, 'I don't want to break up the team. I don't want to break you and I up.'
"And Jerry, again, reiterated that he could start at WCW tomorrow. He [has] got an offer from them, and he doesn't need this place, and it's for more money. And Jim tried to talk him down. And [Lawler] says, 'well, if that's it, we're out of here,' and Jerry got up and left. So still, no one had told Stacy yet, so I guess that's when Jerry went and told Stacy. And then, they went to Vince [McMahon]'s office, and tried to talk to Vince, and Vince was in the middle of whatever Vince was doing. I have no idea what transpired in that meeting. I wasn't in there for that one. From there, Jerry went out to talk to Kevin Dunn in the truck and Kevin, I think Kevin knew what was going to happen, but he didn't know Jerry had quit and was kind of confused and so it all happened really fast, but it was a s--tty situation that was really difficult for JR.
"And I think with me sitting there, I think Jerry thought I was somehow responsible for it, which I had been told moments before that by JR, so I had no idea until we got in there. Now, I do know there was frustration with Stacy for sometime with the creative team and they felt a lot of pushback on things and I think the impression was that she had gotten a little big for her britches and a big head. But again, that was outside and after the fact and so on and so forth. But yeah, it was the first thing he said was, 'I can go to WCW tomorrow - I've got a big contract' and JR really hoped that's not what he'd do, 'I don't want you to quit - you should stay and we'll work this out. Time heals everything and we should chill.' And he was gone and he left."
Prichard then explained that WWE writers expressed frustration over dealing with Carter, who was allegedly argumentative and combative in working with creative.
"I think it was just push back coming from everything. It was an accumulation of everything they brought to her creatively and it was always an argument. And whatever happened that day, and I was still never clear on it, but whatever happened that day, it was like, 'do you know what? If she doesn't want to do it, then move on. We have to go. We don't have time for this.' And JR had come and gotten me and said, 'hey, I need you to witness this' and he buzzed me right before we went into the room and got 'King'. So that's it. It was an attitude deal." Prichard continued, "from the business standpoint of it, [rumor and innuendo] had nothing to do with [the decision to release Kat]. It was more of an issue of the whatever, antagonistic back-and-forth with creative all the time. And I can't even tell you, going back at that time, I don't even remember who the hell was even on creative at the time. So that's it. It comes down to being that simple. And the situation was tough because her husband works there, and he's an integral part of the show, plus he's a friend [and] somebody that has been a part of it the whole time, so it sucks and a very difficult position to be in."
During the podcast, Prichard indicated that he understood why Lawler would feel it necessary to walk out on WWE with his then wife; however, the man behind 'Brother Love' suggested that McMahon was right, from a business perspective, not to bend to Lawler's threats.
"From a husband and wife thing, I understand that too. From Vince's point of view, it's a business and 'I've got television to produce now. I'm really sorry that you've made the decision to quit.' That's a bad decision to make because it's hard to come back from that. It's one thing to say it to [Prichard and Ross] when we're trying to talk you out of it, but to go to [McMahon] with it, it's over at that point. If he had gone and said, 'do you know what? I don't understand what's going on here. I'm not sure I can work tonight. I'd like to take the night off and give it some thought.' That's different than saying, 'I quit.'" Prichard went on to further explain McMahon's position, "'you've already thought about this. You've got a deal and didn't tell us about it. Now, you're quitting? Okay, good luck to you.'"
Check out the podcast here or via the embedded player below. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Something To Wrestle with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Something To Wrestle