Bruce Prichard On Randy Savage Almost Returning To WWE In 1996, WWE Repackaging Legends

The history between Randy Savage and the WWE is a long and complicated one filled with scandalous rumors. Savage left WWE in 1994 and joined WCW shortly thereafter, never again making an appearance on WWE programming.

But there was apparently an opportunity for Savage to return to WWE in 1996. The Macho Man had recently completed his WCW contract after Halloween Havoc and had discussions about coming back to WWE. Bruce Prichard was an executive with WWE at the time and he talked about Savage almost returning on his Something to Wrestle with podcast.

"It is true. Randy and I talked and we had gone back and forth on a contract and then it fell apart," revealed Prichard. "I think we were far apart on money and dates. At that time Vince wasn't big on limited number of dates for talent; you are either under contract or you are not and Randy wanted so many dates so it just got crossways at some point and I am the one who had to deliver the message."

In the early 90s WWE attempted to repackage several longtime Superstars and freshen up their gimmicks. Two of those were Tito Santana, who became El Matador, and Tony Atlas, who became Saba Simba. Santana had limited success in his new Spanish bullfighter gimmick while Atlas' Ugandan tribe warrior character was an uttler failure.

Prichard discussed why WWE attempted to repackage those two wrestlers.

"Tito went to matador training in Mexico and learned how to be a matador and the whole nine yards. Did the training, lived down there for a little while and was all about it and ready to do it. It was a change; it freshened up his gimmick a little bit but after a while there was only so much you can do with El Matador," said Prichard.

"Saba Simba, Tony Atlas, same thing. I think that Tony was looking to revive his career but Tony Atlas as Tony Atlas was so recognizable. Tito Santana was El Matador, it wasn't like we were trying to hide Tito Santana and Tony Atlas as Saba Simba, it just didn't fit. He was Mr. USA who was from Roanoke, Virginia and that one was just a harder sell and flew in the face of everything and wasn't good. It didn't last long thank God."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Something to Wrestle with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

Peter Bahi contributed to this article.