In October 2006, rapper Kevin Federline appeared on WWE programming to promote his new album and was involved in an angle with John Cena. After a few physical altercations with then-WWE Champion Cena, Federline showed up at the Cyber Sunday event and hit Cena with King Booker’s World Heavyweight Championship belt, helping Booker win a “Champion of Champions” match against Cena and ECW Champion The Big Show.
Bruce Prichard, the Executive Director of Raw and SmackDown, recently covered the feud between K-Fed and Cena on his Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard podcast.
Prichard delved into how WWE’s offer to K-Fed came together.
“Well, K-Fed was obviously looking for any kind of promotion he could get in a positive light and we’re always looking for any kind of interaction that we can get with people that are popular at the time,” recalled Pritchard. “K-Fed kind of fit both of those,” he added.
He went onto reveal if WWE brass had discussed the possibility of getting Britney Spears, Federline’s ex-wife, involved in the angle with Cena
“Britney [Spears] was never discussed,” revealed Prichard. “Britney was not discussed upfront. I think that there was a general feeling and there definitely was a general feeling amongst those in creative that, ‘If we’re good with Kevin and he likes it and it does positive things for him, then this is a great opportunity for maybe Britney to show up in an event, make comments, and on down the line, maybe get Britney involved in something’.
Prichard continued, “So, yeah, there was that, you said, ‘Maybe we can get Britney at some point along the way’. Even if it was for a quick appearance on television, I didn’t give a s–t, but K-Fed, everybody rolled their eyes at it. Everybody was like, ‘Oh f–k, what are going to do with this guy?’
“This guy walks in with an entourage like three guys and has his own dressing room, but he wants to hang out in the hallway. He wants to hang out, go to catering, he’s got spread in his dressing room and is in awe of everything around him. Just absolute awe and couldn’t have been more respectful, couldn’t have been nicer and cooperative.” He would just stare, not believing where he was. I dare say extremely intimidated about his surroundings.”
Prichard gave props to Cena for being a thorough professional during his entire program with K-Fed.
“John’s a pro and I think John saw the exact same thing that everybody else saw, was that this was going to be publicity and this was going to get people talking about things. Then, when he met Kevin, it was like, ‘Okay, man, this guy’s alright’.”
With K-Fed portraying the heel in the feud, Prichard spoke on whether the young rapper realized the importance of generating heat from the crowd.
“Whenever you meet people in real life, usually from wrestling, usually, the nasiest of heels are usually the nicest guys in real life and the babiest of baby faces are usually the most assholeian of assholes that you meet in life.
“Kevin Federline is a perfect example of this. What he put out to people publicly was this cocky arrogant kid and a heel when you could sit there and talk to him. Everybody who sat there and talk to him came back like, ‘s–t, he’s just a kid. He’s a real guy and he loves being here’.”
The feud culminated at the the 2007 New Year’s Day edition of RAW when K-Fed defeated Cena in a No DQ match thanks to interference from Johnny Nitro and Umaga. Although the match started off RAW, the night ended with Cena hitting two Attitude Adjustments on Federline.
Prichard recalled why it was a great creative decision to start the show with a No DQ match.
“It was great creative, because it got people hooked and for those outsiders that maybe tuning in just to see what the hell are they going to do with Kevin Federline and then hopefully, you keep them for the rest of the show from there,” Prichard recounted. “Its a different way of looking at it and a different way to do it. I think it was smart. Some people are going to tune out, but hopefully, it got you wanting to stay tuned to see what more is going to come with John Cena.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.