Vince McMahon Once Wanted The Rock To Wrestle A Bear

When WWE joined the New York Stock Exchange in late 2000, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon pitched for The Rock to wrestle a bear at a special event in the middle of Wall Street.

Speaking on his Something to Wrestle podcast, WWE Senior VP Bruce Prichard detailed McMahon's idea for a "Brahma Bull vs. Bear" showdown.

"The ring on Wall Street is when we moved from NASDAQ to the New York Stock Exchange [in October 2000]," Prichard said. "Vince came into my office on a Thursday, and I believe it was going to be a Tuesday or a Wednesday that we were going to be on the New York Stock Exchange, to ring the bell on the Stock Exchange, and Vince wanted to put a ring in the middle of Wall Street. Shut Wall Street down and put a ring there and have matches at noon. Huge spectacle, we're gonna go live on WWF.com, so it's like, okay, cool. I thought he was just kind of telling me this. So I knew that 'Okay we need to put on a show, we need to come up with something.

"But what he was telling me was 'Hey, I want to do this, get it done.' As he trails off he goes 'and I want a bear...! I want The Rock to wrestle a bear.' The Brahma Bull versus the bear. The honest to God living wrestling bear which used to be an attraction back in the day."

Prichard then explained why the idea didn't materialize, even though WWE did put a ring in the middle of Wall Street as part of the bell ringing ceremony to join NYSE. WWE had gone public a year earlier, and was initially listed on NASDAQ.

"The bear, thank God, was reconsidered on several fronts," Prichard recalled. "Because, first of all, you had the animal rights activists that would not look kindly on a wrestling bear. Even though the human rights activists that probably should have been alarmed. Because trust me... the bear always goes over. So anyway, as we're getting closer to this, the idea becomes 'well, do you really want a bear hanging around on the New York Exchange the day your stock goes public?' Well, 'the bear was out today on the New York Stock Exchange.'

"No you don't want that. You want the 'Brahma Bull'. You know, it's a bullish market not a bear market, for God's sakes. So we had the 'Brahma Bull' we didn't have any bears having around there."

The Rock, Steve Austin, Triple H, Kurt Angle and Mick Foley were among the Superstars who joined the McMahon family and senior WWE officials for the NYSE bell ringing ceremony in October 2000.

H/T to GiveMeSport for the transcription

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