WWE writers are often tasked with delivering the bad news that a wrestler will be dropping their title, and Freddie Prinze Jr. has recalled a time he made a wrestler cry with that news.
On his latest “Wrestling With Freddie” podcast he reflected on when WWE tasked him with creating a story for a WWE WrestleMania match between Kharma and Beth Phoenix. He wrote up a story and it ended up going “all the way to the top,” to Vince McMahon, but the only problem was it was Michelle McCool holding the Divas Championship at the time.
He had planned on “Michelle losing the Divas Championship at the Royal Rumble,” and he wanted her to do it “with dignity” after “giving us a real match.” But Prinze Jr. who claimed he was “green as all hell” at the time “didn’t realize the belt meant so much to so many different people.”
“I am a complete rookie, I have no idea the politics of it, Michelle never came to the promo class so I didn’t really know Michelle at all,” he reflected. “I start pitching it to her, what it was gonna be, which, it wasn’t right on my part. I explain to her that the suggestion is that she drops the title at the Royal Rumble … and her face just goes pale, all the color just drops right out of her, literally right out of her skin … her eyes well up.”
Prinze Jr. immediately knew he had “done something terrible,” and McCool admitted that she didn’t expect to “be losing the belt before WrestleMania,” which is when he learned “how much that title meant to her.”
“I said, ‘Yeah, I was asked to make Kia Stevens (Kharma) and Beth Phoenix for WrestleMania, and this was the best way I thought we could get there, is there a problem?’ She’s not here to give her side of the story, so I am not going to say all the stuff that she said, but she was upset, in hindsight, rightfully so,” he admitted.
Of course, the match at WrestleMania never ended up happening, but Prinze Jr. did reveal he tried to “work out a way story-wise” to turn the planned singles match “into a triple threat,” which would have featured McCool as well. He admitted that he was “trying to move forward,” and he even took the idea back to Michael P.S. Hayes.
McCool ended up having a highly decorated career before her retirement from full-time action in 2011, finishing her run as a two-time Divas Champion, and a two-time Women’s Champion. She has since returned sporadically to appear in a couple of WWE Royal Rumble matches and recently revealed Bianca Belair would be her ideal opponent on the current roster if she were to have another match.
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit “Wrestling With Freddie” with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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