Former WWE creative writer Court Bauer was recently a guest on Bauer & Pollock where he gave his thoughts on the passing of Eddie Guerrero eight years ago this month and reveals the creative direction WWE had for him leading up to WrestleMania 22 from Chicago that year. Bauer also debunks the long-standing rumor that Guerrero was scheduled to win the World Heavyweight Championship from Batista during their feud.
Bauer recalls, “It was twenty-four hours before he passed away, I believe. Twenty-four hours, forty-eight hours, something like that. We had a call with Vince at home, and we were talking about the preliminary plans for WrestleMania. I know there’s this romanticized story about how Eddie was going to get the title, and that was the plan that he was going to get it that night or at Survivor Series. That wasn’t the plan. I think Stephanie said that, or alluded to it on the air, and that was not the plan. The plan was that he would lose, and I think they were going to return in December. We had talked about a fascinating idea; I’m not the biggest Bruce Prichard fan, but to his credit, I believe it was Bruce Prichard who pitched putting Eddie Guerrero at WrestleMania against Shawn Michaels and doing the parallels of their careers. Being the heartthrob in Mexico and this mercurial figure south of the border, and the American version being HBK.
“They had never really worked, and you would’ve had such a great dynamic between the two with heel Eddie versus Shawn. That’d be your “tear the house down,” high quality match at WrestleMania 22 in Chicago. Vince was like, “God damn, that’s really appealing. We could parallel their careers. What kind of footage of Eddie do we have outside of WCW? We could really do some impressive packages.”
In 2005, Bret Hart worked with WWE for the first time since the infamous “Montreal Screwjob” by contributing interview footage and selecting matches for a DVD highlighting his career. With Hart in bed again with WWE, Vince McMahon proposed that they fight at WrestleMania 22.
Bauer recalls, “We talked a lot of matches, and the other match at WrestleMania 22 was going to be Vince versus Bret in a street fight, that they would do in a convoluted manner several WrestleManias forward. Bret had just come back into the company in a very informal way. He had just agreed to do the home video release. (Vince) literally, on that call, got Bret on the other line and pitched him doing the match. Bret was uneasy, but was thinking he could possibly do it as long as there were no hits to his head. We’re sitting here like, “Holy sh*t, we didn’t think we’d be talking about a Bret/Vince match!” Vince pitched that match and said, “What do you guys think?” Everyone was like, “Yeah, no sh*it! Of course! Bret versus Vince, yes! That’s huge.”
Bauer continues, “A week or two later, Vince said that match was no longer an option. I think it had to do with something on Bret’s end.”
(Transcribed by Chris Maffei)
The full show is available at FightNetwork.com, and The LAW: Live Audio Wrestling and MLW feeds on iTunes. Bauer & Pollock airs every Wednesday at LiveAudioWrestling.com and MLW.com.