Bruce Prichard hated pretty much everything about the Ultimate Warrior's match at WrestleMania XII.
Speaking on the latest episode of his Something to Wrestle podcast, Prichard covered the 1996 event, which saw the Warrior return after a four-year retirement. At the show, he defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley in under two minutes, even no-selling his Pedigree at the beginning of the match. These were his immediate thoughts on the bout:
"Absolutely hated it. The entrance was cool. The entrance with the pyro and the Warrior symbol and all that shit was pretty cool. But beyond that, I hated it."
Host Conrad Thompson mentioned how he wasn't watching wrestling at the time, but hearing about the Ultimate Warrior's return incentivized him to watch. When asked if Warrior was the biggest name the company could have brought back, Prichard said the following:
"I think so. Especially at that time, yes. I think there was a big part of the audience that maybe thought they would never see him back. So it was a big deal for him to come back. Warrior had his fans. Warrior had a fan base, but I just -- I hated it."
Bruce shared that he was working in Gorilla position that night and that even Vince McMahon, who was on commentary, was not happy with how everything turned out. This is what he said:
"Vince watched it on-air, live. Wasn't really happy with it. I was just pissed off about it. I felt that it was abusing the fact that Vince wasn't there backstage, and it wasn't good. I didn't think that it did really much for Warrior. If Warrior just beat a piece of shit then he just beat a piece of shit. If he beat a guy that was out there and gave him some kind of challenge then it would have been a bigger win. So for me, I was just not happy. I knew it beforehand and I was not happy with it when they went to the ring, and I was even less happy when they came back. So, didn't like it. I hated it."
To defeat a young talent such as Hunter Hearst Helmsley in such a manner made no sense to Prichard. If this was the plan all along, he wonders why they didn't just set up a traditional squash match. He said this:
"I thought it just squashed Hunter and didn't do anything. If that's all we were going to do we could have just said hey warrior returns at Wrestlemania and send Mario Mancini out there to do that."
Warrior's return was short-lived. He finished up with the company in July of that same Summer. He would sign with WCW in 1998. He would eventually return to WWE in 2014 when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. He passed away a mere three days later.
Bruce Prichard currently serves as the Executive Director of both WWE Raw and SmackDown.
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