On a recent episode of his podcast Something To Wrestle With, Bruce Prichard revealed who was originally supposed to be The Higher Power of the Corporate Ministry, and it's not who you think.
For those of you who don't remember, The Ministry of Darkness was a faction that was run by a heel Undertaker in the late 90s. It eventually merged with the Corporation, led by Shane McMahon, to form the Corporate Ministry. The stable consistently terrorized Vince McMahon and his daughter Stephanie, even abducting her once and tying her to a giant cross. At the same time, the Corporate Ministry were feuding with Steve Austin, hell bent on removing him from the WWE forever. Undertaker insisted that he was doing the work of an enigmatic "Higher Power," but this person's identity remained shrouded in mystery. In what is widely considered to be one of the worst swerves in the history of wrestling, it was revealed that the Higher Power was really just Vince McMahon, who had been working with The Undertaker all along and faking his emotions when being concerned for his daughter being in danger. The Ministry storyline quickly unraveled from there.
Since the Vince reveal was thought to be an obvious re-write from an earlier idea, the rumors swirled for years. Who was the Higher Power originally supposed to be? Jake The Snake Roberts? The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase? Shawn Michaels?
No, no, and no, says Bruce Prichard.
It was originally supposed to be Christopher Daniels.
Yes, that Christopher Daniels. The Fallen Angel. The TNA and ROH legend and multiple title holder all over the world.
Daniels was Vince Russo's pick to be The Higher Power. Prichard also liked him. He had been wrestling as an enhancement talent for WWE while killing it on the indies. Russo and Prichard saw a lot of potential to tweak The Fallen Angel gimmick and turn Daniels into the Higher Power.
It might have been very interesting. Anyone who saw Daniels' run in TNA knows how charismatic and brilliant he is in the ring, and if given the chance, he might have been a huge star in the WWE. But, of course, McMahon ended all of that because he thought Daniels was too small.
At least, that's the way Prichard tells it: "The original idea was 'The Fallen Angel' Christopher Daniels. And then Vince saw him and said, 'absolutely not'. (He didn't like Daniels') size. (Vince) just didn't see it." Prichard continued, "Chris was working out in California and Chris was working indies and different things and I was a big fan of Chris Daniels too at the time. I liked the 'Fallen Angel' gimmick and I want to say we had Chris under a developmental deal for a little while. (Vince) just didn't see it. He just looked at him and he didn't see it. He was dead from the get-go."
A different, more muscled physique wouldn't have done the trick, either, said Prichard. For McMahon, the problem was height. Daniels, who is 5'11", was just too short to be The Higher Power.
"Height, height, height, and again, first impressions of Vince looking at him. And I don't know where Vince saw him or what the presentation was at all, but all of a sudden, it was, 'nope, not him - don't have anything for him.'"
Even if Vince didn't have anything for Daniels at the time, he still made out okay, with a career that spanned two full decades and still continues today at the age of 46. Daniels currently wrestles in Ring of Honor, teaming with Frankie Kazarian as the tag team known as The Addiction. You can watch him in the video at the bottom of the page in a Triple Threat vs Samoa Joe and AJ Styles that is perhaps the greatest match in the history of TNA.
In the book of WWE, you can chalk this one up as another in the chapter of "What Might Have Been."