Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is one of the most legendary wrestlers of all time.
Johnson has an incredibly recognisable move set and undying charisma on the mic. He can be a serious, strong bad guy, or a funny and endearing hero.
It feels as if The Great One can make anything work. There are many charismatic wrestlers in history who may be able to do it all, but it appears Vince McMahon may have taken that phrase a little too seriously at times.
In late 2000, the WWF was about to make the move into the New York Stock Exchange. Vince McMahon, well known for his unorthodox ideas, wanted to put on a show on Wall Street.
On the most recent episode of ‘Something to Wrestle’ podcast, Bruce Pritchard recalls this and how The Rock was potentially going to get a really odd opponent at the special event.
“The ring on Wall Street is when we moved from NASDAQ to the New York Stock Exchange. 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.”
Later on in the episode, Pritchard would then explain why the crazy idea didn’t materialise.
“The bear, thank God, was reconsidered on several fronts. 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.”
Would you have liked to see The Rock take on a bear? In fairness, it could’ve been very entertaining seeing The Great One cut a promo on a bear before stepping into the ring with it.
It’s complete madness but the craziness we’ve come to expect from Vince McMahon.