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Bruce Prichard on Shane McMahon’s attempt to purchase UFC, how Shane handled talent when WCW shut down

On the latest “Something To Wrestle With” podcast, Bruce Prichard and Conrad Thompson discussed Shane McMahon. They cover Shane’s early life before he became a part of the wrestling business, his early days in WWE as a referee, his transition into a color commentator, his attempt to buy UFC, his departure from WWE, and his big return.

Here are some highlights:

Prichard talked about Shane McMahon’s dedication to becoming a pro wrestler:  “Shane McMahon training to get into the ring was, you talk about intensity, he was intensity personified.  Shane busted his a*s every day, every night. If Shane had extra time, he would call my brother Tom and say, ‘Hey, can we get in the ring.’  Poor Tom, he got the sh*t beat out of him by Shane. But, Shane put the work in. He busted his a*s with any and everybody that would get in the ring and work with him. Shane wanted to be as good as he possibly could be so as not to embarrass himself, not to embarrass the family, and not to embarrass the company. He did everything that he could to get out there and learn. Vince wasn’t going to put him out there until he was confident and comfortable that he was able to hold his own.”

Prichard was asked how the WCW talent reacted to Shane McMahon’s appearance on the night WWE took over Nitro:  “The whole thing was weird. The whole thing was a lot of unknowns. The whole day was a lot of, what ifs, and unknowns from the standpoint of we didn’t know what we were walking into. The poor folks at WCW had no idea what was walking into them. It all happened so fast. It was like, ok, this is what you have to do. You have to go in and talk to them, not even knowing what we were going to do because we hadn’t even seen the other side of that business proposal. We had purchased assets, certain assets that we were interested in like the tape library, some of the equipment and things of that nature. Once it became clear that TNT and TBS didn’t want to have anything to do with wrestling anymore, that changed the whole dynamic of what we thought we might have been interested in and that’s why it went in a fire sale, basically, for lack of a better term. So, we didn’t have a lot of answers going into it. The WCW guys, I think most of them wanted jobs. They didn’t want to be out on the street and wondering what am I going to do next. But, a lot of them had contracts with AOL Time Warner that were going to be paid out. Some did. Some didn’t. We still had not been able to have access to go through all that so there was no way to give them a lot of answers. I thought Shane handled it like a champ. Shane addressed everyone. When everyone got there, the agents, the talent, I thought everybody worked great with us that day. Sh*t, it was a scary time. Nobody knew. They didn’t know what their future was. We didn’t know what their future was. It wasn’t like we could say, ‘Hey man. Everything is going to be ok’ because we didn’t know. We said, ‘We are going to get into this. We are going to look at it and we are going to let everybody know as soon as we make a decision and understand exactly what it is that we have.”

Prichard talked about Shane McMahon’s interest in buying UFC in 2004: “Bob Meyrowitz was putting UFC out there in wanting to sell and also looking at ways to change, and, what have you. So, I know that Shane was definitely interested in buying the UFC and during that time, we had meetings with Meyrowitz and Campbell McLaren. I think that, first of all, originally they weren’t asking for a whole lot. They weren’t asking for a lot, but it was more than Vince was willing to pay at the time, and the overhaul on the UFC that the Fertittas were able to pull off, and Dana White with the overhaul with the rules and the presentation and everything else, was the best thing that could have happened to them. I don’t know that we as a company, could have overcome the stigma of WWE owning UFC and been able to make all the changes that UFC needed to make.”

The entire show is up now at

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard with a h/t to for the transcription.


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