Vince McMahon was instrumental in making WWE the global phenomenon it is today. Over the several years that he was in charge of the company, he came up with so many creative storylines and match types. He was a force to be reckoned with within the wrestling business until his retirement earlier this year.

Vince McMahon oversaw so many violent match types over the years such as the Hell in a Cell match, Inferno Match, Buried Alive match etc. There was still one dangerous match that never took place in a WWE ring, the Barbed Wire Death Match.

MLW owner Court Bauer revealed during his appearance on The Insiders podcast, that Vince McMahon approved the idea for the barbaric match to take place.

“I wanted to do a deathmatch, an exploding deathmatch in WWE. They were trying different things at this time. There’s a time when [it was like] ‘let’s try and rewatch ECW, let’s try different stuff.’ So I showed Vince an Onita death match. And he said ‘yea let’s do it.'”


Court Bauer recalled that he was asked to get Kevin Dunn and his team involved since he wasn’t the lead writer at the time.

“And from there, they said, ‘Okay, get with Kevin Dunn and his team and let’s get to work on it.’ I wasn’t the lead writer. I would just suggest to one of the writers in the room. It’s a win for me, Vince liked an idea. Now it’s on someone else’s plate.”

Court Bauer then continued to say that Alex Greenfield who was the head writer at the time wasn’t getting a proper response from Kevin Dunn. When they finally saw the first photos of the structure being built, it looked very different from what they had in mind.

“So we’ll circle back, and that’s the lead writer’s job to kind of communicate with KD and his team on whatever that project is. So Alex Greenfield is the head writer of Smackdown at the time. He tries to keep in contact with KD’s team, he’s not getting the clear answers. It seems very vague. And he’s like, ‘Hey, we get pictures from our mockups.

What do you need from our end? Do you need anything? Here’s the video.’ And just it’s very quiet. And then about 12, 14 days out we finally see the first photos of this thing being built. It’s like oh that’s not an exploding deathmatch. It was supposed to be Undertaker in one of these things, I think. And it turns out, it’s what you would see is this thing out of Indiana Jones, the Temple of Doom or something. It’s an action place that comes to life. And I guess in some ways for WWE it is impressive what the structure did end up being. From a match point of view, is very brutal, because there was no give on that bamboo.”

Court Bauer said he didn’t know why the match changed so drastically from what they had originally thought it to be.

“And then going through the wellness process and all these people failed some tests with elevated enzymes, liver issues. And what was once a match with Taker versus I think [The Great] Khali ended up with Big Show who poor guy just didn’t have any prep time to lay this out. He wasn’t given a match where you could do much in it. And this match did not feel good in that kind of setting. So it was one of those things where it was a spectacle and maybe it’s like, you know, Chamber of Horrors style thing.

And I remember Dusty just watching this and shaking his hand and saying, ‘oh baby, long night.’ And yeah, it was a rough night. I feel for all the parties involved, but that was originally supposed to be an exploding deathmatch and you know [they] changed it. I don’t know if Kevin just felt wasn’t feasible.

We never got an answer why they took the creative from exploding deathmatch to Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom playset, but it happened, and you know, I think [Greenfield] still to this day is baffled by what happened there. But I can also see doing that indoors, doing a deathmatch with those kinds of pyro qualities could be problematic, but we never got an answer. I would assume it had something to do with that, but I don’t know.”

The Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match ended up being the Punjabi Prison Match. However, now with Triple H in charge, it’s highly unlikely that we will get to see such a match take place inside a WWE ring.

Would you like to see an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match inside a WWE ring? Let us know in the comments section.

Sunil Joseph

Passionate pro wrestling fan. Sunil has been writing WWE content writing for over the last five years. Sunil still gets excited when he gets to tell people that he gets paid to watch pro wrestling.

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