Bruce Prichard Claims Hall Of Famer Was “Damaged Goods” By The Time They Joined WWE

WWE Hall Of Fame logo over roster WWE Hall of Famer

When Vader debuted with WWE at the 1996 Royal Rumble the company had high hopes for the former World Champion.

In the lead-up to his debut, there were a number of vignettes shown on Raw and the company was firmly behind the star. However, owing to a career built around incredibly physical matches and recent weight gain the star was already past his peak.

Although Vader had numerous dalliances with the main event picture he was never a permanent fixture and eventually slid down the card, leaving the company in late 1998.

At WrestleMania 13 in 1997, The Undertaker defeated Psycho Sid to become World Champion and from there moved into a feud with Mankind with the pair meeting at In Your House: Revenge of the Taker a month later. However, original plans called for ‘Taker to square off against Vader. In fact, in early promotional material for the event, that match featured front and centre.

It is believed that plans were changed due to a lack of trust in Vader by WWE management following a recent injury. Speaking on a recent episode of his Something to Wrestle podcast, Bruce Prichard discussed by Vader was overlooked for the match and why he struggled in WWE.

The Executive who was part of the creative team at the time, said that the former NJPW and WCW star was a “bully” and a shell of his former self in WWE.

“This was a time when Vader had put on an awful lot of weight,” Prichard began. “People romanticize about Vader, but when he was in Japan, he would just beat people up. I don’t think anybody ever accused Vader of being a great worker. He was a bully that liked to beat people up, and they let him get away with it.”

By the time he got to WWE, he was a shell of that guy [in Japan],”

Prichard went on to discuss an infamous WCW backstage incident between the star and Paul Orndorff, adding that WWE got “damaged goods.”

“In many ways, we [WWE] got damaged goods,” Prichard admitted. “You didn’t get the guy that you had seen for years. You got a guy who got his ass kicked in the shower by somebody in flip-flops. It’s no shame to get your ass kicked by Paul Orndorff, but I think when you’re supposed to be the tough guy and bully, I think there was shame in there for him.”

“He was breaking down. All of a sudden, he realized that, ‘Oh, it’s a little different when you’ve got guys as big as you and they’re hitting back.’ It’s all good when you’re in there bombarding people and they don’t hit back. You think Undertaker is going to take that? Nah. He was younger, stronger, and faster, and was not going to get pounded on [by Vader].”

Vader and The Undertaker did wrestle each other on pay-per-view, meeting at the 1997 Royal Rumble.

“Vader Was A Bully” – WWE Hall Of Famer

Speaking on a recent episode of his own podcast, Jake Roberts concurred with Bruce Pichard’s assessment of the former WCW Champion as a bully. Roberts pointed to the issues that the star had with Shawn Michaels, commenting that he knew who he could take liberties with.

H/t to Wrestling Inc