Former WWE writer Freddie Prinze Jr. has recalled his fallout with Michelle McCool and says The Undertaker put a stop to her losing her Divas Championship.
Hollywood idol Freddie Prinze Jr. previously had a spell on WWE’s creative team, something he discusses frequently on his Wrestling With Freddie podcast. On the most recent episode, Prinze Jr. discussed being tasked with putting together a story between Kharma and Beth Phoenix to culminate in a title match at WrestleMania.
There was just one issue – the Divas Champion at the time was Michelle McCool and she wasn’t thrilled about being left off of WWE’s biggest show of the year.
Freddie Prinze Jr. described how he put his story together and McCool’s immediate reaction:
“So I give it to Steph [Stephanie McMahon] and she really likes it, I give it to Freebird [Michael Hayes] he really likes it and it goes all the way to the top. It goes to Vince and it’s approved but not – the WrestleMania match is not guaranteed but that’s the goal.”
“I have Michelle losing the Divas Championship at the Royal Rumble which happens a few months before WrestleMania and I have her losing with dignity and I have her giving us a real match. I’ve been in the company maybe four months, I didn’t realise the belt meant so much to so many different people – it didn’t mean that much to others, if they had the Intercontinental Title belt they weren’t really in on when they were gonna lose it or not.”
“[…] I go to work, somewhere in the arena, backstage and Michelle comes up to me and says ‘Stephanie says you want to talk to me about the women’s storyline.’ We sit down in the cafeteria off to the side, and I start pitching to her what it’s gonna be. It wasn’t right on my part. I get to the Royal Rumble and I explain to her that the suggestion is that she drops the title at the Royal Rumble and then I keep telling the story of where it finishes because she deserves to know the whole story.”
“It gets all the way to WrestleMania which would be Beth and Kia [Kharma] and her face just goes pale. All the colour just drops right out of her skin and right away I know I’ve done something terrible. I just don’t know what is it yet because this is hindsight and I was in the moment. So I go ‘what’s wrong?’ and her eyes well up and I’m like ‘what did I do? What did I do?’ and she said ‘I didn’t think I’d be losing the belt before WrestleMania. […] She was upset, and in hindsight, rightfully so.”
Freddie Prinze Jr. then put over McCool’s ability and passion in an era when women weren’t spotlighted in WWE. He adds that he wishes he had run things by Michelle McCool first although notes that his story might have ended up getting killed quicker if he did:
“So here I am with the champion and she’s crying because of me because I didn’t talk to her first to say ‘hey we’re thinking of taking the title off of you at the Royal Rumble so we can get this other – that just sounds horrible even saying it now.”
“So I screwed up, before I got the story approved I probably should have shown it to her although when you hear the end of the story it probably would have gotten killed even sooner. I don’t know what the right move was here but I know I screwed up and she deserved better than that.”
As far as the end of the story goes, the WrestleMania match didn’t happen as planned for one very good reason according to Prinze Jr, and it was left to Michael P.S. Hayes to break the news:
“[Hayes told me] ‘Freddie there’s a problem with your diva’s storyline and we need to talk about it.’ He goes ‘it’s gone.’ I go ‘what do you mean it’s gone man?’ And he goes ‘it’s gone.’ I said ‘what happened?’ He goes ‘well Michelle said that you and her talked and she didn’t really like the story so it’s gone.'”
“He goes ‘Freddie, she talked to Undertaker, Undertaker talked to Vince, the story’s gone.”
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