During his time running WWE, Vince McMahon was never afraid to try things that might have at first seemed a little unorthodox. This policy extended across characters, match stipulations, storylines and much more.
However, as the 2000’s ticked by WWE’s overall presentation became generally safer, as the rough edges which had characterised the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression eras were softened. Blood being used in matches eventually became a thing of the past, and the company toned down any sexual references. Moves which eventually led to the PG programming that exists today.
Vince McMahon Gave The Green Light To An Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch
With that being said, in 2006, Vince McMahon seemingly came within inches of going in a completely different direction. According to MLW boss, and former WWE writer Court Bauer, McMahon sanctioned a deathmatch, and not just any deathmatch, an exploding barbed wire deathmatch. Something which had never been seen before in WWE, and to this day has still never featured on WWE programming.
Appearing on new AdFreeShow series The Insiders, Bauer revealed that he pitched the idea by showing the then-WWE Chairman a video of one of the infamous barbed wire matches featuring Atsushi Onita. Incredibly, McMahon approved the idea, before plans were later changed.
The change in plans led to the creation of the Punjabi Prison Match which debuted at the 2006 Great American Bash.
“They were trying different things at this time, this is when (they thought), ‘Hey, let’s relaunch ECW! Let’s try different stuff!’ So I showed Vince an Onita exploding deathmatch and he said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it!’ From there they said, ‘Okay, get with Kevin Dunn and his team and let’s get to work on it,’
Bauer explained that when he saw the concept for the match nearly it’s debut, he quickly realised that the original idea had been scrapped.
“I don’t know if Kevin felt it wasn’t feasible. We never got an answer for why they took the creative from exploding deathmatch to ‘Temple of Doom playset’ but it happened.”
AEW famously played host to an Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch at Revolution between AEW World Champion Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley. Although the final explosion didn’t go off as planned, leaving Moxley and Eddie Kingston to react to a blast that never came.
H/t to ComicBook