On the latest edition of Something to Wrestle, Bruce Prichard discussed the Higher Power storyline prior to the WWF King of the Ring 1999. He discussed Vince McMahon shooting down the idea of Christopher Daniels being revealed as the Higher Power and eventually McMahon selecting himself for the role. Below are the highlights, transcribed by 411Mania.com.
On Vince turning down the idea of Christopher Daniels:
“Shit. Well Russo is getting credit for this one, folks. This is the one where you go back to the old Christopher Daniels. Vince Russo had had the idea of using Christopher Daniels as the Fallen Angel to be the Higher Power until I think Vince actually saw him and was like, ‘What the hell? How is he gonna work with Undertaker? How is he gonna do this?’ And all this other shit. Based on size. Chris is a hell of a talent, hell of a worker, but it was just based on everything else. Didn’t really match up.”
On the writers being stuck on the Higher Power’s identity as a result:
“So, they got stuck. And this is my synopsis now that they got stuck and go, ‘Okay, what do we do now?’ I don’t think that they really had an answer for a while. Who the hell are we gonna use as the Higher Power then? We’re in this story about a Higher Power. Everything’s revolving around it. It’s like the Black Scorpion in WCW. That’s exactly what I compared it to. Here you had, originally it was going to be Dave Sheldon or Al Perez. All these different guys were going to be the Black Scorpion. And they had different guys go all over the country and wrestle as the Black Scorpion against Sting for a period of time but it ends up…ah it’s Ric Flair. Because they had nothing else. They realized that Al Perez isn’t gonna work, Sheldon’s not gonna work, this guy’s not gonna work, that guy’s not gonna work, and that’s what happened to us here.”
On deciding to go with Vince McMahon:
“It got to the point where you have a McMahon-Austin storyline that is so strong, whatever that character is better be stronger than that Mr. McMahon character that was created. And I think it just came down to ‘It’s a swerve bro! It’s a swerve! It’s been you all along!’ And the problem with that swerve shit a lot of times is you have to go back now and rationalize some of the shit you did. Because even if it is a swerve, there’s certain things you wouldn’t have done if you were really in power. And that just got really, really, really convoluted. But it just ended up being, ‘Okay it’s Vince. He’s the Higher Power. He’s pulled another one over on Austin. He pulled Austin into the fold and he duped him, by God!’ And now you’re next chapter instead of a new book.”
On the angle still being a surprise:
“Well goddamn it’s still a surprise when I get fuckin’ pad thai instead of pad see ew from Door Dash but I don’t know if it was a good surprise. To me, my reaction was a groan. It was time for something new. It was time for a turn. It was time for introducing a new character and moving on and trying to come up with something different at the time. So it was done as well as it absolutely possibly could have been done in my opinion because you were stuck. You were sitting there, you had promised a reveal, you gave them a reveal but it was maybe not the reveal that they were really looking for. And to some people that may have disgusted them a little bit to say, ‘That’s it? That’s the reveal?’ And that was the reveal."