Throughout the history of pro wrestling bookers and promoters have always tried to come up with new, creative and innovative ideas to generate interest in their product. Some ideas have not only succeeded…but flourished. Others were DOA from the get go. Then there are those ideas which initially were innovative…but for various reasons….faded away. Those are the focus of this latest series of posts titled ‘Great Ideas That Didn’t Last’.
By the year 2002, the WWE was clicking on all cylinders. It had not only won the Monday Night Wars…but went on to purchase WCW. With WCW in the WWE’s possession…along came a few old familiar faces back into the fray. One of which was the uber interviewer extraordinaire…’Mean’ Gene Okerlund. Okerlund, who has been involved in the wrestling business since 1974, was always known as an interviewer that asked the wrestlers the tough questions.
He was the perfect choice to host the WWE’s new innovative programming idea. It was a show that wouldn’t be afraid to “break kayfabe” and go behind the scenes of the WWE. A show that would ask wrestlers tough questions…a show that would give WWE fans an insider’s look at what happens on a day to day basis. It wasn’t a show that would air matches…nor was it a recap show of the week’s biggest highlights. Rather, it was a magazine style program that was more based on the real lives of the larger than life characters we saw every Monday Night.
The show itself was titled WWE Confidential and it aired late nights on Spike TV. As with most of the WWE’s studio programming…it was filmed at Titan Towers in Stamford, Connecticut. Some of the show’s highlights included, Stone Cold Steve Austin’s exit from the WWE in 2002, behind the scenes of Torrie Wilson’s Playboy shoot, Shawn Michaels for the first time admitting that he played a part in the Montreal Screwjob, an in depth look at former stars like Superstar Billy Graham and the Four Horsemen etc.
When 2004 rolled along, the show apparently wore out its welcome. There were rumors that Vince McMahon was never a big fan of Confidential and decided to pull the plug on it. Regardless if that was true, the show was cancelled in April of 2004 after it aired a final “Best of” episode.
You can read all previous ‘Great Ideas That Didn’t Last’ pieces here.