"In the dynamic world of WWE, where high-flying action and dramatic storylines reign supreme, not all ideas hit the mark with fans. On a recent episode of his popular podcast, 'Something to Wrestle,' WWE's own Bruce Prichard delved into what he considers the most underwhelming gimmick match in the company's storied history – the Punjabi Prison match.
Originating in 2006, the Punjabi Prison match introduced a unique set of rules, challenging competitors to escape two encircling bamboo structures. Its debut at the Great American Bash was initially slated to feature The Great Khali and The Undertaker, a showdown eagerly anticipated by fans.
However, in a twist of fate, Khali was sidelined due to a liver issue, leading to The Big Show stepping in. Despite the switch, The Undertaker emerged victorious in this inaugural match. The concept was revisited in subsequent years, including a 2007 No Mercy face-off between Khali and Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship, and a 2017 revival at WWE Battleground, where Jinder Mahal triumphed over Randy Orton, retaining the WWE Championship.
Punjabi Prison Match Woes
Prichard’s critique on his podcast shed light on the behind-the-scenes challenges of the Punjabi Prison match. He revealed the logistical nightmares faced by the creative team, grappling with the complexities of the bamboo structure.
The match's design, not finalized until days before its debut, left the team scrambling for feasible strategies to make it engaging and memorable. Prichard humorously recalled considering setting the structure ablaze, in a desperate bid to salvage the match concept.
This candid revelation by Prichard offers an insider’s view into the creative process at WWE, highlighting the trials and tribulations in crafting new and exciting match formats. While the Punjabi Prison match joins the likes of the infamous 'Kennel from Hell' in WWE’s gimmick match hall of infamy, it's a testament to the company's willingness to experiment and push boundaries in sports entertainment.
As WWE continues to evolve, exploring new ideas and revisiting past concepts, the Punjabi Prison match serves as a reminder of the unpredictable and often surprising world of professional wrestling, where not every gamble pays off but every attempt contributes to the rich tapestry of WWE history."