Just months after OJ Simpson was found not guilty on allegations that he murdered his ex-wife and her friend, WWE producers nearly threw a curveball that would have shaken up the sports entertainment industry.
Original plans for WrestleMania 12 in Anaheim, California, called for Simpson to wrestle Roddy Piper, where the “Hot Rod” would have beaten the “s**t out of him” in the fourth match on the card, according to former WWE producer Bruce Prichard, via his podcast Something To Wrestle With. (H/T Still Real To Us)
According to the report, Simpson was interested in making money and WWE had preliminary talks with him.
“The endgame to that was going to be a one-off and have Piper beat the s— out of OJ Simpson at WrestleMania in Anaheim, California. Once that started getting out beyond the inner circle of OJ Simpson’s people and out in Hollywood the backlash was deafening. People were, ‘if you do this you’ll never have another sponsor.’ Just extremely, extremely negative.”
According to Prichard, WWE “punted” on the idea immediately and they eventually realized how “distasteful” the idea was.
WWE settled for Piper-Goldust, which did have an ode to Simpson with a wild chase on the highway that included a white Bronco. That one remains one of the most bizarre WrestleMania matches we’ve ever seen.