On this week’s episode of Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard, the infamous Katie Vick storyline from 2002 was explained in long form:
“You ever have those moments in your life where there are things that are so traumatic that you block them out entirely? (This) really and truly is one of them on so many different counts.
“The original idea behind Katie Vick was a way to introduce Scott Vick, who was a part of our developmental system. We were going to bring Scott in, and he was going to work with Kane or Triple H, I forget which at this point. Scott just had some really, really horrible dark matches at TV and on the road. When he got the nod to come up to the show, all of his matches from that point going forward just, the bottom fell out. Vince is like ‘What the hell are we doing?’
“So, he changed, and we had already teased the name Katie Vick. So it’s like ‘Ok, let’s change this and move it over to Kane. It can be his girlfriend.’ It was during a time that Vince was big into ‘We need more soap opera, we need more stories behind the characters.’ So we started creating stories and it came to the story of what if Kane accidentally, didn’t murder her, but was driving and, oh my god, then the drinking and it just grew. It’s another glowing example of ‘Don’t suggest or say things in jest that you don’t want to have show up on the show.’
“It was literally a group effort. You can direct (hate tweets) towards me, Vince, Brian Gewirtz, Michael Hayes, we were all responsible. This was a group effort. There’s no finger-pointing here, we can turn the fingers back on ourselves. Like with everything, Vince was the ultimate decision maker, the one that said ‘I love it,’ so this is where we’re going to go.
“We were in Nashville, I believe. That’s where we’re going to shoot this damn vignette. The idea behind the vignette was that Hunter was going to do a spoof, emphasis on the word spoof, of Katie Vick’s funeral. That Kane tried to get in, and being the sick perverted person that Triple H was portraying him to be was going to have perceived sex with the corpse. Yet, when we laid it all out, you weren’t going to see all that crap. It was going to be tongue-in-cheek, it was going to be over the top, it was going to be ridiculous, but almost like Pink Panther ridiculous.
“We get to the funeral home where we’re going to shoot this. It’s myself, Vince, Triple H, Kane and a crew. I lost a couple crew members because of this shoot that were highly offended at the subject matter. After the shoot, they quit, I don’t think we ever saw them again. As we get there and we’re laying it out, I would like to point out that we’re in a real funeral home and that there was a real wake taking place. You know how they have those accordion dividers that divide rooms? There was an accordion divider dividing the rooms where we’re doing our shoot and they’re having a wake for a gentleman in the next room.
“Hunter and I are talking and we’re kind of laying this thing out. We’re laughing and we’re trying to do way over the top, a goof, to where no one in their right mind could take this seriously, where no one in their right mind would say ‘Oh, this is a tasteless necrophilia skit.’ This is a couple guys having fun. Vince got real serious on us and said ‘God, that’ll never work. You’ve got to do this straight. That’s where the humor is.’
“We’re thinking ‘Ok, but, if someone tunes into it, you always tell us to look at the television show as if, every single week, you are presenting this show to people who’ve never seen it before and you want everyone to understand it. If we do this straight, I just don’t know how to do that. I mean, how do you do a straight necrophilia scene on television?’ So we got into a fairly heated argument. Triple H and I saw it one way, Vince saw it completely another way, and we decided on a compromise. Vince said ‘We’ll shoot it both ways, and after we see both of them, we’ll decide which one we like best.’ He says ‘Let’s do it my way first, then we’ll do it your way.’
“That’s another important lesson to learn here, kids. So we do it, and Hunter does this thing about as straight as you can do it. Over-the-top straight and serious. We shoot it, we’re done and Vince is like ‘Goddamn, I love it! That’s perfect!’ Hunter and I are looking at each other like ‘Ok, now let’s show him how the over-the-top one is going to be and how it’ll be so much better to do it tongue-in-cheek.’ He says ‘Alright, let’s go guys.’ I said ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, we’ve got to shoot the other one.’ He says ‘G***amn, Bruce, we don’t have time. You’re not going to get better than that.’ Hunter just looks at me like ‘Save me. We can’t air that. There’s no way we can air that.’
“Vince told the crew to wrap. ‘We’ve got to get back. G***amn, we’re going live.’ And we wrapped. We went back to the building, delivered the tape, and I remember going in and grabbing Kevin Dunn and saying ‘Hey man, you need to take a look at this, because I think we kind of crossed the line.’ Hunter comes in the truck and says ‘Man, you’ve got to look at this. I don’t know. Vince loves it, he wants to air it.’
“Kevin looks at it, makes that long walk down to Vince’s office and goes in and says ‘Vince, I don’t think we can air it.’ Now Vince is pissed, because I’ve told him it’s not good, Hunter’s told him it’s not good, now he feels we went and got Kevin and are all ganging up on him telling him that his idea is no good. He’s going to prove us wrong come hell or high water. And it aired.
“We felt a little betrayed because he said we could do both. We knew the other way was the only way to do it, in my opinion. Obviously, there are two ways to look at it. Not only that, but he was determined this was going to air. We’re going to do it. There was a live interview coming out of it to Hunter in the back. I’m standing there producing the interview. We’re looking at each other and we’re watching it again. Our mouths are hanging open, he says ‘What do I say?’ I didn’t know. I really did not know what the hell to say to that.
“This was an attempt at ‘soap opera’. This is coming from people that would constantly tell us ‘You need more soap opera, you need more story.’ And while yes, we probably did, I’m not sure this was the best way to do soap opera at the time. It was rough, man. It’s one of those moments I proudly stand up and say ‘I did that,’ just because I did, I did produce it. At the same time, you kind of just shake your head and go ‘Oh my god, I produced that.’
“We thought it would get people talking, but trust me it wasn’t done to get the reaction that it got.”
This discussion took place as part of the build towards Survivor Series 2002, which is the subject of this week’s show. To listen to the full episode, check out Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard.
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