When Vince McMahon Almost Booked the Rock in a Wrestling Match With a Live Bear

Known for conceiving wild ideas, Vince McMahon once nearly booked The Rock in a wrestling match against a live bear at Wall Street.

Published on May 31, 2024  |  12:52 AM IST |  73.1K
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 16: Vince McMahon attends a press conference to announce that WWE Wrestlemania 29 will be held at MetLife Stadium in 2013 at MetLife Stadium on February 16, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images)
Key Highlight
  • McMahon's bold idea almost saw The Rock vs. a live bear to mark WWE's move to the NYSE
  • Animal rights concerns and a scarcity of trained bears presented obstacles to the idea

There’s no denying that a part of WWE’s success is attributed to Vince McMahon’s bold and outrageous ideas, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in sports entertainment. However, McMahon once went way overboard with an idea. In 2000, as WWE transitioned from NASDAQ to the New York Stock Exchange, McMahon planned a daring event involving WWE’s top star, The Rock in a wrestling match with a live bear. 


McMahon, who would stop at nothing to achieve the highest level of success, thought it would make a great show to celebrate WWE going public on the stock market. 


Vince McMahon wanted The Rock to wrestle a live bear

When WWE made its big move from NASDAQ to the New York Stock Exchange in 2000, Vince McMahon intended to seize the opportunity to make a memorable statement. The Genetic Jackhammer thought up a match between The Rock and a live bear to make WWE’s presence felt on Wall Street. He wanted to close down Wall Street and install a wrestling ring in the middle of it for the main event. 


The move was supposed to symbolize WWE’s bullish position in the market. Furthermore, McMahon wanted the show to start at noon and be streamed live on WWF.com. While speaking on Something To Wrestle With, longtime WWE producer, Bruce Pritchard revealed how serious McMahon was about the idea. 



He said, “Vince wanted to put a ring in the middle of Wall Street. Shut Wall Street down and put a ring there and have matches at noon. Huge spectacle, we’re gonna go live on WWF.com. So it’s like, okay, cool. I thought he was just kind of like telling me this so that I knew that, ‘Okay, we need to put together a show, we need to come up with something.’ But what he was telling me was, ‘Hey, I want to do this, get it done.’ As he’s trailing off he goes, ‘And I want a bear! I want The Rock to wrestle a bear. The Brahma Bull versus the bear.”


Despite McMahon’s inconceivable vision, The Brahma Bull vs. the Bear match did not materialize. As exciting as the idea was, it faced many obstacles. First, animal rights activists would likely have been insurgent towards the move. Secondly, there weren't many trained wrestling bears available in The US at the time. 


Ultimately, WWE successfully closed off a section of Wall Street and set up a wrestling ring to commemorate their achievement in the stock market. However, no animals were harmed that day, fortunately. 

Vince McMahon had many bizarre ideas

Renowned for his propensity to conceive bizarre and unconventional ideas for TV, Vince McMahon's imagination knew no limits during his era. At one point, he entertained the idea of revealing himself as the father of Stephanie McMahon's unborn child. However, the notion was so distasteful that Stephanie McMahon rejected it outright. 

Read More: Former WWE Top Star Recalls Criticizing Triple H For Lazy Booking Before Bursting Into Tears

Some other peculiar concepts that made their way onto television included Vince McMahon's "Kiss My Ass" Club, His staged death, and the Katie Vick necrophilia storyline, among others. Notwithstanding his eccentric ideas, McMahon was still the mastermind behind some of the most memorable moments in wrestling history.



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Rishabh is best described as a pro wrestling fantasist. His passion for sports entertainment ignited when he was just



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