One of the most memorable moments of WWE’s popular 1990s Attitude Era was the (Spoiler Alert!) reveal of WWE owner Vince McMahon as “The Higher Power,” responsible for directing the actions of The Undertaker and his Ministry of Darkness to terrorize “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, actions which included The Undertaker kidnapping and attempting to marry Vince’s own’s teenage daughter, Stephanie, in a satanic ceremony.
The feud between McMahon and Austin is remembered as one of, if not the, greatest of all time, and not even outright ridiculous moments like this one affect that:
But that moment was almost very different, according to Bruce “Brother Love” Pritchard, who, in addition to his career as a pro wrestling manager, served in a backstage role in Vince McMahon’s inner circle during the Attitude Era. It’s long been rumored that other wrestlers, like “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase or Jake “The Snake” Roberts were meant to be the Higher Power until changes put Vince in the role. Pritchard discussed the situation on his podcast, which was transcribed by Wrestling Inc. If Pritchard is telling the truth, it was actually someone else who was supposed to be the Higher Power: Christopher Daniels! The indie darling and Ring of Honor and TNA Wrestling star was signed to a developmental deal with WWE during the Attitude Era, so it’s plausible.
But in one of the most Vince McMahoniest things ever, Vince shot the idea down, deciding there was no chance in hell as soon as he took one look at Daniels, whose 5’11” height and slender frame were the opposite of Vince’s storied preference for humongous hunks of man meat:
The original idea was ‘The Fallen Angel’ Christopher Daniels. And then Vince saw him and said, ‘absolutely not’. [McMahon did not like Daniels’] size. [He] just didn’t see it. Chris was working out in California and Chris was working indies and different things an I was a big fan of Chris Daniels too at the time. I liked the ‘Fallen Angel’ gimmick and I want to say we had Chris under a developmental deal for a little while. [He] just didn’t see it. He just looked at him and he didn’t see it. He was dead from the get-go.
And that’s apparently how history was made.