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Vince...not easily shocked
As I've shown, Vince McMahon has come up with some crude, distasteful angles in his time, and also given serious consideration to other people’s downright bizarre ideas that most sane people would throw out without a second thought. The man must be impossible to shock, right?
Well, WWE writer Dan Madigan (who also penned gross-out horror See No Evil for WWE Films) found a way. Speaking to Powerslam Magazine in 2008, Madigan spoke about his stint in the company and revealed that he pitched an idea in spring of 2004 that had stunned Vince into silence—and swiftly ended his promising WWE career.
In one creative meeting with Vince, Stephanie and the rest of the writers, Madigan revealed that he had excitedly stood up and explained to everyone what he thought was one of the best creative ideas he had ever came up with: Baron von Bava, a frozen Nazi storm trooper from 1940s Germany who thawed out in 2004 to spread terror and mayhem wherever he went.
Madigan explained that the panicked, desperate Nazi scientists, realizing they were losing the war, had frozen and preserved one of their best soldiers in order to ensure their legacy for a future generation. A freshly thawed out Bava would know little of the modern world and would not realize why his Nazi behaviour was seen as so wrong.
The concept of a Nazi cyborg on a pro-wrestling show couldn't get any more offensive, surely? Well, actually, yes, it could. Madigan then explained: “To make the story even more insane, I wanted Paul Heyman, a Jewish New Yorker, to be the one to revive the baron and bring him to Smackdown to be his manager. I thought it would be a scream to have Paul E. come down to the ring and introduce Baron von Bava, only to have the Baron come down to the ring goose-stepping and wearing the red Swastika around his biceps.”
At this point, Madigan admitted that he actually started goose-stepping in front of Vince and all the writers to show how the gimmick would work in practice.
When Madigan finished explaining the concept to everyone, he sat down and felt extremely proud, feeling he had just pitched the idea of his life (“In my mind, this idea worked out well,” he told Powerslam. “After the Katie Vick angle, I figured I could write anything for these guys.”)
Then he noticed that no one around him was saying anything—they had been stunned into silence. He looked over at a speechless Vince, who was possibly the most shocked out of everyone. After a long, depressed silence, the WWE owner, still not uttering a word and wearing the same stunned look, carefully picked up his jacket and briefcase and calmly walked out of the room, not to be seen again for the rest of the day. (“Well, that's a first,” Madigan recalled Ed Koskey saying shortly after Vince walked out.)
Another writer, speaking to the magazine for the piece, noted the severe damage this pitch had done to Madigan’s WWE career: “From that day forward, Dan was a marked man, his ideas were cast aside and not even judged.” Unsurprisingly, Madigan was gone from the company by November 2004.