Tonight Randy Orton and Jinder Mahal will face-off inside the confines of the Punjabi Prison match at Battleground, marking only the third time the WWE has ever utilized the exotic and elaborate ring set-up, and its first appearance in ten years.
On a recent edition of former WWE creative writer Alex Greenfield’s podcast; “The Writers Room”, he shared the reactions of the two men who were first to step inside of the Punjabi Prison structure, The Undertaker and Big Show.
“I can tell you the Undertaker’s reaction when we first showed him the graphic. I was standing there with Vince, I was the head writer at that point. JBL was with us. We show it to ‘Taker and his total reaction was “Huh”, and he walked away”
Greenfield was the head-writer at the time when the first Punjabi Prison match took place between the Undertaker and the Big Show at The Great American Bash pay-per-view in 2006.
“I remember on the day when it was ‘Taker and [Big] Show. They were looking up, this was during the rehersal period where they were figuring out frankly how to fly in the cage. They were looking at it and you could see they were talking about what they would do with the match but there was a lot of head shaking going on”
Up Next: What is a Punjabi Prison Match?
Greenfield also shared Vince McMahon's initial reaction to the name and design, claiming that he actually came up with the name for the ‘Punjabi Prison’ match while it was Vince who decided that they needed to brand the structure in the first place.
“It was a Smackdown meeting, we were all sitting around the table and everybody was throwing out ideas. I know Vince likes him some alliteration, so I said: “how about a Punjabi Prison match?’. He does this thing that Vince does, he is on this chair that swivels at the head of the table in the writers room. He kind of looks away and you can almost see him tasting the words in his mouth. He’s sitting there and looks away and says: ‘Punjabi Prison, alright, let’s do it, next’. And that was it”
According to Greenfield, the finished structure ended up looking much different than what they originally designed, but they already spent a ton of money on it and had to use it.
As announced last month on SmackDown Live, Randy Orton and Jinder Mahal will have their third match for the WWE Championship title tonight (Sunday) at Battleground. Mahal was first to stand inside the structure when it was lowered for display during last week's SmackDown, while Randy made an initial climb of its outer wall. To win, one must escape both bamboo cages, a prospect that is far easier said than done.