INTERVIEW: Bruce Prichard (Wrestling Industry Icon)
On new wrestling company ALL Elite Wrestling (AEW) "Well, I think that any competition is good for the business. I look at AEW as somebody that is going to provide a place for talent to work and guys can get exposure. So anything new ... I just hope they're successful. I hope they're smart in how they conduct their business. If they're successful that means that the business is healthy and provides a lot of opportunity for other talent to have work." What we can expect from the 'Something to Wrestle' spoken word show coming to Australia this March? "Well, it's gonna be a one man show. I'll be solo. But I'll be telling stories and sharing things with the live audience that we just cannot share on the podcast itself. So, you'll get some things that you'll not gonna get on the podcast. You'll also gonna get a lot of the caricatures and imitations that I do on the podcast and because it is a solo show, it'll be a little more personal as well with a lot of my personal experience. I also love to do a lot of audience participation and crowd interaction. So, we take questions from the crowd and I like to sometimes allow them to dictate what direction that they wanna go in. I may get a question then I'll go off on a 20 tangent about something else. So, no two shows are alike. We just kind of go with the flow. I can promise that it will be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to it. Yeah. Australia's on my bucket list. I've never been. I'm looking very much forward to getting down under."
TNA featured a lot of huge names such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sting and Mick Foley but did it stand a chance as a serious rival to the WWE?
"I think the part of what the challenge was at TNA was sometimes I feel that they were trying too hard to be the WWE. To try and compete with the WWE on an even playing field. That is ... When you have something as strong as WWE, try and do something different. Create your own stars. Create something that is different. An alternative to the WWE instead of what I think a lot of people considered the WWE-Lite. That comes straight from the top because the powers that be, if you will, they were enamored with former stars of WWE. Sometimes you had stars within your midst that you could create and make larger than life without having to depend on former stars and the paychecks and the expense of the former stars. So, it just was challenge. There were so many people that had never been in the wrestling or entertainment business that was making decisions that pertained to the wrestling and entertainment part of it. But, it was difficult. Very difficult."
On the WWE becoming less violent and more family friendly "Well, I think that from my vantage point, I understand why they do it. However, I think that they are, I don't know they're overexposed. But they got quite a bit of exposure. A three hour episode of RAW on Monday night that is a lot of time for people to commit to. If there was a way to limit the exposure I think that might help 'em. They got the greatest talent in the world working for them. I just think that maybe less is more. To be able to create some scenarios that is gonna make you wanna get off your butt and go spend money to see 'em versus giving as much as they give away for free on TV."
Reflecting on Owen Hart
"I think that Owen Hart was one of those just really true pure performers. I don't know of anything that Owen did that was ever considered ah that didn't work. That wasn't good. Owen made everything that he touched work. So I do believe that Owen, had the unfortunate event not taken place, would have gone on to even bigger and better things than what he had already experienced."
Favorite and least favorite people to work with in the WWE
"Bobby Heenan was a very close friend of mine. Loved working with Bobby, Undertaker, Dusty Rhodes, Roddy Piper, the list can go on and on. Then there are people that you don't necessarily wanna work with. The Ultimate Warrior was probably at the top of that list. You have to develop just a way to learn how to work with a difficult talent. So put it that way. That's just ... Once you learn how to do that and you kind of work around whatever that negativity may be then they all become easy." On trying to keep up to date with the endless amount of content on the WWE Network "Well, that's interesting because I think that people now a days they consume the product in so many different ways. From watching it on their phones to watching it on their tablets or their computer at home that I would almost venture to guess that probably another 50% of the audience is consuming the content in programming in ways other than the television. So, that's your society. I think that not only goes for wrestling that goes for all forms of entertainment that is out there. I think that people are looking for different ways to consume and they're getting it. When we used to live and die by the television ratings I don't know that that is as big of a deal as it used to be. I think that ... Yeah. There are many, many forms of content. But people are gonna find what they like and stick with it and consume it all day long. That's something that we've seen. Just like our podcast. People find it and they consume it. They eat it up which I like."
Working with Vince McMahon
"Well, I think that the best way to describe Vince is ... He's intense. Extremely intense. Very driven. Probably hardest working person I've ever worked with. Very creative. It was a lot of fun. But it was sure as hell intense. That's for sure. In the show, you're gonna get a lot Vince McMahon and what it was like working with a lunatic like that." How Bruce ended up becoming manager of The Undertaker? "Well, it was just an idea that I had that I pitched, I was a big fan ever since he was Mean Mark. I saw him from his very first match in Dallas. He was someone that had a very unique look and a very unique style. When he became available I pitched an idea to put him with Brother Love to be pure evil versus what Brother Love considered himself to be pure as the driven snow. So it was the yin to my yang. I pitched the idea. Vince liked it. he liked the name Kane at the time. But it was Vince that came up with the look. The Undertaker look. Then eventually the name, The Undertaker. So, it was an idea just to do more. I wanted to manage. I wanted to manage him. I wanted that story and that character out there. Luckily Vince liked it and we dove on it."
[Bruce Prichard as Brother Love with The Undertaker]
People that deserve to be in the WWE Hall of Fame "Well, I ... There's probably a lot. Undertaker, I'm sure will definitely be in at some point. The Rock. Those mainstays. I would like to see some people like Jim Barnett who was a promoter. One of the most influential men in the wrestling business. I'd like to see Ted Turner in The Hall of Fame. I think that he's deserving of that honor. So it really just depends on your view point. I think there are some people that were back stage. A guy like Jim Johnston, who wrote all the music that are deserving of that. Who knows. But, yeah. There's definitely a lot of people out there who as so deserving."
Whether Chyna (Joan Laurer) should be included in the Hall of Fame even if she made questionable career moves outside of the WWE? "Well, I think that there already are some people in there that might have done some questionable things. I think we all have skeletons in our closets. But, I do think that eventually Chyna will be a part of The Hall of Fame."
Listen to the entire interview
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