INTERACTIVE WRESTLING RADIO INTERVIEW - Dr. Tom Prichard

Show: Interactive Wrestling Radio
Guest: Dr. Tom Prichard
Date: 02/28/20
Your Hosts: James Walsh

 

The Doctor is In!

Dr. Tom Prichard stops by for his first ever trip to the Wrestling Epicenter as we discuss his career highlights including his Roddy Piper inspired promo style, his run in WWE with the Heavenly Bodies, the Body Donnas, and even a little about Impact's Inter-Gender wrestling and AEW's high flying wrestling style. This is a fun 25 minute chat with a true legend and genius when it comes to the art of pro wrestling.



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DR. TOM PRICHARD :

 

On the birth of the Jacobs/Prichard Wrestling Academy:
"Quite honestly, it was during the campaign for Knox (Knoxville) County Mayor when Glenn (Jacobs, Kane) and I were having dinner. I was set to do a seminar somewhere and we started talking about it. He said, "Why don't we open a school here in Knoxville?" I said, "Nah, maybe not the best place." I had done it here before and it didn't really work out. You have too many people in this area that can put a ring up and open up a wrestling school - Or raslin' school if you will. But, we thought about it. I've been training guys for a long while now. Glen (Kane) has a good name in wrestling. Why don't we try it? Knoxville is a good wrestling town. It is a good town to live in, actually. We have a lot of nice things. The cost of living in a little less than up north. I've been doing this for over 40 years now, Glenn has been doing this for 25-30 years now. We've got a lot of experience under our belts. We figured, why not? Lets go all out and give it a shot and that's what we did. "

 

On what you will learn first at the Academy:
"We believe in the basics and fundamentals. If you don't have a solid foundation, you have nothing to build on and nothing to work with. Some people don't get that. That's OK! We set them straight right off the bat. We have a basics 12 week course. And, you're not going to learn everything in 12 weeks. In fact, you're going to barely scratch the surace. But, you have to start somewhere and we need to get everybody on the same page. Some of the guys who open wrestling schools need to go to wrestling school themselves. You're going to learn the basics. You're going to learn how to tie up. You're going to learn timing. You're going to learn what this business is reall all about. There's a lot more to this business than people really know or anticipate before they get to us."

 

On being influenced in his promo style by "Rowdy" Roddy Piper:
"I met Roddy in California when I first broke in. He was one of those guys who respected everybody - As long as you respected him, he respected you. If you respected the business, he respected you as well. He was just one of those people, in his mannerisms, his cadence... His everything. It was something that came natural especially after I turned heel - I really wasn't a babyface. I thought I was but I wasn't. It came natural. I know I sounded like Piper. I know I ripped him off. I told him. He didn't have a problem with it, I didn't have a problem with it. It was something that just came natural because I had a little bit of an attitude and I always respected Roddy. He was a first class guy."

 

On finally making it to WWE with the Heavenly Bodies:
"It was pretty cool. I never really saw, especially early on, going to New York. I was happy just wrestling where I was wrestling. But, that is just the evolution of the business. When we got the opportunity out of working in Knoxville, Smokey Mountain, it was great. I really didn't think it was in the cards. But, it goes to show you really can determine your fate if you want it bad enough. You can do anything you want. I really do believe that. It was very cool. I got to work with a lot of great people and it led to the opportunity to train and help people out. I'm very fortunate."

 

On cutting off the hair to join Chris Candido & Sunny in the Body Donnas:
"I wasn't really into it. I wasn't into it when they asked me, I wasn't into it when I was doing it, I just wasn't into it the whole time I was working with Chris. I loved Chris to death. But, the whole vibe, the whole attitude, the whole situation was not condusive to it being a happy experience. (laughs) None of us had a happy attitude at the time - When I say none of us, I mean Chris (Candido), Tammy (Lynn Sytch, Sunny), and myself. I felt naked with a crew cut! When you have long hair, you can kind of hide behind it. You can put it in front of your face, people don't know what you're thinking. It (his hair) was my shield. It was my flag against society. So, coming out with a crew cut, I was like, "Oh no! I have nothing else to hide behind." I didn't dig it at all!"

 

On his relationship with his brother (Love) Bruce Prichard:
"Much better. This business is hard enough maneuvering all that you have to maneuver and manipulating all you have to manipulate. There have been some rocky patches. Most of that has a lot to do with me and (laughs) my attitude growing up. It's great now!"

 

On the more high flying aspect of wrestling now especially in AEW:
"This is something that every generation goes through and now that I am kind of in that boat, "Hey kid, get off my lawn!"... I want to see the good in every aspect of wrestling because I want everybody to have options and not just have there be one company. But, the issues I have are just the fundamentals and the basics. You have to have a solid foundation. You can do all the flip, flop, and fly - Have a Corona and toupees or hurricanranas and topes. But, if you can't tell a solid story, you're going to fade away real quick. Having said that, we live in a very different world than I grew up in. So, when I watch it, I don't see the story in it but I realize I'm not their demo - I'm not. I'm not watching video games on TV. I don't really play video games. So, I can't relate to it. That said, I like Darby Allin. I like some of the guys they have there on AEW. But, why do you have to... I'll finish my sentence in a minute. Growing up, we had 3 or 4 channels and wrestling was on 1 of them. Now you have so many different platforms that you have to keep people's attention so you have to keep it going fast. A 3 hour program is WAY too long to invest in. And, if you have 5, 6, 7, 8 hours of original TV a week, that's a lot! That is a lot of time to come up with interesting scenarios. But, one thing that will never go out of style, and I promise you this - Even with the NFL and they've got the gib jib cameras and overhead views and all that, but it is still blocking and tackling. In baseball, it is still hitting the ball over the fence but you still have to take batting practice, you still have to know the fundamentals and have the foundation for what you're trying to do. You're trying to get the story across. I don't mind some of the nuances. But, I don't like some of the stuff that is ridiculous - And that's just my opinion. But, I don't like to see 14 superkicks and nobody sells anything. I don't like to see some of the stuff that just looks hokey. Look, pro wrestling by design is a little bit hokey. But, you could put some effort into it and try to make it look less hokey. Let me say that."

 

On David Lee Roth and modern wrestling:
"I'm a big David Lee Roth fan. I just watched his Vegas show. Oh my goodness God all mighty! No, Dave is not a singer. Dave is a performer. He's not as good as he once was. He's a parody of what he once was. But, he still gets that this is what they want to see. They want to see the performance. The glits, the glamour, the mystery, the aura! Too many times you have people who can go on YouTube and become an instant celebrity for something reason or another. Back in the old days... (laughs) The old days. Back when I broke in, there was a mystery. There were characters and guys were their characters. Terry Funk was Terry Funk! Wahoo McDaniel was Wahoo McDaniel. Hulk Hogan was... Tell me, where are your Hulk Hogan's today? Where are the guys you watched and you knew they were different than you, different than your next door neighbor. Now, your neighbor can put up a ring in his front yard and have a wrestling show. That is what is perplexing me. Why would you want to go and see your next door neighbor wrestle or a kid who has never seen the inside of a gym go and play 'rastle?"

 

On intergender wrestling becoming accepted these days:
"I am not a huge fan of intergender wrestling and here's why. I love Tessa Blanchard. I think she is a hell of a talent. I think she's a nice lady also. But, if you have Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns and they beat the hell out of each other and they take each other to the limit. Then, if you take Brock Lesnar and put him against a woman and he bumps and sells - No matter how fit or strong she is, no matter what... I'm a guy who still opens the car door for his wife. Equality? Yes. But, physically? Hold on! Brian Cage is a big guy. He sold for Tessa the same way he sold for guys. Does it take me out of my suspension of belief? No. But, it made me kind of watch going, "hmmm." Instead of coming up with different spots or different scendarios... I mean, do women and men... In boxing... I don't know, man. Maybe I'm out of date. I just don't... I'm going to get myself in trouble by saying what I don't. But, I just don't think that makes any sense and I don't think that does anybody any good."