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Ric Flair Nearly Joined the WWE at Summerslam 1988

Posted By James Walsh on 05/13/18


During the latest episode of his Something to Wrestle With podcast, Bruce Prichard discussed his Brother Love character, Ric Flair nearly appearing at Summerslam 1988, and Andre the Giant initially not liking the Brother Love character. Below are some highlights (transcript via Wrestlezone.com).

Prichard on how there were plans for Ric Flair to make his WWE debut at Summerslam 1988 that fell through: “Falling in our lap was what would really be the major special guest deal and that would have been the debut of the Nature Boy Ric Flair at SummerSlam 1988 and being a guest on the Brother Love Show. Well, as things kinda had a habit of doing in negotiating with Ric through the years and the different time he was going to leave Jim Crockett Promotions and the NWA and WCW, we were going right down to the very last minute and the weekend before until Vince realized that Ric’s not coming and we’re not gonna have Ric Flair. This left us in a bit of a pickle because we were advertising this huge surprise guest for the Brother Love Show in New York, Madison Square Garden and I have no idea who it’s gonna be. I doubt Vince had any idea who the hell it’s gonna be… Instead of being the Nature Boy Ric Flair, it was settled on Hacksaw Jim Duggan.”

Bruce Prichard on how Andre the Giant didn’t like the Brother Love character: “I’ve known Andre since I was twelve years old – he watched me grow up as a kid in Houston, every time he’d come in. I’d known him a long time. Andre could not make the differentiation between Bruce and Brother Love. He liked Bruce.

Andre: ‘I no like Brother Love.’

He wouldn’t talk to me when I was in the gimmick, kind of like basically shewed me away when I was in the gimmick, so much so that I felt like the guys felt when Andre didn’t like you, kinda scary because if The Boss doesn’t like you, you’re screwed. SummerSlam was coming up. It was the Mega Powers vs The Mega Bucks. It was Ted DiBiase and Andre. Vince had scheduled Andre to be on the Brother Love Show. I made the comment to Vince. I said, ‘Vince, I don’t think Andre likes Brother Love too much.’

Vince: ‘What are you talking about?’

‘I don’t think he likes me.’

Vince: ‘Bruce you’ve known him forever.’

No, I get that. He likes Bruce. He doesn’t like Brother Love. When I put the sh*t on he’s different and Vince actually, we had a meeting with Andre with me in my suit with no makeup. My hair was still down and everything and he [Vince McMahon] was like, ‘Boss, this is Bruce. You know Bruce.’

Andre: ‘I like Bruce.’

Vince: ‘Bruce is Brother Love. He is playing a character, Boss. It’s a character.’

Andre: ‘I don’t like Brother Love. I like Bruce.’

It was almost like dealing with a child at that point; but, Vince got through to him and once he got out there, he came back and shook my hand and said, ‘That was great, I loved that.’”