It’s My Wrestling Podcast sent out the following:
In a recent interview with Chris Deez of the It’s My Wrestling Podcast, Dr. Tom Prichard discussed training Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Brock Lesnar, being trained by The Iron Sheik, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Owen Hart’s and Mr. Perfect’s ribs, running a wrestling school with Kane, wrestler’s not getting over, WWE criticism and much more.
The interview is available in full at this link, with highlights of the interview below.
Training The Rock, if he knew he would go on to be a star, how he managed to become the biggest star in the world: It’s just like Austin, you knew he was gonna be big. He had the bloodline, he had the talent, this guy was phenomenal. You knew he was going to be a big star. I don’t think anybody could have said he’s going to be one of the most recognizable faces and names in the world. He’s still that same guy. He’s a businessman, and he always has been, but he’s still that same guy. The cool thing is he knows how to communicate with people, and he communicates with his fans. He communicates with his colleagues with his friends, the same genuine way he always has. You looked at him when he came in, he had something. He had a great smile he had great personality. He was talking like that when he was training. He was a smart a** at training but in a good way. But that’s what you want. Having fun, people backstage making you laugh, making this business fun, being talented. The greatest thing in the world when was when you can go out and work with your friends, like Austin and Rock got to do, and Austin got to have his last match with Rock. They were great friends and rivals. Rock always treated everyone with respect. I don’t think anybody could have told you he was going to be this global superstar. But he had that drive, he had that thirst, and you have to have that, you’ve got to have confidence, you got to have drive, you’ve got to do whatever it takes. Rocky did whatever it takes and he capitalized on his on his opportunities.
Brock Lesnar being the top guy, needing more people like him: The most legit guy in the business right now is Brock Lesnar in my opinion because you don’t know, he is unpredictable, he’s a bad-a**, he’s legit. Nobody really knows what to expect from him when he walks out, and that’s what we want. That’s what you need, I think we need more of that to come back
Working with Stone Cold, helping him in his early days: We traveled together early on when we worked in Tennessee, in Texas, making those trips back and forth. Steve’s an easygoing guy. Steve was great, he is one of us, you can just talk. He’s special in the sense that he understands and understood who Stone Cold Steve Austin was – so when he started out he was Stunning Steve Austin, and on one particular ride, I remember this very well because it was a discussion about getting ahead in the business. I don’t know how it came up I don’t know who brought it up but I looked at Brian Lee who was wrestling as Prime Time Brian Lee. I looked at him and said what is so Prime Time about you? What is Primetime? He looked at me said, you know like Primetime Deon Sanders. I knew the name I knew he was a football player that was it. That was all I knew. So I’m saying, there’s other people like me, other fans out there who are just wrestling fans and don’t care about primetime Deon Sanders. So I said okay, I look to Steve and say what is so stunning about you because he had long, stringy hair. And as I’m saying as he’s drinking a beer and has cigarette in his mouth or chewed tobacco and it’s like, man, Stunning Steve Austin. So that was something to think about because the name has to match the persona, the persona has to match the name, you have to interest me. I’ve had some horrible names and some horrible persona, so I’m not knocking any of those, I’m just saying you have to find what is your fit, and how to make it fit.
Being trained by The Iron Sheik: He looked at me and said you can take him down to the Colosseum. I went oh my god there’s no break. So we go down to Sam Houston Coliseum now. Never been in a locker room, and we go in it’s empty, and now I’m about to walk in the dressing room, walk in. Okay, now I’m going to get my shorts and shoes and everything, and I’m thinking the Sheik gonna put on his curly toed boots but he puts on an amateur singlet and amateur wrestling shoes. So, I’ve heard stories and I know you have to pay dues and I think I’m going to get stretched. And that was right. Because you should. I get down on all fours. We did squats first. He said you try to turn me over, I’m a buck 65 he was about 232/240 solid, and he gets on his hands and knees I tried to turn him over he turtles, he just lays flat I can’t do anything. So he got me turned me over to this day I don’t know what hold it was but he grabbed me in something, stretching my neck back and I said okay okay. He goes “No, scream, scream! Louder and louder!” Then he shows us how to lock up, how your left hand goes behind the neck and the right hand goes on the elbow. So we got a lock up and I lock up too light, and he says no, this is what I want you to do, strong. So we lock up again and I slapped him right in the ear. So he got that look on his face and look at me says I did not say and he slapped me right back. I mean, he rung my bell, he really did!
How Stone Cold got over, why wrestlers struggle to now, what’s missing: Austin was Austin. He was that guy that you saw on TV, the redneck who would drink beer. Who are your Austin’s these days? Who is going to connect with people like that? It’s it’s like nailing jello to the wall, you can’t say look what Austin did, and copy it. You can steal parts of it, and you can adapt parts of it but once Austin came out he was the guy, and anything even remotely close to him you’re copying Austin. A lot of people want to wear jorts because John Cena wears jorts. Well if you do you’re going to be compared to John Cena. John had over 100 pairs of wrestling boots, and then he winds up with shorts, a t-shirt and tennis shoes, so you don’t know what you’re going to be in the end you don’t know what’s gonna be gonna stick to you. Austin had black tights, black boots, black everything, and a bland bald head, but my god why did that building pop? What was the magic? Well that was it, it was magic. It was something. And when people saw Steve come out and he was that, that’s who he is. That’s who he was, and that is missing today.
Vince McMahon being out of touch, Bad Bunny: I knew he wrote a song for Booker T. And I knew he was a wrestling fan, and I knew he was very respectful, and he loved the business which is great, those are the kind of guys you want to bring in and get eyeballs on you. He’s on Saturday Night Live with the belt. He was on the Grammy’s or whatever. The effort was there, and you’ve got to have people around you to know what’s relevant, who’s relevant. As much as people want to say Vince is out of touch – maybe, maybe not, I don’t know as I’m not there but he has people and that’s why he brings in the young writers. He brings in people who may not have experience in wrestling, but it’s not a wrestling company its sports entertainment. He’s looking for the most money for the stockholders, looking for the best interest of the company, and his employees, and doing the best he can with what he’s got. And if it’s not working, he’ll find somebody else.
WWE not creating any new stars, why it’s the wrestlers faults for mot getting over: When Vince came out and went on public TV, national TV, worldwide global TV and told everybody we’re not going to insult your intelligence we’re sports entertainment, we’re not really doing what you think we’re doing. If you remember that was right before the Attitude Era and things exploded so people even though they knew, they still wanted to see Rock, Stone Cold, Mankind, The Undertaker, Kane, all those guys. Where are your Rocks, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker’s today? I mean we got Gargano, Adam Cole. I’m not a big guy either, but they don’t look like that, mega star power to me. The Undertaker is a star, The rock is a star, Austin a star, Hunter a star. I don’t want to but as much as some people want to knock everybody who’s responsible, they got to look in the mirror. I’m talking about the talent now they got to look in the mirror. Austin took it upon himself to change his gimmick, shave his head come up with stone cold. It was Austin it wasn’t the office. Rock was the one who came back says, why are they booing me? I’m a baby-face I’m doing what you guys are telling me. No, do what you feel, do what is in your heart do what is authentic to you. I love Drew McIntyre, I do. He looks tremendous. A lot of guys they’re doing great, I love Sheamus he’s tremendous. Roman Reigns, oh my god. So what’s missing? Is it scripts? I really don’t know. I read just like everybody else does if somebody gave you a script or things change four times that day, five times, changes are still going on the air, guess what, that’s what happens when you’re doing a live TV show. And for people who’ve never been in that environment and don’t understand why things change, there’s no explanation, no explanation.
The job his brother Bruce is doing, how hard the job is: Certainly you have to have somebody lead the charge, to have somebody outline what they want. It’s Vince McMahon’s company, he has every right to do it his way. But he has to rely on other people and delegate as well. It’s a, it’s a lot of moving parts, and it’s a fast moving machine. And it doesn’t stop at night. It’s a 24 hour gig it really is. And while everybody is quick to judge, and I have a really good friend of mine who wants to tell me everything wrong with raw and everything wrong with Smackdown and I say man, a lion doesn’t have to tell you he’s a lion. I see it, I get it. It’s not as easy as it looks, and I always say what would you do, what’s your solution, what’s your plan don’t just say it’s it’s horrible and then don’t offer an alternative. I ask what he would do he says – I would do a personality profile. Okay, we do that one week what’s next? Give me all year. All year? Well yeah, because we got WrestleMania six months down the road, how are we going to get there. Plus we have these other things on the way. Plus you have these other business deals going on. It’s not just wrestling, it’s an entertainment company. And I’m not trying to defend or knock anybody. I just know everybody there is working their, their a**** off.
Memories of Owen Hart and Mr Perfect famous ribs: You didn’t want to sleep around Curt Hennig! This is a different business than the one I watched and grew up in. So, I don’t know if anybody knows how to have fun today, I don’t know if anybody understands what a rib really is. It’s not to be mean. Although there were mean ribs. That’s what I’m saying, there were some mean ribs and there were some nasty ones but there was some just funny ones to pass the time. I don’t think anybody took it as personal or as serious as we do today. You can’t do a lot of things we did back then, today, and thank god, because it’s a lot healthier lifestyle and it’s a lot safer for people. There’s the only read that Owen ever played on me, and it was so harmless. We had checked into the same hotel. I’m checking out, I’m getting ready to go my phone rings, and it’s the front desk. Hey, you need to get out you didn’t pay for another day. So I’m packing my bags now, and I’m getting ready to leave. Well, you better be out next two minutes or I’m charging you for the day. Real a****** on the phone, and I would stop at the front desk and turn in my case. Is everything okay, the guy looks and says. Yeah I’m just leaving. So Owen asked me about it when I got the building, and he started laughing, then I realized he was the one who called, he just wanted to give me a bunch of s***, but Curt Hennig was the kind of guy who shave off your eyebrows or shave off one of eyebrow and shave off his eyebrows to show hey they got me too!