IYH Interview: Tom Prichard
By Neal Jones
Dr. Tom Prichard was the first guest this week on http://www.inyourheadonline.com. Which can be heard live every Wednesday at 6:00 PM with Jack, OneInchBiceps and Barbie Richards, along with our full archive of interviews.
The hosts welcomed Tom to IYH, and mentioned the upcoming Capitol Legend’s Fanfest August 11th to the 13th in Rockville, MD. The huge event will feature 30 Wrestling legends including Rockin Robin, The Patriot, Masked Superstar, Jim Cornette, Bret Hart, Midnight Express, Nick Bockwinkel, Tony Atlas, Stan Hansen, Ernie Ladd, Ricky Morton, Angelo Mosca, Jim Niedhardt, Rocky Johnson, Robert Gibson, Ivan Koloff, Nickolai Volkoff, Baby Doll, Dr. Tom Pritchard, Rick Martel, Superstar Billy Graham and many more. For more information please visit http://www.capitollegends.com
Tom is looking forward to seeing Cornette and Stan Lane again, along with being in Washington DC. Tom says the fans at the Fanfests are like he was when he was younger, fans who respect and appreciate what the wrestlers do.
Tom says he always wanted to wrestle, it was what he always wanted to do. He didn’t set out to be a legend, he hoped he would. Tom says he was pegged not to live to be 30, so he is happy just to be invited to these Legends shows.
OIB asks where Tom would rank the Moondogs in the top tag teams. Tom says he would rank them in the top 5, they were over huge in Memphis. Tom says their matches didn’t last long, and you couldn’t have them for a long run. Tom says they were hardcore before there was the term hardcore.
Jack asks what team does Tom get remembered as the most. Tom says a lot of people don’t even know he was a Bodydonna when the fans meet him. He usually gets fans remembering the Heavenly Bodies gimmick. Tom talks about being Zip, and having his hair cut. Tom says it was scary not being able to hide behind the hair. Jack asks what Tom thinks of guys like Kazarian and The Naturals not wanting to get a hair cut for a push. Tom says he wishes he knew then what he does now, he has a new prospective on what it takes to make it in wrestling. There is a lot of politics. Tom says unless you own the company you are obligated to follow the rules. When Tom was asked to get his hair cut he originally said no, and then WWE told him he wouldn’t have a job so he did it. Tom says on the other side he doesn’t blame guys wanting to get hair cuts, wrestlers are too cookie cutter now. Tom doesn’t believe in the idea wrestlers need to look corporate.
Tom talks about the Rock N Roll Express. Tom says they are a great team to work with and great guys. Tom will be wrestling Ricky Morton this week. Tom says R&R Express is a team guys could learn from by watching tapes. When watching tapes, you need to study the psychology not just watch as a fan. Tom says Ricky Morton was the best seller in his era, he could emote so well. Tom says it’s missing today, there’s too much acting and scripts to remmber not reacting. Tom discusses scripted promos, unless you are Rock, Austin or HHH you don’t get much say in your promos. What gets guys over is being yourself and not reading what someone else wrote and manufactured for you. Tom and Jack talk about Mick Foley’s promos being the highlight of RAW recently. Tom says the best characters are the real guy turned up, you don’t know when they are working or shooting.
OIB asks who the stiffest worker Tom ever wrestled was. Tom says he was trained by the Iron Sheik, who stretched him for a long time in training.
Jack asks if the Welness Program is good for wrestling. Tom says it is if they catch health problems early. Tom says when he wrestled they partied hard, they took pills, drank etc. Tom says guys he partied with like Ric Rude, Eddie Gilbert and the Von Erichs died from drug overdoses. Tom says if they had it before Eddie Guerrero passed away maybe it could have been avoided if they knew he has a heart problem.
Jack asks if the deaths ever scared Tom away from drugs. Tom says he partied with guys like Gino Hernandez, Eddie Gilbert etc and when they died it didnt really scare him. Tom didn’t care at the time. In 2001 he was sent to rehab, along with Eddie Guerrero. Both messed up after they were out of rehab. Tom says people who aren’t drug addicts don’t understand how hard it is to stop. Tom says Chris Candido died after he was clean from a blood clot, Tom looks at it like when it’s your time it’s your time to go. You have to face it.
Jack asks if the Wellness Program will be good for business. Jack brings up the DDP IYH interview where DDP said business will be down if all the guys were off steroids. Tom says he has a point because people want to see larger than life characters. If business goes down we might see the guys slowly get big again. Tom says Vince is 61 and wants something to accomplish, he thinks maybe this is Vince’s next challenge. Tom says the low morale is something WWE needs to address. Tom says talent relations needs to be able to work better with the workers.
OIB asks whatever happened to Jimmy Delray. Tom says the last he heard was Jimmy was in Florida. Tom says Jimmy thought he was “The Gigolo”. Tom says they were 2 different people, they worked well in the ring together, but not outside the ring.
Tom talks about road trips with Jim Cornette. Tom says every trip with Jim is a story. Jim is so animated, and he is not a character he is Cornette 24/7.
Tom discusses OVW. Tom says it was perfect when Jim and Danny Davis were running it. When it ran in a real crappy building, you could weed out the guys who really didnt have a passion for wrestling. Jim came from the Bill Watts school of running things. Jim would yell at guys to motivate them to do better, WWE corporate didn’t like that and it has been bad for OVW with out Jim running things. Tom says Paul Heyman was also very good, his biggest strength is hiding the weaknesses of the talent and showcasing the strengths. Paul took OVW TV to a new level. Both Jim and Paul did a great job motivating the wrestlers, with 2 different techniques. Jack asks if both Paul Heyman and Cornette should have more creative input in wrestling now. Tom says he does because he is a wrestling fan. Vince knows wrestling fans will always watch but he wants to bring the masses in. Jim Cornette likes old school wrestling with excitement etc, Paul likes a similar product with an edge.
OIB asks if there was ever any plans of Tom tagging with Chris Candido in ECW. Tom says no there was never any plans, at that time Tom wasn’t having fun anymore. He was hurting and feeling all the bumps. Jack asks what Tom thinks when he sees younger guys now taking so many bumps. Tom says they will be hurting but at the same time people want excitement. Tom says guys need to sell more, to get more out of the moves. Do the big moves when they mean something not just for the sake of doing them. Tom says it’s hard to go backwards, WWE tried to slow down the product but the fans are conditioned to the crazy moves and WWE slowly stopped trying to slow down the matches. Plus guys need to stand out to be noticed.
Jack asks what Tom looked for in a wrestler when he was a talent scout. He looked for guys who could work, the size and mainly at talent and attitude. Tom talks about Mike Mondo (Mikey from the Spirit Squad), Mike moved just to be part of OVW hoping to get to WWE. Tom and Cornette used him a lot on TV because they knew he had talent, even though WWE talent relations didn’t think he would ever make it. Tom says size isn’t the only thing to look at, look at Eddie Guerrero, Benoit Rey Mysterio etc. Tom says he misses it at time, but it’s not the same business he grew up in. When Jim Ross was in charge of talent relations it was better because they were both old school and looked for the same thing. Tom says Steve Bradley and Bobby Roode were 2 guys he always thought deserved a shot in WWE, and he is happy to see Bobby doing well in TNA. Tom still scouts talent on the Indy’s, and if people ask for advice he will help them out.
Tom opened up a wrestling school last summer. Tom says the thing is anyone can buy a ring and start a show now. Tom says it’s not really worth it.
Jack asks if Tom ever had any talks with TNA. Tom tried out for backstage interviewer, but it didn’t pan out. Tom doesn’t know if has the special talent to be a commentator or interviewer.
Brad Dykens from http://www.obsessedwithwrestling.com asks what TNA needs to do to compete with WWE. Tom says you can’t compete, TNA doesn’t have the production values or intangibles. TNA does have Dave Sahadi which is major plus. Vince does this 24/7, if anyone beats him it wont be for long. Tom would like to see TNA compete but they can’t do it from Orlando. Jack asks if it is a mistake for TNA to even try and compete. Tom says no, it’s good to have a goal to succeed. The problems are there is no bottomless pit, TNA doesn’t have endless money. If a star gets over WWE could offer them more money and pick them up. Tom doesn’t see anyone able to compete with Vince at this time.
Jack asks what guys TNA should build around. Jack brings up Samoa Joe, Tom says he’s over and good but Joe doesn’t have the look. From a business stand point you need someone who is a total package and looks the part and is in shape. Joe is a good guy to start with, Tom thinks Bobby Roode would be a good guy.
IYH fans Jobber asks for Tom’s favorite rib story. Tom tells the infamous Mark Henry “sandwich” story. Tom says he was there and saw it and knows it is true, Mark was a loud mouth at the time. The guys watched him eat the sandwich bite by bite.
The IYH crew thanks Tom for coming on. Tom tells everyone to come and see him and all the Legends at the Capitol Legend’s Fanfest August 11th through the 13th.
The In Your Head hosts will also be at the Capitol Legend’s Fanfest. We will be conducting some interviews over the 3 day weekend. Please make it there if you can, come and see all the legends. Plus talk to the IYH Crew and be part of their special Fanfest edition show taped over the 3 days. For more information on how to save on hotel bookings, air fair and the special VIP pass please visit http://www.capitollegends.com