Jericho welcomes Bruce Prichard to the show.
Prichard talks about the night Hulk Hogan lost the WWE Title due to the iconic referee switch featuring twin brothers, Dave and Earl Hebner. He informs that he talked to Vince McMahon backstage before the show but he didn’t want to know how the Title switch was going to happen. He watched that unfold as a fan like the rest of us and after seeing how everything played out he was shocked. He then realized that he had been talking to Earl Hebner earlier in the day when he thought it was Dave he was speaking to.
Prichard points out that he’s often criticized for the way he tells his stories of the business. He mentions that different people have different versions of each story, simply because the story is coming from a different perspective. It’s like when people get angry because they were “promised” a Title run by Vince McMahon but then it never pans out, when in reality McMahon might have said something like, “I can picture you as Champion someday”.
Jericho points out that even when you are promised a Title run that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. He informs that he was told he was going to defeat Kevin Owens for the Universal Title at WrestleMania 2 years ago, but then everything went down between Brock Lesnar and Goldberg and McMahon made the decision to get the Title involved in that match instead. Jericho wasn’t angry because things change constantly in the wrestling business, and that’s just the way it is.
Prichard talks about the Bastion Booger character. Mike Shaw was a great heel prior to arriving in WWE but things never really panned out for him in WWE. At one point Shaw approached WWE officials because he wanted more bookings, and he was told to go talk to McMahon. He finally got the nerve up to go speak with McMahon and told him he wasn’t happy. McMahon promptly gave Shaw his release because if he wasn’t happy, McMahon didn’t think he should be forced to remain with the company.
Prichard notes that Shaw’s inability to respond to McMahon effectively resulted in his release from the company. McMahon is an intimidating figure, but if Shaw would have explained that he simply wanted more dates he probably wouldn’t have been released.
Prichard talks about the infamous Mantaur character. He says that character derived from the fact that Mike Halac’s feet were so big and thick that they looked like hooves. Looking back now it’s easy to call that character “god awful”. He notes that the Giant Gonzalez costume was terrible as well. McMahon’s mindset was, “He doesn’t have any muscles so we’ll paint them on!” Prichard says Undertaker hasn’t forgiven him to this day for booking him with Gonzalez at WrestleMania 9.
Jericho points out that Undertaker had some “lesser” opponents during those early WrestleMania years. Prichard notes that most of the time that’s because the company knew Undertaker would be able to get a reasonable match out of those guys and everything would be okay. He jokes that Undertaker has held that over his head for years.
Prichard notes that he got his start in the wrestling business at a very young age, even timing out television shows at 12 years old. He worked for Paul Boesch in Houston, who gave his performers a good guarantee and treated the guys very well. For those reasons, performers loved working for him. For a long period of time, Boesch’s promotion was one of the only territories that Vince McMahon couldn’t take down.
Prichard notes that McMahon really wanted that territory and in 1986 Prichard was feeling lost there. He eventually got McMahon’s number and he called him everyday until McMahon finally took his call. McMahon insisted that Prichard would have to move to New York in order to work for WWE and they finally struck a deal.
Prichard inform that he didn’t have a job title or description at that time. He’d sit with Ed Cohen and Pat Patterson in booking meetings and he’d also do some work in marketing and promotion. He notes that he’s been accused of being a “yes man” over the years but that’s not the case at all. If his job required him to do something that’s exactly what he’d do, but when the time came for him to give his opinions he’d be sure to do that too.
He recalls having some heated arguments with Vince McMahon, and he remembers Pat Patterson pulling him aside one day after a particularly brutal session with McMahon where things got nasty. Patterson reminded him that McMahon was their boss and although they had a tight knit relationship there was no need to promptly call McMahon’s ideas stupid. Patterson suggested that Prichard say “what if” and pitch something else, instead of just telling McMahon that his ideas suck.
Prichard notes that it was great to see McMahon at RAW’s 25th anniversary a few months ago. He hadn’t seen McMahon in a while, and as he was walking towards Gorilla about 10 minutes before the show McMahon walked out of his office. McMahon turned around and they shook hands, and they talked again after the show.
He points out that it was hard to see and talk to everyone that day because everyone had things to do. He informs that he had thrown his old costumes out so he had to buy a new one for this appearance. Some fans have asked him why he didn’t do more on the show but he points out that it wasn’t his spot to ask for more time.
That sums up today’s episode of Talk is Jericho. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya next week for another recap!