WWE's Bruce Prichard On The Difference Between Getting A Pop And Being Over With Fans

For as long as pro wrestling has been in existence, crowd engagement has been a key element of the industry. However, it's safe to say there are different kinds of that engagement, and many believe the most powerful is the connection an audience gets with a popular character. Speaking on a recent episode of "Something to Wrestle With," WWE producer Bruce Prichard discussed the differences between a short-term "pop" and long-term investment.

"You have these younger kids that they realize, 'Well, when I take a bump, the crowd pops, so I get a reaction. That's a good thing! And if I take more bumps, I'll get more of a reaction,'" Prichard said. "And they mistake that sometimes for getting over. As the business evolves, you've got to change with it, and sometimes you've got to do more things, but there [are] ways to do it safely. There [are ways] to do more by doing less."

While Prichard admitted that it can sound like some older wrestlers are just unable to move on from the past, many veterans are making very valid points about the effect high-risk wrestling moves can have on the body.

Style Contrasts Between Bret Hart And The Dynamite Kid

Prichard and co-host Conrad Thompson were in the midst of a discussion about Bret Hart, with the WWE Hall of Famer writing in his book that he didn't want his body to break down like that of "The Dynamite Kid," Tom Billington. According to Prichard, Hart was a big proponent of the philosophy he just described, boiling down to a "less is more" mentality in the ring. The belief was that it would help keep his body in better condition over the years.

"I think Jim [Neidhart] and Bret both were pretty good examples of that," Prichard continued. "Bret would ground you. Bret would set the pace. [He] didn't do a lot of crazy stuff, but his work was exciting. It was still good because he did it when he needed to do it, and that was the key."

Billington, on the other hand, was notorious for awe-inspiring moves, but it cost him over the years. After a long series of health problems, Billington died in 2018 at the age of 60.

"The body only has so many 'holy s***' moments in it," Prichard said.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Something to Wrestle With" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.