I recently interviewed former WWE and TNA executive Bruce Prichard, whose podcast, Something to Wrestle, can be heard every Friday afternoon at MLW Radio. In addition to working behind the scenes in the industry for decades, he also appeared on-camera as Brother Love, the original manager of Mark Calaway, a.k.a. The Undertaker. During the interview, Prichard talked about being a fan of Taker before he stepped foot in a WWE ring.
"I was a big fan of his when he broke in in Dallas because he wrestled, and he moved, and he walked the ropes like the original Spoilers Dawn Gardine," Prichard said. "I just was a big fan of his, and I watched him from the time he broke in in Dallas all the way to WCW, and Paul Heyman called me when he was available and said 'hey this guys is looking to get out' and I said 'I'd love to have him.' And then came up with the Taker idea."
Taker's first televised appearance was at the Survivor Series on November 22, 1990, where he debuted with Prichard. Prichard noted that the idea for the character came from him.
"The idea was, the original idea was mine," Prichard said. "To basically have the black to my white. I saw it as the purest of pure, here is the driven snow and I want him to be black as night and evil as the day was long. And so he was gonna be the Yin to my Yang. So when he came in the original idea was that he would come in under the name 'Kane', the first man to ever commit murder 'Kane and Abel'. Kane murdered his brother Abel and that he would be Brother Love's -- the outfit that they drew up for him made him look like an old fashioned Undertaker. And so he was Kane the Undertaker. Then we dropped the Kane name after about two or three weeks and he just became The Undertaker."
Prichard also admitted that Vince McMahon wasn't a fan of Taker's work in WCW.
"He [Vince] wasn't high on Mark in WCW," Prichard admitted. "He didn't watch a lot of the WCW product unless we prodded him 'hey take a look at this guy.' And I asked him to watch a pay-per-view, take a look at him, and we had a meeting set up, he was meeting Mean Mark working with Lex Luger. And Mark had dislocated his hip and he still worked the match because I said 'hey listen, Vince is watching. Time to put your working boots on.' And it wasn't like you were gonna get a great match out of Luger. Add to that a dislocated hip and it wasn't the greatest match in the world. And Vince just saw a tall, redheaded basketball player. So there wasn't a lot of interest but then finally when we got the two of them together were they could meet, hard not to fall in love with him."
Make sure to check back next week for more from my interview with Prichard and check out his podcast, Something to Wrestle, at MLW Radio with new episodes dropping every Friday. The MLW Radio Network features podcasts from the likes of "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, Eric Bischoff, Court Bauer, Kevin Sullivan, Mister Saint Laurent, Jim Cornette, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Conrad Thompson, former WWE writers and many others. Visit MLWRadio.com to learn more and listen to shows.