Dr. Tom Prichard spent years within WWE as a performer and then a trainer at Deep South Wrestling. He and WWE’s Kane now have their own wrestling school that’s located in Knoxville, Tennessee which is located in the county that Kane is mayor of.
“We believe in the basics and fundamentals. If you don’t have a solid foundation, you have nothing to build on and nothing to work with. Some people don’t get that. That’s OK! We set them straight right off the bat,” said Prichard. “We have a basics 12-week course, and you’re not going to learn everything in 12 weeks. In fact, you’re going to barely scratch the surface. But you have to start somewhere and we need to get everybody on the same page.
“Some of the guys who open wrestling schools need to go to wrestling school themselves. You’re going to learn the basics. You’re going to learn how to tie up. You’re going to learn timing. You’re going to learn what this business is really all about. There’s a lot more to this business than people really know or anticipate before they get to us.”
Wrestling has changed since Prichard came up in the 70s as performers are more athletic than ever before. He was asked about the more high-flying aspect of pro wrestling seen at companies such as AEW.
“This is something that every generation goes through and now that I am kind of in that boat of, ‘Hey kid, get off my lawn!’ I want to see the good in every aspect of wrestling because I want everybody to have options and not just have there be one company. But the issues I have are just the fundamentals and the basics,” stated Prichard. “You have to have a solid foundation. You can do all the flip, flop, and fly ? have a Corona and toupees or hurricanrannas and topes. But if you can’t tell a solid story, you’re going to fade away real quick.
“Having said that, we live in a very different world than I grew up in. So, when I watch it, I don’t see the story in it but I realize I’m not their demo – I’m not. I’m not watching video games on TV. I don’t really play video games. So, I can’t relate to it. That said, I like Darby Allin. I like some of the guys they have there on AEW.”
Prichard said that with some promotions having up to eight hours of original TV every week, you need lots of interesting content and thinks that may be a reason why performers come up with flippy moves like we see.
He also compared wrestling to other sports like football and baseball. Prichard said that blocking and tackling never go out of style in football and hitting a home run never does so in baseball. The same can be said for the basics of pro wrestling.
“You still have to know the fundamentals and have the foundation for what you’re trying to do,” stated Prichard. “You’re trying to get the story across. I don’t mind some of the nuances but I don’t like some of the stuff that is ridiculous ? and that’s just my opinion. But I don’t like to see 14 superkicks and nobody sells anything. I don’t like to see some of the stuff that just looks hokey. Look, pro wrestling by design is a little bit hokey but you could put some effort into it and try to make it look less hokey. Let me say that.”
Another big change in pro wrestling is the increase of intergender matches, notably in Impact Wrestling. Prichard is not on board with it because he says it lacks realism.
“I am not a huge fan of intergender wrestling and here’s why. I love Tessa Blanchard. I think she is a hell of a talent. I think she’s a nice lady also,” said Prichard. “But if you have Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns and they beat the hell out of each other and they take each other to the limit. Then, if you take Brock Lesnar and put him against a woman and he bumps and sells ? no matter how fit or strong she is… I’m a guy who still opens the car door for his wife. Equality? Yes. But, physically? Hold on!
“Brian Cage is a big guy. He sold for Tessa the same way he sold for guys. Does it take me out of my suspension of belief? No. But, it made me kind of watch going, ‘hmmm.’ ?I don’t know, man. Maybe I’m out of date. I just don’t… I’m going to get myself in trouble by saying what I did. But I just don’t think that makes any sense and I don’t think that does anybody any good.”