1. Home
  2. Miscellaneous
  3. IWF Interview with WWE’s Dr. Tom Prichard

Dr. Tom PrichardIndependent Wrestling Federation

Website: www.WrestlingIWF.com

MySpace: www.MySpace.com/WrestlingIWF
Exclusive IWF Interview with WWE’s Dr. Tom Prichard:
by: Independent Wrestling Federation

Posted: August 2, 2007

(WEST PATERSON, NJ)- Independent Wrestling Federation is pleased to announce that WWE Developmental Talent Trainer Dr. Tom Prichard of Florida Championship Wrestling returns to conduct a WWE Seminar, Clinic and Tryout at IWF Wrestling School, 32 Willow Way, West Paterson, NJ. 
Prichard, a former WWE Tag Team Champion with The Heavenly Bodies and The Bodydonnas, hosts the three-day clinic on Friday, August 17 from 6:30 to 10:30 pm, Saturday, August 18 from 12 to 5 pm, and Sunday, August 19 from 11 am to 2:30 pm.  Day one and two include a seminar, in-ring drills, basics and fundamentals.  Day three includes a videotape study, promos and evaluation.
This is a must for all wrestlers and students to have an opportunity to get scouted and coached by Prichard in this three-day clinic.  This marks the 10th clinic Tom will host at IWF Wrestling School since 2002. 

As we look ahead to the upcoming Clinic, here is an interview with Tom Prichard as we probe his role as a trainer and coach, and seek knowledge about what it takes to make it as a successful professional wrestler…

IWF: First, tell us about the early stages of your wrestling career and about your training?

TOM: I am a lifelong wrestling fan and have watched my whole life.  From the time I was 4 years old I knew I wanted to be a professional wrestler.  I started watching on TV in El Paso, TX and there were great workers like The Funks, Harley Race, The Infernos, The Von Brauners, Nick and Jerry Kozak, Grizzly Smith, Rickey Romero, Gory Guerrero, El Santo and many other top names who I didn’t know at the time were top names pretty much everywhere they went.  Or, they were being groomed for a top spot.  West Texas was run by the Funk family and they were very smart in how they did business.  When I was 10, we moved to Houston and got acquainted with a whole new crew of wrestlers; Wahoo McDaniel, Johnny Valentine, The Spoiler, Gary Hart, The Great Malenko, Fritz Von Erich, Jose Lothario, and Dory Funk Jr. just won the NWA World championship before we moved so he was now a touring champion, going from territory to territory so I was able to still see some of my favorites from West Texas.  Paul Boesch was the promoter and we were able to go to the matches every Friday night at the Sam Houston Coliseum in the 70’s. I made it a point to be around the entrance the guys arrived at in the coliseum and would try to talk to some while other times I just watched.  I finally introduced myself to Paul and told him I wanted to wrestle.  Of course at 11 years old I was told there’s no way but I was persistent and never gave up.  From the time I was 10 up until I was 20 years old I was at the matches every week and in between those years I managed to work in the Houston office during summers, referee, second and set up rings.  I was a gofer and did anything I could to be a part of the business.  I never gave up my hopes and dreams.  There wasn’t a lot of encouragement to go around either but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

IWF: During your wrestling training, who was most instrumental in your development and what were some of the most important tips and advice you received?

TOM: The most influential person in my early training and development was my karate instructor, Bill Gray.  About the same time we moved to Houston, my brother and I took karate classes and that’s where I met Bill.  Bill brought a speaker to class one night who said, “There are 3 kinds of people in the world: Those who ‘try’.  They’ll never make it because when they don’t they say “Well, at least I tried.”  Those who ‘give it their best shot’.  They’ll never make it because when they don’t they say “Well, at least I gave it my best shot.”  Then there’s that third kind of person who says ‘Whatever It Takes.’  There is no denying these people because they will not stop until they accomplish their goal.  There is no ‘try’ or ‘best shot.’  I thought that was the most profound thing I ever heard.  What’s possible is done, what’s impossible will be done.  How true!  I was told I was too small, couldn’t wrestle, didn’t have ‘it’, blah, blah, blah.  I knew what I wanted to do and while I wasn’t sure exactly how I would get there I was going to get there!  I took a lot of risks and made a lot of mistakes but that’s life.  I just couldn’t see myself doing anything else.  Paul Boesch letting me work in the office and train with The Iron Sheik on Friday afternoons in an empty coliseum was a big help as well.  Paul was a great influence and inspiration to me too.

IWF: How long did it take you to “get it” and were there any defining moments that stand out when you truly understood what performing and the business were all about?

TOM: The rule of thumb when I had my first match (1979) was you had to be working for at least 5 years before you would be allowed to call a spot or anything in the match.  Back then you were put with a veteran every night and you listened to him.  That’s how you really learn this business is on the job training and experienced veterans pass down their knowledge.  I think I finally ‘got it’ when I turned heel in Louisiana.  Then I was able to try things and try my hand at calling a match.  It was right around my 5 year mark after working 5-7 nights a week for 5 years!  It’s next to impossible to fathom that today.  There’s just no where to go and do something like that.  Going to the Pensacola/Alabama territory really gave me the freedom to try my hand at some ideas and get comfortable about who I was as a performer.  But then again, going to WWE it was like starting all over again!  The great thing about this business is it’s constantly changing.  And the bad thing about this business is it’s constantly changing!

IWF: In 1996, you began a new career as a trainer and coach for WWE.  It is well known you had a hand in preparing The Rock, Kurt Angle and Ken Shamrock among others for their careers  What were the qualities and attributes that separated those that made it to the big dance from those who didn’t make it?

TOM: The biggest qualities these guys all have is they are students of the game.  They kept looking for improvement and new ways to do things.  It wasn’t “just doing moves for the sake of doing moves.”  In the case of Rock and Angle they both became extremely entertaining on the mic and in the ring.  Shamrock had a lot of talent as well.  They all had the “Whatever It Takes” attitude!

IWF: Kevin Knight opened IWF Wrestling School in 1999 because there weren’t any quality schools in the area.  His role was also that of a student as he began brining in countless stars and legends to conduct clinics.  In addition to yourself, WWE’s Steven Richards, WWE’s Nunzio, WWE Hall of Famer Tito Santana, former WWE Intercontinental Champion Honky Tonk Man, WWE legend Ricky Steamboat, former UFC and WWE Champion Ken Shamrock, former WWE Diva Dawn Marie, former WWE star Tom Brandi, former ECW Champion Steve Corino, and TNA’s Simon Diamond have hosted clinics.  How valuable are these sessions for trainees?

TOM: The hardest part starting out today is finding a reputable school and coach who knows what he’s doing.  To be able to hear it from the people who have “been there, done that” is immeasurable.  No two people have broke into the business the same way but the successful ones with longevity know and understand what someone must do in order to follow some direction.  No one knows everything, therefore it is good to hear a different point of view as long as the information is constructive and helping the students attain their goals.  You never know when you might see or hear that ‘one thing’ that inspires you or answers that burning question nobody else seemed to have the answer to.  Too many times trainers give answers they “think” is right because they read it in a book or magazine. 

IWF: Kevin Knight formulated his coaching style for IWF Wrestling School by combining all the valuable knowledge gained during these superstar clinics.  Who was influential in helping you to develop your coaching style?

TOM: Once again, Bill Gray.  His method of teaching kept things fun, interesting and informative.  I actually learned and wanted to learn more.  You must have a passion to learn the business but I also feel a good coach must have a passion for coaching.  A good coach must also be willing to change and adapt as things change. 

IWF: You conducted many clinics throughout the country, including developing a relationship with IWF Wrestling School in 2002.  Since that time, 16 different IWF graduates performed with WWE.  Now, there are thousands of independent wrestlers in the country.  What qualities and attributes separate an ordinary “independent” wrestler from a first-class “professional” wrestler?

TOM: Attitude.  Too many guys think it’s all about how many moonsaults or huracanranas they can do.  Stone Cold Steve Austin has NEVER done a moonsault!  Less is more!  The real pros understand it is about quality, NOT quantity.  This is a business and it should be enjoyed.  The object is not to kick each other as hard as you can.  It’s to give the impression you are beating the hell out of each other!  Pros understand this.  Indie/Outlaws don’t!

IWF: Yourself, Honky Tonk Man and Tito Santana among others, have been credited for the success of IWF Wrestling School as a result of your roles as guest instructors.  The common theme is basics, fundamentals and storytelling.  To some young wrestlers, this seems boring when compared to stunts, dives and barbed wire.  Any idiot can do a stunt, a dive or fall into barbed wire, but it takes a skilled professional athlete to master the basics and tell a logical story.  Why are these the most important elements for a wrestler to learn? 

TOM: We can teach moves.  We can’t teach charisma or passion.  How much talent does it take to do 15 huracarranas, 12 moonsaults, go thru 20 tables and still get up and do a flying dive off the cage?  I’m sure it takes something but the object again, is to tell a story  and entertain people.  The Rock will still get more of a reaction by raising his eyebrow than some 165 pound guy stapling a dollar to his tongue.

IWF: Today, with the short attention span of society in general and instant gratification expected, many trainees and young wrestlers expect to make it to WWE after just a few months or few years of training.  What are some things that young wrestlers need to keep in mind during the early years of their career?

TOM: Worry about having a solid foundation before worrying about “getting my tattoo on my trunks and ring jacket!”  Without knowing the BASICS and having a solid foundation you will go nowhere fast! Ask veterans who have been where you want to be for advice!  Become a student of the game and live this business 24/7.  Don’t live your gimmick…live and understand the demands and sacrifices required of this business.

IWF: With almost 30 years of experience as a wrestler, trainer and coach, you have seen countless wrestlers come and go.  What are the keys to longevity and a prosperous wrestling career?

TOM: Attitude.  Understanding ones strengths and weaknesses.  Learn everything you can about everything connected to the business.  It won’t last forever.  Are you thought of or capable enough to pass down what you learned?  Longevity means WORKING SMART!  That doesn’t mean be lazy, it means work smart so you don’t get a serious injury and aren’t able to make a living any more.

IWF: Thanks for the interview Tom and thanks for your time!
TOM: Any time.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone!

For information regarding the Tom Prichard Wrestling Seminar and Clinic at IWF Wrestling School in West Paterson, NJ, on August 17-18-19, please visit www.WrestlingIWF.com.   Prichard also appears at the IWF Desperate Measures Weekend live events Saturday, August 18, 7:30 pm and Sunday, August 19, 4 pm at IWF Centre, West Paterson, NJ.
Established in 1999, IWF Wrestling School has trained hundreds of wrestlers from 15 states and six countries that compete in bouts for organizations around the globe, including WWE, ECW, OVW and TNA.  Open House Tours are hosted Tuesdays and Wednesdays anytime between 6:30-10 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays between 12-4 pm.

IWF Wrestling School is recognized as the premiere training facility in the Northeast by countless media outlets.  Independent Wrestling Federation produces family-friendly live events, hosts Birthday Parties, and conducts Field Trips for youth and recreation organizations.   For information visit www.WrestlingIWF.com.
Independent Wrestling Federation LLC.
Desperate Measures Weekend
Saturday, August, 18, 2007, 7:30 pm
& Sunday, August 19, 2007, 4:00 pm
@ IWF Centre, 32 Willow Way, West Paterson, NJ

WWE Legend Dr. Tom Prichard
Former Tag Team Champion w/ The Heavenly Bodies & The Bodydonnas

Card for August 18 (Day 1):

Double Main Event: Return Match for the IWF Heavyweight Title
* Special Guest Referee: WWE Legend Dr. Tom Prichard
Tony Torres w/ Eloy Fiesta vs. Franciz (IWF Champion) w/ Commissioner Rich Ross

Double Main Event: IWF American Title Match
* Title Can Change Hands via Count-out or Disqualification
Kevin Knight vs. Travis Blake (Champion) w/ Commissioner Rich Ross

IWF Tag Team Title Match
Burnin’ Mike Durnin & Steve Camacho vs. Justin Corino & Frank Scoleri (Champions)

IWF Junior Heavyweight Title Match
Antonio Rivera (Champion) w/ Eloy Fiesta vs. Chris Steeler

Contender’s Bout for Future IWF Junior Title Match:
Jana vs. Nick Sabre
Dan Schwartz vs. Mister Nick Gregory

* Autograph & Photo Session with WWE Legend Dr. Tom Prichard!

* Raffle Drawing to win 2 free tickets to Yankees vs. Seattle on Monday, Sept 3, 1 pm @ Yankee Stadium!

* Plus much more to be announced.  Check back soon for details at www.WrestlingIWF.com.

Card for August 19 (Day 2):

Featuring: WWE Legend Dr. Tom Prichard

And: Kevin Knight, Tony Torres, Antonio Rivera, Eloy Fiesta, Franciz, Travis Blake, Commissioner Rich Ross, Justin Corino, Frank Scoleri, Burnin’ Mike Durnin, Steve Camacho, Nick Sabre, Chris Steeler, Jana, Matt Bennett, Barry Delaney & more.

* Autograph & Photo Session with WWE Legend Dr. Tom Prichard!

* Raffle Drawing to win 2 free tickets to Yankees vs. Seattle on Monday, Sept 3, 1 pm @ Yankee Stadium!

* Plus much more to be announced.  Check back soon for details at www.WrestlingIWF.com.

Watch the August edition of the Eruption Webcast at www.WrestlingIWF.com, which provides a recap of Summer Sizzler, and a preview of the upcoming Desperate Measures Weekend.