Contributing Writer

Bruce Prichard, (Brother Love in the WWF/E), and Vince McMahon’s right hand man for 15 years, has brought his 44 years of experience in professional wrestling to the exciting world of podcast.

From introducing the world to the Undertaker, to being a member of the WWE creative team, as well as a producer, director and senior executive, Bruce has done it all and seen it all. Now with Conrad Thompson as co-host, Bruce’s adventures in wrestling come alive for all of us to enjoy with the extremely popular podcast, “Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard.”

It truly is an exciting time to be alive if you are a wrestling fan and into the podcasts that are so popular today.

The man who I am proud to call a friend and who has hit lighting in a bottle, not once, not twice but three times is none other than Conrad Thompson.

Conrad first found podcast success teaming up with the Nature Boy Ric Flair creating “Woooo Nation with Ric Flair.” Conrad followed that podcast up with “Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard” and recently with “What Happen When with Tony Schiavone.”

You can read all about Woooo Nation at www.militarynews.com/norfolk-navy-flagship/sports/professional_wrestling/behind-the-scenes-of-wooooo-nation/article_94048bd5-145a-504d-99c8-3d78712897eb.html

Today, we will focus on “Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard” and next week we will follow up with “What Happened When with Tony Schiavone.”

Yiorgio (Y): Thank you Conrad, it’s a pleasure to talk with you again. I love your show with Bruce. You and Bruce are averaging over 3 million downloads a month and I know you have been real close to 4 million downloads. Super congratulations. You also have taken and continue to take the show on a tour nationally and soon internationally.

Conrad Thompson (CT): Thank you for the kind words. Yes we are on the road already, and really enjoying the amazing turnout of the fans. Every one of the shows is different: On June 18 we will be in Saint Louis, Missouri. July 15, Bruce will be in Dublin, Ireland, and tickets can be found at Notarib.com for that show. July 16 Bruce will be in England, July 16-18 in Birmingham, Manchester and London respectfully. You can go to hookedonevents.co.uk we then pick up with shows in the U.S. that I will also be at. On July 23, we will be in Philadelphia with an Extreme guest, and Saturday and Sunday the weekend of WWE’s Summerslam we will be in New York. In October we will be Detroit, Huston in November and Boston in December. Go to livenation.com and search Bruce Prichard for times, dates, prices, etc.

Y: So how did you and Bruce originally meet and how did the idea of doing a podcast come to be?

CT: I met Bruce through Ric Flair. Bruce and I hung out a couple of times. With Bruce’s background in production, that led to us doing some business together and in our quiet time sitting around drinking beer, I would ask, ‘Hey man, What happen when?’ and he would answer my questions. But then I asked what happened when “The Radicalz” jumped over? How did you sign them all at the same time? He gave me an hour-long answer that had me at the edge of my seat, and I wanted more. It was a lightning bolt moment. I said, ‘Dude, that’s a podcast.’

Bruce was like, ‘No I don’t want to do a podcast, they suck, and you got to have guests.’ I said, ‘No, nobody cares about quests. They want what you just did and it’s a way better version of a shoot interview because it’s a specific topic, long form. This is what people like me, a wrestling fan, are thirsty for. I am the target demographic for a podcast. You need to do this. Over the course of two weeks I beat him down, I convinced him to do one and he had one caveat he demanded that I do it with him.

Y: You know Conrad, time and logistics prevented Bruce and I from having our interview at this time but I did hear him on Steve Austin’s podcast. Bruce said, “ I was working with Conrad and 1st Family Mortgage doing some business stuff with them and when he would ask me, I would tell him stories. One night he said Bruce that’s a podcast. I said no but finally I said I’d do it if you do it with me. He did and that is our format, we do not do guests. We do a poll on tweeter; the audience decides what the subject matter is. Conrad does all the research and all I got to do is sit back and tell stories.”

So Conrad, how do you feel the show has evolved from your perspective from the type of questions you ask to the humor and the banter that goes back and forth between the two of you from the first one to now almost 50 shows later?

CT: Bruce has loosened up and he has made a conscience effort to quit being so guarded and just trust the process and me. We were already good friends at that point and had really good rapport but now we have a better on air rapport maybe because we have a little bit of a rhythm and we figured what the people want is the whole story in detail.

Y: Wow, and your shows go on for two to three hours. I love it; I do not want them to end. I just had a revelation. It’s the same feeling I had as a kid when I went to the matches. I was cheering for who ever was loosing to come back and fight on because I did not want the night to end.

CT: You know that long format goes against every conventional wisdom in the podcast industry. Every matrix says you should not go past 1:20 min, you should be under an hour and now there is a push to make them 40 min, 20 min even 10 min. Meanwhile we are going the opposite way. Some of our shows have been over 3 hours and we had to actually trim it down because the file was too big for us to share. We know if the shows were shorter we probably have more downloads but we know if the content is riveting they will keep coming back. And we work hard to make sure the content is good stuff.

Y: Your frustration with Bruce on the “No Holds Barred” episode made it real to me the listener, of how seriously you take your part. You were pissed off at him for not being very forthcoming with his info.

CT:Yes we were on Skype I hung up on him and called him back. I put in 8-15 hours before I call him and he just has to answer. On my end, I’ve got all the equipment, doing all the leveling, the research, putting it all together’ and all I need you to do is give me some good answers. I’m giving him the wrestling mad-lib and all he has to do is fill in the blanks and it will be captivating and funny, entertaining, insightful and educational. I felt like in that particular episode I was getting one-word answers. I needed him to give me something.

Y: I love you and thank you for being real. I hear the frustration in your voice as you are remembering it. But I must tell you I do agree with you that Bruce is so much better and gives much longer answers now.

On Jim Ross’s podcast recently Bruce said to JR “You know when it comes to Conrad, I was on Eric Bischoff’s podcast and Eric said that Conrad is like a prosecutor, and I said yes he is, but I love Conrad for that.”

Y: Who are some of the names that you are impressed with that listen to the podcast?

CT: The biggest name for me has been Rick Ruben (former co-president of Columbia Records) and when I got a direct message from Rick Ruben it was one of those I have to tell someone in my office moments I have such respect for him and to know that he is listening is unbelievable to me as far as WWE more guys listen then don’t when I go to the WWE shows a lot of the guys come over and introduce themselves to me and tell me how much they appreciate the show the biggest thrill for me was Paul Heyman who introduced himself to me late November at a show then followed me on twitter sometime this year. That’s a pretty good deal because ECW was my absolute favorite as a kid and to know he listens to something I do and appreciates it is awesome. Sean Waltman has been a huge supporter and just put us over and me specifically on the Pro Wrestling Torch and lots of guys who are on WWE TV Monday and Tuesday and whose names we shouted out. A lot of them are my age and they grew up watching the same events we talk about and what inspired them to get into the business. Now Ricky Morton listening shocked me. At Orlando this year at WrestleMania 33 he told me how much he enjoys the show and Bruce’s impression of Jim Cornette. It’s weird when guys you have grown up being a fan off are telling you they are a fan of your work. I’m just a fan. I buy tickets to shows. I have replica belts, I’m a fan, so for them to listen it is super humbling. It’s a great honor.

Yiorgo is a Hampton Roads arts, entertainment and sports writer. A stage, TV and movie actor, he is also an educator, motivational speaker, writer, storyteller and columnist.

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