POST NEWS UPDATE: Bruce Prichard recounts talks of Shawn Michaels & Ric Flair main eventing WWE WrestleMania 24

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/04/18/post-news-update-bruce-prichard-recounts-talks-of-shawn-michaels-ric-flair-main-eventing-wwe-wrestlemania-24/

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

** WrestleMania 24 was the focus of Bruce Prichard’s latest Something to Wrestle with podcast. The sixth match on that card was Shawn Michaels versus Ric Flair in what would be Flair’s final match in WWE. Prichard said there were conversations about Michaels and Flair main eventing but explained that the finish would have been a ‘bummer’ and that is not the right type of bummer to leave the crowd with. 

It was (talks of Shawn Michaels & Ric Flair main eventing WrestleMania 24) but it was also the realization of, also kind of a bummer. So you don’t wanna leave people with a bummer. I think if you would have left it to the end, the expectations would have been so high that Ric was going to win and continue on that by doing that finish, that really would have left people on — not the right kind of bummer, that wouldn’t have been heat.

It’s a good story. This was a great story with Ric and it needed to be ended earlier.

At the 2008 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson inducted his father Rocky Johnson and grandfather ‘High Chief’ Peter Maivia. Prichard recalled there being ‘family drama’ and ‘turmoil’ surrounding The Rock at this time. He got the feeling that Johnson felt rushed but Prichard was just grateful he was able to make it.

Rock, there was a lot of turmoil with Rock that night (at the 2008 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony) just in general… Just with his family. There was a lot of family drama going on at the time and Rock was flying in just trying to get there at a decent hour and busting his ass to get there and stuff and I think that, you know, he was doing us a huge favor by coming in and doing this and when I say he was doing us a huge favor, it was great to have him. I think he would have walked over hot coals and swam there if he had to, you know, to induct his grandfather and his father. We were just happy to have him and it’s The Rock and I think he felt a little bit, sometimes rushed… I just felt like he felt rushed in some ways and frustrated at some things and it was like, dude, this is your night. Just don’t worry about sh*t because nothing means — if you’re worried about how much time you’re gonna have or where you’re gonna have it, don’t worry about that. You’ll have every second you could possibly want and/or need and whatever you want. It’s your night. It’s your night for your dad, it’s your night for your grandfather. Enjoy it, so it was dealing with a lot of that and things of that nature.

There was a point when WWE used their website to repost articles from wrestling news sites. Initially, Prichard was not for the idea but thinks it was something Vince McMahon wanted to do. He added that if people wanted news, they could come to WWE’s site for it.

I don’t know. I think it was Vince’s idea (to use WWE.com to repost articles from wrestling websites). It was hard to sell me on for damn sure. But the idea around it was if people are going to look for news, have them come to our site. People who are coming to our site, you do a search for anything, it’s gonna come to WWE and rather than let these other sites be allowed to have their scoops and their whatever and their lies and all their stuff, it was like, okay, well let’s take some of their stuff that’s pertinent and let’s have it on our site so our site can be the one site that people can go to and get all of it. Not just Dave’s lies but now you can get Wade’s lies and anybody else out there that’s doing their dirt sheets and gossip columns. We can now put it all under our umbrella under the proviso of, this is from this other site and give them their credit.

I didn’t like it just because it perpetuated the cycle of the gossip and everything else. You’re never gonna get away from that. That’s just life and I get that. But, that’s the reason why.

The 2008 Hall of Fame class included The Brisco Brothers (Jack & Gerald Brisco). Prichard stated that Jack and Jerry wanted him to induct them into the Hall of Fame but there was the suggestion to have someone who was actively on television do it. One pair that was suggested to do the honor was Matt and Jeff Hardy, but there was no personal connection between them and The Briscos so it was decided to have JBL (John Bradshaw Layfield) induct them.

Another crazy thing was Jack and Jerry (Brisco) wanted me to induct them into the (WWE) Hall of Fame, and they asked for me to induct them into the Hall of Fame but the feeling was they wanted someone on television, little more name recognition which I completely understood and I actually had originally suggested (John) Bradshaw (Layfield) and somebody suggested they wanted The Hardy brothers to induct them because they were brothers and they were like The Briscos, but there’s just no connection there and then Jeff had his unfortunate situation and Bradshaw was back in. So, I’m basically writing John’s speech for him and feeding him all these one-liners on The Briscos so that was an awful lot of fun.

** As Lio Rush was speaking to Sam Roberts on the Notsam Wrestling podcast, he recalled venturing into WWE and the powers that be initially wanting him to change his name.

That was big (that I got to keep my name in WWE). They tried to make me change my name. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was gonna have a different name… No, no (I don’t remember what it was gonna be).

I really don’t know what happened to make them just say, you know what? Just let him be Lio Rush but I’m glad that it happened.

He then dove into his comebacks after his major injuries that happened over the last several years. The first go-round, Lio felt that after his release from WWE, he was still a bit upset about that and did not get back into wrestling for the love of it. He said it was the same with his separated shoulder injury in 2022. Present day, Rush is back in love with the sport and is figuring out where would be the right environment for him to be full-time.

Truthfully, I feel like, you know, getting hurt after that, I was kind of already on the fence about wrestling because I was still kind of hurt about my WWE release in some way, shape or form so I was still kind of bitter, I was still angry. I feel maybe coming back, I was doing it for the wrong things. It wasn’t for the love of wrestling. It was probably to get my family out of the sh*t that I just put everybody in, and I feel like that’s what ultimately led up to me getting injured a second time because the first time around, I wasn’t doing it for the right reasons. I’m not even gonna say I wasn’t doing it for the right reasons. I wasn’t doing it for the love of wrestling. For the moment, the feeling of being inside of a wrestling ring. I wasn’t doing it for that reason. This time around, I feel like I’m in love with wrestling again. I found it again. I feel like I’m having fun with it again. I feel like I’m making it work with what I have outside of wrestling but still figuring that out, ultimately where I wanna be because I’m still a free agent at the end of the day. But, yeah, I feel good about where I am right now. Even my rehab felt different than the first rehab that I had. I feel stronger, I feel healthier, I feel more enlightened mentally.

** A Q&A from the Chris Jericho Cruise was uploaded to the Talk Is Jericho podcast feed. Jericho expressed his thought that one of the biggest misses in WWE history is the company not having a singles feud between himself and The Undertaker that resulted in them competing at a pay-per-view.

The one kind of (dream match) that I did wrestle… basically once was Undertaker. We had a great match on SmackDown and I remember when I came back — I was super hungover too. We were in England and it was my birthday the night before and I was f*cking so hungover. But it’s like, Undertaker, smack, smack, smack and we had this match and when I came back through the curtain, I remember he was just sitting in a chair with his straps down and he was just like, ‘Yup, that’s money,’ and I was like, ‘Where have you been all my life?’ It’s like when I worked with (Bryan) Danielson this year, it’s like we’ve been in the same company for ten years in WWE, we never had a match. Undertaker and I never had a f*cking pay-per-view match. Just this one match because he was always on SmackDown when I was on Raw, vice versa. Every time we’d cross paths was always great. I actually even won the title from him once in Elimination Chamber but, we never had a singles pay-per-view match and feud and to me, that’s one of the biggest misses in WWE history because I know we would have had a great story and a great angle.

** While guest appearing on The Shining Wizards Wrestling Podcast, Aaron Henare shared that when he came over to AEW with United Empire, he was supposed to wrestle but there was an injury someone else suffered which changed the plan. Henare said he got a nice payday just to corner his team and do a run-in on Rampage.

So I was supposed to have a match there but, I think somebody got injured. There was like an ankle injury and they (AEW) ended up flying me over. All I did was Rampage, tackle Trent Beretta and then corner the boys, second the boys, the tag boys so, big flight, big, fat payday for a Rampage tackle.

In the 2022 NJPW G1 Climax, Henare was part of the C block. He’ll be surprised if he’s not in this year’s tournament.

Nobody’s been told yet (about the 2023 G1 participants). But the performances that our generation have been doing since last year’s G1, it’ll be weird if I’m not in it and people like me, people like Shota (Umino), people like (Ren) Narita, Hikuleo, our generation of guys. I did alright last year and I think I’ve done alright all of this year leading up to it. If I’m not in it, I’ll be surprised but there’s also Osaka-jō (Hall), the big Osaka show before G1. Its another opportunity to earn that match, you know? Which is what happened last year. I didnt even know I was in the G1 last year until Osaka-jō. So, I found out when all the fans found out, when I was watching the TV like, ‘What the hell? Oh, cool man. Hell yeah, G1.’

** Episode #276 of Sunday Night’s Main Event featured an interview with Dirty Dango. He expressed that he wants to end his in-ring career on a more serious note in-ring-wise. Dango added that he’s already checked the comedy box.

Not saying I was as good a wrestler as Norman Smiley but he was a great wrestler, Catch wrestler and he got to WCW, he didn’t really wrestle at all… Exactly (Norman wiggled in WCW) so, not my whole run but most of my run in WWE was kind of more comedic and not a lot of wrestling. It was more character-based so now being back in IMPACT Wrestling and being on the independent scene, I think it gives me more of an opportunity to get in there with guys like Nick Aldis (at Dungeon Wrestling) and really show what I can do which is kind of fun. I kind of wanna end my career, my body of work on more of a wrestling serious note, kind of checked the comedy box. The thing is if you do comedy and you can do it well — I think a guy like R-Truth, it’s like playing Kramer on Seinfeld. You’re almost typecast into that role and then people only book you as a comedy guy so, Bret (Hart) and the guys up here in Calgary having the faith in me to go out in the main event and have a good wrestling match with a great wrestler like Nick Aldis, it means the world to me and I really appreciate it.

Looking back at early critiques pre-Fandango, he said the main criticism while he was in FCW was that he was a good wrestler with no personality.

I was in developmental for years in FCW and the whole critique on me was just, he’s a good wrestler with no personality, and then I got called up and they put the Fandango character on me and Vince (McMahon) is like… ‘You’re not a wrestler, you’re a ballroom dancer. I have a whole locker room full of wrestlers’ so, everything that I kind of knew in terms of in between that 20 x 20 was thrown out the window.

** There’s an extensive interview with KAIRI that Proresu-TODAY conducted. The outlet asked her what can be done to attract more eyes to the women’s wrestling scene in Japan. After she responded, she recounted advice from Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque about focusing on in-ring psychology and creating drama on-screen.

In order to expand and create a boom (in the Japanese women’s wrestling scene), we need to attract lightweight fans, so we need to make it easy for them to understand and watch. We need to make the characters and appearance, the content of the matches, the microphones, and so on, more and more. There are many good fighters in Japan.

I felt that many people came to see the fighters (in the U.S.), not so much for their skills or the content of the matches, but more because they wanted to see this fighter. This may be unrelated, but in WWE, we are taught to reduce the number of techniques. That is why even John Cena, for example, only does very simple moves. The higher you get, the less moves you really do. The higher you get, the less techniques you do. When the bell rings, the audience is at its peak just by standing on their feet. The reason is that there is a deep story and drama leading up to that point. Triple H often told me that while technique is important, I should learn, ‘Make a story’ (psychology), think about it, and create drama. Dangerous techniques such as head and neck drops are forbidden… and since the referee has absolute authority and the rules are very detailed, I had to think hard about how to make the event more exciting with these restrictions in place. I was thinking about how to make the matches more exciting with such restrictions.

At All Star Grand Queendom on April 23rd, KAIRI, Natsupoi and Saori Anou are challenging Risa Sera, Suzu Suzuki and Hiragi Kurumi for the Artist of STARDOM Championships. KAIRI heaped praise onto Suzuki and the veteran presence she has for a talent at the age of 20.

Suzu Suzuki is the most interesting. She’s a young girl, isn’t she? What on earth happened to her to be able to do it with such dignity? She already has the air of a veteran wrestler, and she is already able to control the audience’s hearts on the microphone and in her matches. When I think back to when I was younger, I don’t think I would have been able to do that. I would like to do a little more research to find out who the hell she is.

** On April 27th, NJPW is going to release the 2023 Best of the Super Juniors 30 lineup.

** AEW’s Colt Cabana, Orange Cassidy and Willow Nightingale joined THE BEST SHOW with Tom Scharpling. 

** Kevin Hart welcomed Bianca Belair onto his Cold as Balls show: 

** Newly crowned IMPACT World Champion Steve Maclin and Dustin Rhodes appeared on Busted Open Radio.

** There is a Hiroshi Tanahashi exhibit in Beppu, Japan.

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.