|Born||March 7, 1963|
El Paso, Texas, United States
|Residence||Stamford, Connecticut, United States|
|Family||Tom Prichard (brother)|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||The Artful Dodger|
|Billed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Billed weight||235 lb (107 kg)|
|Billed from||El Paso, Texas|
|Trained by||Tom Prichard|
Bruce Prichard (born March 7, 1963) is an American podcaster and professional wrestling booker, commentator, manager, and producer. As of August 2020, Prichard is employed by WWE, where he is a Senior Vice President and working as the Executive Director of SmackDown and Raw. As a manager for the promotion, Prichard performed under the ring name Brother Love and served as the original manager of The Undertaker. During Prichard's run as Brother Love, he hosted his own segment, The Brother Love Show where he would usually support the heel wrestlers. After leaving WWE in 2008, Prichard served as the Senior Vice President of Programming and Talent Relations for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA, now Impact Wrestling).
Professional wrestling career
Prichard began his career working for Paul Boesch out of Houston, Texas. At 10 years old, he sold posters with great success. At 12, he worked as a ring announcer and sometimes referee. Due to Boesch's working relationship with Bill Watts' Universal Wrestling Federation in the 1980s, Prichard would also act as ring announcer for some UWF shows.
After Boesch sold his Houston territory to the WWF, Prichard would move there, initially as a color commentator for televised WWF events from the Houston area.
World Wrestling Federation
Early years (1987–1988)
After entering the World Wrestling Federation in 1987, he first occasionally worked as an announcer for the WWF's television programs alongside Mike McGuirk and "The Duke of Dorchester" Pete Doherty and occasionally Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, before creating the Brother Love character.
Brother Love Show (1988–1991)
In June 1988, Prichard debuted as Brother Love, a red-faced, smarmy, dishonest, effusive and boisterous "preacher" character dressed in a conspicuous white suit, tight red shirt and white tie, who claimed to preach not the word of God, but "the word of love." He was best known for his disingenuous catchphrase "I love you!", during which he would enunciate each word for several seconds in a thick Southern accent. The character was inspired by controversial televangelists of the time, with Prichard specifically citing Robert Tilton as his most direct inspiration.
Introduced to the WWF by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Love hosted a segment on the World Wrestling Federation's syndicated and cable television programs called "The Brother Love Show", in which he would interview wrestlers. The segment debuted on the June 19, 1988 airing of Wrestling Challenge, and would be "promoted" to the WWF's "A-show," Superstars of Wrestling, first appearing on the October 8, 1988 edition.
The segment was patterned largely after Piper's Pit, where Brother Love would berate face wrestlers (especially Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior) and openly support such heels as "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and Bobby Heenan. It was explained that DiBiase was Brother Love's main "benefactor." More than once, a wrestling feud was set up because of what occurred on "The Brother Love Show" (including Hulk Hogan's feuds vs. Big Boss Man (1988–1989) and Earthquake (1990), and the Jake Roberts-Rick Martel feud from late 1990 to early 1991). The Brother Love Show was also the setting for the unveiling of Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Championship belt and Rick Martel's "Arrogance" cologne.
Brother Love made his pay-per-view debut at the inaugural SummerSlam event in 1988 at Madison Square Garden when he interviewed face wrestler "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan. He later featured prominently in WrestleMania V in 1989 where Rowdy Roddy Piper in his first appearance in the WWF since his 'retirement" after WrestleMania III, "de-skirted" Brother Love of his "kilt" after taking over Piper's Pit. A year later, Sgt. Slaughter bestowed a medal upon Brother Love during SummerSlam for being the "greatest American."
Occasionally, Brother Love provided color commentary for the WWF's televised events; unlike during his early WWF run under his real name and using his natural voice (as Prichard), where he was pro-face, Brother Love was pro heel. His most famous assignment was alongside Sean Mooney for the WWF's televised event at Madison Square Garden on January 21, 1991, where he was roughed up by the Ultimate Warrior on his way to the ring to face "Macho Man" Randy Savage in a steel cage just two days after Savage had caused the Warrior to lose the WWF World Heavyweight Championship to Sgt. Slaughter at the Royal Rumble.
In a 2016 podcast with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Prichard recalled that he had long been a fan of evangelist preachers, more for their theatrics than their religion. When Prichard first pitched the idea of Brother Love to WWF owner Vince McMahon, Vince generally liked the idea but did not believe that Prichard "had the face" for the role. Determined to get himself into the role that he had created, Prichard, dressed as Brother Love (minus the red face paint he would appear on television with), invaded a meeting at the WWF's headquarters between McMahon, the head of WWF International and the WWF's chief financial officer. There, he gave an impromptu two minute sermon before quickly departing. When he arrived back at his office at the WWF's television studios five minutes later, he discovered that he had two missed calls from McMahon who he was relieved to find had liked what he had seen. However, Vince wanted to see how it worked on camera. Thus, the Brother Love character became a reality. Prichard also told that the bright red face make up was unknown to him the first time he appeared on television as Brother Love. As it was a television taping, Prichard thought it was just normal make up being applied and he did not look in the mirror, not knowing that Vince McMahon had ordered that he be given the red face.
Manager of The Undertaker (1990–1991)
On November 19, 1990, Brother Love managed The Undertaker, who at the time was known as "Kane the Undertaker," for his in-ring debut during a taping of WWF Superstars of Wrestling. That match, and another one for a taping of WWF Wrestling Challenge the following night, aired on television after his appearance live at the 1990 Survivor Series in which he was part of a Survivor Series style match between a team led by Dusty Rhodes and a team led by Ted DiBiase. DiBiase would reveal the mystery partner as The Undertaker. This was the first time Brother Love appeared on television as The Undertaker's manager. Brother Love continued to manage The Undertaker until February 1991, when he sold his contract to Paul Bearer.
Controversy and release (1991)
The character of Brother Love was controversial by its design and nature, since it was introduced around the time of the late 1980s scandals involving televangelists including Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart. In its antics bearing it was an artistic hyperbole and apparently played off of aforementioned figures. As such several of the segments on the "Brother Love Show" that was featured on WWF TV program was explicitly offensive and exploitative and bordered on the lines of bad taste. One such particular segment involved Brother Love playing the part of a charlatan "faith healer", where he induced an actor, pretending to be blind and crippled, to "see" and "walk" on command. Prichard was released from the WWF in May 1991, shortly after the "I Can See!" segment aired. He was "offed" i.e., the on-screen demise of Brother Love was brought about when The Ultimate Warrior attacked him and beat him nearly unconscious, breaking his ribs, and destroyed The Brother Love Show set, slamming the lectern, tearing the curtains and knocking down a light. Prichard's release, however, was actually due to personal and private issues that he had at the time and not because of the "I Can See" segment and he would eventually be re-hired and return to the WWF the following year (1992), albeit in a different capacity not reprising the Brother Love role.
Global Wrestling Federation (1991–1992)
After his release from the WWF, Prichard eventually joined the Dallas-based Global Wrestling Federation, where he worked as a manager and ringside interviewer between 1991 and 1992, using his real name.
He began as a babyface color commentator, but eventually turned heel right in the middle of calling an ESPN televised match with GWF play-by-play announcer Craig Johnson. He managed Barry Horowitz in the GWF, and gave him the nickname "The Winner." Horowitz and Prichard feuded with GWF Light Heavyweight champion Chaz Taylor. Prichard said mockingly of Taylor, "He may be a lightweight but he's no champion!" After failing to win the title from Taylor, both Horowitz and Prichard left the GWF.
Return to WWF/E (1992–2008)
Prichard returned to the WWF in September 1992 and portrayed two short-lived characters. He first appeared as The Wizard, a heel color commentator on All-American Wrestling (who never appeared on camera during the character's brief run), and then as Reo Rodgers, a satire on Dusty Rhodes. Rodgers did commentary from time to time in his short stint, and his interview segment, "Reo's Roundup," lasted only two segments before the character was dropped.
After this, he remained behind the scenes, working as Vince McMahon's "right-hand man" and also as a writer for some of WWE's shows. However, Prichard has reprised his Brother Love character on occasion.
Brother Love returned to the WWF in November 1995. He hosted the Brother Love Show once again, this time on Monday Night Raw. In what would prove to be a monumental moment in WWF history, Brother Love hosted Ted DiBiase introducing The Ringmaster into the World Wrestling Federation. The Ringmaster would eventually transform into Stone Cold Steve Austin. Brother Love then quietly disappeared from the WWF again soon after.
Brother Love resurfaced once again for one night in January 1997, making a surprise appearance on the debut episode of Shotgun Saturday Night, helping the Flying Nuns defeat The Godwinns. Love then named the team The Sisters of Love. The gimmick was quickly scrapped, with the team later finding success as The Headbangers.
Through the remainder of the Attitude Era, Prichard was occasionally seen on-screen as himself, either cleaning up between matches at ringside, or as one of the people called in to break up a backstage fight. During the fall of 1998 and into early-1999, he provided colour-commentary on Shotgun Saturday Night. He was also the only backstage employee to have an interview segment on the Raw is Owen memorial broadcast.
On the February 6, 2003 airing of SmackDown!, Brother Love confronted The Undertaker, then portraying a biker gimmick, in his feud against The Big Show. Brother Love pleaded with The Undertaker to forgive Big Show for his recent actions, but The Undertaker, however, wasn't pleased and gave Brother Love a chokeslam, followed up by a Tombstone Piledriver in the middle of the ring. Love later appeared in the Bar Room Brawl at Vengeance 2003, lasting all the way to the end before being knocked out by Bradshaw.
The Brother Love Show made a short-term return on a couple of SmackDown! brand house shows in the summer of 2003 as a replacement for planned Piper's Pit segments (Roddy Piper had been released from his contract). These segments saw Love and Mr. McMahon attempt to humiliate Zach Gowen, only to get their comeuppance in the end.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2010–2013)
It was reported on October 7, 2010, that Prichard had been hired by TNA to presumably reprise the role he had in WWE working as a backstage agent and producer.
In May 2012, Prichard was promoted to Vice President of Talent Relations to replace Terry Taylor. On October 17, 2012, Prichard was promoted to Senior Vice President, Programming & Talent Relations. In this new role, Prichard oversaw talent relations, talent scouting and development as well as the creative direction of the company.
TNA released Prichard on July 17, 2013.
Return to TNA/Impact Wrestling (2017)
In March 2017, it was announced that Prichard would be making his return to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Shortly after re-signing with the company, Prichard began appearing in an onscreen role for the recently renamed Impact Wrestling. Prichard left the company in August 2017. To explain Prichard's departure on screen, the story saw Jim Cornette brought in by Anthem, the parent company of Impact Wrestling, to fire him.
Major League Wrestling (2018)
Second return to WWE (2018–present)
On January 22, 2018, Prichard returned to the WWE for a one-off appearance as Brother Love on the WWE Raw 25 Years anniversary special. In April 2018, Prichard and podcast co-host Conrad Thompson began doing a video version of their podcast titled Something Else to Wrestle, airing exclusively on the WWE Network. On February 23, 2019, it was reported that WWE had officially signed Prichard on to join their creative team. In March, it was reported that Prichard would be working as WWE's Senior Vice President. On October 15, 2019, it was announced that he would take over as Executive Director of SmackDown, assuming the role from Eric Bischoff.
On June 11, 2020, it was reported that after Paul Heyman had been removed from the executive director position of Raw, Prichard would lead both the Raw and Smackdown writing teams into one group as executive director of both shows.
Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard (2016–present)
In August 2016, Prichard and co-host Conrad Thompson began the internet podcast Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard. Prichard and Thompson discuss a wide variety of subjects from Prichard's time with the World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment and his time in TNA and the GWF have been topics as well. The show has spun-off into a companion video show, titled Something Else to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard, which debuted on the WWE Network on April 18, 2018.
According to PWInsider.com, Prichard has been described as the most powerful person in WWE other than a McMahon family member. Creatively, everything flows through Prichard and his word has been described as ‘very much the Gospel’ for Vince McMahon.
Bruce Prichard is the brother of professional wrestler Tom Prichard and guitarist Chris Prichard. Bruce also has two other brothers, Jerry and Ken. He has a son, Kane, whom he named after the professional wrestler, and a daughter Amber.
Prichard suffered two heart attacks in 2012.
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