Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard had a very special episode recently where Bruce explained why he was fired from WWE in 2008. This couldn’t have come at a better time as Bruce Prichard was just hired on by Impact Wrestling for a backstage and on-screen role with the company although it was a total coincidence because this was a bonus episode awarded to fans for giving the show over 2,000 five-star reviews on iTunes.
Bruce says to understand why he was fired in 2008, we had to start when he was fired for the first time in 1991. Bruce Prichard was originally fired by Vince McMahon but Vinny did it in a unique way. He made Bruce fire himself. Prichard says he was in the middle of a vacation and was asked by Vince to come into the office. Bruce says he was wearing pink shorts, flip flops, and a pink striped workout shirt. Vince looked at him and said, “Pal, in the immortal words of Big Cat Ernie Ladd…” and Bruce completed the sentence by saying, “the man’s a genius, he fired my ass.”
Bruce says he made himself very difficult to deal with back in the day. He explains he was a spoiled brat who resented having an executive producer over him. Prichard was brought back on Labor Day weekend in 1992 and he only had to deal with Vince and Pat Patterson because in Bruce’s words, “I didn’t play well with others.”
An interesting note is Bruce was planning on going to WCW when Vince brought him back “home” in ’92. There was a plan to bring Bruce back into WWF earlier as Bobby Heenan Jr. Bruce says they were going to bleach his hair blonde and bring him in as Bobby Heenan’s on-screen son. Vince loved the idea, but all of a sudden he turned on it and nixed the idea. Therefore Bruce made some phone calls to people he knew in WCW.
Bruce called Dusty Rhodes and Jim Ross and The American Dream had the initial idea to bring Prichard in as Stunning Steve Austin’s manager. The WCW deal fell through when Vince McMahon called Bruce at home and told him to call him in four days after they got back from Summerslam in England. Bruce called Vince back immediately and told him he was about to work for WCW so he needed to know if he had a job offer. He did have a job offer, and it was a very good one.
Bruce Prichard would get to come back and only work with Pat and Vince and have nothing to do with everyone else at the studio who he had heat with. He only had to work with talent and be on creative writing television. That is why when people give Bruce Prichard so much credit for having a creative influence in Vince’s Parade of Powerslams from 1992 to 2008.
Bruce says he tried to call WCW to tell them he couldn’t take the job offer from them and he never got a call back from them. So Bruce wrote a letter and sent it to them via overnight delivery. Bruce didn’t hear back from WCW, so he took the job with Vince. He did get a call from Jim Ross later on that day, but by then it was way too late.
There are plenty of rumors out there saying Bruce Prichard had a couple stints in drug rehab. But Prichard put that to rest by confirming he has never been to any rehab before in his life, neither inpatient or outpatient. He only took breaks away from WWE to take care of his wife as she battled cancer. He moved to Houston during one of those breaks in order to be closer to her doctor.
Bruce says he didn’t tell people about his wife’s illness because, “I would have rather people think I was a pillhead, a f— up, and in rehab, than have people coming up to me telling me they were sorry about it.” Bruce was also never ordered to take weekly drug tests as reported by some news outlets.
In 2000 Bruce left talent relations and jumped to the writing team at around the same time Stephanie McMahon was made the head of the writing team. Vince wanted Bruce to help Steph learn the ropes as an advisor. Bruce says he was an “old horse” and now Stephanie was his boss.
Prichard says about the time when Steph left to have her first child Bruce took over the role of approving all segments and story ideas which was previously Stephanie’s job. Stephanie would return and take the job back over, but when she left again to have her second child, Bruce took it over once more.
Bruce says he told Vince he was having a hard time working with Steph. He wanted to work with WWE Studios and produce movies with aspirations to direct. Vince said he understood and offered to help him, Bruce sent him a business plan to transition him over into the movie business. But nothing developed because it was during that time when Stephanie took her second maternity leave to have daughter #2.
When Steph came back from her second child people had a comfortability with Bruce so they kept coming to Prichard even though she was available. When people started bypassing Stephanie, she told Bruce not to approve anything anymore.
Bruce Prichard says people got used to dealing with Bruce because he had a different directing style than the McMahons. He was much more laid back than the McMahons and he guesses people preferred him for that reason.
Bruce says the problem came when Steph wasn’t available to approve material before a certain time and she missed some of those deadlines because she had her children with her. Bruce would get in trouble if things weren’t approved, and he would be in the dog house if he approved anything.
Vince would also ask Bruce Prichard for opinions and he felt he couldn’t help Vinny Mac because he would upset Stephanie by going over her head. Bruce says he fell in a trap.
He says he grew unhappy, miserable on the road, and he let it be known he wasn’t happy. Essentially, he stopped trying.
Conrad addresses the rumor and innuendo which says the real reason Bruce Prichard got fired was because he pulled a gun on some writers. We’ve heard this rumor before from a Nova shoot interview on RF Video. Bruce confirms this to a certain degree but the story has been greatly embellished.
Bruce says during Hurricane Ike, Prichard’s family had to evacuate their home in Texas so they went to stay with JBL and Bruce brought his gun with him. Prichard didn’t want to leave a gun at JBL’s house, so he took the gun with him to the television taping. Bruce says he was in Nashville and he told the head of security Jim Kelly he had a gun and wanted to get it home. Jim advised him he had to buy a lockbox, get paperwork, and ship it back. While in Nashville, Bruce was asked by some guys if he wanted to go out for the night. Prichard told them he had a gun on him and needed to put it back in the hotel before he did anything else and the whole thing got blown out of proportion from there.
Stephanie called Bruce Prichard in for a meeting later and asked him if he pulled a gun on someone and he told her the whole story, but she just said, “I can’t believe you brought a gun to work.” Then she told him to leave. Bruce left after Stephanie told him not to speak to anybody and told everyone else not to speak to the former Brother Love either.
Bruce says he didn’t speak to anyone on his way out, he just left on his own without saying anything. Although the word was given out to everyone that they weren’t to call Bruce there were still a few people who called him including Kevin Dunn, JBL, The Undertaker, and John Cena among others that Bruce didn’t mention.
Co-host Conrad Thompson tries to connect the dots in order to create a narrative in which Stephanie McMahon concocted a reason to fire Bruce Prichard with a small amount of truth by saying he pulled a gun on people in order to get him out of the company. Bruce says he believes that story exists.
About a week later, Stephanie called Bruce and told him he was being terminated. Shane McMahon left the company six months after Bruce was fired. Bruce says he was very bitter at first and didn’t watch wrestling for a solid year except for WrestleMania XXV when he attended the show in Houston as a fan in the crowd.