Ask Dr. Tom Prichard: Heavenly Bodies, ECW, McMahon-Michaels, Ken Kennedy
By Dr. Tom Prichard Feb 9, 2006 - 10:50 AM
(JG Note: WorldWrestlingInsanity.com Columnist Dr. Tom Prichard is ready, willing, and able to answer
your questions. Whether you want to know about his time as a Heavenly Body, Bodydonna, co-host of Byte This, WWE trainer, or anything else under the sun, you can ask. Send any questions to: AskTom@WorldWrestlingInsanity.com)
I was a big heavenly bodies fan! anyway, two questions:
1) Given that WWE is on top, and TNA is a poorly marketed WCW substitute, who do you see, if anyone, as the next big breakout wrestling organization, the way ECW was in the late 90's?
2) Who do you see as the next crossover superstar, like The Rock and Austin? Ken Kennedy maybe?
Dr. Tom:I don't see anyone becoming the next ECW. I believe ECW came along at the right time and place with incredible performers and free agents from around the world. Anybody who knows Paul Heyman understands his passion for the product will be close to impossible to duplicate. I didn't expect TNA to last three months much less three years. Slowly but surely, TNA is finding a "niche" audience. With Spike and other outlets pending I see TNA as an alternative for former WWE stars and those that don't care about working the grind of a WWE schedule. I can see an even younger demographic tuning in and seeing a raw, gritty looking show and being sucked in. TNA brings back a time when the setting was intimate and had a little mystery to it. The guys bust their ass every time they step in the ring and people watching can feel their passion. They are hungry and working hard to make TNA great.
For your second question, I like Kennedy but I don't see anyone that even comes close to Austin or Rock right now. There's other elements like timing that seem to be hampering a lot on the roster right now. When Rock and Austin got hot, the creative team was a LOT smaller than now. Both guys were given the freedom to open up. Too many cooks can really screw up a meal sometimes.
I was personally wondering, what do you think of the McMahon/HBK feud and where do you think it will go from here?
Dr. Tom:The way it's looking, Shawn and Vince might do something at WM. I say "might" because I don't know how Vince is feeling these days and he would not want to dissapoint anybody (especially himself) on his biggest show. If they can talk Bret into being referee then obviously they can build from there.
I was just wondering if there was anybody that you wished you could have wrestled while you were an active wrestler (and no...I don't mean modern stars like Kurt Angle or Samoa Joe or AJ Styles). It just seems that between the Pacific Northwest and Memphis and the USWA and Smokey Mountain and the WWF and everywhere else that you traveled, you wrestled everybody that was somebody in the business. Was there one wrestler that you wished you could have had the opportunity to wrestle but didn't have the chance to?
Dr. Tom: I never got to wrestle Terry Funk. I wrestled Dory and Dick Murdoch in a tag in Amarillo, but never got to wrestle Terry. So I would probably choose him.
Can you discuss your experiences with the Heavenly Bodies? Maybe give a brief history, or tell us some things that we may not know. Can you also talk about why the change was made from Stan Lane to Jimmy Del Rey, how you felt about the change, and which incarnation of the Heavenly Bodies do you think was superior? Who were some of the greatest rivals of the Bodies, and which were the best matches?
Joe Stewart, New York
(Big Heavenly Bodies Fan!)
Dr. Tom:Working with Jim Cornette was great. I was coming to the end of my run in Memphis and JC called with the idea of putting Stan and I together in his new territory, SMW.
I'd known Stan for years and we always got along. It was a lot of fun. We weren't getting rich and Stan was commuting back and forth from the Carolinas. He wasn't really into it as much any more and wasn't happy with the money. Kevin Sullivan suggested Jimmy Del Ray. I could get along with anybody so I ok'd it. I soon learned Jimmy and I were two very different people. We worked well in the ring but didn't associate much outside the ring.
I liked the incarnation of Stan and I. We had some really good matches with the Rock and Roll Express as well as the Fantastics. I was really going along for the ride and looking back now, I wish I would have taken a more active part in making the team more succesful.