Dr. Tom Prichard On The Fundamentals Of Wrestling Never Going Out Of Style, Partnering With Glenn Jacobs For Their Wrestling School

The Doctor is in.

Dr. Tom Prichard recently spoke with Wrestlezone’s Bill Pritchard about his career as a wrestler and trainer, as well as his latest venture as co-founder of the Jacobs-Prichard Wrestling Academy alongside Glenn Jacobs (aka Kane). Prichard has been a wrestling trainer for more than twenty years, training the likes of The Rock and Mark Henry, and some of today’s biggest names including Kofi Kingston, Bray Wyatt and Natalya. ‘Doctor Tom’ says he had a prior relationship with Jacobs due to their history in wrestling, but the idea for a wrestling school didn’t come to fruition until he also moved to Knoxville after being fired by WWE in 2012. Prichard cited his and Jacobs’ wife, Crystal, working together, as well as his daughter attending college at the University of Tennessee for why they picked Knoxville, and said it was Jacobs who proposed the school to him.

“When he first approached me—this was Glenn’s idea—[he asked] if I would be interested in doing a school here in Knoxville, it was, ‘no, I tried it. I don’t know that it would work in Knoxville again.’ Because Knoxville has just been saturated with a bunch of bad wrestling and a bunch of—‘everybody already knows everything already, you can’t really teach anybody anything here,’ is what I thought and what I said. Glenn thought just the opposite.” Prichard said. “We could run a successful school, and with his name on it especially when I thought about it and thought, yeah, maybe so. When he was running for mayor, about two years prior, we just kind of talked about it and finally I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s try it.’ Of course, he won the campaign and now he’s Knox County Mayor.”

“His plate is very full, so I understand, while he does stop by and while he does stop in when he can, he makes it a point to be a part of  the school, he’s not going to have as much time to do that. So this is my full-time gig right now. I appreciate the support, I appreciate him coming by, I appreciate him stopping in and talking to the guys and actually being part of it. It just came out of, we were having dinner and talking about it, and that’s pretty much it. We looked around and found a place and that’s that.” Prichard said. “I’ve known Glenn for years, we had traveled a couple of times through the years together, but that was it. So when we got back to Knoxville we got reacquainted.”

Prichard talked about training techniques and how he’s been able to help show talent what variables they need to stay on top, and he noted that basics and fundamentals of wrestling will always help talent excel. “Pretty much the fundamental basics never go out of style. In fact, in class last night, we watched a match between Edge and Randy Orton from 2004. And they did an O’Connor roll-up, they did a schoolboy, they did a drop toehold, and arm drag, drop kick, everything we’ve gone over in class, especially the dropkick. So, the fundamentals,” Prichard said, “and the basics of a match, never goes out of style. It just doesn’t.”

“Styles are always changing, cultures are always changing. But I think learning the fundamentals, learning and stressing the basics of the business—everyone from Natalya, who has been very good to us, to Kofi [Kingston]—has carried on. In fact, both Kofi and Natalya texted me after they had to do their gauntlet matches because we did one-hour matches in FCW in Tampa, and nobody is going to understand why we did that. We did it just as a—I don’t want to say as a test, but it was near the end of one of our sessions, and it was one of those benchmarks we were judging everybody on. And one of the reasons I did that was to teach them how to breathe, how to tell a story, and to get the most out of a match. If you can go an hour and not blow up, if you can go an hour, breathe, and tell a story, you got something. And that’s what I taught as well, and that’s what we’re teaching in this class too.”

More information about the Jacobs-Prichard Wrestling Academy can be found at jpwrestlingacademy.com. The school will host a six-week course starting November 4 through December 13, as well as a one-day youth and adult fantasy camp on October 26. 

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