Bruce Prichard (March 7, 1963) is a professional wrestling personality, best known as a producer and manager for World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly the WWF), where he portrayed the role of Brother Love, the original manager of The Undertaker. After leaving WWE Prichard was the Senior Vice President of Programming and Talent Relations for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling until July 2013.
Prichard began his career working for Paul Boesch out of Houston Texas 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
After entering the World Wrestling Federation, he first occasionally worked as an announcer for the WWF's television programs before creating the Brother Love character.
Brother Love Show
In June 1988, Prichard debuted as Brother Love, a red-faced, smarmy, boisterous "preacher" dressed in a white suit and tight red shirt, who claimed to preach not the word of God, but "the word of love." He was best known for his catchphrase "I love you!" The gimmick was inspired by controversial televangelists of the time.
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, by early that fall.
The segment was patterned largely after the legendary "Piper's Pit," where Brother Love — dressed in a white suit and tie with a red shirt, with fingers full of gold jewelry — 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. In fact, 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 "The Snake" Roberts-Rick Martel feud from late 1990 to early 1991).
Brother Love also featured prominently in WrestleMania V in 1989 where Roddy Piper "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 1990 for being the "greatest American."
Manager of The Undertaker
On November 19, 1990, Brother Love managed The Undertaker, who at the time was known as "Cain the Undertaker," for his in-ring debut during a taping of WWF Superstars. 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, who had dropped the "Cain" from his name. 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 the contract of The Undertaker to Paul Bearer. The Undertaker has since continued to wrestle for the company to this day as one of their most high profile wrestlers.
The character of Brother Love was controversial, since he was introduced around the time of the late 1980s scandals involving televangelists including Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart (upon both of whom Prichard's character was based). Several of his segments also bordered on the lines of taste; one particular segment involved 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). The actor would proclaim, "I can see!" and "I can walk!" after obeying Love's commands.
Prichard was released from the WWF shortly after the "I Can See!" segment aired (he was "offed" when the Ultimate Warrior attacked him and beat him nearly unconscious), although his departure was due to personal problems Prichard was having at the time.
Global Wrestling Federation
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 1992 and 1993, using his real name.
He began as a babyface color commentator, but eventually turned heel right in the middle of calling a match with 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.
World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment
Prichard returned to the WWF in 1993 and portrayed two short-lived characters. He first appeared as The Wizard, a heel color commentator on All-American Wrestling, 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 (including the infamous December 4, 1993 segment with Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon) 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, who would eventually transform into Stone Cold Steve Austin. Brother Love disappeared again in January 1996.
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 more success as The Headbangers.
On a February 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 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 several 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.
On December 1, 2008, Bruce Prichard was released from the WWE by Stephanie McMahon because she felt that it was time for him to move on, which Vince McMahon mutually agreed to. Prichard had spent 22 years with the company.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2010-2013)
It was reported on October 7, 2010, that Prichard had been hired by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling to presumably reprise the role he had in WWE working as a backstage agent and producer. In May 2011, Prichard was promoted to Vice President of Talent Relations to replace Terry Taylor. On October 17, 2011, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling sent out a press release stating that Prichard was promoted to Senior Vice President, Programming & Talent Relations. In this new role, Prichard oversees talent relations, talent scouting and development, as well as, overseeing the creative direction of the company.
TNA released Prichard from his contract on July 17, 2013.