Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Dr. Tom Prichard talks at length about Crown Jewel on "Taking You to School"

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway 

"It was a huge part of what attracted me as a fan. And I think today, too many people are jaded and don't appreciate the little things like that. Which really, back then, they were big things, but looking at it now with all the other glitz and glamour, and lights, camera, action, they are little things now. It's all the pieces and parts that make up professional wrestling, and "Crown Jewel" is a huge piece and huge part of the history of wrestling."

- Tom Prichard on "Crown Jewel" and what made the NWA belt so special.
"Taking You to School" Podcast

I was really pleased and honored that Tom Prichard, a fellow for whom I have a great deal of respect, spent nearly twenty minutes on his podcast Monday (11/9/20) talking about my new book Crown Jewel. Tom's podcast, titled "Taking You to School," is part of the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcasting network, and hosted by John and Chad, two of the nicest guys you'll meet in and around the wrestling business.

John led off the discussion mentioning a post he'd just seen on the Gateway that Prichard wrote, and Tom explained it was actually an email that he had written me. I had asked permission from him to post it on the website. (See: Wrapped Up in History: Dr. Tom Prichard on "Crown Jewel")

He then took off on a near 20-minute dissertation on how much this version of the NWA World Title belt meant to him as a kid growing up, and how much it means to wrestling history.

"He's put out some great books, " Tom kindly said of my series of books on belts. "This one, though, really hit home." 

Tom was born in Texas in 1959, the same year the NWA "crown belt" was presented to then champion Pat O'Connor. In Texas, the Funk family dynasty were the major players and local heroes. He became a fan at a very young age, and so when Dory Funk, Jr. won the title from Gene Kiniski in 1969, the belt Funk wore became the symbol of excellence to Tom and his brother Bruce and thousands of other wrestling fans who went to see their heroes at the Sam Houston Coliseum every Friday night. He was there in Houston the very last night an NWA champion wore the "crown belt" into the ring and that belt was retired, when Jack Brisco defeated Harley Race for the title in June of 1973.

As a result, the book all these years later seemed to really connect with the Prichard boys (Bruce's reaction here) and Tom spoke almost lovingly of the classic old belt, the little details that made it special (and that are presented in great detail in the book) and what it meant to him and to fans in that era, and how important it is in wrestling history.

Take a few moments to listen to Tom's podcast, linked below, and enjoy his memories of the old belt, the legendary title it represented, and the great wrestlers that wore it during that time. There is also some great discussion about Tom's close friend Brad Armstrong, who died eight years ago this month. 

"Taking You to School" with Tom Prichard

Crown Jewel, Brad, & NJPW

"A hell of a book," Tom told Poz. "I highly recommend it." 

No better recommendation than that. 

I want to thank Tom Prichard and his co-host John Pozarowski for the nice things they both had to say about this book and all my books. I am beyond flattered. 

More information on Crown Jewel can be found in the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Book Store. You can find purchase links there or search for it on Amazon.