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Dr. Tom Pritchard on The Evolution of the Shield in WWE:
What do the students take away from working with Dr. Tom:
If I didn't have the opportunity to do it in Stamford then it would have been someone else. I happened to be at the right place at the right time. You would have to ask them (his trainees) what they learn from me. All I know is I learned from a great teacher when I took karate named Bill Gray. His method of teaching I adapted and adopted. I am proud of all the guys especially Rock and (Kurt) Angle. The Hardy Boyz were self-taught when they came to me, (Dolph) Ziggler came to a tryout in OVW and then came from OVW to Tampa. All the Deep South guys like Fandango (Johnny Curtis), if they took something away from what I showed them or said to them then more power to them and great. Edge and Christian; they started with Ron Hutchinson and then they came to the tryout in Stamford and whether we refined them or not they'll have to give you their opinion on that. It also goes for Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and even Seth Rollins who was the Ring of Honor Champion. Ambrose has been around, Roman Reigns grew up in the business so they had something before they actually got to the system and got with me but if I helped them get farther then that then I am very proud of them for that.
Who did he see as the breakout star of The Shield:
When Ambrose got there he was the most unique of the three in my opinion. He had a mix of Terry Funk and Roddy Piper. He was the real-deal, he never let you in on what he was thinking in the dressing room or in class he kept that mystery about him even though you knew he was working he didn't tell you he was working.
Seth Rollins getting the spot of “The Future of the WWE”:
Rollins had that cocksure attitude because he knew he was good. He and Ambrose had their angle in FCW that was our top angle up until they went to the Performance Center. You knew that Roman Reigns was going to be great because he had the stock, he came from the stock they wanted. Now, the way it turned out from the business end of things how does Seth Rolling get in that position? Seth is a smart guy, Ambrose is a smart guy but I don't know if he is as good a politician as Seth Rollins is and that is not taking anything away from Seth but you have to know how to play the game and you have to know who is running the game up there. Seth got in with the right people and he has talent and he has everything going for him. Ambrose I thought was very talented but there were some in FCW that didn't think he had the look but all had the talent to be a top guy. They were high on Reigns from the start, Ambrose and Rollins were going to be bit players in FCW that was the take on them but as time went on and other factors came into play and The Shield came about.
Helping teach and train The Rock prior to his WWF Debut:
I don't know if I was able to teach him that much. He came in October and had been in Memphis for about a year and we just trained and worked out at that time with Achim Albrecht (Brakkus) and Mark Henry. He was a young kid, a great guy, had the Chia Pet haircut and you knew he had talent but no one could tell at that time that he was going to be as big as he is today. But he had personality. To go over his finish, I gave him the shoulder-breaker, well that was terrible. I worked some of his first matches on the road and worked with him in the warehouse in the ring on a daily basis. He had that charisma and personality but you look at him and he was this smiling, good looking kid with a Chia Pet haircut coming out and wanting everyone to cheer him and it just didn't work. People were revolting against that typical baby-face guy from back then and it was to his advantage because he knew and he understood once it was explained to him, once he got the feel of it, it was that smart-Alec come back with a comment guy. I had no idea that his goal in life was to be the performer or the actor that he is.
What did he see in Kurt Angle:
The first time I locked up with him I told him, "Kurt I have nothing to prove so don't try and snatch me". He was easy, he got it, he moved well and to me he was a natural. He was another guy that you knew he had this drive and had this work ethic. Kurt grasped it right from the beginning, he knew and understood that with a practice scrimmage we work hard but are trying to work together. That's the real conflict with most amateur wrestlers that I've ever had because there instincts are to not be put on their back and Kurt grasped that idea from the first time we trained.
What made matches easy for him during his career:
Any match with Brad Armstrong was a favorite match. I had some great matches with Jeff (Jarrett) and the Rock N' Roll Express and The Fantastics and even Chris Jericho. My favorite matches were with the guys I clicked with, you go out there and you didn't have to call anything in the back. There's way to much of that today. Everyone walks through every move of their match and that's what it looks like when I've watched RAW on occasion it looks like spots are being called in the ring because you can see when it’s happening. Any time when you can get in the ring and just go and not call it move for move and Brad Armstrong could do that.
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