The Florida Panthers celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at the BB&T Center in Sunrise with its second annual “Pro Wrestling Day,” which included a surprise appearance by WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson.
The concept came to fruition mainly because of Robert Karpeles, who serves as the attorney for the local NHL team. Karpeles’s unique résumé also includes a stint on the WWE creative team, and he currently works as a producer for the Orlando-based Major League Wrestling.
Coastal Championship Wrestling, under the direction of Pablo Marquez (WWE alum Babu), provided matches before the game in a ring on the tarmac outside the venue’s front doors, making for a great visual. Also, the first 10,000 fans received green Panthers T-shirts.
The highlight of the event occurred after the game against the Edmonton Oilers. That’s when Bruce Prichard and Conrad Thompson hosted a live version of their award-winning “Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard” podcast, which drops weekly on the MLW Radio Network.
The two did not disappoint, bringing their trademark chemistry and humor to the show, which was enjoyed by a room of about 150. The group enjoyed the duo’s greatest hits of inside jokes and Jerry Jarrett knocks. Fans also celebrated the holiday and event with unlimited drinks and food from a special ticket promotion.
So did Prichard and Thompson. They cracked open beers as Prichard (aka Brother Love), a longtime executive and Vince McMahon confidant, told stories of his experiences working for the company.
Given this was in Florida, Prichard reflected on the time the Big Bossman dropped a bowling ball on him as Brother Love during a Miami Superstars taping in 1990, the creative behind the 1991 Royal Rumble from the now defunct Miami Arena and what watching Ric Flair having his “last match” against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 28 in Orlando meant.
Fans asked questions.
Prichard’s popular impersonations of legends Dusty Rhodes, Michael Hayes, Jim Cornette, Jim Ross and others were accompanied by visual aids.
Hours before, co-host Thompson hinted about their biggest guest ever appearing at the event, and they did not disappoint introducing Patterson as the mystery guest. The WWE Hall of Famer is credited as the first Intercontinental champion, creative force behind the Royal Rumble, the WWE Iron Man match catalyst and brains behind so many match finishes over many decades in WWE.
Patterson received two standing ovations.
Patterson and Prichard, good friends, gave insight on sitting around the pool of Vince McMahon’s lavish residence. They shared stories that aren’t normally discussed on the podcast, as well as ribs they played on McMahon and coworkers, like Jerry Jarrett.
Audience members then asked questions to arguably two of the most influential men in WWE history.
Most of the inquiries from fans were about their views on today’s product. Patterson named Ohioans Dolph Ziggler and The Miz as two of his favorites. By the same token, they see immense potential in a babyface Kevin Owens and a heel Sami Zayn. Thompson mentioned their ideas on the Ohio natives and Canadian pair.
A highlight came toward the end when Prichard demonstrated what it was like to see the Chairman and CEO of WWE dancing with Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top at the Tryst Night Club in Las Vegas.
Prichard also gave the people what they wanted: his much-talked about rendition of Jeff Jarrett’s (Roadie Road Dogg Jesse James) song, With My Baby Tonight. Patterson showcased his karaoke skills by singing a little of Frank Sinatra’s My Way.
Fans left with smiles on their faces, knowing they saw something special.
Prichard is also working for MLW.
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