wrestling / News

Bruce Prichard Defends Booking of AJ Styles & Dixie Carter Affair Storyline, Explains Why It Ended in the Middle

June 12, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Dixie Carter AJ Styles

– The latest edition of Something to Wrestle featured Bruce Prichard discussing the infamous AJ Styles storyline that alleged an affair between him and Dixie Carter, which later on became Claire Lynch, and how the storyline stopped in the middle. Below are some highlights.

Prichard on coming up with the original idea for the AJ Styles affair storyline: “The germ of the idea was mine. AJ took to it to the next level. There was so much talk of how uncooperative AJ was and to be able to get AJ out of his shell and give him something to sink his teeth into, what if AJ had an affair with somebody? So, I sat down with AJ at Universal Studios one day, and I pitched him. He took that and basically took it one step further and came up with this scenario. And we tweaked it from there to where the idea was that people thought that he was having an affair with Dixie. And when it’s revealed that he’s not having an affair with Dixie, all’s good in the world, and then you do — and I even hate that I’m admitting this — the swerve, and it was AJ’s really having an affair with Dixie’s niece, which also wasn’t true. It was all innocent s***. But from the outside looking in, you could be convinced that AJ was having an affair with someone.”

Prichard on how the angle continued with Claire Lynch, disagreeing with how AJ Styles wanted Lynch to be a blonde knockout: “Well, we actually did a casting call for it. And I think maybe in AJ’s head, he wanted a blonde, buxom, young lady to play that part, but that was never something that we were looking for in the casting call. We were just looking for a young female to play the part of Dixie’s niece. And the idea behind it was, we didn’t want her to be this knockout. And AJ may have wanted that, but we didn’t. She went through the whole casting process. We had one day to cast and basically dump her into the storyline We did it at Universal Studios one day. The next day, she was on TV. So, we had to do something that was fast, and we had to do something that we could get done as far as the contract relatively quickly and make the agreement done, short-term deal. So, that’s how Claire Lynch came to be. But it became an evolving storyline and one that from my vantage point, it was that ‘aha’ moment where AJ had chops, and AJ got into the story. Maybe because he was invested in it, and some of it was his. So, he was living it. He was feeling it, and the stuff I thought came out excellent, but it let me know in that timeframe that AJ was somebody who could cut a promo. He could tell a story.”

Prichard on defending booking of Claire Lynch angle, why Julia Reilly being unable to deal with hate mail for Claire Lynch led to the angle being ended in the middle of it: “Now hang on. He was involved in a storyline with the owner of the company, and the storyline was actually good and had people talking. Obviously, your loud minority is always going to be the loudest and the most negative. The fact of the matter is is that people were interested in the storyline. It was doing well in quarter hours back when quarter hours meant something, and people were interested in that story. What happened was that this young lady whose an actress, all of the sudden people found her on Twitter, and the hate mail came in. And she didn’t know how to handle it. She took it all very personal, and it was wrestling. It was the audience believing it and they hated *her*. They hated her for doing that to AJ. And she couldn’t separate the two and didn’t understand. We kept trying to tell her, ‘You’re an actress. If you play a heel on TV in a soap opera, hopefully, the audience is going to hate you. You’re playing a heel on a men’s soap opera. The audience is going to hate with you, so deal with it! Embrace it!’ It was too much for her. She couldn’t do it. So right in the middle of it, we had to end it because we had no more Claire Lynch. It sucked.”

If you use any of the quotes, please credit Something to Wrestle with an h/t to 411mania.com.