After days of causing a social media fire storm with WWE fans, Diddy (Sean Combs), now says he was only joking when he announced he was changing his name to Brother Love, which is also the name of a still popular WWE character.
The real Brother Love, former WWE celebrity Bruce Prichard, had been challenging Diddy’s plan for days, using a vaguely threatening message for Diddy to “Remember North Carolina.”
It’s unclear if Diddy ever remembered what happened in North Carolina – which became the point of multiple media stories – but he announced late Monday that he’s not changing his name.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that you cannot play around with the internet,” Diddy said in a video posted late Monday on Instagram. “Due to overwhelming response from the media out there, and just due to there not wanting to be any confusion, I was only joking. OK, I didn’t change my name. It’s just part of one of my alter egos. One of my alter egos is Love...If you still want to call me Love, you can call me Love, Baby.”
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Bruce Prichard declared victory in the matter late Monday, tweeting: “Thank you everyone for helping @diddy see the light! Just so you know Puffy... I love you... But that doesn’t mean...”
On Monday, Prichard carried out a one-man war on the matter, retweeting anyone who agreed that Diddy was infringing on his brand. Among Prichard’s tweets was one on Nov. 4 that some media outlets called “vaguely threatening.”
“Yo. Find a new gimmick. I invented and perfected Brother Love. I am the original and you are not. Remember North Carolina,” said the tweet.
Prichard, 54, later suggested in a video that the two men had met in the early ’90s at a North Carolina Holiday Inn, and that Prichard had “awed” Diddy.
The Brother Love character Prichard perfected made its WWE debut in 1988 and was later discontinued. However, it has remained popular among fans.
For those unfamiliar with Prichard, Wrestling Inc. says he was a pro-wrestling aficionado who was everywhere during the late-’80s and early-’90s, including hosting his own weekly show, “The Brother Love Show.” Later, he managed the wrestler star known to fans as The Undertaker. The Brother Love character is described by Wrestling Inc as “a disingenuous preacher who claimed to spread the message of love. The bizarre red-faced character was inspired by controversial televangelists of the time.”
Prichard says the character was modeled in part after Jim Bakker, who once ran a Christian network and theme park based in Fort Mill, just south of Charlotte.
As for Diddy’s joke, fans didn’t seem to find it funny: “U were drunk,” posted one fan on Instagram. “Now u taking it back because either A: U came to ur senses, B: you saw the negative response you got or C: U were advised against it.”