Driven, motivated, smart, self made, determined, entrepreneur are just a few adjectives to describe one of the most powerful wrestling minds of the 90’s who changed the wrestling landscape forever. He was the only man in the history of the business to give Vince McMahon a true run for his money with his vision and over a period of time beat him at his own game!!!! RF VIDEO is happy to announce that we filmed one of the most enlightening and comprehensive interviews in the history of our company with former president of WCW, Eric Bischoff. You have heard the stories from the workers who were in WCW, you heard the stories from the competition as they wanted to distort the truths, now hear it from the man who lived it and created his legacy as Eric Bischoff sits down with RFVIDEO for 5 hours and tells his side of the story on how he rose from just an announcer in the AWA to becoming one of the most powerful men in the business!!!
This interview took us over a decade and a half to land but it was well worth the wait. Eric Bischoff was an open book and answered everyone of our questions without hesitation about his rise to fame and power. You will hear how he started out in the advertising and sales world and how it transpired to land himself into Verne Gagne’s territory, the AWA doing sales. Eric tributes the Gagne’s for starting him in the business and giving him a crash course in wrestling 101. It was not long after his time on the road with the AWA that Eric was called to stand in front of the camera by luck because Larry Nelson missed TV due to a unforeseen circumstance and you will hear the story told by Eric on what happened when he was told to stand in front of the camera as the light went from red to green and the rest was history…..We talk a lot about a lot of his time on the road and of course we cover all the top talents that he got to work with in the AWA and how he first met DDP in a very awkward scenario that almost turned into a fist fight.
It was not long after his time in the AWA where Eric ventured off to WCW to become an announcer and you will hear what the WCW brass told him the reasoning was for hiring him and who they wanted to rattle the cages of. Eric will give you his early thoughts of being around the boys in the locker room like Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Brian Pillman, Gordon Solie, Michael Hayes, Steiners, Sting, Jim Ross and Lex Luger. In fact you will hear why Eric did not like Lex Luger early on and how it effected him later down the road when Eric hired Lex to debut on the first ever Nitro. In fact you will hear all about the meeting he had with Sting at Sting's house and how Sting pitched the idea for WCW to bring in Lex Luger as Eric lays out the entire deal and how it unfolded. I think its safe to say that Eric was not a fan of the total package and you will hear why.
Eric talks about the problems that WCW faced in the early 90’s and what he thought needed to be changed and how he went about getting the position of executive producer. You will hear in great detail all of the business moves that Eric made as he gives his reasoning behind getting rid of certain talents, moving the TV to Disney, taping TV in weeks in advance of it airing, increasing PPV’s, acquiring major talent for the first time like Bobby Heenan and Gene Okerlund, as this was just the start of his master plan. Eric lays out his entire WCW blue print for RF VIDEO fan’s as you will never hear anything so detailed until now!!
One of the biggest acquisitions of talent which was a game changer was getting Hulk Hogan to come to WCW as Eric talks about the long challenging tactics that he used to seal the deal and he said that Ric Flair had a lot to do with it. You will hear the entire story during this interview. Eric discusses how WCW was able to land Randy Savage and how sweet the deal was because it did not cost WCW a penny and you will be amazed why too. During the interview we cover the inner staff of the company and Eric explains why each person was so important to the company and what role they played like Kevin Sullivan, Dusty Rhodes, Zane Bresloff, Gary Juster, Dr. Harvey Schiller, Nick Lambros and more.
Eric discusses as he got the ball rolling what it was like at the meeting with Ted Turner himself, and of course the most mouth drop meeting of them all when Ted told Eric he wanted to compete with Vince McMahon and the WWE and go head to head with them on Monday nights. Eric takes us thru his creative process and how he sat down with a note pad and and wrote his ideas in which he needed to be different to compete with the WWE and produce a different TV show that would attract the WWE wrestling audience. We asked Eric to explain his reasoning on so many topics that surrounded the launching of WCW Nitro, from the announcing team, why he kept himself on TV, getting new talent for the show like Lex Luger to jump ship, creating new stars and Eric goes into great detail on all aspected of creating Nitro which eventually changed the entire landscape for some time.
You will hear Eric address the rumors that were put out there by the WWE on how he had unlimited funds, what are his thoughts on giving away finishes on Raw and how much heat did he get, his meetings with the cruiser weights like Chris Benoit, Eddy Guerrero, and Dean Malenko and what went down at those early meetings with new talent. Want to know what it took for Madusa to throw the WWE title in the trash can? Do you want to hear his thoughts on the WWE Billionaire sketches? What was a week like in the life of Eric during Nitro as he takes us into his shoes and describes what it was like living life in the fast lane as Nitro became the show to watch over Monday Night Raw.
What about the rumors around Nitro that the shows were written last minute, Eric has all the answers to all the critics and he addresses all the rumors. Was there really heat with ECW and was Eric raiding talent on purpose. You will hear all about his relationship with Paul Heyman and his thoughts on the company. He talks about the legal issues with ECW when it came to swapping talent like Eaton and Anderson and of course the entire Mike Awesome situation and how it got worked out.
Eric addresses other rumors as well as we talk about his issues he had with Ric Flair while he was on top and how they were later settled but one of the best stories during this incredible interview is how years later Ric Flair physically attacked Eric at a Raw TV taping stemming from their WCW heat. Eric will tell you the entire story of course only on this RFVIDEO exclusive.
One of pro wrestlings biggest heel stable was the NWO as they were the game changer. Eric takes us thru the entire conception of the NWO and how he picked Scott Hall and Kevin Nash as the first two members. You will hear how Hulk Hogan at first turned down his offer to become the third member as Sting almost got the spot, but wait until you hear what happened next. Eric tells all about his meeting with the Hulkster and how he tried to convince him to turn heel and you will learn how Hogan later stripped off the Yellow and Red to wear the black and white colors of the NWO for life!!
There was a lot of drama legally with the NWO as Eric tells us all about the legal problems with the WWE at the time. You will hear all the inside stories on how he got the NWO over and if it almost became a problem with other WCW talent.
While WCW was on top of the mountain there were a lot of stories that some of you never heard about which we get Eric to open up about like his infamous argument with Eddie Guerrero where coffee was thrown, issues with getting the masks off of Rey Jr and Juventud, the shoot incident with Hall and Nash and the Nasty Boys and so much more.
How did Eric control his locker room with some of the biggest names and who was really in his ear? Who had the most power in the locker room and who did Eric trust the most. You will hear what it was like to work with the Ultimate Warrior and how that deal was brought to the table. When did Eric see money in Bill Goldberg? What did Eric think of Bret Hart when he first came into the company and what was his take on the way WWE screwed Bret Hart in Montreal? We told you this interview will have you drooling from the mouth as we got you all the scoops.
What really happened with Starcade 1997 with Hogan and Sting? Do you want to know Eric’s thoughts on all of the celebrities he hired and how much value did he place on them?
As time went on in WCW, Eric got burned out as he talks why he handed the book over to Kevin Nash and who else was helping at the time. Was he happy adding all the new members to the NWO and what did he really think of the idea on adding another TV show like WCW Thunder.
There were a lot of political moves going on behind the scenes that Eric had no power of. This caused him many problems as Eric goes into great detail on why his hands were tied in numerous issues and why he got the blame for things that were out of his control. What happened with the AOL merger and how did it effect the company? You will hear all about the struggles that were going on behind the scenes which really led to the death of the company.
What really happened the day Eric was sent home, and he gives his thoughts on to how it went down and played out. You will hear all about how he was brought to only work with Vince Russo and did he trust him? What are his thoughts on the Hogan/Russo issue the night they walked out of the company and how much of it was a shoot. You will get the entire inside story during this amazing interview.
Everything that goes up has to come down, but Eric did not see it that way because he had investors that wanted to purchase the company and they already signed all the paper work but what happened? Guess you have to buy the DVD…..If you want to know the truth on what happened to WCW this is one interview you do not want to pass up. We let Eric speak his mind without and restrictions and no edits. This is his story being told for the very first time by the King of shoot interviews RFVIDEO.
Eric talks about his time outside the business before he was called to become talent for the WWE. He covers all of his different projects that he was apart of. You will hear all about his other business ventures from starting a beer company, launching reality TV shows and so much more.
One of my favorite parts of the 5 hour interview was when we covered his run in the WWE. The wrestling world will always refer to this day as the day that hell froze over. You will hear about the first ever phone call between Eric and Vince and what was said and what was laid out and put on the table for Eric to come into the company as the new GM of Monday Night Raw. What was said, was there heat? How did they keep it a secret? How did Eric get to the town, and what did former WCW wrestlers do when they saw Eric walk into the halls before his segment. What was going thru his head as he walked thru the Gorilla position and onto the stage with Vince? Do you want to know what he whispered to Vince during the segment?
Eric explains why he had so much fun in the WWE and we talk about all of his major angles with Steve Austin and his views and dealings with other top talent in the company like HHH, John Cena, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, HBK, and so many more. We talk about his three year run in the WWE in great detail and how he exited the company.
You will hear this thoughts on his book that became the #1 seller on the NY times, his thoughts on the Chris Benoit tragedy, the WWE network, who can ever compete with the WWE and so much more.
This interview is a must for all fans of WCW as RFVIDEO brought to the hot seat the man behind the curtain for a interview that will answer all the questions you ever wanted to know about WCW and the inner workings of the company run by the second most powerful man in our industry Eric Bischoff.
Here is our set list of questions that we discussed with Eric as you will see, we left no rock unturned!!!
You grew up in Detroit – what are your memories of growing up there? What was your family life like?
Were you a fan of Big Time Wrestling growing up? If so, what are your favorite performers and angles from that time period?
Did you initially want to get into the wrestling business?
Talk about your professional life before you got into the business?
You actually knew Sonny Onno before you were in the business – talk about meeting him and creating the “Ninja Star Wars” toys?
In your book, you met with the AWA initially to try and pitch getting advertising for the Ninja Star Wars game – so how did you end up with a job with the company just a few months later?
Describe what the day to day operations were like in the AWA offices during that time since it was the last year the Gagnes were in operation?
What were your impressions of Verne and Greg Gagne during that time?
Do you think Verne knew he was towards the end of his run as a promoter?
Thoughts and memories on the following talents and personalities from this time period?
Sheik Adnan Al-Kaisee
Mr Magnificent Kevin Kelly/Nailz
The Texas Hangmen
The Trooper (Del Wilkes)
Mike Enos and Wayne Bloom
Diamond Dallas Page
Jake the Milkman Milliman
Is it true you and DDP almost got into a drunken brawl and that’s how you ended up becoming friends?
Larry Nelson disappeared and no showed promo day, so you ended up doing TV interviews – what are your memories of that day?
Talk about the AWA TV tapings in Minnesota at the time. Obviously it was hard building any momentum against WWE at the time. What lessons did you learn from working for the company during what was a truly hard period for the company?
It’s been said that if Verne hadn’t been involved with a legal battle over a parcel of land the government took from him, the AWA might have lasted longer – do you think this is accurate?
What sort of toll did that legal battle take on The Gagne family?
When did you start to learn some of the other nuances of the business, such as TV production and booking?
You’ve said in your book that you weren’t responsible for the AWA Team Challenge Series – so who came up with the concept and what was your take on it?
When did you know it was over for the company?
How much credit would you give to the Gagnes for opening the door to your success in the business?
What do you think the legacy of the Gagne family and the AWA should be?
After the AWA closed, you had a tryout for WWE as an announcer – what do you remember about that process? Were you disappointed you didn’t get the job? In hindsight, did you agree with that decision?
Later, when you were working for WCW, Greg Gagne was brought into the company – was that more or less a thank you for all the Gagnes had done for you in the AWA?
How did you first get into WCW?
What were your first memories of the company after signing for them?
Discuss your earliest responsibilities as an announcer?
Memories of working with Teddy Long on some of WCW’s TV shows?
Any favorite memories of working on the broadcast team your first year?
Early WCW memories of dealing with and working with:
What were the differences between announcing and working for WCW and the AWA?
Talk about how Turner Broadcasting handled WCW and what the corporate culture working for Turner Broadcasting was like. Ric Flair has said that Turner would just give his friends jobs in different places in the company and that led to a lot of bloat. Is that a fair assessment?
Why do you think the company had been so mismanaged?
What, in your mind, were the biggest problems WCW faced in trying to compete with WWE in the early 1990s?
Memories of how the company was run by your predecessors, Jim Herd, K. Allen Frye and Bill Watts? Any specific memories of how your dealings with each of them were?
Was there ever a specific moment where you realized “this is being done wrong and I could do this better?”
When did you realize that the position of Executive Producer was available?
What are your memories of going to Bob Dhue and Bill Shaw to get the position?
Why do you think you were picked over the others trying to get the job?
What were the first moves that you wanted to make to change the perception of WCW?
Is it true you felt the company had too much of a “Southern” feel? Explain why that was something that worked against the company.
How hard is it to get attention and momentum when you are a company that is second in a two company race?
How important was it to take WCW PPVs and make them a monthly attraction? Was there any concern about oversaturation of the market with too many PPVs at the time?
Were you surprised when WWE eventually followed suit?
Memories of the Arn Anderson-Sid Vicious hotel fight in Germany and how that changed WCW’s long-term plans going into 1994?
Some of your earliest acquisitions were Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan – how hard was it to get Turner to open the checkbooks and spend the money?
How hard was it to start to get rid of the old guard, names like Jim Ross, and replace them with a new group of wrestlers?
Where did the idea of taking WCW TV to smaller soundstages at Disney Studios in Orlando come from? What sort of effect did holding the tapings in front of theme park fans and using it as an attraction have on the TV shows?
At the time, there was criticism of you taping so many months in advance because it would give away company direction and booking plans – why was that not a concern for you at the time?
How much of the decision to go to Florida for TV Tapings were costcutting concerns?
When did you first decide to pursue bringing Hulk Hogan back to professional wrestling? What was his first reaction to the idea? Were you worried he was going to take the offer and use it as leverage to get back to WWE? How long did the process of trying to get him to sign take?
How important was Ric Flair in getting Hogan to sign?
How important was the Hulk Hogan brand name when it came to rebuilding WCW?
Were you surprised when some of the WCW markets were booing and rejecting Hogan?
Vince McMahon has said that Hogan legitimized WCW – would you agree?
The WWE version of history at the time is that Turner Broadcasting gave you a blank check to do whatever you wanted in WCW – break down the reality of that vs. the fantasy?
Talk about the checks and balances in place at the time that you had to deal with working for Turner and also the goals you had to meet?
Hogan brought Randy Savage into WCW. Talk about the process of Savage coming to WCW and what that process was like?
As you began populating WCW with names like Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Hacksaw Duggan, Honkytonk Man and others, others who had been with the company for a long time like Johnny B. Badd, Mick Foley, Steve Austin began moving on and/or were fired – why were some of the older guard unable to maintain themselves as the company changed its landscape?
Was there ever a piece of talent that you regretted letting go during that time period?
How important were the following personnel behind the scenes as you built WCW?
Diamond Dallas Page
Dr. Harvey Schiller
Talk about the meeting where Ted Turner ordered WCW to have two hours on primetime on TNT? Was it a literal “mouth dropping” moment for you?
What was your first move once it was announced you would be competing head to head against WWE?
A lot of people assumed it was going to be a blowoff with WWE crushing WCW from the onset – what were your personal concerns and even doubts going head to head?
What’s the pressure like trying to launch a new show, with new concepts with less than 2 months to prepare for the debut, while competing against the industry leader?
Were there different concepts for Nitro that didn’t make the final broadcast version?
Why did you choose to keep yourself on TV as a broadcaster?
Were you ever concerned you might be spreading yourself too thin?
What led to you hiring Steve McMichael as an announcer?
How did you first find out that Lex Luger was available to jump to WCW? What led to you deciding to go for it?
If word about Luger jumping leaked ahead of time, would you still have gone for it?
How important was Luger to the success of Nitro early, in your opinion?
Why was the first episode of Nitro from the Mall of America? Talk about the mindset behind that unique atmosphere and location?
When you received the overnights from the first episode, what was your first reaction?
Now, since Raw was preempted the week Nitro debuted, what sort of pressure did you feel going into the second week?
When the ratings came through for the second week, what was your reaction?
You took advantage of WWE being taped by giving away the results of the taped shows so they would stick live with WCW Nitro – did you ever get any negative feedback from anyone in WCW that they felt it was a bad idea?
Could Nitro have been as competitive if it was a taped series?
Just recently on the WWE Network, Vince McMahon said that you were trying to hurt WWE instead of trying to help yourself. How do you feel about that?
Do you think Vince was hypocritical for complaining about WCW poaching talent and getting aggressive when he himself did it to the AWA, Jim Crockett Promotions and others a decade before?
How much did you enjoy pissing people off at this point?
Big Show Paul Wight recently said on the WWE Network that you yourself would admit you were “a prick” at this point – would you agree with that? Do you regret any of that?
Why did Nitro start going on the air early? Was that the Network’s idea or something you wanted to do?
How often, if ever, were you getting feedback from Ted Turner?
What sort of edicts were you receiving from Turner Broadcasting about programming at the time?
Where did the idea of having Madusa throw the WWE Women’s title belt in the garbage come from? Was it hard to convince her to do it? Do you feel like her doing it killed her job prospects post-WCW in the wrestling business? Was it WWE’s fault for not getting her to return
to the title belt? Was it a move you regretted at any time?
Vince McMahon said it was a “tawdry” thing to do – how do you react to that?
What was your reaction to WWE running the Billionaire Ted sketches? Do you think they actually legitimized the competition by doing so? Is it true Turner loved them?
Describe a week in the life of Eric Bischoff during this time period?
As Nitro evolved, one of the criticisms at times was that the show was written extremely late, sometimes going on the air with announcers and others not knowing what was going on in terms of the plans for the night – why was that? Was it actually that unorganized or were plans
changing on the fly because you were programming against what was on Raw?
How often were plans for a live broadcast changed over the course of that broadcast based on what was going on during Raw?
Sabu was brought in for the first few months of WCW Nitro but was gone within two months. What happened that Sabu wasn’t signed to a long form deal?
Talk about the importance of signing more talent as Nitro began, specifically Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko?
When was the first time you heard of ECW?
What are your memories of deals to send Bobby Eaton and Arn Anderson to ECW to help promote the Slamboree PPV in Philly? Why didn’t a working relationship with ECW continue?
What were your thoughts on the ECW product at the time?
How close were you following it as you were building WCW?
As you were building WCW during the Monday Night War, you hired a lot of talent from ECW – the point that some felt that you were targeting ECW specifically. How do you react to that?
If you weren’t familiar with the talents, who was advising you as to what talents were out there?
One story when you hired Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero in August 1995 was that you used WCW’s relationship with New Japan as leverage to get them to sign – how true was that?
What was your reaction to ECW fans chanting things like “Bischoff takes it up the ass” at their shows?
WWF built a working relationship with Paul Heyman during that time period – why didn’t WCW pursue that as well since Heyman and Kevin Sullivan went back a long way? Looking back, do you wish you had done that?
Heyman would often tell stories of suing WCW – how often did that actually happen?
What was your relationship with Heyman like before you were running WCW and then after the Monday Night War began?
What’s your take on ECW’s product at the time? How much of it influenced what WCW at the time did?
When WWF began working with ECW, you called it the biggest threat to WCW during a Prodigy chat with Bob Ryder – why did you feel that way at the time?
When ECW booked their first PPV for March 1997, WCW booked a Nitro taping the next night in Philly. When ECW’s show was postponed under April, WCW then booked the day after their new date for Philly. Would you not consider that to be aggressive behavior against a much smaller promotion? If not, why was the taping moved?
How was WCW able to hire Mike Awesome when he was signed to a ECW deal?
Were you surprised when Heyman went after WCW legally for hiring Awesome?
Do you think in hindsight, Awesome was worth signing?
When Goldberg was turned heel in Baltimore at the 2000 Great American Bash, that was a “big surprise” that was teased in the weeks leading to the show. At the time, there were rumors that WCW was trying to bring in ECW for a working relationship – was there anything to that at the time and if so, how close did it get?
What were your dealings with Paul Heyman like during that time period?
What are your thoughts on WWE resurrecting ECW in 2005?
Memories of the One Night Stand PPV as a show and as a launching point for a new brand?
Did you think the new version of ECW could take off?
How did the signing of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall come about? There’s a version that they, through DDP, came to you and a version that you had DDP approach them – what are your memories of this time period and their signing?
It’s been said that you came up with the concept of the outsiders invading after attending a New Japan show and seeing New Japan vs. the UWFi – is that correct and if not, where did you come up with the idea?
Obviously, realism was a big part of the Outsiders’ debut as was playing off the idea that they were WWE talents – where did those concepts come from? How important was it to get away from standard wrestling logic at the time?
In 2014, is it possible it’s time to get away from the realism and send the business back towards more of the older logic?
Were you surprised when WWE decided to sue over WCW allegedly infringing on the Razor and Diesel copyrights?
Where did the idea for you to be powerbombed through a table come from?
Did you feel that by taking the bump, you were showing your roster that you were willing to do anything for the cause?
Is it true the plan for the third member of the NWO was going to be Sting if Hulk Hogan balked at turning heel? How hard was it to get Hogan to make that move? Is it true he turned it down the first time you brought it up?
Do you think the NWO would have taken off the same way if Sting had been turned heel?
Memories of the night Hogan turned at Bash of the Beach and the crowd reaction with all the fans throwing trash into the ring?
Did you ever get any feedback from Turner Broadcasting about the decision to turn Hogan heel?
Kevin Nash has claimed that when WWE decided to bring in imposter versions of Razor Ramon and Diesel that WCW thought something had happened to nullify their deals with Nash and Scott Hall and signed them to new contracts for larger paydays – what are your memories of this and did anything along those lines actually happen?
Talk about the process of creating the NWO as a separate entity, with the music, the commercial advertisements, etc.
What led to you adding The Giant as the fourth member?
Was there ever a concern of adding too many members to the group?
What led to you becoming a member of the NWO? Did you ever feel like it was a mistake to put yourself at the forefront of the top angle?
Eric Bischoff urban legend time – is it true you just bought a new leather jacket every week when you got to where TV was so you didn’t have to carry it with you as you traveled?
Was there ever a concern that the NWO was so hot that it actually hurt WCW’s own brand?
Why did the NWO Souled out PPV not work as a separate entity?
How much of the Mr. McMahon character do you think was based on Bischoff in WCW?
As WCW grew, the stories began to circulate that you were extremely arrogant about putting WWE out of business and often giving speeches backstage that the company was out to put Vince McMahon down – at the time, is that really what you wanted or did you just want to motivate the crew?
Is it possible that with success, you might have let some of it go to your head at the time?
What led to the legal issues between WCW and Ric Flair? Why was it such a big deal that Flair missed a date in order to see his son compete in an amateur wrestling meet? In hindsight, do you think pursuing the legal action against someone who meant so much to WCW was a mistake?
There was talk then and now about the other members of the rosters being pissed because the NWO laid waste to just about everyone on the roster? Was that a concern at the time, or did it not matter because it was about the story?
What led to Roddy Piper coming in at Halloween Havoc?
As 1997 hit, you had Piper, Hogan, Nash, Hall, Savage, Flair, Sting, Luger and more under one roof – how do you keep all of these strong personalities happy and still get what you need out of them as a promoter at the same time?
How important was the rise of DDP important to WCW at the time? What is your response to those who say he was only pushed because you were friends?
At the same time, there was a belief that undercard performers such as the Luchadors and the Cruiserweights were being disrespected by management while at the same time being the work horses of the company – do you think that was a fair assessment?
One argument for the alleged lack of respect for the Luchadors was having some of them, including Rey Jr and Juventud Guerra lose their masks. Your response?
Is it true you threw coffee at Eddie Guerrero because he asked for a release? If not, tell your memories of the incident in question?
Talk about your memories of bringing in Ultimate Warrior to WCW? Warrior claimed that he was only brought in because Hogan wanted to get his win over Warrior and that if he realized how bad it would have been, he never would have come back. There’s also stories of Warrior doing whatever he wanted on TV and veering far off script. What are your memories of your dealings with Warrior in WCW?
Do you regret having Tony Schiavone reveal Mick Foley was going to win the WWE title since it caused a huge surge in viewers leaving Nitro for Raw?
Talk about the Goldberg phenom – when did you realize that he was going to be a major franchise? Why did WCW sign him to a larger deal in 1999 after he already had a valid contract?
You booked him win the WCW World belt on a live Nitro instead of putting it on PPV and making fans pay for it – or was it more important to try and regain the ratings streak from WWE?
WCW fingerpoke of doom with Hogan and Nash. In hindsight, a mistake?
When did you first reach out to Bret Hart about potentially coming to WCW?
The story that is often repeated is that Hart turned it down and then Vince balked at his contract and told Bret to go back to you about getting a deal again – were you surprised when Hart called you about coming in?
Did you feel it was a sign that WWE was on the verge of being defeated?
Vince McMahon has said that the reason he screwed Bret in Montreal was to prevent him from showing up on Nitro as WWE champion. Talk about your memories of that period – would you have put Bret on as champion?
Were you surprised when WWE screwed Bret?
Would you have done it if you were in Vince’s position?
Did the screwjob hurt Bret’s work and marketability once he came to WCW?
Did you feel that WCW got what they paid for in Bret the talent?
It seemed like he was never the major attraction or draw that he was once he came to WCW?
Memories of the angle and match you did with Larry Zbyszko at Starrcade 1997?
Let’s talk the finish of Starrcade 1997. Why did that entire deal with Sting and Hogan go wrong when you had expertly built up to that moment of Sting winning the title. Who was at fault for the fast count and why was it allowed to happen – was anyone ever penalized for it, because it seems like that’s the first moment where things began to start to show signs of going off the rails.
As we closed out the 1990s, Scott Hall began having a number of personal issues. Do you think anything could have been done to help Hall during that time period on WCW’s end?
WCW brought in a number of celebrities for angles and matches. Talk a little bit about the mindset of each of the following and whether they were worth the investment, in your mind, in hindsight?
David Arquette (this was a Russo move, not a Bischoff one, but get his
Master P and the No Limit Soldiers
What led to you giving Kevin Nash the WCW book? Compare Nash as booker to Sullivan and even yourself heading up the creative end of the company.
Let’s talk about TBS adding Thunder as a series – you’ve written that was one time you should have said “No” instead of doing what was asked of you. Explain why that is?
Is it true that you were producing Thunder without getting any revenue stream for it? If so, explain how that could even happen?
Why was Nitro expanded to three hours?
How much did the Turner Broadcasting structure and environment begin to strip away at WCW? How much of the problems that you or Vince Russo or anyone else get blamed for were actually caused by the Turner issues?
Is it true Turner Broadcasting once tried to force you to give them scripts a month in advance to be screened by their standards and practices? What was your reaction to this? How could they not understand how wrestling, which they owned for over a decade, was produced?
Turner’s ad execs wanted WCW to focus on children and families and in your book, you wrote that was when you knew it was going to hurt you – years later WWE was able to rebrand themselves successfully as a family company. Why do you think WCW couldn’t or wouldn’t be successful under their edicts? Had the company just gone too far down one road to turn around?
Break down how the corporate structure in Turner changing as the AOL merger came closer changed. How was it that Turner and Schiller weren’t providing more support? Why was it that Turner broadcasting didn’t see what brought WCW to the dance?
Do you regret not just calling it a day and walking out when you look back?
How bad did it hurt WCW morale when Turner Broadcasting moved the company’s HQ out of CNN Center?
Is it true Turner execs cost WCW a deal to have live NBC specials?
Do you think WCW was in a position where they couldn’t win at this point? Was there any way to prevent the company from being overexposed? What sort of pressure does that put on you as a person and a producer to not be able to find an easy fix or way out of the problems?
At the same time, WWE was starting to fire on all cylinders. What was your response when they sent DX to Nitro to “try and invade” with a tank?
When you were challenging Vince McMahon to show up and fight you, did you really think he was going to show up? What would you have done if he had?
Talk about the days leading up to you being sent home by Dr. Harvey Schiller and the moment you were told you were being removed from power? Did you feel like Turner had forced you out? How do you go mentally from the gear of trying to run a company back to its former success to suddenly having no responsibility for it and going fishing?
Thoughts on Bill Busch following you as the head of the company?
Your first thoughts when you found out WCW had hired Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara to head up creative?
Were you watching any of the WCW programming at this point?
What was your reaction when you saw WCW let Benoit, Guerrero, Saturn and Malenko walk out?
What was your reaction when they called you to come back?
What was your first impression of Vince Russo as you worked together?
What were his strengths and weaknesses.
In your book, you called Russo a “one trick pony and full of shit.” After your time with him in TNA years later, do you still stand by that statement?
Compare the WCW locker room when you were sent home to the one you found when you returned?
It’s been said that Russo attempted to put a WWE blueprint on WCW and all the characters and in doing so, destroyed a lot of what was left in the company by stripping the company and the personalities too far from what made them unique – would you concur?
Thoughts on rebooting WCW and stripping everyone of the titles in hindsight?
Memories of the New Blood vs. the Millionaires Club storyline?
Memories of the night Vince Russo “shot” on Hulk Hogan and Hogan walked out of WCW? What are your memories of what happened and what went wrong – was Hogan right in suing?
Were you shocked when Brad Siegel didn’t side with you against Russo?
When did you first decide you wanted to try and buy WCW? Talk about the back and forth with your team and AOL/Turner?
It was announced that you were putting together a group with Fuscient Media to purchase WCW. Talk about the process of putting the investors together and why you believed the deal was done.
What was your reaction when you learned Jamie Kellner had canceled all wrestling programming from Turner Broadcasting?
Do you think that ever would have happened if Ted was able to maintain his power?
Once you learned that WCW had been canceled, the story is that you tried to negotiate a TV deal with FOX but were unsuccessful – what was the reality behind that story and how deep did those negotiations go?
How valuable was WCW without the TV slots?
Would you have still wanted to purchase the company without TV if you could have?
Do you regret that WWE ended up with the assets?
There are rumors of your plans had you taken WCW over so let’s discuss some of those and see what was true and false:
1 – You were hiring Joey Styles and Don Callis to become the new Nitro
2 – Rob Van Dam was coming in
3 – Michigan indy booker John Muse was going to come in as the booker
of the Cruiserweight division and was going to have say over that
4 –All of the bigger names that had been removed from TV – Nash, Hogan,
etc. would be returning in a big angle.
5 – The company was going to be relocated to Vegas with all TV tapings
being held there on a weekly, live basis.
6 – House shows were going to be completely eliminated.
Why do you think there isn’t a huge surge of WCW nostalgia like there is for ECW?
What do you think the legacy of World Championship Wrestling should be?
What was your favorite and least favorite day working for WCW?
Once you realized WCW wasn’t going to be your future, did you feel you were done in the wrestling business forever?
If so, what was going to be your next career move?
You popped up in Canada attached to a promotion called Matrats – talk about that concept and how you ended up attached to it and why it never went past that level?
Where did the Celebrity Championship Wrestling concept come from?
Was it hard selling Hulk Hogan on the idea?
Talk about pitching the series to CMT – was it hard getting the series sold?
How long was the turnaround from pitching the series to actually being in production?
Of the celebrities, who did you feel had the best and the least aptitude for the business?
Why was Dennis Rodman chosen to win when Todd Bridges was obviously the best in ring performer of all the celebrities?
Why was the series never picked up for a second season?
When you look back on the series, is there anything you would have done differently?
Would you ever want to revisit the concept as a series?
What makes a good reality TV series?
Since reality TV features strong characters is manipulated via editing, how different is it from producing professional wrestling which is manipulated via the booking?
Did you find the background working for WCW for so many years hurt or helped when it came to pitching ideas to TV executives?
Is producing TV as satisfying as producing professional wrestling?
Of all your TV projects, which one do you feel most proudest of?
You’ve launched a number of other projects, including Buffalo Bill Cody beer – how hard is it to take a concept from the initial ideas and move it from a concept to a physical, produced product?
How surprised were you when WWE reached out about you coming in as a TV performer on their show?
Do you regret not taking their initial offer to be part of the Invasion storyline in 2001?
Were you surprised they called back a year later?
Is it ironic that you were brought in as a surprise the way you brought Lex Luger in for the debut of Nitro?
Memories of the night you were brought in at the IZOD Center to be announced as the new Raw General Manager?
What do you remember about the looks on people’s faces as you were brought backstage?
Did you feel any tension from talents who were formerly in WCW?Compare the differences in the way WWE’s production is handled vs. the way WCW’s production was handled for a major show, such as a PPV?
Did you ever feel any lingering hostility from any of the McMahons towards the Monday Night War?
What was going through your mind as you hugged Vince on stage that night?
What happened the night Ric Flair went after you backstage? The story that made the rounds was he was being interviewed about his time in WCW and got so angry bringing the issues up that he went looking for you and went after you. What are your memories of the incident?
Memories of working with:
Thoughts on the Benoit tragedy?
Will anyone ever be competitive against WWE again at the level WCW was in the 1990s?
What’s your take on the WWE Network?
How would you have dealt with WWE changing that landscape today if you were competing against them?
What would it take to start a new promotion today?
What are the biggest obstacles to trying to compete at WWE’s level today?
Would you want to take that challenge?
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions of Eric Bischoff?
Is there anything you get blamed for in the business that bothers you on a personal level?
Would you ever be interested in returning for another WWE run?
How do you want to be remembered in the business?
What do you think your true legacy in the business should be?
Any final words for everyone watching?