IYH Interview: Eric Bischoff
By Rios Granillo
Eric Bischoff interview recap from http://www.inyourheadonline.com
Welcome back everyone to the In Your Head interview recap, Mr. Eric Bischoff was this weeks guest and he was there to promote his new book “Controversy Creates Ca$h” (Available now) and to discuss his role in pro wrestling / sports entertainment history. This is one of, if not the biggest interview in IYH history, it was a very entertaining and very informative interview in which Mr. Bischoff did not pull any punches and spoke very openly about his views on Vince McMahon and his experiences in WWE, Vince Russo, Paul Heyman, nWo, DX and a lot more, so be sure to listen to the actual interview located at http://www.inyourheadonline.com. In Your Head can be heard every Wednesday at 6:00 PM EST and be sure to also check out past interviews in the archive section and sign up in the IYH message board were you can post questions to future guests.
Jack, Oneinchbiceps and Barbie Richards get right into the interview with Mr. Bischoff asking how it was that he was approached to write his book whether it was his idea of something WWE pitched to him. Eric’s agent asked him if he would like to write a book and he said that he would be interested in doing that. When asked if he was worried about WWE making changes to his book in anyway, he said the thought had crossed his mind but he wanted to do the book to set the record straight and that WWE obliged him with that and gave him full creative control with the book. When discussing about the book he says it’s a non traditional wrestling book in that it’s a first had account and not like other wrestling books which are influenced by the Dave Meltzers and Wade Keller’s on the internet or second and third hand accounts and rumors.
The internet and its role in professional wrestling is brought up and whether it is a good or bad resource for fans. Mr. Bischoff tells the story of him goggling his name and finding his bio on wikipedia.com and it has the wrong birthday and wrong information about him and his life and in turn was a reason for him to write his book. “The internet isn’t really beneficial to the business” said Mr. Bischoff and that for any good wrestling promotion to be unique and different it needs 5 core things, story, anticipation, surprise, reality, and action. With the internets control over wrestling fans it ruins any chance of any kind of storyline before its even given a chance in which Mr. Bischoff thinks is terrible.
The first of many call ins would happen and the caller asks Mr. Bischoff about the Nick Patrick incident at Starrcade ‘97 in which he made a ‘fast count’ during the main event of Hulk Hogan vs. Sting. Bischoff said that he was very worried about the situation when it happened and that the creative team went into “damage control mode” to try and fix it.
The differences and similarities about the n.W.o and DX where brought up, and at what point in DX’s existence did he see them as a rip-off of the n.W.o. “Immediately” was Mr. Bischoff’s response and he goes into discuss that before Monday Nitro was around, the WWF was geared more towards child and that it wasn’t till the New World Order came around did you see guys like DX, Steve Austin and the whole ‘Attitude Era’ in the WWF and that D-Generation X was a blatant rip-off of the n.W.o
Eric Bischoff was asked if a new feud between the n.W.o and DX would work nowadays and if he thought there was an legitimacy to the rumors. He said if Kevin Nash was available, Scott Hall was coherent and Hulk Hogan was involved it could work, but with the rebirth of DX this year its obvious its not the same DX and since they are older it doesn’t feel the same as it did originally. The thought of bringing back an older more water downed n.W.o would probably end up a bad decision.
When asked about the reason why there are no more good, good guys and bad guys left in wrestling and if the n.W.o is to blame for that Mr, Bischoff said “No” and that the n.W.o where really well liked by the fans but when need be the n.W.o could also be incredibly good heels and get good heat from the fans. He also goes into to say that nowadays guys don’t want to be heels because there isn’t strong merchandise sales when you’re a heel and that not everyone wants to be an old fashioned heel because they all want to be well liked and seem strong to the fans and not seem like a coward.
TNA is quickly brought up by Eric Bischoff and he says that if TNA wants to truly contend with WWE they cant try to be better then WWE but they have to be different from WWE. Mr. Bischoff goes on to explain that that is how WCW became so successful, that WWF (at the time) were the leaders in family entertainment and were targeted more to kids, that is why WCW went for the harder 18-34 year old male demographic and that is what originally made WCW different from WWF.
Two names are thrown out to Eric Bischoff my a caller, Tony Schiavone and Ed Ferrara. Eric says that although Tony gets a bad rap now, he was one of the hardest working men he ever worked with and that he had a tendency to let people walk over him but he was overall a very loyal, hardworking and talented person in this business. Although Eric didn’t work with Ferrara very long he says he had respect for him as a writer. A few words about Vince Russo were brought up be Eric and that he said he has zero respect for him and thinks he is a fraud creatively and professionally for the business. Eric thinks that Ed Ferrara gets a bad rap because he came along with Russo to WCW, but he considers him a good and knowledgeable when it came to writing.
Russo re-signing with TNA is brought up to Eric but he says that since he doesn’t really know TNA or Russo’s current situation that he really cant comment on that, but with his personal experiences with Vince Russo he finds him a “untalented, untrustworthy, unprofessional and a shallow person creatively”.
A question from the message board is brought up asking if he saw the “Monday Night Wars” DVD. Mr. Bischoff said he did and was surprised how good and how honest WWE let it be, but said that there was still a lot of big stuff WWE left out for the obvious reasons. He also goes on to say that WCW will never get the credit it truly deserves for innovating the business the way it did because of agendas that internet dirt sheets have painted WCW throughout the years.
Barbie Richards asks if Eric thinks that because of the way Paul Heyman and ECW use to cater to the internet fans if that was one of the factors to the internet savvy people to consider Eric Bischoff a bad guy. Eric thinks that a lot of people were able to get them selves over by putting the character of Eric Bischoff down and creating him as some sort of devilish character IE. Paul Heyman, Jim Ross, Steve Austin and even Brian Pillman
Jack asks about his meeting with Paul Heyman years ago to discuss the possibilities of an inter-promotional on-air feud between the two companies and what exactly did they want to do if that was a possibility. Eric said that talking to Paul Heyman and doing business with Paul Heyman are two completely different things. He went on to say that he would have loved to have done a storyline with ECW and Nitro but knew that would never happen because of the sole reason that Paul Heyman and ECW were on Vince McMahon and WWF’s payroll at the time, so an on-air feud between WCW and ECW would have never happened anyways.
The AWA is brought up by one of the callers and asks about his experiences first going there. Eric says that the AWA was his first shot in the wrestling business and when he went there says that it was in critical condition and was almost at the point of going under. He goes onto say that the eventual death of the AWA was caused when Vince McMahon decided to take his product national and take a lot of the other promotions top talent and the reason that the AWA and Verne Gagne lasted a little longer then other promotions was because Verne had extra money he could throw into his product but he couldn’t keep the AWA afloat long enough so it eventually sank like all the other territorial promotions did.
The infamous “Hug” between Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff on Eric’s debut on Monday Night RAW is the next topic of discussion. Mr. Bischoff said that even though he is very great full to WWE and Vince for having the chance to go back and have his face on TV again, but he goes onto say that if he had a choice back then, he would’ve done it differently and capitalized on the history built up for years between Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff.
WWE’s brand split is brought up and what his opinions on it were. Eric says he doesn’t really have an opinion on it, but then talks about that being a reason why people put a lot of flak on the n.W.o because he kept adding people to it, but in reality he eventually wanted to turn n.W.o into its own separate brand much like RAW and Smackdown are today but he does go onto say that the brand split was probably a form of artificial competition within the WWE and a problem with that is, the fans are smart enough to know that RAW and Smackdown aren’t two separate companies and that it isn’t believable, much like how nobody believed that Shane McMahon owned WCW throughout the ‘inVasion’ angle.
Jack asks what it was like have trashed and garbage thrown in the ring during the whole inception of the n.W.o and if he ever thought it would be that big of a deal. Eric says that it was unbelievable, exciting and that he has never seen or been apart of anything like that before or after in his professional lifetime but he would be lying if he said he anticipated the n.Wo. Where going make that big of an impact on the business.
Eric then brings up, that unless you are apart of the wrestling business or follow the wrestling business in some form or fashion you wont ever get it because pro wrestling is so complex its incredibly difficult for a non wrestling fan to understand the significance of being booed if you’re a heel and how that is actually a good thing. Most people have the perception that professional wrestling is a very easy and crude type of entertainment but Eric Bischoff goes about it as a very psychological form of entertainment and is very difficult to understand and comprehend.
A caller asks about his opinions on Ric Flair and the comments Ric said about Eric in his book. Eric said that he likes Ric on a personal level but regrets not giving him the respect he deserved back when he was running WCW and he continued to say that the lack of respect was because Eric wasn’t to familiar with Ric Flair and his work, so he believes he should’ve given Ric the respect he always deserved.
A quick caller calls in and asks about his opinions on Vince McMahon’s DVD and the quote from that “Vince only hired Eric Bischoff, to say he hired Eric Bischoff”. Eric says he doesn’t know if its true but he doesn’t think it is. Him and Vince are friendly to each other, but aren’t close friends and Eric goes onto say that he has a lot of respect for Vince McMahon .
Jack asks one final question before Eric leaves and that is whether he has read “The Death of WCW” by R.D. Reynolds & Brian Alvarez. Eric says he hasn’t read it but he has read exerts from the book and that there was an exert that Eric would classify as near slander and he called the book “Nothing but garbage and trash and not worth 5 minutes of my time”
In Eric’s closing moments on the show he wants to tell his fans that when you read his book, to read it with an open mind because a lot of what is in the book will be different then what the Meltzers and Kellers have written about him in the past.
….And that concludes the interview with Eric Bischoff one of, if not the most influential and controversial personalities in wrestling history. Don’t forget to buy his new book “Controversy Creates Ca$h” available in all major book retailing outlets. If you want more information on Eric Bischoff currently you can go to his website, http://www.ericbischoff.com .
Don’t forget to go to http://www.inyourheadonline.com and check out past interview in the archive section and sign up for the message board and ask all future IYH guests your personal questions or if you want you can always call into the show and ask the superstars yourself.
I deeply encourage every body to go and listen to the archive of the Eric Bischoff interview because this is definitely a cant miss interview that you have to listen for yourself.