Hack-Man Pro-Wrestling Eric Bischoff Q&A Session

Last updated 4 December 1999

This interview was conducted on 12 October 1996 by Bob Ryder.

Thanks to Prodigy for allowing this excerpt.

Question: Hey Eric B., andy plans to put any WCW wrestlers into legitimate martial arts matchups like Antonio Inoki does with his wrestlers in New Japan?

Eric Bischoff: No plans at this time, although a number of new athletes have legitimate martial arts background, and have expressed an interest in competing in Japan in some of the shootfighting events that take place there.

Question: Eric: Rumors are running wild about the bidding by the "Big Two" on Bret Hart. While you most likely can't give info on the negotiations, what is the likelihood that Bret Hart will be in WCW in the near future? And what do you expect from him on the Oct. 21 RAW? And what about the WON Hotline report that you have matched a $4 million for 4 yrs offer the WWF has made to Bret?

Eric Bischoff: I'm not engaged in any kind of a bidding war for Bret Hart, and I think the likelyhood of Bret Hart joining WCW is slim at best. I have no idea, nor am I really that concerned with anything RAW is going to do with Bret Hart on Oct 21. The idea of me matching a $4 Million offer is absurd. If Vince McMahon can pay anyone $4Million, hats off to him and to Bret Hart.

Question: When are you going to have WCW start winning against the NWO ?

Eric Bischoff: I think WCW's future will start looking much brighter in the near future, possibly in the next month or two months.

Question: Is the WCW going to mount a counter offensive this week on NITRO? I think that everyone is getting sick of every NITRO ending with Savage being laid out....

Eric Bischoff: I think we have something special in store for viewers this Monday night, and I don't want to suggest that Randy Savage is going to kick the hell out of the NWO singlehandidly. Randy's situation at WCW is tentative, to say the least. He is going through some problems and we may get insight into that.

Question: Eric, what do you think about Terry Gordy working in ECW and apparently WWF....given his condition do you think he should be allowed to work?

Eric Bischoff: I'm not familiar enough with Terry Gordy's physical condition to comment on whether or not he should work.

Question: Eric: Last time you visited us, I mentioned Jerry Lawler. In his latest debacle, Lawler wowed the USWA fans with a tirade in which he read directly from the Observer, speaking about WCW's latest draws, etc, and calling WCW 'rip-off' artists. Any thoughts, considering the fact that one NITRO may outdraw the last year of USWA Memphis shows combined?

Eric Bischoff: I think for Jerry Lawler to call me a rip-off artist given the current storyline in the WWF is laughable, and only solidifies the statements I made last time. Jerry Lawler is quite obviously a very bitter man. I wish him the best, but it's quite obvious he is obsessed. His bitterness is quite evident.

Question: Seing the NWO kill WCW week after week will gets old...but having WCW beat up the NWO takes away all the heat the NWO has as being unbeatable...how can you keep it up?!

Eric Bischoff: Stay tuned.

Question: Eric,are you still planning on stripping the WCW World Champion soon and puting the belt up in WW3?

Eric Bischoff: I haven't made up my mind yet, but it's looking less likely by the day based on feedback I have heard and read.

Question: Eric: Last time you were here, you mentioned that you would be continuing negotiations with Gene Okerlund? Are those talks still continuing, and if so, where do they stand?

Eric Bischoff: Yes, we are still talking to Gene. It looks quite possible that Gene will be returning, and we should know in the next week to 10 days.

Question: What is the future of macho man and Sting?

Eric Bischoff: Randy Savage's contract is up in November and to be quite honest...I don't discuss ongoing discussions about ongoing negotiations, so I won't be able to comment on much. That being said, we would love for Randy to continue to be a part of WCW but at this time it's a big question mark. Sting....I don't know. It's my firm belief that Sting will remain a part of WCW for quite awhile. It's been reported that Sting has signed a longterm contract with WCW which is not accurate. Sting is in a good position right now because of the state of the wrestling business right now. I think he is happy with WCW right now. I know he just sold his house, and would like to do things other than WCW. You'd really have to ask Sting. I believe he will be with us for quite some time.

Question: Eric: Halloween Havoc lights up the Vegas strip in just a couple of weeks. I'll be there, you'll be there, and in an even more bizarre matchup, Katz and Madden will be doing RealAudio play-by-play on the Internet. Any other technologic advances from WCW coming soon? :>

Eric Bischoff: Two tin cans and a string. I think we are about as cutting edge as we're going to get for awhile.

Question: Eric: About the Horsemen. Flair's out of action, Dillon's in the front office...will Flair be introducing Jarrett as a Horseman? And will Dillon be taking any type of on-screen role?

Eric Bischoff: I've answered the Dillon part before. JJ Dillon will not have any onscreen role. That's definitive. I had a good talk with Ric Flair last week, and Ric and I are currently discussing several options as far as his role. Ric Flair will continue to be a part of the Four Horsemen. He represents the Horsemen more than anyone else. Quite frankly, I haven't decided yet. A lot of people would like for Jeff to become a part of the Four Horsemen. I haven't had a chance to talk to Jeff about it...and more importantly I haven't had a chance to talk to Arn and Ric about it. Until I have a chance to talk to them about it I won't make any decisions about the Four Horsemen.

Question: Why the decision to keep Jarrett on the side of WCW? Didn't want to add any more members to the NWO at this time?

Eric Bischoff: I think Jeff Jarrett in some ways represents more of what WCW is about. He's a second generation wrestler and is a little bit more of a traditional wrestlers wrestler and fits very well in WCW.

Question: oops is there a man named Darion Collins coming int WCW

Eric Bischoff: Never heard of him.

Question: Eric, thanks for being here. I have talked to a number of people and the general consensus is that the NWO angle is very good, but people are getting very frustrated with the NWO having their way every time. When does the WCW get it's turn?

Eric Bischoff: I think it could happen at Halloween Havoc, but I will promise you that before the end of the year...one way or another, WCW is going to take back some of it's turf. I don't mean to be cute here...it could start happening this Monday night. The shift of the balance of power will happen by the end of the year. action while networks are in commercial breaks. One reason we monitored RAW in the beginning of the year was to see if they had the ability to time their show to be in action during the

Question: You stated in a interview to ML Curley that the WWF did not know how to produce wrestling on tv until july when the lawsuit let them open your books how could you make such a statement when the WWF production value still is better than yours

Eric Bischoff: I would suggest that their production values with their live effort is a far cry from the production values of NITRO. My point was in that interview that one of the aspects of producing television in a prime time competitive environment is what is refered to as quarter hour maintenence. What I mean by that is to be in quarter hours during commercial breaks. Invariably they would go to commercial break while we were in action. We laughed at that because someone with their experience could screw up quarter hour maintence. It wasn't until they got our information through the lawsuit that they took our notes and formats and figured out one of the ways we were kicking their butts every week and tried to correct that. With regard to their taped programs, I would agree that they do post production better than WCW does. When they had syndication and the things they post produce, they do a better job in some cases...but they have three times the staff and twice the resources. When it comes to live television....they aren't even in the same game.

Question: Eric,do you think you can out do what Paul heyman did here wensday by staying on here for 3 hours and answering all of our questions honestly?

Eric Bischoff: Absolutely not. I can assure you I won't be here for 3 hours, but I'll do my best to answer your questions honestly.

Question: Eric What is your input on the ECW/WWF situation???

Eric Bischoff: I responded to that last time. It's great for ECW because they get exposure they wouldn't otherwise get. It will have a minimal impact on WWF.

Question: With the plethora of tag-teams in WCW at the present time, I think this would be a perfect time to bring back the defunct US Tag-Team Title. What are your thoughts on this?

Eric Bischoff: Other people have mentioned that. Quite frankly, I think too many titles tend to clutter the picture. I'm not saying it won't happen, but right now I think it's more important to distinguish the US Title, Television Title, and Cruiserweight Title and make them more significant. That's my goal right now.

Question: Are you Interested in Raven?

Eric Bischoff: No

Question: Is it true that Macho may leave WCW if he does not win the title at Halloween Havoc?

Eric Bischoff: As I stated earlier, Randy's relationship with WCW is a big question mark after November 14 or 15th. Whether or not he wins the title isn't really a factor.

Question: Eric, seeing as how you worked in the AWA, and that you've brought some talent from there, over to WCW..would you ever think of redoing, or bringing back the tag team Badd Company?

Eric Bischoff: I dont' think so. The thought hasn't occured to me and doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling when I think about it.

Question: Is it true That Mabel and Bam Bsm Biegelow are coming to WCW?

Eric Bischoff: Absolutely not true. I have not had a conversation with either one of them other than a brief talk with BamBam several months ago that didn't have anything to do with coming to WCW. Not that they wouldn't be welcome...it's just we have no plans for it.

Question: How long will Flair be out once he has surgery on his torn rotator cuff?

Eric Bischoff: I think the surgery will be within the next week. I don't know how long he'll be out, I think from a month to 3 months. I believe Jim Andrews is doing the surgery.

Question: What about Madusa and a Woman's Belt ?

Eric Bischoff: As stated before, we are about to enter into an agreement with a group in Japan to establish a Woman's Championship. We'll see more of that after the first of the year.

Question: What do you say to Vince McMahon's accusations that WCW uses unfair buissnes tactics?

Eric Bischoff: I think it's laughable. Even more comical coming from Vince McMahon.

Question: Who is WCW bringing into WOrld War 3 from other federations to fill out the 60 spots???

Eric Bischoff: We are just starting to take a look at that now. I don't have definitive plans yet. We are looking to see who is available. We should know more in the next couple of weeks.

Question: First of all,Eric,I think you have done an excellent job with the NWO angle, as well as the whole business as well. My question is however, howcome you don't give the American Males,Marcus Alexander Bagwell and Scotty Riggs the push they deserve? I heard they're very unhappy in WCW. Is it true?

Eric Bischoff: They've never expressed that to me. Scotty Riggs has been injured with a separated shoulder since August, and Marcus was doing a movie in Los Angeles. Given that, it's been a little difficult to do anything with them. I have a high regard for both of them as professionals and as individuals.

Question: Do you think Time Warner now will not let you spend so much on former WWF talent

Eric Bischoff: WCW is still a part of TBS, Inc and will operate no differently than it's been operating. Every year, I submit a budget and once it's approved I work within that budget. The last two years, WCW has done extremely well and has been a profit center and has enjoyed tremendous growth and success. I don't see that as changing but for the better given the Time Warner situation. It will give us an opportunity to continue to grow. It won't slow us down.

Question: Eric, have you ever looked into hiring such indie wreslters as Mark Windsor, Reckless Youth, Joe Massacre, or Vic Steamboat?

Eric Bischoff: I believe Vic Steamboat is going to be working with WCW. I'm embarassed to say I'm not familiar with the other names you mention.

Question: You have sent numerous emails to "The Shadow's WWF Page" to try and make him cease the comments made about you and WCW? Why are you trying to censor the WWW page?

Eric Bischoff: Quite obviously that is someone who is pretending to be Eric Bischoff. I have not sent any EMails to anybody about a web site. People can say whatever they want to about Eric Bischoff or WCW. It's not a concern of mine. It is a concern if people present themselves as Eric Bischoff or as a representative of WCW. I think that may be a legal problem for them.

Question: if the WWF would move Raw to tuesday or 10pm would you put a show against it

Eric Bischoff: Maybe. I reserve the right to be competitive.

Question: Why did WCW put Nitro on Mondays against Raw when it would have recieved more ratings if put on another day?

Eric Bischoff: I don't know that that's true...and despite what other people would lead you to believe...there weren't a lot of options open to us given TNT's committment to NFL and NBA.

Question: I candidly admit to forecasting your demise, but I equally admit your success. No one in your position ever managed to convince TBS management to spend at the level to achieve parity. Congratulations are indeed in order. Accordingly, is there not some point where your company will make an offer to buy out Vince McMahon? After all, Ted Turner attempted to buy him out in 1985.

Eric Bischoff: There is absolutely no plan, nor do I see any situation in the future where we would be interested in buying the WWF.

Question: How many more times do we have to see Randy Savage get the living daylights beat out of him, before the other WCW stars do something to the New World Order?.

Eric Bischoff: We're all getting a little tired of Randy getting his ass kicked. Hopefully Randy will do something about that in the very near future.

Question: Eric, I asked you this last time and you didn't agree..but on recent NITROs the majority of the crowd has been Pro-NWO..NWO chants in a way ruined Jeff Jarrett's interview Monday..do you still feel that it's not a mistake to plant NWO fan support?

Eric Bischoff: That's a good question, and it's a big concern for alot of people in WCW...both wrestlers and office personell. The truth of the matter is the NWO, whether or not they are an incredibly popular entity and it's changing not only the course of business for WCW, but it's changing the way people look at wrestling. Only time is going to tell whether our current plans are a mistake or not. I never said I had a crystal ball, and never claimed to be a genius. We'll just play it out and see where it goes.

Question: Eric, you wanted tough questions....please level with us on just how much control Hulk Hogan has over booking and direction in WCW. Did his new contract give him as much control as his original contract did?

Eric Bischoff: Quite candidly, we spend probably 25 hours a week writing, producing, planning WCW programs. Hulk Hogan is not a part of that process, and his new agreement provides him with less of an opportunity to influence the direction of WCW than his previous agreement.

Question: Do you think that wrestling in general both WCW and WWF is better then 1 year ago?

Eric Bischoff: Absolutely. More people are watching wrestling now since NITRO debuted back in September...and I think wrestling is more competitive now because of NITRO and because of WCW's growth and the pressure we put on the WWF. I think it's fair to say that fans have benefited. They are seeing a quality now they wouldn't have seen a year or two years ago.

Question: Mr. Bischoff, If you could sign one wrestler from the WWF and one from ECW, who would they be?

Eric Bischoff: I mean no disrespect for ECW or their fans...I don't watch their product, I'm just not familiar with much of their talent. I know Raven, and have had a beer or two with him in the past year. I just don't think he fits, and neither does he. I remember Shane Douglas and he's a good talent, but again it's not like I'm coveting him. If I had to pick one I would have to pick Shane Douglas. As far as the WWF, I'm not saying this to be cocky or arrogant, which I've been accused of being, but there is nobody there that I want. Shawn Michaels is a phenomenal talent, but I just don't think he has a place here. After Shawn Michaels there is nobody else that would have any kind of major impact.

Question: You are aware of some discontented letters and e-mail from Columbus, Ga., fans to the Ledger-Enquirer over the failure to deliver in-house several performers inside the new Civic Center at the September "Nitro" show. Within reason, what are you going to do to make this up to the Columbus fans? Will you offer a refund to any fans who request one for that show?

Eric Bischoff: I was made aware yesterday by our PR department about one letter from a fan in Columbus. I'm not aware of the letters to the paper. A call was made to my office and was transferred to my PR department. I'm looking into the complaint, and if it's legitimate, I'll offer a refund. To my knowledge right now it's a singlular complaint, and if she has a legitimate gripe, I have no problem with giving her a refund.

Question: Has JJ Dillon given away WWF storyline to you so you and Turner/Time Warner can put them out of business

Eric Bischoff: No

Question: Most people in broadcasting who achieve the kind of parity you have with a previous leader in your genre have loftier ambitions. Where do you see yourself, or what goals do you have even with the Time Warner-Turner company within five years?

Eric Bischoff: I've got goals to do alot of things other than just wrestling, including producing a kids action program that I've been trying to get off the ground for 4 years, and including getting involved with animation, and possibly even getting involved with the movie industry. Fortunately, I was in a strategic business review meeting back in September and presented them with my vision of WCW in the next 5 years and presented my views about those things even utilizing WCW talent and that strategy was embraced by everyone in that meeting. So, I have an opportunity to pursue individual goals while continuing to be a part of WCW. Hopefully those goals will benefit WCW.

Question: Do you think wrestling can ever become what the WWF made it in the 80's again?

Eric Bischoff: No, I don't. In the 1980's wrestling went from being a regional product to being a national television phenomena for the very first time. There is no way ever to recreate that environment. In fact, there can only be one 'first man on the moon'. The WWF did it first, our challenge is to do it better.

Question: This morning, Jerry Lawler, on his live Memphis show, again attempted to discourage attendance at your Monday Mid-South Coliseum show and referred to "Eric Bischoff and his company" as a bunch of "ripoff artists," referring to the Columbus show and Dave Meltzer's column about discontented fans at the Cleveland show. Any comments about Lawler?

Eric Bischoff: As I said earlier, I think Jerry Lawler is a frustrated and bitter individual. He's free to say what he chooses to on his own show. I think for the most part, people who watch NITRO and who attend it live enjoy the show and feel as if they receive value for their dollar so I'm really not concerned with one bitter individuals point of view, particularly when that view is so obviously self serving. Even though I don't know Jerry Lawler, I can't help but be a little sorry for him. To: mmotley@IX.NETCOM.COM Subject: Eric Bischoff on Prodigy 10/12/96 part 2 From: mmotley@IX.NETCOM.COM Date: Sat, 19 Oct 1996 10:18:01 -0700

Question: When will Regal be back in the US to defend the TV title?

Eric Bischoff: Probably not until after the first of the year.

Question: Eric, has the Booty Man angle been dropped and where has he gone? Where is Kimberly?

Eric Bischoff: Ed Leslie and I will be meeting sometime next week to discuss his future. Quite frankly I don't know what's going to happen with Kimberly.

Question: Would you ever consider calling during a WWF Livewire show....or have you already tried? Hey...It's free promotion!

Eric Bischoff: No, I can't get myself to watch it on television. I really don't think I could lower myself to become part of that. It's really pretty bad.

Question: Following up on a previous question, what did you do to convince Ted Turner and your superiors to put the kind of money into the operation that your predecessors failed to do? The Monday night show is obviously the catalyst to put you "over the top," but if you could name three things you did to sell management on your competitive strategy....what were they?

Eric Bischoff: I increased ratings, I turned a profit, and demonstrated an ability to manage my company.

Question: I have recently became a WCW fan I really enjoy you product, Thank you for you efforts I will continue to watch.

Eric Bischoff: Thanks for your kind comments.

Question: Since HBO is being placed under Ted Turner's domain in the merged company, what are the chances of seeing a series of WCW specials on Home Box Office?

Eric Bischoff: While I won't rule it out, I think it's improbable. We are already producing a boatload of product, and quite frankly I don't think we have the ability to do much more and maintain any level of quality.

Question: Given the current series of circumstances and, assuming you are attempting to work as if you are number two----as most successful media operations do when they have achieved parity or leadership----how much longer does McMahon have as a serious competitor if he does not strike fire with a new angle with the public?

Eric Bischoff: I really don't know how much longer Vince McMahon has. Only Vince McMahon knows what his resources are. Quite frankly, I've spent the majority of my career in the same position as Vince. Digging out of that hole can be a long and painful process...and to date he has not demonstrated to me that he has the creative ability or resources to get out of that hole anytime in the near future.

Question: Was the brodcast booth destroyed Monday Night?

Eric Bischoff: No

Question: Eric, do you forsee Rick Flair's retirement in the near future due to the current rash of injuries?

Eric Bischoff: I don't think so. Ric hasn't had a rash of injuries, he's had one injury. Ric Flair is a guy who really holds nothing back when he wrestles. He has had probably fewer injuries than almost anyone in the business considering how many years and matches he's been in. One injury doesn't mean he has to retire. I think Ric Flair can stay active as long as he chooses. There are a lot of Ric Flair fans out there, and I think as long as those fans are out there Ric Flair will be there too.

Question: Will we see a Malenko/Guerrero (Eddie of course) match any time soon?

Eric Bischoff: That's possible.

Question: Eric -- What do you think of Vader now that he is in the other league?

Eric Bischoff: I think that's a good place for him to be. Everybody has to go somewhere, and Vader quite frankly did everything that he could do in WCW....and really no longer fit, given the level of talent we are showcasing in WCW.

Question: Eric -- I recall you saying that you lived in Pittsburgh once. Did you like living here? What area specifically?

Eric Bischoff: I lived at 634 National Drive, Penn Hills 15235 and I loved it. I lived there from '68 to '71 and some of my fondest childhood memories are from that area.

Question: Mr. Bischoff, are you considering holding some Nitros on College Campuses in the future?

Eric Bischoff: As a matter of fact, we are talking about doing that in the Spring.

Question: What is the situation w/ WCW and the Warrior.... Have talks broken off, or were there talks to begin with?

Eric Bischoff: I had a conversation with Jim Helwig I believe last February, perhaps January. It became apparent to me in that conversation that there probably wasn't going to ever be a relationship with Jim Helwig and WCW. I haven't talked to him since then...nor do I plan to.

Question: what is up with this NWO? they are saying the wrong thing to our kids

Eric Bischoff: Well, the majority of our audience on NITRO is made up of adults. I'm sensitive to that comment in that I have two young kids myself...ages 12 and 10. I spend a fair amount of time explaining to them about what they see on television, not only as it relates to the NWO, but as to other prime time shows. I think if someone has a problem with what NWO or wrestling says to kids, then it's there responsiblity to explain to the kids what they are watching, or to suggest another viewing option.

Question: Eric, I know you must recieve some of the top sheets out such as the observer, I was wondering if you get the chance to read any of the top sheets online, and what is your opinion on online sheets?

Eric Bischoff: I do receive them occassionally...I don't on a regular basis. I'm given them if there is something I should see. I'm just not in the office anymore as much as I'd like, so I don't have the time to read through the sheets. As I stated in the past, my only problem with sheets is they tend to report 3rd and 4th hand information as fact. I have no problem if they repeat 3rd or 4th hand information as long as they don't present it as fact.

Question: Are we going to see Dusty Rhodes again?

Eric Bischoff: Every Saturday night.

Question: Eric,is there anything you regret doing in the NWO storyline?

Eric Bischoff:

Eric Bischoff: I regret not getting up and kicking Vincent between the eyes the night they took over the broadcast booth.

Question: Mr. Bischoff (did I spell it right?) , could you please stop using the blue light when Glacier wrestles because it gives me a headache trying to watch athletes wrestle and everything's blue.

Eric Bischoff: Point noted.

Question: Where did you go to college?

Eric Bischoff: I attended St Cloud State University in Minnesota briefly and the University of Minnesota.

Question: How are you able to keep up with your hectic schedule?

Eric Bischoff: I don't. It swallows me on a pretty regular basis.

Question: i enjoyed every moment of nwo beating you up-if u know kickboxing why??didnt u show nwo what u made of

Eric Bischoff: I'm a student of American Western History, and I read a book once on Indian warfare....and it's a lesson George Custer should have learned. When you're outnumbered...you're outnumbered. You pick your fight another time.

Question: Eric, do you think WCW would ever try to institue a show like the WWF's Live Wire?

Eric Bischoff: No, that show sucks.

Question: Eric-What do you think of the comment Vince said on AOL about you "that it doesn't take a genius to pick Hogan's mind",and he doubts your creative ability?

Eric Bischoff: If Vince McMahon has any doubts about my creative ability, he only has to look at the current situation as it relates to the WWF/WCW market share on Monday night. While he may find some comfort in believing the illusion that I'm picking Hulk Hogan's mind, the reality is that NITRO and everything else that has gone on at WCW has been the product of a lot of hard work from a lot of people, not excluding Hulk Hogan, but involving a team effort from all of us. When I think about it, it's hard not to laugh at Vince McMahon's comment, given the fact that he is the guy that dressed Ron Simmons up like the doorman at Caesars' Palace.

Question: Mr. Bischoff, the last time you were on Prodigy, you said some unkind things about Jerry Lawler which leads me to believe that you don't have a very good relationship with him. What happened?

Eric Bischoff: I didn't say anything unkind. I responded to a question about some rather agressive tactics that Lawler took on his own show about WCW and Eric Bischoff. My opinion is that if he has said the thing he evidently said, and done some things I've he has done, the only conclusion is he is a bitter man. He had never made it to the bigtime, and before he went to the WWF, nobody outside of Tennessee knew who he was...and he's a clown there.

Question: Eric: It has been stated in newsletters etc. that you book NITRO either 10 minutes before it goes on the air, or even while it IS on the air. If this is true, why do you use this unique booking style?

Eric Bischoff: It's not true. While being live gives the opportunity to change direction, sometimes rather abruptly...for the most part, we know where we are going in advance of the show.

Question: Why did you dump Austin & Mero on the bad terms that you did?

Eric Bischoff: First of all, I didn't dump Mero...he basically threatened me and gave me an ultimatum. I don't do business that way. Austin had been out for a long time with an injury. We had been paying him a long time without benefit of his service, and I decided WCW could no longer afford a relationship with him.

Question: after the NWO what Is next for WCW are you afraid that you putto much into the angle?

Eric Bischoff: No, I'm not afraid of that. I think WCW and the NWO have a pretty bright future. I'm looking forward to the next year or two years.

Question: Eric Will several NWO members be competing against each other in World War III?

Eric Bischoff: That remains to be seen.

Question: what do you think about the AWF?

Eric Bischoff: It's an interesting effort, and a very risky one...given the expense of syndication in the 90s and the cost of production. The wrestling business is an extremely difficult business at best. I hope they do well. I hope they do things to help create a larger wrestling audience and create more interest.

Question: Who do you think is the best wrestler in your organization today?

Eric Bischoff: I refuse to answer that question, on the grounds that it may incriminate me to the 67 people I have under contract that I don't mention.

Question: Is Jeff Jarrett going to have a singing career in WCW?

Eric Bischoff: Absolutely not. From what I understand, he can't sing a lick.

Question: How does your chats with Prodigy members effect your company's relationship to Compuserve considering the sight you have there?

Eric Bischoff: I don't think it has any negative impact. The reason I have the chats on Prodigy is that if I was to do it on Compuserve I think fans would think it's self serving, and nothing but a PR move. While I admit being on Prodigy Chat has great PR benefit to WCW, hopefully because the questions are coming in through Bob Ryder as a moderator rather than through a WCW employee, the questions will be perceived to be less self serving.

Question: Is there a chance that the NWO will get a woman "valet," as the WWF has done recently?

Eric Bischoff: I have no idea.

Question: how much did vince pay you when you worked for him?

Eric Bischoff: I never worked for Vince.

Question: I think instead of actually STRIPPING the champion of the title, you should have him DEFEND it against 59 other men, in the World War 3 battle royal...just a suggestion...

Eric Bischoff: One guy against 59? Go back to that Custer thing I mentioned earlier. Not very good odds.

Question: Will WCW ever come to Pittsburgh? I don't remember it being in town for years. How about a Nitro in Pittsburgh soon?

Eric Bischoff: I'd love to come to Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, union costs there are extremely high. Because NITRO is such a huge production, the cost of doing it in Pittsburgh is almost prohibitive.

Question: Eric, ya think there's any possibility of Alex Wright getting a shot at the Cruiserweight title on PPV soon? He seems to be getting lost in the shuffle... is he too tall to be an effective cruiserweight?

Eric Bischoff: Yes, there is a chance. However, Alex Wright weighs about 30 lbs more this year than last, and he's a bit too heavy for the cruiserweights. If he gets his weight down, he'll get a shot.

Question: Do u plan on having any WCW superstars signing on Prodigy???

Eric Bischoff: No, but I do encourage them, those who have computers...to jump on the online services and engage a chat forum if it's available to them.

Question: Any plans to broadcast Nitro in PA anytime soon?

Eric Bischoff: It's possible. I don't know of any immediate plans.


Eric Bischoff: Submit a resume to WCW c/o David Crockett

Question: Since Jeff Jarrett is in the WCW, and his father is part owner of the USWA, could we see WCW drivebys in Memphis?

Eric Bischoff: No

Question: Since mergers seem to be going around these days (Turner and Time Warner, etc), is there any chance that a WWF &WCW merger? Also, is there any chance that Turner might try to buy out the WWF?

Eric Bischoff: Yeah, when I grow wings and fly myself to the moon.

Question: What ever happend in that lawsuit with Vince Macmon when the WWF was suing WCW

Eric Bischoff: Which one...there's been many.

Question: Eric, as a huge Japanese wrestling fan, I find it in bad taste that all Japanese wrestlers who come to WCW are heels. Don't you think this booking method is dated and xenophobic? Don't the Japanese wrestlers feel the same way? And if you do use the GAEA women against Madusa, PLEASE don't make them heels.

Eric Bischoff: Point noted. Thanks for the input.

Question: Please do something to punish the riduclous display by the Nasty Boys on Nitro. Talking out one's buttocks is not quality tv or wrestling.

Eric Bischoff: It was in poor taste. It was embarassing television, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by that.

Question: Eric, Thanks for joining us, today. Are you aware that the NWO attacking everyone every week has become boring? Are there any plans to "Freshen it up" by adding a new twist?

Eric Bischoff: We are constantly trying to create ways to make NITRO more interesting, and will continue to do so. I think in the next few months, you are going to see several new twists that should satisfy even our most ardent critics.

Question: Why do wresterlers have to change their names when they change from WCW to WWF or the other way around?

Eric Bischoff: In some cases a wrestlers ring name is a trademark property of the organization. In other cases, it's a creative decision. For example, Ron Simmons wrestled in WCW as Ron Simmons. Vince McMahon in his wealth of creative abilities chose to name him Farouk Assad and dressed him up as a Caesars Palace doorman. That was a creative decision by Vince McMahon that wasn't necessary.

Question: How many children do you have? Do you listen to their reactions after a WCW event to plan the next segment sometimes?

Eric Bischoff: I have two children. My son is 12, and my daughter is 10. My son is a huge fan, and my daughter is only moderately interested. While I don't pick their brains, I do have a tendency from time to time to watch how they react to certain things...even though the majority of our audience is adult it's important to see their reaction. I do the same thing with friends of my children or with people in a mall if people ask me for an autograph. I always ask people what they like or don't like to see what the consensus of opinion is in a specific age group.

Question: Seeing that Hunter Hurst Helmsley Is doing a great job [IMO] in wwf do you think it was a Mistake to let him go?

Eric Bischoff: We wanted Paul Levesque to stay in WCW, and we tried pretty hard to keep him here. Paul believe that it was in the best interest of his future to try to establish himself in the WWF. He is a great talent with a tremendous potential, and is a very driven individual. I'm sure he will be successful.

Question: Why not build up contenders to cruiserweight titles better? It seems like all you do is bring someone most of us never heard of and throw them in a title match without any heat.

Eric Bischoff: Point taken. Thank you for your input.

Question: What is the status of the U.S. Title, with Ric Flair injured?

Eric Bischoff: The NWO stole the belt, quite obviously they can't make any kind of professional claim to it. We are going to have to try to determine how to resolve that issue. A lot of that will be determined by Ric Flair's surgery and how long his doctors think it will take for him to recover.

Question: eric, great show in cleveland a couple of weeks ago. any chance that rowdy roddy piper may join the wcw???

Eric Bischoff: No

Question: Eric, how do you think the independent scene can be built back up? SMW died, (I know you're real broken up about that), USWA is hurting, ECW is just there... do you think the lack of strong indies hurts the business, and what can be done to help it?

Eric Bischoff: Good question. That would require a lengthy answer to do it justice. I'll do the best I can. I think we do need more independent promotions. They are good for the business. I would like to see them flourish. On the other hand, the business has changed so much and it's become so difficult financially to draw any kind of house show business on a regular basis, that as much as I hate to say it, I don't see anytime soon where the environment is going to become positive for independents There is so much wrestling available on television featuring marquee names that small shows on a local level without those names just don't have a bright future. I wish it was different, and if there was anything we could do to help without it hurting our business, I'd do it. We have tried to work with Jerry Jarrett and other small promotions, but it's extremely difficult.

Question: Will Jeff Jarrett become the next "Nature Boy"? I heard that thought about

Eric Bischoff: It's something that I've heard other people talk about. I haven't been involved in those discussions. Until I have a chance to talk to Ric Flair after surgery, and until we have a good idea of when he's coming back, no decisions will be made and we won't be talking about who would be taking his spot.

Question: Eric: Do you feel WCW would still be #1 in the ratings if the NWO angle had never come about? Also considering the amount of exposure the NWO angle is getting do you feel that some WCW workers will become upset, since they will no longer be in the limelight?

Eric Bischoff: WCW was more than competitive with the WWF prior to the NWO. In fact, with the exception of the NBA playoffs, I believe on a week to week basis we were winning the Monday battles albeit by a slim margin. I firmly believe, as I believed before I put NITRO on the air, that we have the ability to be the number one wrestling organization, and I believe we would have done it without the NWO. As to WCW talent become discontented...I think times are going to change. NWO is not going to constantly dominate, and won't be able to be the dominate part of NITRO. WCW performers will have the opportunity to compete with the NWO.

Question: If Vince McMahon were to call you, right now, and ask about a joint PPV, and a working agreement, would you still be gain?

Eric Bischoff: I don't think so. I think it would be too complicated, and I really believe that there should be two or more prominate wrestling organizations. I've said it so many times, I know it sounds like I don't mean it...but Vince should build his company and make his product stronger. That's his responsiblity.

Question: Eric: We've seen a limited number of guys come from WCW's Power Plant. I believe only Bobby Walker, Billy Kidman, and High Voltage have come out of there so far. Are we going to see any new guys coming out of the Power Plant, getting a push as a superstar rather than being mainly jobbers?

Eric Bischoff: How about Paul White? How about Diamond Dallas Page? How about Ice Train? Just to name a few. There will be more. Stay tuned.