Pro-Wrestling Eric Bischoff Q&A Session
Last updated 3 September 2001
This interview was conducted on 17 April 1997 by Bob Ryder.
Thanks to Prodigy for allowing this excerpt.
Question: Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer newsletter and hotline criticizes both you and your booking committee for totally misusing the Mexican talent brought into WCW. He says you have relegated most of the Mexicans to glorified jobber status while ruining talents such as Mysterio Jr. by forcing them to wrestle a sloppy "American" style. Could you please resond to these charges?
Eric Bischoff: I'm not so sure that there's not some validity to that. One of the problems we have with both Mexican and Japanese wrestlers is it's very difficult to get them involved in storylines if they don't do interviews. It's a problem that must be overcome. We just really haven't had the time to sit back and create something interesting for them. That's not a good excuse, and it will be a priority over the next 90-120 days. Hopefully by fall viewers will see the Mexican workers in more meaningful roles.
Question: Eric - Is it true that you offered The Honky Tonk Man a WCW contract? because it is rumored he was doing WWF work without a contract.
Eric Bischoff: No, there is no way in the world the Honky Tonk Man will ever work at WCW again.
Question: Both Dave Meltzer and Bruce Mitchell of The Wrestling Observer hotline report WCW is rife with booking factions so bitter in their feelings to one another that booking Slamboree and other WCW product has become almost an impossible chore. How accurate is their report and could you please share with us the ins and outs of booking in WCW?
Eric Bischoff: As a matter of fact, I listened to Bruce Mitchell's report this morning, and Bruce Mitchell is an idiot who relies on second and third hand information that he likes to report as fact. While there no doubt are strong personalities in the ring and out of the ring, including the booking committee...in general everyone is working together rather well and are able to overcome personal and creative differences like professionals. While that may not be controversial enough for Bruce Mitchell and his
Question: Eric - Do you have a Prodigy Membership? if so do you ever come in CHAT and talk?
Eric Bischoff: hotline...it's a fact.
Question: Thousands of wrestling fans subscribe to The Wrestling Observer newsletter and call The Wrestling Observer hotline, all the while expecting to read or hear the best in insider WCW news. Since so many fans spend their hard-earned money on this newsletter and hotline, and since you are at the center of WCW happenings, could you please share with us your personal measurement of the Observer's accuracy and access to inside WCW news? Does Dave Meltzer score the amount of scoops we think he does?
Eric Bischoff: Actually, Dave Meltzer individually is far more accurate than most anybody else that I read. Meltzer doesn't have a tendancy to editorialize as much as some of the other writers, and also relies on information he gets from arenas, rating reports, buyrate information etc....and gets that from legitimate sources. Many of the others rely on 2nd, 3rd, or 4th hand information and are too lazy or too cheap to get the information first hand.
Question: Why is Bobby Eaton being kept around if you guys aren't using him? Doesn't WCW/NWA owe him something for all the years he worked with the promotion? He was great in his day, but he is way past his prime and can't really do anymore damage.
Eric Bischoff: Number one...we have a lot of talent who from time to time end up on the 'shelf'. We simply can't use all of our talent all of the time. Since there are no more territories to send talent to, sometimes talent gets cycled in and out of storylines. As far as WCW/NWA owing Bobby Eaton...Bobby Eaton has been paid well over the years, and he has provided great service over the years. Beyond that, WCW is not the wrestling welfare organization and we can't provide incomes to individuals for extende periods of time because of past contributions.
Question: This is more of a lobbying question than anything else...please bring StarrCade '97 back to its origins - the Greensboro Coliseum!! Here's the reasoning: 1) Fifteenth anniversary of StarrCade; 2) WCW is hot this year and could now sell out all 24,000 seats; 3) Greensboro Coliseum Complex is perfect for StarrCade ancillary events such as fan fairs, etc.; and 4) many old NWA wrestlers live within 100 mile radius of Greensboro and can cheaply return for Legends reunion. Event would sell itself!
Eric Bischoff: Thanks for the suggestion, and I'll run it by the arena booking people.
Question: Eric- What's Dave Sullivan up to these days? I ask that because I thought he'd be a great addition to the nWo. Imagine him giving the hand signal with the wrong two fingers up, or spraypainting oWn instead of nWo on guys. He could be hilarious, and it can be explained by the past history of Evad & Hulk. Evad wouldn't be a bad guy, he'd just be the guy the nWo picks on, but he's too stupid to realize it.
Eric Bischoff: Everybody wants to be a booker. The last I heard, Dave is coaching football at a high school in the Atlanta area. He gave wrestling a shot, and it just wasn't his cup of tea. I'm sure he'll do well as a football coach.
Question: Request TV has announced the ECW show will do between 50,000 and 60,000 buys. Were you surprised they did so well?
Eric Bischoff: I confirmed the number today, and that number is high. The number I have is about 40,000 buys, which would give ECW about a $300,000 revenue stream. I am surprised, quite frankly, it did as well as it did. I think Paul Heyman and everyone at ECW should be proud of what they accomplished and should be congratulated for succeeding in spite of all the adversity and obstacles that were in their way.
Question: Can you give us an update on talks with New Japan? Have New Japan officials been receptive to your acquisition overtures?
Eric Bischoff: Many people probably know I was in Japan about 3 weeks ago for talks. I am going back at the end of this month for more meetings. We are talking and the talks are going well. There is nothing definitive yet, nor do I expect anything definitive before the end of this year.
Question: In a previous chat you said Curt Hennig would join WCW "as soon as he is legally able to". Can you give us an update on his status, and can you explain the legal difficulties surrounding his contract with the WWF?
Eric Bischoff: Unfortunately I'm going to have to no comment that question as much as I would like to answer it, because of the current legal issue between the WWF and WCW over this situation.
Question: WHERE IS SCOTT HALL
Eric Bischoff: Scott Hall, I'm sure will address his situation himself....when he's ready to. It's not my place to discuss his personal situation.
Question: Is it true Shawn Michaels was at a recent Nitro?
Eric Bischoff: Not to my knowledge.
Question: Eric, with the sucess of WCW why doesn't TBS or TNT have another WCW All-Nighter?
Eric Bischoff: They probably will. We usually have one once a year, and I'm sure we'll have one before the end of this year.
Question: Eric,why did you have former ECW Valet Kimona Wanalaya be in a dark match and not on LIVE TV?
Eric Bischoff: We're not sure we are going to use her.
Question: Eric - what is your opinion on newly crowned "Pay Per View superstar" Rob Van Dam...and do you think you'll be dialing Bill Alphonzo's phone anytime soon, because as we all know...Rob loves to work Mondays.
Eric Bischoff: There seems to be a lot of conversation about Rob Van Dam and WCW. Quite frankly, other than the fact that he was backstage at NITRO, and had a brief and mostly social conversation with myself...a lot of people are making a lot of noise about nothing.
Question: Eric, Konnan is a great wrestler. Are you aware that he uses profanities in spanish when he enters the ring that are picked up on the mic.
Eric Bischoff: Yes, I've heard that once or twice before and I mentioned it to him. I don't speak Spanish, so I have to rely on people telling me. I don't think he's done it recently. If he is doing it, he shouldn't be doing it, and it will be addressed.
Question: Are there "ego" problems with the NWO? Is the NWO too big and causing friction among the wrestlers wanting a push?
Eric Bischoff: No, that's more of Bruce Mitchell/Wade Keller nonsense. I will admit publically that there are some incredibly strong personalities and egos in the NWO and there are problems, creative problems, from time to time as a result. As I said earlier, so far we have been able to resolve those problems professionally and cordially. I think if you really talk firsthand to any of the wrestlers in the locker room you will find most will tell you the locker room is a very positive atmosphere.
Question: Eric, you previously said that TV Asahi had little ownership of NJPW. However, the list of stockholders for NJPW in 1996 states TV Asahi is 2nd on the list, with 8,000 shares and Kiyoshi Sagawa in 1st with 25,000 shares. How is it possible to buy out New Japan WITHOUT buying out the shares of TV Asahi? How can you explain the "sudden new found" ownership that TV Asahi had for New Japan for over a decade?
Eric Bischoff: 8,000 shares of NJPW, although it may be the 2nd largest block, is cumulatively not a dominant block. If you combine Inoki's shares, and Saito's shares, and all the other shareholders, collectively majority rules, and collectively they have much more input than TV Asahi.
Question: Eric, what exactly is your goal in Japan: Work with NJ to promote in Japan? Or Promote in Japan with AJ? Or Buy NJ Outright? Or Run in opposition towards NJ with your own show?
Eric Bischoff: As I said earlier in previous chats, my goal would be to buy into New Japan as a partner and be able to lend our strengths in television and PPV to an already established arena company. What people may not know here in the US is that the tv business in Japan is about to change dramatically. The digital platform, PPV, and an incredible influx of foreign programming is about to come to Japan.
Question: Joey Styles did a great job calling the ECW PPV by himself. What do you think of Joey Styles, and would he fit in as an announcer at WCW?
Eric Bischoff: I'm impressed with Joey Styles. He is obviously a talented and committed individual. I'm sue that if he wanted to fit in at WCW that he would be a good addition.
Question: What are your thoughts on the ECW Barely Legal PPV?
Eric Bischoff: I have seen most of it on tape. Unfortunately I was traveling and didn't get it on Sunday. I have watched most of it. I think they did a great job, given what they had to work with. I'll also tell you that if WWF and WCW would have put that product on, we would have never heard the end of the negative comments and criticism. That's not a knock on their product, it's simply a different product than WCW and WWF. If you look at the actual match quality, ring psychology that they presented... most people would tell you on a scale of 10 it was perhaps a 2 or 3. In terms of high spots, and stiff wrestling and emotion...it might have been an 8 or a 9 on a scale of 10. It all depends on what you like and what you expect out of a promotion. ECW has done a great job creating brand loyalty. I dare say, they have done such a good job that fans of ECW look past their shortcomings and focus only on the things that trip their individual triggers. In ECW's case it's the violence, and the acrobatic almost suicidal nature of their ring psychology.
Question: I've heard that Chris Chavis (WWF Tatanka) is coming to WCW....does that rumor have any validity?
Eric Bischoff: I have not had any conversations with Chris Chavis recently. I don't know if someone else on the staff may have, but I haven't.
Question: Any possibility of getting together with that weasel McMahon and doing a x-over PPV? Champ vs. champ or something like that, it would be the best!
Eric Bischoff: I don't think that there is an icecubes chance in hell that we would ever want to work with Vince McMahon in any way, shape or form. He has nothing at this point to offer and we are quite obviously incompatible as potential business partners.
Question: Why is Hollywood Hulk not on the card for Salmboree?
Eric Bischoff: Hulk Hogan is finishing up one movie as we speak, and on May 12 will be starting a TNT made for TV movie where he will costar with Carl Weathers and quite frankly his schedule is very full right now.
Question: WHEN WILL STING FACE HOGAN
Eric Bischoff: Sometime in 1997, we hope.
Question: Why is Nitro so repetitive each week? The DoD always attacks Benoit, something interesting with the Lightweights happens and something happens to setup the main event which was not on the original card. It is usually WCW vs. nWo, it usually ends with nWo interfearing and this sets up a PPV match or just a privie of the PPV match (EXAMPLES: Luger and you made a deal nWo vs. WCW, gaint fights Hogan as a PPV preview, nwo has a brawl vs. WCW etc, etc etc)
Eric Bischoff: Gee, I don't know...I read somewhere if something is working, don't try to fix it. Our ratings are high, our arenas are selling out, we can't keep merchandise in inventory. You're right...there must be something wrong with NITRO.
Question: Are you aware of the fact that when Ice Train and Teddy Long scream the phrase "West Side" on camera, they are referring to a gangsta rap feud which recently resulted in the deaths of two young men?
Eric Bischoff: I guess I would have to ask Ice Train and Teddy Long. I didn't hear exactly what they said. I'd have to ask them what they were referring to before I rush to judgement.
Question: Eric, when you see Steve Austin in the WWF, deep down, do you wish you ever thought of the "StoneCold" gimmick when he was in WCW?
Eric Bischoff: No. I don't. Steve Austin, when he was in WCW, was a rather negative and bitter individual who either because he wasn't emotionally ready or professionally mature enough to reach his potential....His decision to go to WWF was a good decision for Steve Austin and was good for the WWF. He is a good talent and he has begun to reach his potential. At the end of the day, as much as I would have liked to have Steve Austin reach his potential in WCW...it just wasn't going to happen. It's been a lot easier for Steve to work his way to the top at the WWF simply because there aren't as many high powered names there as there are at WCW. He may have gotten lost in the shuffle here. That's not taking anything away from Steve. It was just easier for him to work his way to the top in WWF.
Question: Eric, how do you feel about the new RAW "look"?
Eric Bischoff: I'm flattered.
Question: Do you respect Vince McMahon? The WWF? Paul Heyman? or ECW?
Eric Bischoff: Vince McMahon is a pathetic joke. Vince McMahon is the Verne Gagne of the 90's. He's out of touch, outclassed, and not equipped to be competitive in today's competitive environment. He was great when he had it all to himself. He is at a loss at this point. I have to give credit where credit is due, and Paul Heyman deserves a lot of credit. Not only for what he accomplished, which is obvious, but for sticking with it when there wasn't such a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
Question: Do you know Inferno's future plans? Is eddie Guerrero now with the DOD to make it more intersting? They deserve a push! I also heard that Sullalvin has some real heat between himself and members of the nWo. Is that true? And a finnal question..e si this klique thing really gonna happen or is it just another 'rumor' that jsut HAD to start.
Eric Bischoff: Bookers always have heat with talent at any given time. Kevin Sullivan is in one of those positions where you can't make everybody happy all of the time. That goes with the territory. I have no idea what Disco Inferno will be doing in the future. I wish him the best. He's a nice guy and I hope he does well.
Question: Will the WCW being coming to Reno, NV ??
Eric Bischoff: Not Reno. We are talking about Tahoe, on the other hand.
Question: What do you think about all those people who say you should get rid of the older stars such as Hogan, Flair, & Piper despite still proving to be huge draws? Speaking of Piper, I know he has a conract with WCW because he wouldn't just appear for so long out of the blue! How long is the contract for!
Eric Bischoff: It's funny how people refer to Hogan and Piper and Savage as older stars....and yet put Terry Funk on a pedestal. I'm not sure how old Terry Funk is, but I bet he had facial hair before Hulk Hogan or Roddy Piper were born. The fact is, Piper, Hogan, Savage, Flair are the biggest names in this industry and have more drawing power than anybody wants to give them credit for. Starcade 96 was a record WCW buyrate. Superbrawl 97 almost broke that record. Uncensored outperformed November and December...and all three of those shows outperformed Wrestlemania. When people talk about Hogan's age and Piper's age, I can't help but smile and count my money.
Question: Are you planning on expanding your merchandise section further, including wrestlers as chris benoit, ric flair, dean malenko, etc?
Eric Bischoff: We are working on that as we speak.
Question: Has the absense of Hall made a difference on hoe you promote the NWO ??
Eric Bischoff: No, not at all.
Question: Is Rob Van Dam coming to the WCW,I heard he was and is forming a group with beniot,Malenko,and Jericho...?
Eric Bischoff: I'll reiterate what I said earlier. I met Rob at NITRO and we had a brief mostly social conversation. We talked about some mutual acquantances, and he went about his business and I went about mine. To suggest that Rob Van Dam is on his way to WCW is a mischaracterization of our meeting.
Question: What did you think of Nash saying "right back at you HBK " ??
Eric Bischoff: Nash is a free spirit. He's a little hard to control sometime. I would have slapped his wrist, but I was afraid he'd powerbomb me. I did make him stand in the corner, though.
Question: Do you think that the Extremes (Devon Storm and Ace Darling) will get a bigger push after they graduate college?
Eric Bischoff: That's hard to say. They have potential, and I hope they do well, but they've got a long way to go.
Question: Is WCW planning to come to more Northeast arenas like Continental Airlines Arena in New Jersey any time soon?
Eric Bischoff: Yes, as a matter of fact, based on Philadelphia and Boston, some doors previously closed to us are not [sic] opening up. With any luck at all we'll be in the Northeast this fall and winter.
Question: I'm sure by now that you've heard of the WWF/FMW working agreement. What's your take on that?
Eric Bischoff: I don't have much comment on that. We'll just have to see if it's going to be a benefit to FMW. It's hard for me to see how the WWF has anything to offer anybody at this point.
Question: Eric,do you have plans for Kimona in the future?and what do you plan to do with her?
Eric Bischoff: She got a brief tryout in Philadelphia. To be honest, I didn't see her dark match and didn't see how she reacted with the crowd. I'll be talking with Kevin next week to see how she did and we'll decide then. It wasn't my decision to give her the tryout and I didn't see her so I won't comment.
Question: ECW's buy rate was a lot higher than most people expected, and the show was almost unanimously hailed as one of the best in recent years. What do you think of all this? Do you feel threatened by these guys? If Viewer's Choice picks them up, they can be doing buy rates comparable to the WWF..
Eric Bischoff: No, I don't feel threatened at all. I think there was a lot of curiosity for the PPV, and there is a tremendous amount of fan loyalty to the product. I think if they had Viewers Choice they could definitely improve on their buyrate but I don't think they would do so expotentially. I think they would probably settle in around a .35 or .40, particularly if they produce PPV's on any regular basis. There was nothing really different to differentiate the PPV from the majority of their tv programs other than it was their first PPV and therefore cause for celebration from their very loyal fanbase.
Question: Will Nitro ever come to NYC? Will any live WCW action ever come to NYC? :(
Eric Bischoff: We're trying. Vince McMahon has a monopoly on Madison Square Garden and many other arenas in the Northeast, but those walls are beginning to come down and doors are beginning to open.
Question: Eric, why are there not signs allowed at some events?
Eric Bischoff: We do allow signs, obviously you haven't been watching the show. We not only allow them we shoot the signs. I've said before as long as they are not profane or obstructing the view, we don't restrict them.
Question: Will the new WCW show as rumored air on Thursdays on TBS?
Eric Bischoff: We are still waiting to see what the Baseball and NBA schedule will look like before we move ahead. Thursday was just one of the nights we were looking at. I would prefer to do a show on Friday night.
Question: Has it crossed your mind that if you don't give Nash some main event singles matches, that he will probably feel neglected and bail?
Eric Bischoff: No. He's not jumping anywhere. Nash is a very happy individual, both personally and professionally. I have suggested that both he and Scott Hall would be better served in singles matchups rather than singles [sic] matchups. It's hard for any individual to reach their potential in tag matches. They both realize that.
Question: Hey Eric- Will we the iminent break up of the nWo will we see Hogan vs Nash..the event many of us have been waiting almost a year for???
Eric Bischoff: I don't think the NWO is going to break up. People are rushing to judgement.
Question: Could you shed some light on the Bret Hart situation? It is my understanding that there were a number of dealings and problems between Hart and WCW and WWF...
Eric Bischoff: There were no problems. I laid a deal on the table. Vince laid a deal on the table. Bret made a decision he thought was in his best interest. I enjoyed every minute of my dealings with Bret Hart, and hope he feels the same about me. I hold him in the highest regard personally and professionally and wish he had made a different decision.
Question: Eric, is Bash at the Beach returning to the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach? And if so, when will tickets go on sale?
Eric Bischoff: Tickets are on sale now. Yes, that's where we're going to be.
Question: Eric Bishoff-if you are the vice president, who is the president?
Eric Bischoff: I'm not telling.
Question: Eric, What do you think of the fact that Wade Keller of the Pro Wrestling Torch says that you're booking is that of "just give the fans a surprise" instead of having your storylines make sense.
Eric Bischoff: I find that laughable.
Question: Lately we've seen High Voltage get a couple of victories on NITRO. Before then, it seemed they were jobbers. With young/new talent like Alex Wright, are you running the risk of killing their credibility by having them job week after week?
Eric Bischoff: They don't job week after week. They win some and they lose some...just like the main event wrestlers. If memory serves me correctly, Hogan has lost, Savage just lost, Hall and Nash have lost, Harlem Heat has lost. For the life of me, I can't think of anybody that hasn't lost in recent months. A talent doesn't draw because he never loses...he becomes a draw because he has a character, personality, charisma, and because he can wrestle. Not because of his won loss record.
Question: How do you feel about the fans throwing garbage into the ring and hiting the wrestlers?
Eric Bischoff: Throwing debris at wrestlers is one thing...and if the debris only hit the wrestlers, I'd say it goes with the territory. What bothers me is seeing a 10 year old kid being hit by debris intended for a wrestler. That kid may have been having a great time up until that moment. Depending by what they got hit with, it may not only seriously injure that fan, but may also turn him or her off completely from the product. It's inappropriate, it's against the law, and it's dangerous. People pay good money to enjoy themselves. We are going to great lengths to plant security in the crowds in plain clothes so individuals caught throwing debris will not only be arrested, but will also be held criminally and financially responsible for any injuries that may occur from that activity.
Question: Eric, thanks for chatting with us again. What's the behind-the-scenes reality of the 'factions' in WCW? Many have speculated problems between Nash et al versus Flair/Piper with the added bonus of Sullivan and others. Certainly in any organization there are cliques that 'compete' for their own vision within the company....how prevalent is that in WCW?
Eric Bischoff: I addressed this earlier, and will do it again. Anytime you have a locker room with Hogan, Savage, Flair, Piper, Hall, Nash, just to name a few...you have got some seriously strong personalities, some seriously strong egos, some tremendous wealth of experience, and a number of varied opinions. It's not always a picnic. But all of the individuals I mentioned conduct themselves professionally and at the end of the day do what needs to be done. They don't allow personal opinions to get in the way of business. Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan and Scott Hall are getting along great, and that's something nobody thought would happen. Everybody speculated how tough it would be for them to work together. They not only get along professionally, but they get along outside the arena. We do hit choppy waters from time to time. I would venture to say the same is true on any football team, on any movie set, or in any other area where the competitive nature of the business is constantly at a fever pitch and where that many creative people work together. That's why coaches get paid big bucks, directors get paid big bucks, and why I get to park for fee [sic] at the CNN Centre.
Question: Have you had thoughts of holding a PPV in Dallas? I think a WCW PPV would do great there.
Eric Bischoff: Dallas has never really come up on our list, and I'm not exactly sure why. We've never had a great following in that market, and I don't know if wrestling in general is strong enough there. I'd be interested in trying a house show there to take the temperature of the marketplace.
Question: eric- do you worry about a "sophomore slump" with nitro in that it may not excite fans as much as it did-- such as when scott hall walked on that one memorable evening?
Eric Bischoff: No, because we really are pacing ourselves. It would be real easy to go out and, although many people think we hotshot now, it would be easy to go out and give it all away...but if you look at the numbers, we are doing well. The important thing is to pace ourselves so we can maintain our ratings over a period of time, and once every quarter or so we can have some major developments in our story line that will allow us to sustain our growth. We are not in a desparate situation like the WWF. We don't have to throw everything at the wall hoping something will stick.
Question: With NITROs selling out all over the place, will that affect how many house shows you run this summer?
Eric Bischoff: Actually, the number of house shows has increased this year. I don't plan at this time to add any more shows. I don't want to keep the talent on the road 6 days a week. Wrestlers have families, and quality of life is one of the reasons a lot of talent has come to WCW.
Question: eric--it seems that ted dibiase has not been "front and center" lately with the nwo, any chance of him taking a more active role?
Eric Bischoff: I don't think Ted Dibiase is very happy. I hope to be talking to Ted sometime in the next couple of weeks to see exactly what his problem is, but he doesn't seem very comfortable at this point.
Question: Dave Meltzer has said on his hotline that, in essence, you have no chance of buying New Japan. A close confidant of his, John Williams has largely ridiculed Bob Ryder on the internet when he mentioned your possible aquisition of NJ. Bruce Mitchell, again on Meltzer's hotline, has said that you basically use Bob as a forum to pass on whatever propaganda you are trying to get across. How do you react to these kind of statements?
Eric Bischoff: First of all, Dave Meltzer...I've never heard of John Williams, but Dave Meltzer has never had a meeting or discussion with anyone from the New Japan organization to discuss this. I'm sure John Williams, whoever he is, hasn't either. Ultimately, he may be right, we may not buy into New Japan. We will be active in Japan, with or without New Japan. I said that in the beginning and I'll say it now. If I had a dollar for everytime Dave Meltzer was wrong, or Bruce Mitchell was wrong...I'd be fishing in Colorado now. As far as using Prodigy and Bob Ryder as a vehicle. I will feely admit I use Prodigy and the opportunity to use Bob Ryder to speak to fans. I do it because of people like Dave Meltzer, Bruce Mitchell, and John Williams, whoever the hell he is...because of the tendancy they have to sell inaccurate information to the people who call their hotlines and subscribe to their newsletters.
Question: With all the rumours going on about Shawn Michaels being unhappy with the WWF etc..If he got himself freed of contractual obligations to the WWF would you offer him a contract..in the past you have said no but with his relationships with Hall and Nash, and Syxx.wouldn't he be ideal?
Eric Bischoff: I never said I wouldn't offer him a contract. I have stated in the past that he wouldn't fit well on our roster. I have not had conversations with Shawn, so I'm not sure my opinion has changed in that regard. I don't know that it's true that he's unhappy or not. It's hard to tell what's real or not real in terms of talent relations in the WWF at this point...and I site the Vader assault and battery hoax in Kuwait as an example of how the WWF is trying to create interest in thier product by shooting angles outside of the arena with their talent. They are trying to recreate the John Stossel thing and make Vader a badass. Good luck.
Question: The recent business strategy of WCW over the past two years has carried it to the unquestionable status as the number one promotion in the US. The nWo foray into Japan has certainly been a success...what's the next step for WCW?
Eric Bischoff: Japan, Mexico, and Europe, with Japan being the number one priority.
Question: What will happen to Nitro when the NBA Playoffs start?
Eric Bischoff: We'll have to move our schedule. I think it will be starting at 7pm for a few Monday's and in some cases we will go with a one hour show. We are looking at the schedule now.
Question: Eric - what one wrestler, active or not in any organization, would you most like to come to WCW?
Eric Bischoff: I'm pretty happy with our roster, just the way it fits. There is really nobody out there that would be available that I'd be interested in. I said before, I wish Bret Hart had made a different decision. Other than that, I can't think of a piece of talent I regret not having on our roster.
Question: Is there any truth to the recent rumor that chris benoit was injured in a car accident the other night?
Eric Bischoff: Chris Benoit was in a car accident about 4 hours before Spring Stampede. He was hit around noon by a drunk driver. His Expedition rolled over twice. He was in the car with Woman and Steve Regal at the time. Except for a nasty cut on Chris' hand, nobody else was injured. Best bump of the day and no camera.
Question: Where are the Nasty Boys?
Eric Bischoff: Jerry Saggs has a rather serious neck injury and it may be some time before he sees action again. They are temporarily on the shelf.
Question: What did you think of Wrestlemania?
Eric Bischoff: I fell asleep halfway through it. I tried to watch it on tape, and just got too damned bored.
Question: What is the present condition of Arn Anderson? I know he had surgery on his neck. Is it true he's planning on retiring? If so, will he be working in the front office or behind the scenes?
Eric Bischoff: He is recovering from surgery. I haven't had a chance to talk to him so I don't know first hand how he is doing. I did talk to him right before surgery, and retirement is the fartherist thing from his mind. He is convinced he will be able to comeback after he goes through therapy.
Question: Do u plan to give indy wrestler a chance4 in your company or are u going to just take from the power plant
Eric Bischoff: No, we're looking for wrestlers from all over the country. I encourage anybody who wants to give it a shot to contact the power plant to let us see what they have to offer.
Question: Which of WCW's PPV events would you like to see become the next Wrestlemania?
Eric Bischoff: Actually, we have surpassed Wrestlemania, so that wouldn't be a good comparison to make. I believe the October PPV has the potential of being the biggest of the year. Either October or December will be the biggest of the year for us. We're already booked for the MGM for Halloween Havoc.
Question: Does Hogan approve of the direction of the NWO?
Eric Bischoff: I think Hulk Hogan is very comfortable with everything going on in the NWO. All you have to do is look at the numbers. It's very hard to be unhappy or critical of the direction we're going because it is working so well.
Question: Have you heard the reports of Vader in Kuwait... being under house arrest & unable to fight this sunday...... Your comment?
Eric Bischoff: All the reports I have is that it's just a work. An attempt to make that red headed goof appear to be a real dangerous person. The truth is, the only person Leon White would pick a fight with would have to be under 5'6" and under 140 lbs. I'm sure the average size of a typical Kuwati adult male would prevent Vader from getting physical with anyone from that country.
Question: Do you read The Lariat?
Eric Bischoff: That newsletter has come across my desk from time to time and I have looked at it on occassion. Unfortunately I haven't looked at it often, so I don't have an opinion of it. I have a tendency to lump them all into one category. You get what you pay for in terms of information.
Question: If signs are allowed at televised events, then why were signs taken away at the door at the Philadelphia Nitro? Was this a WCW decision or the Spectrum?
Eric Bischoff: I wasn't aware of that. If I'm not mistaken, I believe I saw a lot of signs on camera. There may have been some signs taken at the door that were oversized or inappropriate. Frankly, I like to see a lot of signs. I've told my director that if he sees signs that are entertaining, to focus on them. I don't encourage people to bring signs that are profane, or so big they obstruct. Don't expect to see me allow signs advertising a hotline or a PPV on my show, but aside from that I encourage people to bring signs.
Question: Are the Rock n'Roll Express still with WCW? How come I never see them if they are still with the company?
Eric Bischoff: They are not with the company, which is why you never see them.
Question: When you were a kid did people tell you that you were crazy wanting to be in the wrestling buisness and that you should give up the dream and be realistic about the future?
Eric Bischoff: When I was a kid, people told me I was crazy about a lot of things. In some cases they were right. I've always had the feeling I could accomplish anything I wanted to accomplish. Wrestling was something I wanted to be involved in and could be successful in. I've been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be involved in the wrestling business in a lot of different ways in a lot of different areas as I was coming up. Being able to get that experience has paid big dividends for me personally.
Question: Eric, isn't it true that your plans are to reveal yourself as a WCW spy on Nitro in one of the upcoming months?
Eric Bischoff: No, that's not true at all. That would be a very predictable, shallow, ineffective creative decision. It's been suggested to me, but I just reject the idea.
Question: Are you looking forward to seeing Reggie White in the ring... and how do you think he will do?
Eric Bischoff: Reggie is a great person, and a very competitive athlete who loves the wrestling business and has loved it since he was a kid. I fully expect Reggie White to surprise a lot of people in a very positive way. He's very committed to getting ready for this PPV. He wants to put on a very good performance and takes a tremendous amount of pride in what he does. I wouldn't bet against Reggie White.
Question: if VAN DAM comes to ECW [sic?] do you see him better utilized as a heel or face?
Eric Bischoff: Would you please tell Rob Van Dam to quit asking me these questions on Prodigy.
Question: Eric,is it true you are changing the name of The Great American Bash to Summer Stampede?
Eric Bischoff: No it's not true.
Question: Eric, thanks for bringing Nitro to Boston on June 9. I hope the quick sell out of the event sends a message that we here in Boston want to see you more often!
Eric Bischoff: It certainly sent a message, and we heard it loud and clear. We look forward to coming to Boston for the first time in a long time, and look forward to coming back on a regular basis.
Question: Eric--Whenever someone wants to refer to wrestling, they say "wwf" or "wrestlemania"...as in, "they're fighting WWF style." I've noticed that the NWO has gained exposure and may be recognized, but do you honestly think that you can ever make it so that when people think of wrestling, they think of people fighting "wcw style" instead of wwf?
Eric Bischoff: The WWF had a monopoly for a long time. They were the only game in town and didn't really have any competition. They had a 10 or 12 year jump on WCW and the NWO. I think very quickly, WCW and World Championship Wrestling will be the brand name that comes to mind first and foremost. It really won't take that much time.
Question: Eric--Is there going to be another NWO Payperview and if so when is it. When is Rodman going to make another apperance with the NWO.
Eric Bischoff: The NWO PPV is scheduled in January at this point. I'm not sure exactly when Rodman will make his next appearance. We are trying to work his schedule out as we speak.
Question: You keep saying you wish that Bret Hart had made a different decision, what were your plans for him?
Eric Bischoff: There was a lot of opportunity we discussed. There were several matches Bret could have had that would have been big money matches. Certainly he and Sting would have been a big success. That would have been phenomenal. Given all of the rhetoric regarding Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan...the personal issues there would have been tremendous to play off of. There were a number of really interesting scenerios that would have put him in a much brighter spotlight than he is now.
Question: Eric,did you see the Mich Pro wrestlers on the ECW PPV?What did you think of them?
Eric Bischoff: No I didn't get a chance to see that match. I will probably go back and take a look at it.
Question: how isWCW going to run in Japan without New Japan and where would WCW JAPAN stand as far as political competition with the other Japanese companies ?
Eric Bischoff: That's a good question. Right now, the NWO is the hottest thing going in Japan. There are a number of athletes in NJPW whose contracts are coming up in the next year who might be interested in joining a new organization, as well as some Japanese wrestlers just coming up in Japan who are not under contract with NJPW. We believe if we had to promote in Japan without New Japan, we could do so successfully using established wrestlers who would make the switch as well as young wrestlers not under contract, as well as the WCW stars who are already tremendously popular in Japan, including Malenko, Benoit, Norton, Hogan, Ultimo Dragon, just to name a few.
Question: eric why dont u try and get jesse the body ventura back into wretsling
Eric Bischoff: Been there...done that...no thanks.
Question: Eric, you mentioned you sort of watched Wrestlemania. Do you have one of those black boxes to get the free PPV? If not, I'll sell you one for...20 bucks. How 'bout it?
Eric Bischoff: Give Bob your name and number. Actually, I don't mind paying for a WWF PPV. I know they need the money. I sure would like to see them get those water coolers back in the office. I'd like to see people be able to make personal phone calls without having to write a check to the office.
Question: Where's Big Bubba? Were his injuries that crippling? More importantly, did he lose his smile?
Eric Bischoff: His injuries were rather serious and he's probably going to be out another month, perhaps two.
Question: Although I know you're going to say you would win but when are we going to see a Eric Bischoff vs Vince McMahon match?
Eric Bischoff: That would be fun. I'd even be willing to get back into shape for that one. I know Vince has been bodybuilding for some time, and spent a lot of time taking steroids to become what he though a wrestler should be. I'd like the chance to kick Vince's butt. Doing it in the wrestling industry is one thing, but I think I need another challenge.
Question: Speaking of one red-headed goof.....what's the real story behind the supposed White/Penzer confrontation and of course the White/Orndorff squabble?
Eric Bischoff: I'm not familiar with the White/Penzer confrontation, but I think Penzer is under 5'6" and is under 150 lbs, so the potential is there for a confrontation. In terms of Orndorff, he tried to bully a 48 year old one armed grandfather, and Leon White got bounced around the lockerroom like a superball. That's all the time I have tonight. I'll be back soon.