Eric Bischoff Criticizes Monday Night War Series, Talks Ted Turner & WCW 2001‏

Oct 9, 2014 - by Steve Gerweck

filed to GERWECK.NET:’s Sports section has up Part 1 of their new new in depth interview with Eric Bischoff. Bischoff discusses his criticism of the narrative in the WWE Network’s new Monday Night War series, his plans for WCW had his deal to buy the company gone through in 2001, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall’s WCW contracts, being in talks with a wealthy Las Vegas venture capitalist just before going to TNA about launching a wrestling promotion, WCW and WWE’s announce teams, and why he hired Johnny Ace during WCW’s dying days. Part 2 will be released on Monday and it will feature Bischoff discussing wrestling ratings, focus groups, and Vince Russo.

On the WWE Network’s Monday Night War series portraying WCW as only succeeding because the ‘big bad’ Eric Bischoff offered WWE stars like Kevin Nash and Scott Hall huge money: “Well it’s really hard for me to honestly respond without having personally seen it, but based on what you just described to me, it’s consistent with the false narrative that WWE has been engaged in, as well as a lot of the peripheral media that covers professional wrestling and entertainment. There are certain things that are based in fact, that no matter how hard WWE can, and try to change some of those facts, because they do have the platform re-educate those who either weren’t around paying close attention, or don’t see the other side of the true story to make up their own opinions, or own minds.

But here are a couple of facts that kind of shape that false narrative to the foundation. Number 1: Hall and Nash weren’t forced to leave their beloved WWE for anything, they chose to. They chose to leave WWE and come to WCW, not for the money, because the truth and the facts are that I probably didn’t offer them any more money than they were already making. I couldn’t really speak to this, because I wasn’t doing their taxes at the time, but I’m pretty sure that they were probably making more money. But the real reason I remember, having firsthand discussions with both of them, they didn’t leave WWE for the money. They left WWE to come to WCW for the lifestyle, because we had a maximum of 180 days in their contracts.”

On his plans for WCW in 2001: “In terms the business plan, we had our work cut out for us. We knew that the first year or two would be a lot of re-branding, that’s why the original intention was to shut it down, and make it go away, and have a relaunch, to give people time to forget all of the horrible crap, or at least hope they would forget, all of the horrible crap they had been watching since 1999. Because it was a very very different product in 1999, 2000, and 2001 than it was in 1997 and 1998, and we knew that. We had to rebrand it. So going to the theory or philosophy that absence makes the heart grow fonder, we wanted to make it go away. We wanted people to want it to come back, and to build anticipation for it, and relaunch it much like a new TV serious would.”

On Ted Turner: “Once the AOL Time Warner merger revealed itself for what it really was around 2000 or 2001, Ted Turner was effectively forced out of his own company. He didn’t have a network, he was no longer involved with the television business. At about that same time, he made the decision, based on the interviews I’ve seen him do, and the books that I’ve read, and conversations that I’ve had quite frankly with people that were close to Ted, and have spoken to Ted himself, Ted was fed up with it, he was done with it. He dedicated himself to his charitable efforts, creating a merging buffalo business, and all of the philanthropy he was involved in, and still is. So the idea that Ted Turner would reach out to anybody and investigate the possibility of getting into the wrestling business is so absurd and bull****, that I can’t believe anybody with any kind of credibility would throw that out there. It’s ridiculous.”

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