Bischoff Discusses Hulk Hogan’s Concerns about Hall and Nash Coming to WCW
On the latest 83 Weeks, former WWE Smackdown Executive Director Eric Bischoff discussed Scott Hall joining WCW back in 1996. Bischoff discussed his early talks with Scott Hall joining WCW, how they were initiated by DDP, and Hulk Hogan’s concerns about signing Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. Below are some highlights.
Bischoff on his initial contact with Scott Hall coming through DDP: It came through DDP. DDP had a relationship with Scott that I think went way back to their days in Florida together and a mutual friendship with Dusty Rhodes. And DDP and Scott were very well connected. Then, it was DDP who came to me and said, ‘Hey, Scott wants to know if there’s any interest in him coming here.’ And because I was a huge fan of his in the AWA and certainly was aware of what he had done in WWF as the Razor Ramon character, and I felt like he would compliment our roster. So, it was a very easy and pretty quick discussion and negotiation. I don’t recall there being any substantive issues at all. It wasn’t one of those negotiations where Scott was looking for a lot more money or any of that. It was quite seamless in terms of the negotiation. I got the impression that Scott felt — now, this is just the impression. And part of this is looking back, right? It’s easy when I look back some twenty some odd years ago to say, ‘Oh, this is the way I felt back then,’ but I tend to not to do that because, you know, when you look back 20 years on a situation, your feelings, subsequent to that situation, sometimes evolve and change and shade the way you actually do remember them.”
Bischoff on speaking with Scott Hall on his reputation before he signed with WCW: “But I remember at the time — because I had heard about Scott’s reputation. Scott came with a certain amount of baggage, and I was well aware of that in ’96 when Scott was coming in, and I talked about that with Scott briefly. He had kind of a reputation of being a bit of a s*** disturber backstage and being hard to manage backstage. And by 1996, believe it or not, we were feeling the attitude and the environment backstage in WCW as well as the front office of WCW, even though this was pre-NWO, was still pretty high. We’re making good progress. Things moving in the right direction. There was some good camaraderie, in particular compared to what I’d seen in 92, 93, and early 94.”
“So, I wasn’t real excited about bringing someone in who was going to be disruptive. And like I said, Scott and I had a conversation about that. And during the conversation, I got the impression that Scott knew he needed to change his approach to the industry. I think he knew what went on in the WWF was probably baggage that he couldn’t afford to keep carrying around, and he had to kind of reinvent himself to a degree. But he came in — Scott was easy to deal with. That’s all I really remember that the whole thing was very easy, although I was a little nervous about what would happen when he got into the locker room, but it never became an issue. At least, not immediately anyway.”
Bischoff on negotiating with Hall before Kevin Nash: “Yeah, and it came one right after another, but it wasn’t until I think Scott was actually signed or damn close to it before we started having a conversation with Kevin.”
Bischoff on denying the rumor that Hogan wanted Kevin Nash to be brought in as heel to feud with Hogan and how Hulk Hogan had concerns on bringing in Hall and Nash: “No, it doesn’t. No, it doesn’t. I mean, I see how it could. I’m not suggesting how the general formula you described for Hulk Hogan isn’t or wasn’t true at the time because generally, yes, that was true, but the exact opposite is true in that Hulk, and I don’t want to speak for him, but I think his — what I remember is that he was very, very concerned about bringing Scott in and about bringing Kevin Nash in. Now, keep in mind, Hulk kept a lot closer ear to the ground on the backstage, WWE drama — he just had a lot more contacts. He had people call him, talking to him all the time because he was friendly with a lot of different people who were still in WWE. So, Hulk had a different perspective and probably a clearer perspective some might say on some of the drama and the chemistry issues and the personality issues backstage that I did.”
“And when Hulk found out — I’m not sure if I told him or he just read about it, or heard about it through the normal channels. It wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t feel like I had to sit down and get permission or anything like that. But when he found about it, he was less than enthusiastic. I’m not saying he tried to bury him — him being Kevin Nash. I’m not suggesting Hulk threw a fit or he was angry, but he definitely expressed concern, and my impression at the time was that Hulk didn’t think it was a great idea.”
Bischoff on Hogan’s concerns and worries about Kevin Nash being the ‘leader’ of the Kliq: “You know, again, I’d be putting words or thoughts into Hulk’s mind by suggesting that that was the case. I’m not exactly sure what his concerns were. But I’m guessing because he had a much clearer picture, or at least had a more continual or continuous kind of conversation with people about the things that were going on backstage at WWF at the time than I did that that could’ve been one of his concerns. We never got into it with that much depth. It was — the reaction was, ‘Ugh, man. Really? Be careful with those guys.’ That type of thing, as opposed to drawing a line in the sand or pitching a fit.”
Bischoff discusses DDP helping bring Scott Hall into WCW, talks Hulk Hogan's concerns about Hall and Nash's arrival.
— Wrestling Epicenter (@WEpicenter) October 24, 2019