Eric Bischoff on Dusty’s lack of planning and story structure

Mar 30, 2020 - by Steve Gerweck

Photo Credit: Photo credit: World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

by Chris Siggia

9:30 Bischoff on Dusty Rhodes: I learned so much from dusty and I think dusty was one of the most creative people that I ever worked with. however, just because one is creative doesn’t mean that that same creative instinct doesn’t follow the logical trajectory and I think if there are wise a flaw in Dusty Rhodes’ booking is the lack of logic and consistency. His ideas were big, and they were great ideas and they were epic in scope as Dusty you would lay them out on paper and explain them. Sometimes I would sit in Dusty’s office an hour or two and I would listen to him talk about his vision and his overall ideas and they were phenomenal but I didn’t realize it then because I didn’t have the experience or the understanding of creative back in the early ’90s, but, as guys like Gene and others who worked in WWF, I spent more and more time talking to them about how the WWF was so successful and why there stories made so much more sense than ours and it became clear to me that you not only have to have a great idea, and a great vision, but in order for it to work, there has to be a plan. Ideally, each beat along the way progresses along the way that captures the audience’s imagination. We didn’t have that in WCW. One of the flaws in Dusty’s approach and one of the reasons I think a lot of Dusty’s ideas didn’t hit as well as they could have been because of the lack of planning and story structure.”

1:00:00 Bischoff on Sting dropping from the ceiling: “I hired a guy by the name of Ellis Edwards who by the way who still works for WWE to this day doing the same things he would do for WCW which is staging on stunt work…It was Ellis’ idea to repel…When we pitched the idea to Sting, he loved the idea but Steve Borden is a very intelligent guy and he was not going to put himself in a situation that was dangerous, so it took a little bit of convincing but it was not like he jumped all over the idea…nor did he say I’m not doing that. He was somewhat in between, until again, Ellis did a great job explaining how the stunt would go down, how it would be executed. Ellis went out and got like a 240-pound crash dummy that had articulating joints and the whole nine yards. We practiced the stunts with the crash dummy so Steve can see it happen before him and then started doing it. I think he may have repelled the first time or two with another stunt person to get the hang of it and get confident and then go through it.”

1:56:00 Bischoff on how his son was treated by classmates during in time in WCW: “I’m not bragging on my kid, but he got his black belt when he was 12 or 13 from Ernest Miller and he had been training in karate, martial arts, and I started him wrestling as a 5 year old in amateur wrestling. Garrett is a physical guy anyway. He is much more of a natural athlete than I ever was. He pretty much laid down the law early on in Atlanta and given a little bit of sh-t, he would whip somebody’s ass and get himself expelled from school. I told him, people that say whatever they want to you, they can make fun of you, they can call you names, whatever. Don’t react to it. Don’t sell it. Just move on. But the minute somebody lays a hand on you, yeah, all bets are off, do what you need to do. Just hurt them because eventually the word will get out and people will stop doing that sh-t. I gave him a hall pass if he didn’t touch anybody first or threaten anybody first as that’s encouraging it. But if somebody grabs you, pushing you around while they are giving you sh-t, just beat the f–k out of them and don’t let them up until they can’t get up on their own, and then, nobody will bother you anymore. He took that advise and it caused some problems form him at school for a couple weeks, or a month or two, and after that, he had no issues.”

2:00:00 Bishcoff on today’s wrestling merchandise compared to before: “Nobody is coming up with sh-t that you can wear to a bar and try to get laid. Everything has a picture of a wrestler or a slogan or a catchphrase or some other graphic. If you put that shirt on at a wrestling event, cool, you’re one of us. But if you are wearing that shirt and you go out at night, your kind of a f–king geek. When somebody comes up with merchandise that is cool enough that you can wear to a wrestling event and away from a wrestling event, you’re cool no matter what, then you’re making money. The obvious let’s do a shirt with somebody’s picture on it, f–k, like I’m going to wear a shirt with a picture of another guy on it, especially of a guy who looks better than me.”

2:34:00 Bischoff on Kevin Sullivan booking heat. “I talked with Kevin Nash and he felt that without Kevin Sullivan in his ability to manage the talent, and by managing the talent, I mean, giving them emotional and psychological aspirins to get them through the fact that the entire formula was being turned upside down and on its head, and the babyfaces weren’t getting comebacks at least at the very beginning of the evolution of the NWO story. It took a lot of convincing and counseling and hand holding and babysitting and cocktails and all kinds of other things to get talent through the fact that the formula they have been using throughout their entire careers at that point was being thrown out the window and anarchy rules and convincing them that eventually the babyfaces will make their comeback, not next week, not next month, maybe next year. That was a tough pill for a lot of the talent to swallow because they were on unfirm ground.”

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