Eric Bischoff on True Reason WCW Failed, “Clowns” Speculating Incorrectly on WCW Demise

Jan 21, 2023 - by Steve Gerweck


Eric Bischoff Reveals the Exact Day He Knew WCW Was Doomed

Today’s clip on the WSI | Wrestling Shoot Interviews YouTube channel features Eric Bischoff.

Talking to WSI’s James Romero, Eric discusses the exact day in August of 1998 that he knew that WCW was doomed to failure and why:

“I get called to a meeting. And I, I show up in that meeting and there are 12 or 14 people sitting around a long conference table. Only two or three of ’em I even recognized… We got down to the end of the table and this guy, his name was Joe, he was, he was the president of Turner Ad Sales… He sat there and he said, ‘you need to start producing your show for children and families’… Just like I forced WWF to stop doing it because while they were doing that and I was doing what I was doing, I was kicking their ass financially, ratings wise, in every. Now I have somebody who’s in charge of ad sales for turning broadcasting, telling me I have to abandon the very formula that got us to the dance and put us in the number one position on television..

I left that meeting and I went home and I told my wife, I said, I’m gonna quit. I’m gonna turn my resign. This is f—ed up. And all this, by the way, is a result of the AOL Time Warner merger. So I, I was ready to resign, but it kind of goes against my nature and I was still very loyal to Ted. I’m thinking, who are these jackasses who don’t know anything about my business or the, or the industry in general, or the audience that comes with it.

They’re telling me what I should be doing with my business. I’m gonna go to Ted. Well, little did I know that as a result of that merger, Ted didn’t have any more power than I did, and these people were all, this was a little bit of a palace coup. And if you read, if you read Ted Turner’s book, I can’t remember the name of it, but there’s a book that Ted Turner wrote that talks about this period of time.

So I’m thinking, these Jack asses, they’re just gonna be another speed bump in my way. I’m gonna go to Ted, I’m gonna make this all go away. But the problem is I never got to get to Ted. If I would’ve known that Ted wasn’t there and Ted no longer had control, I would’ve. Absolutely would’ve resigned because it made no sense.”

Later on, Eric also talks about the “clowns”- performers, pundits and fans – who cannot fully grasp how the business end of wrestling fully operates:

“So when people talk about, oh, the reason WCW failed is ‘cause of The Finger Poke of Doom, or the reason WCW failed is because Sting should have beat Hulk Hogan and there shouldn’t have been a false finish. It’s like, if fucking people are like children, you know nothing about the business side of the business.

Because they weren’t in those meetings. They weren’t exposed to the things that I was exposed to at a very, very high corporate level. They didn’t, they weren’t there in 1998 when my budget that had already been approved in 1997 was cut in half. They weren’t there. They didn’t understand.

They didn’t know that. So all these, you know, the clowns that, you know, were in the ring that didn’t understand how the circus really worked. We’re the ones that were, you know, they’re out there talking about what went wrong with WCW. No dudes, you’re a clown. You’re a performer, and by a clown, I don’t mean that to, you know, as, as a shot, but I’m comparing it to the circus.”

If you use any of these quotes or imbed the video on your website, please credit WSI | Wrestling Shoot Interviews with a link to the channel –

One Response

  1. Indigo Andy says:

    Either he or whoever transcribed this are incorrect on one point though. The AOL Time Warner merger was in 2001. Which was where AOL bought Time Warner and the decision to make Jaime Kellner the head of Turner Broadcasting was made.

    The 1996 merger is typically just called Time Warner merger in which Time Warner bought Turner Broadcasting. Which interesting to see that the new Warner people were pushing that ideology even there. Kellner’s history with that ideology over on the WB Network and later Cartoon Network is pretty well known but it appears people other than him at Warner were just as much preachers of it.

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