ERIC BISCHOFF INTERVIEW
Eric Bischoff is an American entrepreneur, television producer, professional wrestling booker, on-screen personality. Bischoff is best known for serving as Executive Producer and later President of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and subsequently, the General Manager of World Wrestling Entertainment’s Raw brand. Bischoff has also worked with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) where he served as Executive Producer of Impact Wrestling.
His story is extraordinary: In the mid-80s, Bischoff entered the wrestling community as a “C-Team Announcer,” and a few short years later, he was President of Turner Broadcasting’s World Championship Wrestling. He signed Hulk Hogan and started Turner Network Television’s Monday Night Nitro, created the nWo, and beat Vince McMahon’s Monday Night RAW head-to-head in Monday Night Wars 83 consecutive times.
He is a key figure in the Monday Night Wars between WWF and WCW which most would say was the peak of Professional Wrestling. Bischoff was at the centre of this ‘’war’’ which spiked TV audiences and created massive global interest. Eric Bischoff can now be heard on his weekly podcast 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff exclusively on Westwood One Podcast Network. The show features Bischoff and popular wrestling podcaster Conrad Thompson taking a deep dive into the highs and lows of Bischoff’s unparalleled success in the wrestling business!
TWINMUSIX GOT TO SPEAK TO ERIC BISCHOFF ABOUT HIS UPCOMING TOUR AND MORE.
TM - What can fans expect from your Australian tour?
EB - I will tell you what my goal is and I usually achieve my goal, my goal is that everyone has a great time. I want people to laugh there is a lot of interesting outrageous over the top stories I can share that I don't share on my podcast that I find pretty humorous. The other part of my goal is, I like to talk about the business of the wrestling business and the creative part of the business. I include all the stuff that goes into the wrestling show, so fans come to my show. They not only have a blast and laugh their asses off but they also learn more about the business that they are interested in.
TM - You work with Conrad Thompson, how is that?
EB - I work with Conrad and he is very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with someone like me.
TM - (laughs) he is indeed.
TM - You signed Hulk Hogan, can you tell us the story behind this?
EB - Hulk was in the process of starring in a television series, he was in the WWF and decided to retire from that while. He was on location, I met him and we started talking about wrestling, he decided he wanted to come back and we gave him her place to come back to and the rest is history.
TM - You changed it demographic to an older audience for WWC, you gave all your characters a storyline and went live. What inspired you to do this and how do you think it changed the pace of wrestling?
EB - When I was given a chance to do a show and go to head to head against the WWF I knew I couldn't be better than them at what they were doing, they had been doing it for a long time and had a very strong foothold. I looked at their product and decided to be as different from them as I could. Their audience was a children's audience and their storylines with geared towards young children. I decided to make characters and stories that would appeal to older people if I had gone out and done the same thing as the WWF I think fans would have rejected my product but doing something different such as going live and doing a lot of backstage segments.
TM- How do you think that changed wrestling?
EB - All you have to do is go watch Monday night Raw and you realise right away that it is live and not taped like they use to, be before I came along. They have more reality-based characters and stories, so a lot of techniques I used to go head-to-head with, WWE are techniques and strategies that they use to this day.
TM - You wanted to make wrestling more diverse so you brought in Japanese wrestlers, how do you think this changed the face of wrestling?
EB - If you look at wrestling today, they bring over wrestlers from all over the world it is necessary because wrestling has a worldwide footprint, it is extremely popular all over the world. It is great to please everyone and it is necessary to have a worldwide wrestling team.
TM - You took people backstage, what is your favourite memory from taking someone backstage?
EB - The one that sticks in my mind the most is the one where we were doing Nitro in Orlando Florida and during the course of the show Kevin Nash went backstage and found Rey Mysterio and put him into the side of a production truck. That was a memorable scene that people still talk about to this day.
TM - (Laughs) I have to find the video.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:
TM - In 2002 you announced the Raw general manager, how did that come about and what was the atmosphere like in the WWE backstage?
EB - It came about when I got a phone call and got offered a job and I thought it would be a lot of fun and put a positive note to the end of my wrestling stunt. In terms of what it was like, there were a lot of people that were very surprised in a million years, that I would be brought in and they thought I wouldn't be willing to work for them. I think the fact that we were able to keep it so quiet and keep it a secret was because people thought it would never happen and that was the perfect recipe.
TM - You went to the TNA to work with your son for a while, what was it like working there?
EB - Not as exciting as working for the WWE but there was still a very exciting experience to have but working with my son. It was a dream of his and he had that dream since he was a little kid, to be able to create the opportunity for him as a father made me very very happy and it is still an opportunity that I am still grateful for to this day.
TM - That is so sweet, I love that.
TM - You got to induct diamond Dallas into the Hall of Fame, what was this like for you?
EB - It was a very rewarding experience, Diamond Dallas and I are very good friends, we have been good friends since the early 90s and to be part of something that was so important to him that's a great experience and I am grateful for that.
TM - That is awesome, what a cool experience to have.
TM - What is your proudest moment at working at the WCW?
EB - I do not have the proudest moment, I think I look back at my career as a whole. I think the proudest moment is the way I changed the way that wrestling was produced and presented, those changes are so evident today.
TM - What is your favourite memory interviewing someone else?
EB - This happened on one of my very early podcast before I started working with Conrad Thompson. I interviewed Lex Luthor (wrestler), it was the first time I had talked to Lex Luthor in decades and Miss Elizabeth died at his home from a drug overdose. I was very angry at Lex because of everything that happened in the course of the interview, I realised that Lex is a brand new man he is not the same man he used to be. He found his faith and his found peace and takes full responsibility for the things that went wrong. When you have the opportunity to talk to someone like Lex and everything he has been through but remains positive in his favor and his outlook on life is very inspiring.
TM - You have your own production company, can you tell us more about that?
EB - I created and produced television shows stepping into the feature film world a bit right now and I have been doing that for around 15 years.
TM - Who are your top three favorite Wrestlers?
EB - Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin Ric Flair, and Chris Jericho.
TM - If you could put four people in a ring to wrestle who would it?
EB - Kurt Angle, Ronnie Piper, Sandy Savage and Eddie Guerrero.
TM - Thank You for this interview today, We cannot wait to have you in Australia.
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