Eric Bischoff talks WWE's big advantage during Monday Night Wars, Paul Heyman, challenges in WWE
Source: Back Sports Page
Randy Zellea of Back Sports Page recently interviewed Eric Bischoff. Below are some highlights:
WWE's advantage during the Monday Night Wars:
"People always said during the Monday Night Wars that the only way we were able to compete was due to a large checkbook and deep pockets. That's not very true at all. That is a false narrative designed to shape history. WWE had significant advantages over WCW and vice versa. One of the advantages and disadvantages of WCW had to deal with was being a member of Turner Broadcasting. The advantage is true you are owned by a network therefore they are more invested in you and you have more latitude in certain aspects. The disadvantage was our crew at times because when I started with Turner, they still had the NFL and the NBA. Turner had a significant sports tradition and we had to use only Turner production people.
"We were on the bottom of the list and if we were in the NBA season for example and the entire best camera and tech guys, production guys that we normally used were needed as they would go and be on the more important broadcasts. That left us in a tough spot because of where we were on the bottom of the pecking order. We got what was left over and sometimes need to scramble at the last minute and find freelancers we never worked with us before. The result would be ending up having a rotating door of production staff due to Baseball, the NBA and the NFL. That was a tough situation to be in. That was most of the time. We had a lot of people that never worked with us before operating hand held cameras. Specifically those guys were not used to or familiar with shooting the action in a wrestling ring, they are always a heartbeat and a half behind. When you shoot wrestling, you have to anticipate what is going to happen next and be slightly ahead of it as opposed to following as it happens unlike other sports. The results of that would be sloppiness and a lot of missed shots. The angles you would have liked to have were never really there because our cameraman were not used to what they were seeing or how to cover it. That was a big disadvantage that WCW had. WWE had years to develop and train their staff. WWE makes sure the production team got exactly what Vince McMahon was looking for and how he wanted it. He was able to build that, we couldn't. We had the where do we go environment 75% of the time."
If he had any challenges when he worked for WWE:
"I really didn't have any challenges. By the time my attempt to acquire WCW fell apart and Time Warner decided they didn't want anything remotely associated with wrestling near their networks. Once that happened and really cut the cord. It was in my rear view mirror and didn't care or think about it too much. It didn't hurt if that makes sense and not to sound too dramatic. There was no residual for me. It was over. I had made my money and gained a large amount of knowledge. It was time for other projects. It wasn't until I got a call from Vince McMahon and thought this would be very cool. I said "Hey Vince nice to finally to talk to you instead of talking about you". It was great and I felt great from the first call to my last appearance with the company. With the exception of the travel I had no real issues."
Being involved with the ECW One Night Stand show:
"It was a blast for so many different reasons that might not have been as much fun for someone else. Mostly because of my personality and I love that adrenaline factor. That night I was the guy the audience was trained to hate. They hated me and the character I was playing. In reality that is not me, that night I was playing a role. I'm glad that they were able to react to the role I was playing and I had a lot of help from people like Paul Heyman who legitimately used to tell all the guys that were barely making money or not making money at all that Eric Bischoff is evil. He is trying to steal all of ECW's talent and trying to put us out of business. The work I had to put in compared to others was different but man as we spoke of before I loved the adrenaline and that atmosphere. I think a big part of that was the room we were in as the Hammerstein Ballroom was a very tight room. There were only about 2500 people in attendance for the show. You also have to remember this wasn't Paul Heyman's show. This was a WWE produced show and Vince McMahon was in charge of the event. With that said I never felt at any point it was a real hostile environment because it was a WWE event."
Bischoff also discussed his favorite matches, if he would accept a WWE Hall of Fame induction, his current projects and more. You can check out the full interview by clicking here.