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THE_CRIPPLER

In Defense Of: Eric Bischoff

Rating: 4 votes, 4.75 average.
In this edition of "In Defense Of" I will take a stab at defending one of the most Controversial figures in the IWC and wrestling and that is Eric Bischoff. These blogs usually reflect on in ring talent but in todays blog I will go to the management side of wrestling and take a look at and defend one of the most hated figures in wrestling Easy E, Eric Bischoff.

In 1994 Eric Bischoff was promoted to Executive Vice President and in his first year as EVP Bischoff convinced Turner to invest more money in WCW and up production value (Which is what every WCW booker or head of WCW neglected to acknowledge needed to be done), Hired Hulk Hogan (The Biggest draw in wrestling at the time), Hired Macho Man Randy Savage and gave the wrestling fans the dream match they been waiting to see for almost 10 years, Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair (it was about 3 years to late but better late than never).... Eric didn't stop there, In 1995 WCW turned a profit for the first time cause of the new talent Bischoff acquired. Bischoff knew that WCW could only go so far being in the position it was in, WCW TV was taping months of TV in 1 night in front of small tourist crowd who didn't know or care about who or what was going on in the ring. WCW Saturday (The Mother ship) was on cable TV on a Saturday afternoon filled with terrible vinettes, jobber matches and cheap effects, Bischoff was smart enough to know that a big changes needed to come to breath life to a dying wrestling product. So Eric Bischoff decided to go live on Monday night for 1 hour but Eric didnt follow in the foot steps of Raw, No he didnt, He was smart enough to know that he needed to get attention and he had to put matches people wanted to see and talent people wanted to see. Unlike Raw whos first live show consisted of Yokozuna vs Koko Beware, Shawn Michaels vs Max Moon and the main event Undertaker vs Damien Demento, Nitro debuted Monday sep 1995 and the featured matches were Brian Pillman vs Jushin Liger (a rematch from their classic for the WCW lightweight title), Flair vs Sting and Hulk Hogan vs Big Bubba (Big Bossman) and the surprise return of Lex Luger to stare down Hulk hogan. That was huge for a Weekly TV show at the time. Most readers are not old enough to understand that wrestling fans didn't get a stacked card like that on free TV unless it was a Saturday Nights Main Event or a Clash of Champion which came around very seldom..... Eric was changing wrestling, back in the 80's and early 90's, TV was used in wrestling as nothing more than infomercials for PPV's, House Shows, Toys and merchandise. Eric knew that TV was much more than 60 min infomercials, That TV was a entity on its own that could bring in big revenue and no one not even Vince McMahon himself could see the big picture and where wrestling needed to go to survive.

Bischoff showed good business sense and knew that Nitro had to be different from Raw and Bischoff was giving away dream matches every week on Nitro for free, Nitro had that anything could happen atmosphere, It was unpredictable, Fresh and New.... Eric Bischoff had his ear to the floor and he heard the reactions to Hogan were dying, That the stuff that worked in the WWF were no longer working with todays wrestling audience, So he made a bold and gutsy move and turned Hulk Hogan heel and did it in a way that the WCW fan base would Hate Hogans guts, Eric Bischoff knew that Hulk Hogan would never be accepted as a WCW guy, Bischoff knew that to turn Hogan heel he would have to let him be a WWF guy, So how does he do that? He surrounds him with a bunch of WWF alumni and has them wage or on WCW. Many WCW fans thought of the NWO as The WWF trying to take over and that was Bischoff's plans all along. It was a smart plan because not only did it interest WCW fans and had them glued to their seats but it got long time WWF die hards watching rooting for the NWO like they were apart of the WWF. Eric had the WCW fans interested, The WWF fans from the 80's watching and the die hard WWF/anti WCW fans watching (Like me) all with 1 storyline.... Me personally, I never liked WCW, I was a WWF fan to the bone but when the NWO came along it had me watching and paying attention to all WCW TV, Why you ask? Because in my mind NWO was WWF guys fighting WCW to show the WWF was the superior product. It was a great plan by Eric and WCW booking committee.

Eric Bischoff had almost every big name in wrestling in the last 15 years and Bischoff knew that WCW needed more, He knew that WCW needed a variety of different talent and styles. So he hired great workers from all around the world, Great technicians, The greatest high flyers, Tough hard hitting brawlers and put them all under one company and let the mesh of styles amaze the WCW viewers. Nitro was showing styles of wrestling we have never seen in America. Eric built a Excellent cruiserweight division and a compelling Mid Card, Every week you were seeing the best performers all around the world under one roof laying it all out on live TV. Bischoff gave us variety, there was something for everybody in WCW, You were bound to like something on Nitro no matter what style you prefer.... Eric Bischoff knew that WCW had to offer the best of all worlds not just 1 world, Nitro had its older and established performers for Nostalgia and dream matches, It had its top storylines and It also had its work horses in Rey Jr, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko and Chris Jericho. Nitro was a great blend and it was mostly due to Eric Bischoff's hard work and vision.


Eric gave young, Smaller talent who didn't have that "WWF charisma" a chance to shine and show what they have. If Rey, Eddie or Chris Benoit were in WWF without going to WCW first would they get the TV time and chances they were given? No, I very much doubt it. WCW gave fans and the WWF a chance to see what these men could do, Without that exposure WWF would use them for nothing more then jobbers or mid carders.

Look at some of the things Eric Bischoff accomplished in his time in WCW...

He was the first promoter/booker to have a sucessful Light Weight Division in America (many have tried before and after)

Eric was the only booker to run a succesful invasion angle.

Eric Bischoff is the only person to ever surpass the WWF and be number 1.

Eric Bischoff changed the way Televised wrestling is done forever.

In a world without Eric Bischoff, Wrestling wouldn't have Guaranteed contracts, Wrestling programing wouldn't have high quality production, TV would be used as nothing but a tool to sell a house show or PPV's, We wouldn't be seeing PPV quality matches on free TV and You wouldn't see big name talent every week on TV... Eric Bischoff changed wrestling forever for the better, He made alot of mistakes in wrestling but no one mentions the good he did and the huge impact he had on wrestling that still shows in today's product. Eric forced wrestling to be a TV show, Eric forced wrestling to give the fans what they want, Eric Bischoff took wrestling in a new direction and its been going that way ever since.

I'm aware of all the mistakes Eric Bischoff made in WCW, Eric had too much power and Eric got lazy and in the end his ego and politics got him. Eric gave the talent too much power, He was too easily manipulated by main event talent, Eric Bischoff mismanaged money and most importantly Eric Bischoff lost control and simply ran out of ideas but that shouldn't take nothing away from his great contribution to the wrestling business and he was in his time a pioneer in professional wrestling that ushered in a new era.

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Updated 08-31-2013 at 01:15 AM by THE_CRIPPLER

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  1. AlexWorldOrder's Avatar
    Great fucking blog, man! Unlike some of these IWC morons, you actually get it. It's sad to read about how much people hate Eric for things he has no control over, or shit had no part of, and It's happening again in TNA. He's blamed for so much shit that Russo, and AOL did because a lot of the IWC chooses to educate themselves through WWE documentaries, rather than reading about what actually happened.

    To me, his biggest faults were when he allowed himself to be bullied and black mailed by talent, fearing they would jump ship. Allowing somebody like Nash to have control is just insane.

    Hogan recently said Eric needed the keys to the car, and I honestly believe they should at least give him a chance. Why have a man who revolutionized the business just working as co creative and executive producer? People pray for Paul Heyman to run TNA(Internet darling), and as far as success goes..... Heyman has no idea how to achieve what Eric achieved.
  2. THE_CRIPPLER's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexWorldOrder
    Great fucking blog, man! Unlike some of these IWC morons, you actually get it. It's sad to read about how much people hate Eric for things he has no control over, or shit had no part of, and It's happening again in TNA. He's blamed for so much shit that Russo, and AOL did because a lot of the IWC chooses to educate themselves through WWE documentaries, rather than reading about what actually happened.

    To me, his biggest faults were when he allowed himself to be bullied and black mailed by talent, fearing they would jump ship. Allowing somebody like Nash to have control is just insane.

    Hogan recently said Eric needed the keys to the car, and I honestly believe they should at least give him a chance. Why have a man who revolutionized the business just working as co creative and executive producer? People pray for Paul Heyman to run TNA(Internet darling), and as far as success goes..... Heyman has no idea how to achieve what Eric achieved.
    The Eric Bischoff of today is not the same as the one in 1994, Now he usually relys on what worked in WCW in 1996. Bischoff still thinks Hogan and all the old 80's stars are still draws and Bischoff like Russo just rehash the same storylines they ran in the 90's. So No I don't think Eric should run TNA today, He a great brain to pick or idea guy but I wouldn't put him in charge.... Now the Young Hungry Eric Bischoff of 1994 is a different story, He would be a big asset to TNA... The thing about Eric Bischoff, Just like talent, Management in wrestling has a time and a place, I think Eric's time has passed and he should be proud of the things he accomplished. Wrestling needs someone young and hungry with some great ideas. We seen What Vince Russo, Vince McMahon, Jim Cornette, Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff can do, We need someone to take wrestling by storm like these men did.
  3. TheGreatOne's Avatar
    I was agreeing with you til you basically the end of the blog. The closing paragraph actually even though you left some accomplishments off there. Yea, Eric made mistakes as did Vince and other great promoters like Paul Heyman among others. There was a lot more to it than just talent and money. Stuff he wanted to do at WCW couldn't be done. AOL took over, it was basically the end because the guys in suits and ties were trying to tell them what they should and shouldn't have on their tv program. That while Vince could do anything he want from DX crotch chops, Sable's well you know, among other things. It became such a pain where he was constantly arguing with top guys they asked him to take time off which is how Russo got in the picture. Eric eventually was asked to return after Russo didn't bring what he said he would to the table. The main problem to me wasn't the contracts or anything you pretty much mentioned even though they were issues. If you can't do what you want on a program and people who don't know wrestling is trying to tell you how to run it......no one, not even Vince McMahon could have made WCW survive.
  4. TheGreatOne's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexWorldOrder
    Great fucking blog, man! Unlike some of these IWC morons, you actually get it. It's sad to read about how much people hate Eric for things he has no control over, or shit had no part of, and It's happening again in TNA. He's blamed for so much shit that Russo, and AOL did because a lot of the IWC chooses to educate themselves through WWE documentaries, rather than reading about what actually happened.

    To me, his biggest faults were when he allowed himself to be bullied and black mailed by talent, fearing they would jump ship. Allowing somebody like Nash to have control is just insane.

    Hogan recently said Eric needed the keys to the car, and I honestly believe they should at least give him a chance. Why have a man who revolutionized the business just working as co creative and executive producer? People pray for Paul Heyman to run TNA(Internet darling), and as far as success goes..... Heyman has no idea how to achieve what Eric achieved.
    I actually read Bischoff's book. TNA has went to hell since Hogan/Bischoff arrived with their stupid ideas that havn't worked. They've made mistake after mistake after mistake. When Russo was in charge of creative, it was a helluva lot better product up and down. From the world title to the tag team titles to the Knockouts titles to the X-Division title. All TNA has is the Knockouts division that is any good. Ruined the X-Division with that stupid triple threat concept that didn't work like all the other bright ideas. Thank goodness they stopped with that stupid cam during X-Division matches. All the hype and TNA is doing worse now than when they arrived. They've gotten everything they wanted to make TNA "successful" they need on the road, but can't draw a crowd. They need to be prime time on Monday's....we all know how they went. Beer Money/British Invasion/Dudleyz were battling for the tag gold before Hogan/Bischoff arrived. Now we have, Storm/Gunner, E/Jesse, and Bad Influence? Huge step down!! Now MMA guys joining the company? Don't draw a audience still through ratings or crowd since they arrived. Go out to promote things Hogan and MMA guys.....however, no mention of TNA. How can these guys help TNA if they don't mention them when they are on channels like ESPN?
  5. THE_CRIPPLER's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatOne
    I was agreeing with you til you basically the end of the blog. The closing paragraph actually even though you left some accomplishments off there. Yea, Eric made mistakes as did Vince and other great promoters like Paul Heyman among others. There was a lot more to it than just talent and money. Stuff he wanted to do at WCW couldn't be done. AOL took over, it was basically the end because the guys in suits and ties were trying to tell them what they should and shouldn't have on their tv program. That while Vince could do anything he want from DX crotch chops, Sable's well you know, among other things. It became such a pain where he was constantly arguing with top guys they asked him to take time off which is how Russo got in the picture. Eric eventually was asked to return after Russo didn't bring what he said he would to the table. The main problem to me wasn't the contracts or anything you pretty much mentioned even though they were issues. If you can't do what you want on a program and people who don't know wrestling is trying to tell you how to run it......no one, not even Vince McMahon could have made WCW survive.
    What you are saying isnt make much sense, Bischoff was was basically done when AOL merged with time warner. I think Bischoff was fired or let go from his high ranking position in 2000 and AOL merged with Time Warner in 2000.....As for the edgier product, Time Warner was known as a family company, Time Warner would not allow WCW to go the route of WWF. As a matter of fact Time Warner made all their employees sign a morality clause in each of their contract including WCW talent. So if they had done anything indecent while they were under contract they would be fired. I heard DDP say he almost got fired cause of Kimberly's nude spread in Playboy. So it wasn't AOL who had the problem going forward with a more gritty product it was Time Warner Sports...... As a matter of fact AOL didn't want WCW to go in any direction as soon as AOL had the majority Stock they were getting rid of WCW.

    Also as far as I remember Eric Bischoff wanted to stay away from the mature content and it was Russo who actually wanted to push the envelope too far.

    Eric Bischoff was too free with money and he was spending it like it wasn't his, cause IT WASN'T!.... Eric let main event talent manipulate him. Hogan, Nash, Savage and even Goldberg. When Eric was in charge and thinking outside the box he was doing a great job when he start getting a ego and hanging around the "Cool guys", thats when Eric just sort of lost his way.

    But like I said before, No one is creative forever. Eric had his time and place in wrestling and he made his mark. I dont think Eric could of take WCW any further cause I think he was pretty much run dry creatively.
    Updated 08-31-2013 at 10:33 PM by THE_CRIPPLER
  6. T-Hughes35's Avatar
    Actually, according to "Controversy Creates Cash", the inception of 'The Monday Night Wars' didn't come from Bischoff, but actually from Ted Turner himself.

    In the story, Bischoff was in a meeting with Turner about a proposal between WCW and a promotion in Japan (I believe), when Turner asked Bischoff what he believed WCW needed to do to go compete with the WWF. Bischoff replied by saying that the only way he believed would be to go head to head with them on Monday Nights.
    Turner then told his head Producer to incorporate a wrestling block Monday Nights on TNT, and the rest was history.

    Keep in mind that the early success of WCW was also the blueprints of it's failure. Bischoff has spoken about this before in his autobiography and in an interview with Michael Landsberg that the moment he realized that WCW was in trouble was when Time Warner took over, not the AOL-Time Warner merger, but the original merger between Turner and Time-Warner.

    If you haven't read Bischoff's autobiography, I suggest you do. It's a must read for every fan of Sports Entertainment. Other than that, this was a great read Crippler. Keep up the good work.
  7. THE_CRIPPLER's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by T-Hughes35
    Actually, according to "Controversy Creates Cash", the inception of 'The Monday Night Wars' didn't come from Bischoff, but actually from Ted Turner himself.

    In the story, Bischoff was in a meeting with Turner about a proposal between WCW and a promotion in Japan (I believe), when Turner asked Bischoff what he believed WCW needed to do to go compete with the WWF. Bischoff replied by saying that the only way he believed would be to go head to head with them on Monday Nights.
    Turner then told his head Producer to incorporate a wrestling block Monday Nights on TNT, and the rest was history.

    Keep in mind that the early success of WCW was also the blueprints of it's failure. Bischoff has spoken about this before in his autobiography and in an interview with Michael Landsberg that the moment he realized that WCW was in trouble was when Time Warner took over, not the AOL-Time Warner merger, but the original merger between Turner and Time-Warner.

    If you haven't read Bischoff's autobiography, I suggest you do. It's a must read for every fan of Sports Entertainment. Other than that, this was a great read Crippler. Keep up the good work.
    No I actually have not read the Bischoff book but I have heard most the stuff in the book are fiction.... I was aware of the Turner story but it was Eric Bischoff who suggested they go live on Monday, Turner just gave the ok.

    The story with Time Warner and Turner's corporation is that they wanted WCW gone from Turner sports. They didnt care about losing or making money, they thought wrestling was beneath them but no one could touch cause WCW was Ted Turners baby.... So I dont think Time Warner had anything to do with WCWs demise. Once AOL purchased Turners Majority stock Ted Turner was powerless to save WCW.

    Does anyone know the contract Hogan signed with WCW? He had full creative control, 100%. Shows would be written and it wae shown to Hogan Monday morning and have to be rewritten on the spot cause Hogan didnt like it. Hulk also had a clause in his contract that he would get full PPV billing and a percentage from each PPV. So WCW had to book Hogan in the main event or high up in every PPV cause it was in his contract.... Alot of top guys had ridiculous things like that in their contract which made it impossible to book a show sometimes.
    Updated 09-01-2013 at 12:10 PM by THE_CRIPPLER
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