Eric Bischoff recently spoke about his current focus, TNA going live and much more. Here are the highlights…
On What he Is Doing Since Being Off TV: I'm still very much involved behind the scenes creatively, as the Executive Producer at TNA. I've also been extremely busy with my own production company, Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment – which has around 7 or 8 different TV shows at various stages of production with different networks right now. We've also just launched a digital casino gaming site, which is up and running in the UK through Paddy Power, and a digital slot machine centered around Hulk Hogan.
On His Focus: Well, TNA is one focus for me, but then the television production company I run with my partner, Jason Hervey is very successful. We're probably one of the most successful television production companies in Hollywood, certainly at producing reality television, and have recently produced a sitcom for Nickelodeon – which marks our entrance into the scripted TV business. Adding to the Hulk Hogan gaming machine, we're also launching another with David Hasselhoff at the end of October. The TNA digital slot machine will hopefully be launched around the time we tour in January too! There are several different celebrities and brands that we're negotiating with currently, so all these things are a big part of my focus. The TV production company is a very lucrative business, with both Jason and myself recently acquiring an equity interest in the company. We're excited about everything we have going on.
On TNA Gutcheck: I'm very excited about it, and it was actually something Jason Hervey and myself created and brought into TNA as a means to bring a reality element to Impact Wrestling. We've discovered some great talent throughout, I think the deliberation process and judging is entertaining as hell also. It constantly throws up surprises, with even us being surprised at some of the things, which have been out of our control. It's live television, so anything can happen! Overall, the segment is a very good one, but we're still developing and fine tuning the concept. Maybe it's not as good as it can be quite yet, but we're getting there and I love the reality element and it can only be a good thing for our show.
On TNA Going Live: Being live makes all the difference in the world. An audience at a live show, particularly one that's been conditioned to now know the excitement of a live experience, come to the event with an extra buzz. Whether it's in the UK or over here in the Impact Zone – which is still very challenging to manage, due to the nature of a soundstage and tourist attraction – the crowd comes to the show with a different expectation when it's live. It's a higher expectation, they're more engaged and have a higher level of energy. That engagement and increased sense of energy really translates and connects with the performers. They feel that intensity from the audience. These men and women are athletes, artists and performers, and as such react much differently to a highly energetic crowd than they do to a passive one. That's one of the reasons why we love coming to the UK, because the audience brings a whole new level of energy and actually become a character within the show themselves, due to the feeling they bring to the overall experience.