During the latest edition of his “83 Weeks” podcast, Eric Bischoff revealed why he turned Hulk Hogan heel on pay-per-view instead of WCW Nitro, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On if Hulk Hogan turning heel on Nitro would’ve had a bigger impact than him turning on pay-per-view at Bash at the Beach 1996: “That’s a good point, and the answer is sure it would have. More people would have seen it and it would’ve had a bigger impact. Keep in mind though, by the time Hogan beat Goldberg on Nitro, WCW had been for a couple of years on stable, profitable ground to the tune of 30, 40, 50 million dollars a year in profits on $250 to $350 million of revenue over the course of each of those years. By the time we got to Hogan and Goldberg, we were in a different situation. Ratings were a little harder to come by. We weren’t as comfortable at the time as we were in late ’96 or early ’97. At this point in ’96, being profitable was still a very new thing in WCW, and my goal was to be as profitable as possible. There were just different situations that made me decide to go Hogan/Goldberg on Nitro because we did need to recover from some of the rating slides we had been experiencing, whereas, in ’96, we didn’t. It was all about money. It was about ratings, but we were getting them. I didn’t feel the need to go over the top on ratings at that point because we were confidently ahead if nothing else. It was a strategic choice. I was still all about the money, man. It was brand new to us.”
On whether Hogan’s heel turn or Steve Austin’s 3:16 promo at King of the Ring 1996 was more significant to the wrestling business: “That’s a tough one. I think the impact on Hogan and the impact on the wrestling world across the board was extremely significant. When I say it’s hard to pick one, for me at least, it’s because that promo laid the groundwork for Austin for what was going to come for months and years afterward. It happened over a longer period of time. Arguably, equally successful in many respects – financially, someone other than me would have to be able to put dollar figures to it. Austin 3:16 changed the direction of WWE. Austin 3:16 and all the things Steve Austin brought to the table – the era that came with it, the change in presentation, going after 18 to 49 males, drinking beer in the ring – all of that stuff changed WWE forever. But it happened over an extended period of time, whereas, with Hulk Hogan turning heel, it was right fucking now. It was over a two-hour, 45-minute show that by the time that show was over, everything had changed that night. With Austin 3:16, it was more of an evolutionary process.”
(h/t – 411 Wrestling)
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