Eric Bischoff recently spoke to Sporting News all about his time with WCW, and the one-year anniversary of his podcast, 83 weeks.
Regarding his time in wrestling, Eric says he makes sure to remember every day to take some time to appreciate all he accomplished:
“Everyday. I have a tattoo on the inside part of my left wrist that says “grateful.” I look at that tattoo once or twice a day to remind myself of what a fantastic experience I’ve had in my life because I stumbled into Verne Gagne’s office one day to pitch him an idea and ended up working with him. The next day, I’m running WCW and in a way, changing wrestling history. Everything I’ve been able to do is because of what I’ve done in wrestling. I’m grateful for every second of the good and the bad.”
That’s not to say it was all easy street. Eric also opened up about his greatest career regret:
“My biggest regret was not leaving in 1998 when I had a meeting with executives that I had never heard of before. I got invited to this meeting in the summer of 1998. I sat down in this meeting and wasn’t even sure what the agenda was. I didn’t know anybody beyond that they were all top executives. I had no idea why they wanted to talk to me. At that point, WCW’s finances were rocking and rolling, and our ratings were still excellent. There were a lot of positive things happening going into the morning of this meeting. I certainly wasn’t worried about anything. I knew what my numbers were and where we were going and how the business was tracking to the end of the year. I felt pretty confident heading into the meeting. So everyone went around the room introducing themselves and proceeded to go back around the room telling me how I was going to start running WCW and producing Monday Nitro and what they wanted the content to look and feel like.
They essentially told me going forward; we wouldn’t be catering to the 18-34 demographic that we had built a mountain of that allowed us to surpass WWE at that time. Now, they wanted me to abandon that audience and target kids 2-11 because the advertisers felt that by doing so, they would be able to attract new advertisers who would then spend more money targeting more children then they were targeting 18-34 males. Once I realized I had these people telling me how to run my company and produce programming that was producing record ratings for the network, the handwriting was on the wall, and things were going to change dramatically. It was going to be impossible for me to meet the network’s goals. I seriously contemplated resigning.”
In regards to his podcast, 83 Weeks, Eric took some time to reflect on how comfortable he has grown in his new role:
“I know it sounded like when we started that I was defensive. Part of that was my impression of what the audience wanted to hear. Conrad is outstanding when he decides to dig in and challenge, argue or debate. It’s entertaining as hell (laughs). It’s never a conscious effort before the podcast starts that I’m thinking, ‘I’m going to battle Conrad.’ I think to a degree that’s what the expectation was. I didn’t want to come off too relaxed or impassionate about what I was talking about. On top of that, Conrad was fairly aggressive. Anytime you say, ‘According to what Dave Meltzer had to say,’ chances are you are going to piss me off because so much of what he said was ridiculous and nonsense in the beginning.
One of the things that I didn’t do at the beginning was that I wouldn’t watch a pay-per-view or a Nitro that I knew we would be talking about. I would deal with the questions he gave me. Now I go back and break them down the way I would if I was producing a television show again. That’s why I use the time codes. Certain things are essential to the fans because if you aren’t paying attention, you may or not see it and then listen to the reason why we did it. I love learning new stuff. Often, we complain about new changes because we like the way things are. Nobody goes, ‘Why did we change that?’ It forces you to think about reasons, explanations, and details about things that you otherwise wouldn’t care about.”
To read the full interview, click here.