On the latest episode of his “83 Weeks” podcast, Eric Bischoff discussed the career of Marc Mero in WCW where Dusty Rhodes strongly backed him as the Johnny B Badd character.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On his first impression of Marc Mero: “Boy, I think Marc must have arrived in WCW either just before or just after I did, because it seems like he was already there when I showed up. But I know Dusty Rhodes was very high on Marc Mero, Johnny B Badd. Loved the character. But really from the get-go, I think when I arrived at WCW shortly thereafter, Marc showed up and was on the radar in a pretty big way.”
On the Johnny B Bad character: “Entertaining as hell? Yes. The Johnny B Badd character — I’m not talking about Marc Mero the performer — the character in the way it was presented? Entertaining as hell, definitely has a place on any show, particularly at that time. But not the type of character you would expect to compete for the world title. Because then you have to go from being entertaining, generally speaking — and a good performer and all the things that go with it. But people have to take you very seriously. You have to be a serious threat or they have to have serious empathy for you. And that’s a lot harder to do with a character that was designed to be generally entertaining and lighthearted.
“The only way that could have worked is if something would’ve happened storyline-wise, that would’ve forced Johnny B Badd to break character and allow us to see a different side of Johnny B Badd that was more aggressive, more determined, more — I don’t wanna say a badass, because he was a badass in real life and otherwise. But something would’ve happened to jolt him out of that Johnny B Bad character into something much more intense and much more serious. And I think because the character of Johnny B Badd is a general entertainment property, if you will. Hate to speak about a character like a property, but it’s what it is, it’s intellectual property. But I think that Johnny B Badd character had so much equity in that general entertainment category, and Dusty Rhodes loved that. You know, Dusty Rhodes was all about the entertainment. He liked good wrestling, don’t get me wrong, but Dusty at least during the period of time that I worked with him leaned heavily into the entertainment aspect of it. And I think that Dusty viewed B Badd as so valuable as that character that he just didn’t contemplate or think about shifting into another gear, breaking that character and allowing us to see that other dimension. I just don’t think that was in Dusty’s radar because Marc Mero did such a great job with the Johnny B Badd character.”