Wrestling News

Eric Bischoff Accuses Vince Russo Of Not Understanding The Audience

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Former WCW Executive Vice President, Eric Bischoff, has opened up about Vince Russo’s lack of wrestling knowledge and how he never understood their audience.

In 1999, Turner Sports Chief, Harvey Schiller, made the decision to remove Eric Bischoff from World Championship Wrestling after all aspects of business took a downturn. The company began to hemorrhage money through poor attendance and worrying buy rates and so the decision was made to shake-up the office.

Schiller replaced Bischoff with Bill Busch – named WCW Vice President of Strategic Planning – and in turn, Bush appointed the notorious Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara to oversee WCW’s creative department. The decision was made because Russo had taken great credit for WWF’s Attitude Era which eventually sank its competition in the ratings.

The ruling turned out to be questionable. Though his intentions were not immediately apparent, Russo eventually helped ratings to sink further into the mire with decisions such as, but not limited to:

Resetting every championship, implementing himself as an on-screen talent, a poorly received Goldberg heel turn, having Jeff Jarrett lay down for Hulk Hogan on pay-per-view and then berate and fire the legend on his way back to the locker room, and of course making himself and David Arquette WCW World Heavyweight Champion.

Now, Eric Bischoff has taken to his 83 Weeks Podcast to talk about Vince Russo and why his reboot of WCW was never going to work:

“You could have given Vince Russo six years and it wouldn’t have mattered. You’ve got to understand the wrestling audience. You can’t go out and live your prepubescent fantasies inside a wrestling ring and think the masses, the audience is going to enjoy it. I mean, this is so bad in the things that the supporters of Vince—I don’t know who the f**k the supporters of Vince Russo were, clearly they knew less about television than Russo did. I could talk all I want, some people are going to agree with me, some people will disagree with me, I don’t really care. Wrestling is, and always has been great characters and great story, that’s it.”

The involvement of Vince Russo was only one in a long line of problems that eventually helped to sink World Championship Wrestling in 2001.

As AOL and Time Warner merged, the decision was made to sell the company to Vince McMahon who purchased the trademark for the name and logos for $2.5 million as well as the entire WCW tape library for an additional $4.2 million.

Eric Bischoff, along with Fusient Media Warner also attempted to purchase the company in the hopes of repeating history and salvaging what was considered a dying endeavour.

Credit for the interview: 83 Weeks Podcast

h/t for the transcription: WrestleZone