Eric Bischoff has opened up about three factors that he feels contributed to the eventual demise of World Championship Wrestling.
Bischoff was discussing late WCW on his 83 Weeks podcast with co-host Conrad Thompson. Thompson noted a huge fall in attendance for WCW towards the end of the company’s life, contrasting them with WCW’s heyday a few years prior. Bischoff gives his views on what, in his opinion, contributed to the death of the company he was once President of.
“It was a combination of a couple of things. First and foremost, I know people don’t like hearing about this all the time but WCW was on the chopping block with regard to Time Warner [WCW’s parent company]. certainly at this point, AOL. Even many executives within Turner broadcasting who realised that Ted Turner was no longer calling the shots at Turner Broadcasting. Ted Turner was the only thing that kept WCW from the chopping block, going all the way back to probably 1992. With Ted out of the picture there were some financial shenanigans; some shady business…that was one big factor. That probably started in 1998, by 2001 WCW was terminal by this point from a corporate perspective. They were ready to pull the plug and looking forward to doing it.”
Apportioning some of the blame his own way, Bischoff continues:
“My own lack of focus probably throughout the early part of 1999. My lack of – I just wasn’t on my game creatively. All those things that got us to the dance, that made Nitro such a huge success, that changed the industry forever, to this day. All of the great things that were happening in WCW from over the course of 1995 throughout ’98 really – my head was no longer in the game. That helped create this environment.”
Eric Bischoff names a colleague who he sees as the final part of the jigsaw that led to WCW’s collapse:
“Bringing in Vince Russo was probably the nail in the coffin. It made things – as bad as they were before I left in 1999, Russo made them worse. No one would’ve thought [that] possible but Russo figured out a way to do it.”
Eric Bischoff discussed a lot regarding the final days of WCW on the show primarily about SuperBrawl Revenge 2001. Bischoff would use a six-man cruiserweight match on the show to highlight how that style of wrestling influences the wrestling of today.
Credit: 83 Weeks