Former WCW Executive Vice President Eric Bischoff has touched upon why the company didn’t thrive in the field of women’s wrestling in the mid-nineties.
While World Championship Wrestling’s cruiserweight division, tag team division and various males singles divisions flourished thanks to talent found nowhere else around the world, the one glaring omission from the company’s television product was serious women’s wrestling.
Watching World Wrestling Federation’s ailing female division flounder in the early nineties, Eric Bischoff shied away from fully committing to the endeavour despite hiring former WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze in 1995 which caused the famous dumping of the pink strap live on WCW Monday Nitro.
Now, Eric Bischoff has taken to his 83 Weeks Podcast in order to discuss why the company didn’t see a women’s division as a viable option thanks to there not being enough talented females on the scene at the time:
“I want to be very judicious with what I’m about to say because Medusa’s not only a friend of the show, a friend of mine; she’s also a friend of my family. Here’s the reality, were there some good, competitive women wrestlers in the world at that time? Sure, and they were all living in Japan. Were there enough talented women wrestlers in ’96 and ’97 to create a women’s division with more than three women who wrestled each other week after week after week? No there wasn’t, sorry – just a fact.
That changed when WWE finally transitioned from eye-candy, nuanced sexual innuendo to actually training women to become legitimate performers and superstars in WWE. Then all of a sudden more and more women started coming out because they see the opportunity and more women started training on their own in the independent wrestling schools all over the country. WWE had more to select from as does AEW today, and Impact! Wresting today.”
In the knowledge that there were women plying their trade in Japan who could have leant their specific talents to a potential women’s division, Eric Bischoff didn’t believe that it was worth the time and effort to scout probable talent for a burgeoning division:
“Back in ’96 and ’97 that just wasn’t there. And was it a priority to go out and scout women who may be interested in becoming a professional wrestler and train them from the ground up so Medusa would have enough talent to work with? I’m sorry but admittedly, no it was not. It just was what it was. I know that’s a big thing with Medusa and it is to this day. She considers herself to be the leader and the voice of women in professional wrestling and good for her for that – it’s an admirable cause. But the reality doesn’t quite match the expectation that she had during that period of time, or she has now looking back at that period of time.”
Despite there being no serious division for the women in World Championship Wrestling, the company did go as far as crowning a WCW Women’s Champion which was won by Akira Hokuto who defeated Madusa in a tournament finale at Starrcade on December 29, 1996.
Credit for the interview: 83 Weeks