Eric Bischoff has recently detailed the final days of WCW, revealing he was assured by executives at Turner Broadcasting his deal to purchase the company would go through.
During a recent interview on ‘Insight’ with Chris Van Vliet, former WCW President Bischoff recalled his attempts to purchase the company in it’s dying days. Initially hoping to relaunch WCW in May 2001 in an event known as ‘The Big Bang’, Bischoff would work with Fusion Media in hopes of securing a deal. Eric recalls a deal with Turner Broadcasting being all but confirmed, until a fateful phone call revealed that the purchase had been unsuccessful:
“There was a letter of intent outlining the terms that had been negotiated between between Fusion media [the group Eric was with] and Turner Broadcasting. Everybody had signed off on it. Due diligence had been done, there was close to $1 million in legal fees. We had assurances from all of the top executives at Turner Broadcasting that it would go through. There was even a Wall St conference call announcing the deal publicly based on the letter of intent.
My kids were young at the time, and I realised that once the deal was done, I wouldn’t see a vacation again for the next 5 years. The deal was due to close in the next month or 2, so I took my kids on vacation because I had a bit of time on my hands. We all went to Hawaii, thinking as soon as the plane lands back home we have about 2 days and off I go. While I was in Hawaii, I got the phone call saying that the deal was dead.”
The deal is said to have fallen through due to Turner Broadcasting Services pulling WCW’s time slot from television. During it’s peak, WCW Monday Nitro’s ratings defeated WWF Monday Night Raw a mammoth 83 weeks in a row, in what is known as the infamous ‘Monday Night Wars’.
The removal of WCW from Turner’s television schedule would leave the company of little value to Fusion Media, with Bischoff himself admitting buying the promotion with no TV deal made “absolutely no sense.” Shortly after, Vince McMahon would purchase WCW for a reported $3.5 million, ending the Monday Night Wars once and for all.
Despite his failed plans to purchase WCW, Eric Bischoff would shock the world when, in 2002, he was announced as the General Manager of Raw. Over the years, Bischoff would have a staggered relationship with the company, most recently as executive director of Smackdown.
Though Bischoff would be released from this role and the company in 2020, it was recently announced that Eric Bischoff would join the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2021, in a statement released by WWE:
“Eric Bischoff, a pioneer behind the scenes in sports-entertainment, as well as an incredibly entertaining performer in front of the camera, is the latest inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021. He was surprised with the news of his induction on WWE After the Bell, which you can listen and subscribe to on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
He will enter the WWE Hall of Fame during the 2021 Induction Ceremony, which will take place on Tuesday, April 6, streaming exclusively on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network in the rest of the world.”
Inside The Ropes congratulates Eric Bischoff on his Hall of Fame induction.