Former WCW Executive Producer, Eric Bischoff explained why he thought the legendary New World Order storyline would not work today, in the latest instalment of his 83 Weeks podcast.
Bischoff stated that he believed there was no long-term storytelling in wrestling anymore and a multi-year storyline like the nWO would not work in the current wrestling landscape:
“When you don’t have a clear picture, when you don’t have a blueprint, when you don’t have a plan that you’ve really thought through, and you’ve kind of identified the beats, the moments, the high spots, whatever you want to call it, in an arc of a story, you time those high spots, those beats in such a way that they play out exactly when you want them and you find yourself not watching an angle, not necessarily recognizing the storyline but you’re looking at what’s unfolding as a journey.”
That journey began in 1996 and kicked off a multi-layered storyline that lasted until mid-1999. The nWO led WCW to unprecedented success, supplanting WWE as the number one wrestling promotion in the world.
“This was, it started off as a classic act one, going back to May 27  You’re taking someone in Scott Hall who makes his way down through a Nitro, unannounced, unadvertised, and this is something I’m going to probably beat the dog s— out of today.”
The 65-year-old went on to compare today’s product to WCW in the late nineties:
“Today, and it drives me f***ing crazy, actually, and I’m not gonna mention the organizations’ names, but when I see any wrestling organization, especially the bigger ones, advertising a week in advance something that’s going to happen, you’re diluting the power of live television. You’re giving up, you’re throwing away, you’re shoving down the garbage disposal, one of your biggest advantages when you do live TV. And that’s tickling that need for the audience to feel like, ‘Man, I gotta tune in because anything can happen and I don’t wanna miss it.”
The mastermind behind the nWO concluded:
“Whether it’s WWE or AEW, there I go I said I wasn’t gonna name them, but here we go, when I see them advertising something that really doesn’t have any story, there’s no build-up, there’s no journey involved, you’re just advertising a match. There’s not a story, the draw isn’t big enough on its own so what do we do? Oh let’s just promote it. Let’s make sure the audience knows what we’re gonna do. Well how about not? How about instead of that, how about creating a really good story that feels like it’s combusting spontaneously before your eyes in the moment? Now you’re capitalising on live television, and I think that’s what we did with the nWO.”
You can listen to the podcast in full here.
h/t to Wrestle Zone for transcription