Eric Bischoff has opened up about WCW’s trip to North Korea to be part of a ‘peace festival’ that saw WCW and NJPW stars compete in front of hundreds of thousands of bewildered Koreans.
Documentary series Dark Side Of The Ring recently aired an episode on the historic trip that was spearheaded by Antonio Inoki and Muhammad Ali. Several WCW wrestlers competed on shows but all Americans were watched very closely by their secretive hosts.
Speaking to Fightful’sSean Ross Sapp, former WCW President Eric Bischoff outlined some details around the trip. Bischoff began by discussing the proliferation of propaganda in the country that caused real terror amongst the average citizen there.
“The average person doesn’t know that I went over there. It was such a fascinating trip and experience. If you want to know about what North Korea is like, we’re getting a good look at it here in this country. Because what used to be news is now quickly becoming propaganda. I mean this across the board, I’m not picking on any one outlet or any political party. It’s all becoming so muddied and politicized and weaponized that we’re not getting news information. We’re getting propaganda. It’s hard for us as Americans or anybody that’s grown up in a relatively free society or free country to really understand how much impact propaganda can have on people.”
“When those people, I refer to the people when I went jogging through Pyongyang, North Korea, they had absolute terror in their eyes. I mean that. There’s a difference between people you look at somebody and they’re kind of uncomfortable with you or you can tell they just don’t want to be around you. That’s one thing. Terror is something completely different. It’s actually frightening to see. They were so terrified of my presence because of the propaganda that they’d been taught for years and years and years.”
Eric Bischoff then discussed the control that the North Korean authorities wielded over them while they were in the country. Bischoff also recalled one extremely disturbing request from a female North Korean handler.
“Look, when we got off the plane, the first thing they did was take your passports. So, the message was clearly sent, that they are in control. You got that message loud and clear the minute you get off the airplane. Shortly after we got off the plane and we got segregate into cars, two people to a car, we had handlers who essentially gave us the rules of the road. I was told specifically, my handler was a female—their version of Secret Service, I guess—and she turned around to look at me and said, ‘Now, whatever you do, don’t r*pe our women.’ Sonny Onoo was sitting next to me and I looked at Sonny and I’m thinking, ‘Did she just say…’ She goes, ‘Yes.’ Matter of fact. You cannot r*pe our women. ‘Well, okay. Let me make a note of that.’ So, you got the impression right away. She knew right off the bat they were in total control and the message was loud and clear.”
Eric Bischoff also recently gave his thoughts on the current status of the wrestling business in terms of AEW signing a lot of ex-WWE talents and why he says this isn’t necessarily a good idea.