Eric Bischoff and Conrad Thompson covered “TNA Against All Odds” from 2011 on this week’s episode of “83 Weeks” on AdFreeShows.com.
Against All Odds featured Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett, Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson in a Championship Ladder Match, Rob Van Dam vs. Matt Hardy, Bully Ray vs. Brother Devon, and more.
Here are some highlights from the podcast:
Conrad Thompson read a quote Chris Jericho made around February 2011 regarding TNA:
“I just think a company with that much talent should be doing better than they are. They’ve had the same ratings for the last three years. It is just unacceptable with the amount of talent they have there. I run my own business as well. I run the business of Fozzy. If somebody is not performing and we’re not getting bigger, then something has to change. I wish they would look at it that way instead of relying on the same old things and the same old people. They’ve been trying different things and something isn’t clicking. They’ve had the same million and a half viewers for the last three years. Just an outsider looking in as any business owner looking in. If you had the same return and the same result after three years, maybe you want to try something different to make it grow.”
“I think it’s going to come back and bite him in the a*s is what I think. Let’s be honest here. We both have a lot of respect for AEW and the people in it, but, AEW, last week they did about 800,000 viewers which was a high watermark for them over the past several months. They opened the door with 1.5 million viewers when they premiered and they haven’t been able to crack a million since, or if they have, it’s only been on one or two occasions. They’ve essentially flatlined at around 7 or 800,00 viewers on average for the last year and a half.
That’s an observation that could, unless something turns around in the next 18 months, come back and haunt someone like Chris because quite frankly, AEW has flatlined. It’s been that way essentially for a year. That includes pre-COVID so there’s no COVID excuse built into the equation here. Going back to probably the second or third episode up until we are now, it’s basically 7 or 800,000 viewers and it has flatlined. What’s the solution there? What’s the problem there Chris. I love Chris. He’s a good dude. He’s a great dude and a good friend, but it’s easy to talk about the business that you’re not really in from a management point of view. It’s easy from the outside, not suggesting that Chris isn’t in the wrestling business in case people are dying to jump on something I say, but Chris has never run a wrestling business. Chris has participated in the wrestling business as one of the best performers in the last 20 years, but Chris has never run a wrestling business. When he made that statement, he was making it from the position of a talent, not an executive who experienced different things in the industry. It’s easy to have an opinion about something you never actually have done. It’s easy to have a theoretical perspective on something as complex as running a wrestling company and because you’re in the business in one way, you feel like your opinion is valid with regard to things you have no experience in, but it’s really not.”
Bischoff was asked his opinion of Dixie Carter bringing in Jeff Hardy knowing Jeff’s previous issues:
“I distanced myself from it. It wasn’t my call. I didn’t get to vote. Dixie loved Jeff. Dixie was such a supporter for Jeff. By the way, this is not a criticism of Dixie Carter. I think it’s one of her strongest suits. She is a very compassionate person. She’s a nurturer. She wants to help people in a genuine way, but I think in this particular case, it was very risky because her desire to help Jeff overcome what he was facing and giving him this opportunity, I understand it knowing Dixie the way I did, but man, I’m not sure it was the smartest thing to do under the circumstances. She was, and when I say infatuated, I don’t mean in an unhealthy way, I mean as a fan. She was so supportive of Jeff that she was willing to take a risk that a lot of people wouldn’t have taken. I’m not sure that’s not a good characteristic. “
Bischoff on Matt Hardy coming to TNA at this time:
“You can talk to Matt on any given day and he would look you in the eye and he was clear headed. You didn’t have any concern as to whether or not he was under the influence of anything or dancing on the edge of it. Then, you could also talk to him the following day and you’re not sure there’s anybody really home in the conversation. He had his own issues. He was out of shape when he first got to TNA, in fact, he was horribly out of shape at one point. He looked embarrassingly bad. I’m sure he looks back at it now and regrets that. The things you would see on YouTube or social media would really make you really wonder, ‘What the hell did they do in their free time? What drugs are those?’ There’s no other way to look at it. It was whacky sh*t. I wasn’t a big fan of Matt when he came into TNA because of that. He was inconsistent. I wasn’t a big fan of inconsistent performances. He was troubled, as was Jeff, to a different degree perhaps. Perhaps he was able to not make headlines, but it doesn’t mean he didn’t have similar problems and issues. Maybe not the same ones, but in the same categories, whether it’s alcohol or different drugs. I don’t want to speculate. All I can tell you is his behavior and appearance and the inconsistency of both, led me to believe at least, that he wasn’t healthy.”