On this week’s episode of “83 Weeks,” former WCW executive Eric Bischoff and Conrad Thompson talk about The Great American Bash 1997. The pay-per-view is topical this week since WWE is bringing that name back for the next two weeks of NXT shows.
Here are some highlights:
Eric Bischoff was asked if he had Vince McMahon on the ropes and if he had one or two big moves away from sinking the Titan Ship in 1997: “No, not really. What I was really doing was just f*cking with him. My goal here, whether it was giving away the finishes or making fun of the WWF or Vince McMahon in particular, we did a lot of stuff. I think back in 1997, we took out a billboard right across the street from Titan Towers. Not because we thought it was going to generate more revenue for us, not because we thought advertising there was going to help us with the PPV that we were promoting. I just wanted Vince McMahon to pull out of his garage everyday at Titan Towers and have to look at that WCW billboard. I didn’t know Vince at the time. I assumed if he was like any other normal competitive person, that kind of shit gets under your skin. If you can get under somebody’s skin, if you can take them out of their comfort zone, if you can shake their confidence, even subconsciously and make them do things that they otherwise might not do, you’re taking them out of their game plan.”
Eric Bischoff addressed the rumor over the years that there was a mole inside ECW who is helping guys get jobs in WCW and the mole is the former owner of ECW Todd Gordon: “I never heard about the mole theory until just now, so that’s news to me. I never met Todd Gordon. If I did, I don’t remember it. Did Terry Taylor or Kevin Sullivan (have talks with Gordon)? I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t. Kevin Sullivan especially had a much different opinion of ECW than I did. I think he was more of an ECW fan than I was and saw potential there. I’m sure Kevin Sullivan had regular communication with someone at ECW and certainly, he was following the product. There is no doubt about that. Kevin or Terry may very well have had some conversation with Todd about what was happening with certain talent. Keep in mind, from my perspective, talent, ECW talent in particular, would come to me and the first thing out of their mouths is I have to be paid because Paul (Heyman) was having a difficult time keeping his talent paid. If you talk to Bully Ray or anybody that is honest about this, they are so honest it’s a joke. It’s a source of humor in conversations about all the excuses Paul Heyman made about the check being in the mail or the bank forgetting to credit his account. It’s now become a punchline. But back then, they were working their asses off and they weren’t getting paid. They love Paul. Don’t get me wrong. When people would come from ECW over to WCW, none of them bad mouthed Paul. They loved him personally and respected him personally. They couldn’t believe him. Why did they love him if they couldn’t believe him I don’t know. That was the magic of Paul Heyman, I guess.”