Eric Bischoff and Conrad Thompson covered WCW Starrcade 1999 on the latest episode of “83 Weeks” on AdFreeShows.com. Here are some transcribed highlights from the podcast.
Bischoff was asked if he can remember if there was one angle he can single out that started the downfall of WCW: “It’s not possible. It’s possible from a bystander’s point of view. If you actually believe that a finger point of doom or not letting Sting win the title for whatever reason or if you are of the mindset that a creative decision that can turn the tide of an entire company, then there is nothing I’m going to be able to say to change that.
From my perspective, and this isn’t trying to make excuses from myself as I clearly over the last couple of years have no problem accepting responsibilities for the mistakes and choices that I made. But, you can’t possibly separate what was going on in the business and the people that were really calling the shots about the business and what you saw creatively. When things internally, corporately, in the tower, started changing so dramatically that it took me not only mentally and emotionally and physically out of the game which it did, it also affected so many other different things like people, budget, and creative limitations that were imposed upon us. All of those things combined manifested in some of the creative choices and decisions that you saw.
I will always go back to that no matter how much people are tired of hearing it or how much they don’t believe it, and I don’t blame them, but unless you were there, unless you sat in my chair, unless you were a part of my day back then, you couldn’t possibly relate. You wouldn’t understand. It’s impossible. Those combinations of bad choices and bad decisions were a result of what was going on corporately. You can’t separate them. But when I watched this show today, and I’m not trying to be entertaining, I’m being purely honest with you. All the finger points of doom and the decision of ‘97 or a booking finish in ‘98, those are brief moments within the context of a 3-hour show. Those shows were decent shows. Those were good shows up until that decision. I would agree that some of those decisions in retrospect were not the right decisions.
But the overall quality of the show was fairly positive if not very positive. This show was the absolute worst PPV from opening bell to closing bell that I have ever seen in my life. There was not even a good match by accident on this show. It was 2 hours and 43 minutes of horrible. We all forget that Katie Vick may have been one of the worst moments in television history in professional wrestling. It didn’t affect anything because they went on and corrected and recognized it for what it was. They tried something and it didn’t work. In this case, on this PPV, there is nothing you can move on to. It was just that God awful.”
Bischoff gave his thoughts on Jeff Jarrett’s push during this time period: “Jeff Jarrett is one of the people I really respect now because of what he’s overcome and the quality of the human being he has become. He’s one of my favorite people in many respects. As a talent in 1999, I didn’t get it. I didn’t see it which is not so bad in and of itself because he definitely had a role with his abilities and skillsets and experiences. He definitely deserved a shot on the roster in a meaningful position on the roster. But, to shove him down the audience’s throat as a main eventer did Jeff Jarrett far more harm than good. I’ve never talked to Jeff about this. I wonder if Jeff regrets it now? I wonder if Jeff saw it but went along with it or if Jeff actually believed it could work? I don’t know. It’s a conversation I will have with Jeff at some point. But from my point of view and the audience’s point of view, it just did not work. It was not believable.”