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Eric Bischoff on his AEW appearance, Shawn Michaels in WCW, Sherri Martel’s personal issues

This week on “83 Weeks,” Eric Bischoff and Conrad Thompson look back at Road Wild 1997. That show took place at the Sturgis, SD motorcycle rally and was universally panned by fans.

Bischoff and Thompson talked about the main event between Hollywood Hulk Hogan and Lex Luger for the WCW World Title, The Steiner Brothers vs. The Outsiders for the WCW World Tag Team Titles, The Giant vs. Randy Savage, Alex Wright beating Chris Jericho and all of the big news that was going on around that time. Bischoff also talked about his appearance on last week’s AEW Dynamite.

Here are some highlights from this week’s podcast:

Eric Bischoff was asked to describe his on AEW TV:  “I had so much fun.  The energy was so much fun to be around.  The guys were having fun trying to figure out their matches.  They were having fun coming up with different ways to entertain the audience.  The energy was so positive.  Even though it was hard work and even though there were challenges, they had a positive energy.  When I went backstage, the first thing I noticed was these guys are having fun trying to figure out how to lay their match out in a way that not only entertains the audience but advances their story.  I could tell and I could overhear some of the conversations and heard them working hard to get each other over.  They are not just working hard to get themselves over which you have to do, but when you get to that point and you’re coming at it with a frame of mind that, ok, how can I make my opponent look better than me, and my opponent is looking to do the same thing, that is when the magic happens.  I can’t say enough good things about the talent, the energy backstage, the hospitality and the professionalism.  It was really a great experience for me. If I never step in front of a camera again, if I never go backstage again anywhere even to say hi to anybody, it will be ok for me.  I am really glad that my last experience that’s in a  backstage environment watching a bunch of young talent, fresh talent, hungry talent that believes they can make a difference was a great one.”

Bischoff talked about Sherri Martel’s release from WCW in 1997:  “Sherri had issues.  Sherri, like a lot of talent that experimented or became dependent upon prescription drugs or other things, messes them up.  The issues go bad enough that we had to make a decision.  So we did.  She was an amazing talent.  She is, to this day, one of my favorite woman performers of all time.  Sherri Martel could talk.  She could work.  She could be a babyface.  She could be a heel.  She could be the most frightening character on the planet.  She was credible and was an amazing talent.”

Bischoff shot down the myth of wanting to sign Shawn Michaels during the Attitude Era:  “As talented as he was, as much of a star as he was, he was a fu**ing head case.  He knew it.  He certainly acknowledges it now.  I had zero interest in Shawn Michaels or creating the perception and stirring the sh*t that would have been stirred in my own locker room and my own roster by even the suggestion that was going to happen.  Shawn Michaels did not have a lot of support, not only in WWE but certainly not in a WCW locker room at that time because of his behavior.  Shawn will talk about it.  You can read about it.  It’s well documented.  It’s the last thing I would have done.  That’s pure fiction.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff with a h/t to for the transcription


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