Eric Bischoff was interviewed this week on “Insight with Chris Van Vliet.” Bischoff talked about how he broke into the wrestling business, what he learned while working in WCW, TNA, and WWE and the mistakes he made along the way. Bischoff also gave his thoughts on ex-WWE talent being signed by AEW, his career as a television producer after WCW, and what he has learned working with Conrad Thompson. You can click here to listen to the full interview.
Here are some transcribed highlights:
Bischoff gave his opinion on AEW bringing in older legends and talent from WWE:
“I think what AEW is doing is by no means groundbreaking. They’re not inventing an idea here, but they’re smart. Bringing in former WWE talent with international, not just domestic U.S., but international brand equity and facial recognition to the fan base, what is wrong with that? If you have to rely solely on that, then I can see the argument. If AEW is bringing in legends, Sting for example, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, these are people that all still have an important presence on camera. Are they old? Hell yea. They’re as old as I am, a couple of them, one of them at least, older. But they have value. The wrestling audience is not one demo. It’s not 18-34 year old men. It’s not 18-49 year old men. It’s much broader than that. It’s also family viewing. I think if people today, if they knew or understood the challenge of building a television product in primetime on a large cable outlet like TNT or USA, you have to appeal to a wide variety of people. You can’t just focus on one demo. You can’t just bring in a bunch of young, fresh talent. These are young, fresh talents that nobody knows or cares about. That’s the truth. When you’re breaking in, when you’re one year, two years, four years, five years in the business on the independent scene and nobody really knows who you are on a national television scale, you’re green. You have to build that audience and that relationship with that audience. What AEW is doing by bringing in the legends and former WWE talent is bringing in equity, in the case of former WWE talent, and scratching the itch of that nostalgia component that makes wrestling work so well. But, they’re also bringing in a lot of young, fresh, exciting talent and they’re doing it simultaneously. They’re not bringing in WWE talent and legends at the expense of young talent. They’re doing it in addition to young talent. I think it’s exactly the way it should be done.”
Bischoff was asked if he is surprised Sting and Goldberg are still wrestling in 2021:
“Well, Sting I was surprised because like everybody else, I was under the impression that the injury that he sustained while I think he was in WWE, would never allow him to step back into the ring again. So, from that perspective, yes. But, if that would have never occurred or if I had never known about that and somebody were to say, ‘Hey, do you think Sting will ever wrestle again when he’s 61?’ I would have bet on that. Sting has passion. He has fire. He loves it when it’s good, when it’s fun, when he can click and the things around him are clicking at the same time, Sting is just fun to watch because he has almost a childlike energy and enthusiasm, still. That part doesn’t surprise me. The part that he overcame the injury did. Goldberg is doing it for the money. This is not love for the business or I want to get out there and perform. In my opinion, sorry Bill, you and I aren’t close friends, but we are friends. If what I’m saying offends you Bill, I apologize because I don’t mean it to, but c’mon. Do you think he’s doing it for fun or do you think he’s doing it for the money? He’s smart. That’s not a bad thing. That’s what I’m saying. I’m not putting him down. If I had the ability at Bill’s age and look the way Bill did and somebody said, ‘Hey, I’ll stroke you a seven figure check to come in and work for five minutes’, c’mon. Let’s be honest with ourselves and not bust anybody’s b*lls over it. Every one of us would do it. We dream about that opportunity.”
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Chris Van Vliet with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. Also, be sure to subscribe to “Insight with Chris Van Vliet” on your mobile device by clicking here if you have an iOS device or here on your Android device.