Eric Bischoff Talks Being Embarrased By Kurt Angle, Matt Hardy's Release, Jeff Hardy's Return
Source: Monday Night MayhemEric Bischoff joined The Big Mosh & "The Chairman of the Board" Todd Vincent for for another installment of his exclusive monthly interactive segment on Monday Night Mayhem. Here are interview highlights courtesy of Khalil Thomas, MNM's associate producer & official correspondent:
His reaction to Kurt Angle's arrest on DUI charges this past weekend & the message that he feels should be sent to the current, reigning, & defending TNA World Heavyweight Champion: "I know little about it, and I haven't talked to anybody within TNA about it. Quite disappointed for obvious reasons: both on a business level for the company, and I'm disappointed & embarrassed for Kurt. The fact that he's even in this situation, regardless if he is guilty, not guilty, had an excuse, didn't have excuse. You can't keep putting yourself in situations like this when you're a pro, because you're jeopardizing not only your own personal life, but there is an entire company dependent on you and betting/investing in you. Putting yourself in this position not once, but twice, and maybe more is disturbing to me. I'm hoping we find out it's not what we read, and it's not what we think. But if it is, I think Kurt Angle has some soul-searching to do, and TNA has some decisions to make."
Why he thought it was "a great decision" for TNA to release Matt Hardy: "I think it was a great decision by TNA to release Matt Hardy. I honestly thought Matt was a questionable talent to begin with, not that he didn't have any value. In my opinion, there was a liability there, and it manifested itself. We've see how Matt's issues and the baggage he brought to TNA evolved in the last few months, and there a few people that wanted to pull the plug on Matt Hardy sooner than they did. I think once TNA made the decision to pull the plug, I was quite honestly happy about it and thought it was long overdue."
The biggest thing or things learned during TNA's recent television tapings in Huntsville, AL that will help from a production & creative standpoint leading into the next set of TV tapings in Knoxville, TN & Macon, GA in the coming weeks: "It's no secret that I've been the loudest proponent and probably the driving force in the on the road tapings and taking iMPACT out of The iMPACT Zone and into arenas with a more natural & more realistic audience. I think in terms of formatting & production what we're constantly reminded of is when you doing two shows in one arena on one night, the pre-tape volume goes way down. It has to, just because you only have some much time to get everything done. I personally like a show with less pre-tapes. I believe that there's a way to tell a story and to keep all of your primary stories going without heavily depending upon pre-tapes. I love the way the shows they are formatted when we are on the road, and that's one of the things we are going to be focusing more on as we continue to experiment with the on the road taping schedule."
If he believes Jeff Hardy can be relied on to be one of the leaders of TNA & whether or not Jeff has adequately put his "demons" to rest: "We don't know that. What hasn't been reported on much is the fact that when Jeff came back to Huntsville, there was a meeting where Jeff literally addressed every single piece of talent in the locker room, including Sting, myself, Hulk Hogan, & a number of other people that were closely involved with the situation that occurred a few months back (at Victory Road). He asked for forgiveness and took total responsibility for everything that he did. He asked everyone in the locker room for an opportunity to make good and to prove that he's capable of being a valuable part of the team. I'm not going to lie. Speaking for myself, I have my doubts. It's not whether or not Jeff was sincere. I know he was sincere. But a lot of people in Jeff's position are sincere. It's a question of whether or not he can find a way to deliver and live up to what he has to live up to in order to gain everybody's trust. I don't know. I hope so. I really hope so."