Eric Bischoff Talks Russo's Departure, Working With His Son And More
On working with his son on TV: "It's a challenge and I have mixed emotions about it. At the end of the day, he's doing what he wanted to do…I have a certain point of view about the wrestling business and the current state of it, and the opportunities that exist in the business today versus what has existed in the past. I tried to dissuade him from getting involved, but he's doing what he wanted to do. Regardless of how I feel about it, he's sticking to his dream and that's an admirable quality."
On working in the business now versus in WCW: "I live for the day today and I don't spend a lot of time dwelling in the past. There is a big difference between what I do today for TNA versus what I did for Turner Broadcasting. I don't have to deal with talent issues. That is a stressful job, even when talent is on their best behavior. It's stressful having the futures and the welfare of that many people in your hands. Wrestling is a tough business to break into, and knowing that you're in control of them being able to feed their families…I don't like that."
On The Ultimate Warrior's run in WCW: "There was a certain level of expectation and it fell flat. We thought we had a decent way to use him…I'll never forget this, it's like scar tissue, it never goes away. On his first Nitro, he was supposed to cut a 5 or 6 minute promo, and when he got near the TWENTY-FIVE minute mark, I wanted to dig out my eyes. It was the most painful, excruciating, non-seneschal, disconnected interview I've ever heard in my life…it was horrifying, and went downhill from there."
On his role with TNA Booking: "Bruce Pritchard is head of creative, and I oversee things and make sure that the Network gets what is asked for. I wanted to develop a long term plan for booking, and Vince Russo liked running things on a short term planning basis. Right now, we are very much on track with the creative direction that we laid out in October. I work very closely with the team and Dixie on the day of TV, but I'm not involved in management on a day to day basis."
On Vince Russo's Departure: "I don't know why Vince and TNA parted ways, and I wasn't involved in it. I haven't spoken to him since, aside from an email wishing him success in the future. I haven't talked to anyone in TNA about it either. He and I had philosophical differences on how to create primetime television, but I don't think it's unfair or unprofessional to acknowledge that. I enjoyed the challenge of working with him."
On whether or not Ric Flair should appear at the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony this year: "I'm not a decision maker, and whatever they decide, I'm going to support. But in my personal opinion, I think they should allow Ric to go to the Hall of Fame. Ric Flair is a very special individual…he is 63 years old...he's not perfect, but there is not anyone in this business that deserves the respect and honor of taking center stage in the biggest event in our universe more than he does."