Eric Bischoff On If Paul Heyman Had Talks With TNA, What TNA Does Better Than WWE, Dirt Sheets, More
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Source: Neck Breaker PodcastEric Bischoff recently sat down with Brian Thompson of the Neck Breaker Podcast. Here are some highlights from the interview.
If people in the wrestling industry read dirt sheets: "Oh, sure. I mean, anyone that says they don't is probably lying to themselves or intentionally lying to somebody else. I for one read them and I read them for entertainment because it amazes me how small minded or uneducated a lot of these supposed wrestling experts, or people that put themselves out as experts, are and how far off the mark they are about so many of the things that they write and the positions they take. I also read them because a lot of times, things leak from inside of the office and you need to be aware of what's out there in the universe when there are certain things you don't want out there. Whether it's a story line or a talent issue, or a direction that you're going. So, I monitor it simply to make sure the things I deem [secret] need to stay inside and part of story, part of character and part of talent development do so. And when they don't we're pretty hard to find out why not and the reason for that leak. But ya, it happens. I'm sure for some people more than others, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't check them on a regular basis."
Where would WCW be if it were still around in 2013: "It's impossible to answer with any credibility because there's just no way of knowing. Had we had the television, had we had the financial backing, the way we did by the way. It wasn't a question as to whether or not we were going to get the financial backing. We had it. That wasn't the reason why we didn't acquire WCW. The reason we didn't acquire WCW is an incoming, rotating door, new head of Turner at that time, took prime time television literally out of the deal that we had already negotiated. Once that happened there was no way to make any sense of it. It was really just a video library and some ring mats. There's no way of knowing. I can tell you what I would have liked to happen, but who knows what would have happened."
If there's anything TNA is doing better than WWE: "That's hard. I have a lot of respect for the folks over at WWE and I have a ton of respect for what they've accomplished within the industry. So for me to take an adverse position on anything they're doing, quite frankly I'd be thrilled with just about any of their mistakes at this point. [laughter] When I look at the television product, and again you have to look at what we do and what they do within context, meaning they're on probably the number two or three network that averages more than likely 3 million viewers all week long in prime time. We're on a smaller network. They've got a budget of probably, and I'm guessing, I don't know this, but they've got a budget of probably 6, 7 maybe even 800,000 an episode to work with. We have a fraction of a fraction of that. They're a 30 plus year old company that's been around for a long long time. It's got a lot of brand affinity and history and relationship with generations of wrestling fans around the country and around the world. TNA has been around they say ten years, but probably really seven or eight as a viable company. So you can't really compare. It's not apples to apples.
"That being said, when I look at the way we tell our stories, I, along with my partner Jason Hervey, have a very successful television production company, one of the more successful ones in Hollywood and we have since 2003. We produce shows for every major cable network and a few of the bigger networks like NBC. We have a fairly good knowledge of television and how it works and the audience and what the networks are looking for. One of the advantages I think TNA has with BHE [his company], myself and Jason, is that we're able to bring things that work in other formats, particularly in reality, and integrate them into a wrestling format. The wrestling format has pretty much been the same for the last 15 years and prior to that it was the same for 30 years. Now we're changing things. We're adding more reality. If you look at the Aces and Eights story, that story from conception to what you saw last night is over a year old and while along the way we've had to bob an weave a little bit, make some changes due to circumstances, some of them out of our control, whether they be injuries, talent contract issues or whatever, for the most part we've been able to keep that story very on the rails, very episodic.
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