Source: The Ross Report
On episode 126 of The Ross Report, 'Good Ol' JR', Jim Ross, spoke with former professional wrestling booker and on-screen personality, Eric Bischoff. Bischoff shared his thoughts on Cody Rhodes' decision to step away from WWE, WWE's upcoming brand extension, and whether he is interested in returning to the professional wrestling industry on a full time basis.
"Dusty was a maverick. Dusty didn't play well within the lanes for a lot of his career. He had a tremendous amount of drive and confidence and vision for himself. Most of all, I think vision for what he could be and what he could do. More importantly, what he could do, I think, from that perspective. And when I read about Cody asking for his release, and when I read subsequent postings he put up, and I haven't seen Cody since he was 11 years old, so it's not like I have a relationship with him at all other than a memory of him as a child. I have tons of respect for his dad. But it reminded me of Dusty. Dusty just had this amazingly powerful drive creatively and sometimes it worked in his benefit, [and] sometimes it didn't in the short term, but in the long term, it served him really, really well. And I think what Cody did, whether he meant it or not, was entirely fitting and appropriate and respectful of [the fact that Dusty]'s his father. He's his father's son." Bischoff added, "I think that Dusty's probably smiling in many ways right now. Now, Dusty may not be thrilled about the financial choice, but, at the end of the day, Dusty didn't always do the smartest things financially either. I mean, he was true to himself. He was true to who he was and that's what Cody did, so I have nothing but a ton of respect for him and admiration. And it is just one short chapter in what is I'm sure is going to be a long legacy of Cody Rhodes."
As for WWE's impending brand extension, Bischoff offered some advice to WWE from a position of some experience, as Bischoff experienced a similar situation when he was asked by Turner Broadcasting brass to increase the profile of WCW Thunder. Bischoff's advice to WWE is to exercise great creative discipline.
"I was faced with that challenge when Ted Turner basically mandated that Thunder become a primetime show on TBS when I already had one primetime show on TNT. And there was no choice but to figure out a way to create two separate brands and I wasn't successful, by the way. I acknowledge that. But because I had to try it and because I had to try it in a very high profile way, tried to have feeling for it. And WWE tried it. They didn't try it, they did it. But I'll let other people decide how successful it was. Right after the brand split was announced, somebody asked me on Twitter and I responded. Can it be successful? Sure, it can be successful. What's it going to take? A tremendous amount of creative discipline."
Bischoff continued, "if you're going to make the brand split, then, by definition, they have to be different from each other. It can't just be part one and part two. Monday Night RAW on Monday and Monday Night RAW part 2 called SmackDown. If you do that, it's going to die and that's kind of what I did. And without casting any aspersions to the billion dollar company, that's what they did the first time. You couldn't really differentiate between the two significantly enough for the viewer to feel like they were two separate brands. You can't just use blue lights on one show and red lights on the other one and call them different brands when the talent is going back and forth and there's no distinction. It requires a tremendous amount of creative discipline."
When asked whether Bischoff has any desire to get back into professional wrestling full time, the former Executive Vice President of WCW replied in the affirmative, for the most part.
"Yes and no. Mostly yes. I don't have the desire to kind of relive what I've lived through in the 90s because I'm not 35 years old anymore. I don't like the idea of traveling five or six days a week. I don't like the idea of the kind of pressure that came with working for a multibillion dollar corporation run by idiots. But there are so many things that I miss about it. I miss the creative process and not being in charge. I don't miss being in charge either, but I miss being involved in the creative process a lot. I miss working with young talent, and even more established talent, and helping them find ways, not in the ring because that wasn't my forte as we all know, but when it came to working a mic and helping to find a character and a point of view that was unique [and] that resonated, I occasionally got pretty decent at that and that's the part that I miss more than anything at all is working [with] and directing young talent in ways to get themselves over outside of the ring or inside the ring with a microphone."
Bischoff offered, "I miss it tremendously. I mean, if WWE called me tomorrow and said, 'get on a plane tomorrow by noon and show up somewhere', I wouldn't even ask them what I'm doing. I would be happy to do it. And I'm really careful about saying 'if the deal is right' because there's an implication with that. There's an implication that I'm sitting somewhere on a mountaintop and I'm only willing to do something if the conditions are absolutely perfect. Look, if somebody called me and said, 'look, I've got no money. I can only pay you a buck a year, but here's my vision and I really think you could help me achieve it', I would do it for a buck a year as long as I don't have to travel five days a week. So it's not about the money. It's about the passion and the opportunity. And if that opportunity came along, the money isn't even an issue. Money comes. Money's there. If the opportunity is right, the effort's right, the intent is right, the money will follow."
Click here to listen to the show. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Ross Report with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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