Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan have had a lot of time together throughout their careers in WCW and TNA. During a recent appearance on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast, Bischoff discussed the differences working with Hogan in both promotions.
When he was an executive producer for WCW, Bischoff approached Hogan in 1994 to sign him and they had a widely successful run as part of nWo. Bischoff then negotiated a deal for himself and Hogan in 2009 and the two of them debuted together in January 2010, basically starting from scratch with the new company. Bischoff explained that his role in TNA was much less hands-on than when he was with WCW.
"We didn't try to do it again in TNA. The only reason TNA hired me was because they had no choice. Dixie Carter wanted Hulk Hogan, that was obvious; but Hulk Hogan didn't trust anybody in TNA," Bischoff said. "When I say trust, I don't mean to be devious or malicious or anything like that, but he didn't trust their judgement or their ability, nor did he trust Vince Russo in any way, shape or form. Terry [Hogan] made it clear that if he was going to go to TNA I had to be there to kind of oversee whatever creative was involved with Hulk Hogan. That was my only job; I didn't go to company meetings; I wasn't part of any financial discussions, but role was really to oversee creative as it related to the Hulk Hogan character."
Bischoff eventually took on more responsibility within TNA. But he admits that he missed the amount of influence he had when he ran WCW.
"Over time, that changed; my role kind of evolved and some of that was natural, some of it was because some things were happening internally, and I had a little more influence on the creative side of things, but neither Hulk nor I had any amount of control over strategy, tactics, anything to do with financial, anything to do with that company," he said. "We weren't invited, nor asked for, that company was ran by Janice, Bob and Dixie Carter so we had nothing to do with it. When I ran WCW, I obviously had a lot of control over the business, but when I was in TNA, I had no control over anything other than creative."
In 2001, Bischoff had attempted to purchase WCW but the company instead was sold to WWE. Bischoff revealed which superstar he would've built the company around had he succeeded in purchasing WCW.
"I think Bill Goldberg was really the guy that we would have built the company around," he said. "Certainly, we would have maintained some of the big-time talent like Hulk Hogan, and others but I think everybody recognized that Bill Goldberg was going to be, at that point, the guy in WCW."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.