During the Monday Night Wars former WCW president Eric Bischoff developed a reputation for wanting to win at all costs, even if that meant putting the WWE out of business. On a recent episode of his 83 Weeks podcast, Bischoff said he knows having that reputation is partly his fault, but he took time to clarify the perception of him from that time. He revealed that he was less concerned with putting the WWE out of business, but rather with proving WCW was the top wrestling promotion.
“The narrative over the past 20 or more years has been how I was so single-mindedly focused on simply putting WWF out of business, and I have said this before, but that is not true. I may have said some outrageous s**t, part of that was to try and motivate people. Part of that was to get my character over because I knew some of that would leak, part of it was me being me,” Bischoff said. “It wasn’t necessarily me wanting to put them out of business; I was focused on being number one. Whether I was number one by a mile and they went out of business, or whether I was number one by a mile and they were a solid number two really didn’t matter to me. Nobody is ever going to believe that, but me, but I really don’t give a s**t at this point in my life, but it’s true.”
Monday Nitro had a dominant 83-week run of beating Monday Night RAW in the television ratings, but Bischoff said he never once thought the WWE was close to going out of business. He said WCW began to gain more exposure and continued to reach new heights as a promotion, so that commanded much of his attention.
“While I was happy to have beaten them soundly in the ratings, it wasn’t like, ‘Oh my God, they’re almost dead! We’re so close.’ It wasn’t that; it was just another week of us proving that we were on the right track, we had a great formula. We were getting support from Turner Broadcasting, we were getting interest from sponsors, and the international market place,” he said. “All of those things that were difficult for WCW to even think about. Nobody could even think about that or have a realistic conversation without people pissing their pants if they were trying to talk about beating WWF in the international market place, or outselling arenas, or having bigger buy rates, whatever. Nobody could have that conversation two, three years up until this point.”
Bischoff said that those improvements helped boost morale in WCW and help them believe they were on the same level as WWE, so he remained focused on pushing the company forward.
“Now that we were actually achieving things that nobody else believed we could achieve, there was a level of confidence, not arrogance and I am not talking about myself I am talking about in the office that all of a sudden people were believing in themselves, and suddenly a rating where we were getting a 3.1 and they were getting a 1.5 all that made us do was that it gave us more confidence that we were on the right track,” Bischoff said.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.