The wrestling industry we knew from the Hulk Hogan and even the Attitude Era has dramatically changed. Some embrace it while others challenge all that is happening. Once on the former's side, Eric Bischoff is now leaning towards the latter.
While reviewing WCW Souled Out 2000 on the 83 Weeks podcast, Bischoff and Conrad Thompson discuss how the landscape has changed, using a Bret Hart rant from the dying days of WCW as an example. Bischoff empathized with a lot of what he wrote, even though Bret was never happy about his time in WCW. The product today, like WCW's product years ago, is different than what people are used to. Eric has heard similar comments like Bret's from various legends from the industry.
"I've heard the same thing from Dusty Rhodes to Ole Anderson to Greg Gagne," Bischoff stated. "Everyone I talked to that was a generation older than the current generation of wrestling lament the fact that the industry has changed; it is not what it used to be, the young guys are killing the business. I have been hearing the same conversation since 1987 from different people. I listen to it from Nick Bockwinkel, from Wahoo McDaniel and Ray Stevens. It is true. I think the business today doesn't reflect at all what the business was 15 years ago."
There are various reasons for the change in the business. While competition has been lagging since WCW died, the wrestling world has seen organizations try different things. Others, according to Eric, have either not changed or have done so for the better.
"It is completely different; it is completely scripted and sanitized," Eric went on to say. "On one side of the equation, you have WWE. On the other side you are watching stuff from the independent scene that looks more like America's Dumbest Home Videos in some cases. Then there's great stuff in the middle like Cody and the Bucks who are doing All In. Ring of Honor and other independent promotions are doing some really cool stuff as well."
While there are complaints all over, there is not much the older generation can do. Eric has accepted this due to the industry always changing on the fly. He recommends others do the same.
"The industry has changed and it always will," said Bischoff. "It will be different 20 years from now than it is today. You either adapt or you cry about it. Change your expectations, embrace the new way the product is being presented or you sit back and you get bitter and you talk about the good old days. Its the nature of the business. The same is probably true with really hardcore football fans. Sh*t changes, you got to change with it."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.