During a recent episode of the 83 Weeks Podcast, Eric Bischoff talked about the 2001 WCW invasion on WWE that turned out to be a failure. One of the more memorable angles after the invasion angle was the recreation of the nWo on an episode of SmackDown on January 14th of 2002 where Vince McMahon claimed he was going to destroy the WWF with the help of the nWo.
“I wouldn’t have had Vince McMahon turn around and reveal himself in the chair as the evil genius that was going to bring back the nWo to destroy his own company,” Bischoff said. “That was such a non-starter from a creative perspective. I don’t care how big of a fan of WWE you were at the time, you couldn’t possibly buy that, it was just so nonsensical. If you start out a story with one foot on a banana peel and the other in a bucket of cement, where are you going? That’s how the story started, there’s no way it was going to get better from there’s.
Bischoff continued to talk about the nWo in WCW and what could have happened if Hulk Hogan never decided to turn heel. He said Sting was the guy to replace Hogan but Hogan changed his mind.
“Once Sting agreed to be the third man, it was literally within days that I ended up getting a phone call from [Hulk] Hogan and flew out to California,” Bischoff said. “I hadn’t spent a ton of time thinking about or communicating with Sting about the best way to present this new character. What I’m about to say is what I would’ve hoped I’d done, I would not have wanted to see him in face paint. The idea behind the NWO was to make it more real and more believable.
“The face paint would have made it so miscast within the nWo. I probably still would’ve stuck with the name Sting. I think everything else about him would’ve changed. He would’ve gone from the glittery, more energetic character to something more real.”
Bischoff continued to talk about Sting and how excited he is after he recently debuted with AEW. Sting has shown up on Dynamite consistently since his debut and aligned himself recently with Darby Allin, as AEW reportedly expects him to wrestle for the company. He said Sting is someone who deserves the ability to end his career on a high note, referring to his last match in WWE against Seth Rollins where he injured his neck and not going out the way he planned.
“First of all, I’m thrilled to death,” Bischoff said. “I’m very excited for Steve Borden. I think it’s an opportunity for Steve to, much like I wanted to do when I went to WWE the first time, when you have an opportunity to end your career on your own terms or at least the opportunity to end it on a positive note, that’s a gift. I’m really really happy Steve has that opportunity and received that gift. As far as the best way to use him, that depends on Steve Borden.
“A motivated Steve Borden can be a very dangerous weapon in an AEW arsenal as a character, in a good way. I’ve watched Steve’s appearances and he looks physically and more than that emotionally and mentally ready to me. There’s a level of energy I can sense when I see Sting now in AEW, you just know he’s bursting at the seams. He’s ready to go, that’s when he can become dangerous. Physically? Steve knows his body really well, he also understands the limitations he has and to work around those limitations. If [Sting] is ready to get in the ring and have a match, he’ll find the right situation in AEW to end his career the way he wants to end his career. I could not be happier for him, and for the fans of Sting.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.