On the latest episode of the 83 Weeks Podcast, former WCW President Eric Bischoff spoke about WCW and what if the company never went out of business in 2001. Bischoff said if WCW was still around today, he truly believes that companies like AEW, ROH, IMPACT, NWA and NJPW would also be around and able to thrive even better.
“I think so,” Bischoff said. “If you look at the Monday Night Wars, if you look at the success that was created by the Monday Night Wars and how all boats rise with a higher tide that those Monday Night Wars created. I think it’s only safe to assume and project new companies would’ve come along to benefit from that higher tide. There were more people watching wrestling from 1995 to 2000 than there ever has been in the history of television and or wrestling.
“There weren’t that many people watching wrestling before, there hasn’t been that many people watching since and I’m pretty sure I’m right when I say there never will be that many people watching in the future. That competition would’ve kept that tide high. It came in with Nitro and the Monday Night Wars and once WCW went away, the tide slowly started going back out again and we haven’t seen it come back yet. I think if competition would’ve stayed at a very high level, the tide would’ve stayed at a very high level and created more opportunities for the independent wrestling promotions and others that would’ve possibly come about as a result.”
After WCW went out of business in 2001 and was purchased by WWE, NWA: Total Nonstop Action was founded by Jerry and Jeff Jarrett in 2002, which later became TNA Wrestling. The company featured former WCW stars like Jeff Jarrett and Sting, who were pillars of the late days of WCW.
Bischoff spoke about getting a call for TNA’s launch, saying he wasn’t interested in working there due to the format they were choosing to use. Jeff and Jerry Jarrett wanted TNA to garner all of its revenue from weekly pay-per-views.
“I thought it was the dumbest damn thing I ever heard of,” Bischoff said. “I got a phone call from Jerry Jarrett, basically offered me an opportunity to come on board their new version of wrestling that was going to be a pay per view only model. I thanked Jerry for the call, I was very appreciative and thankful. I hung up the phone, looked at my wife and said ‘Mrs. B, these people are heading for a brick wall and they don’t even know it. They think it’s going to be a fun ride.’ That was the dumbest idea I had ever heard of.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.