Before WCW went out of business in 2001, Eric Bischoff gathered a group of investors and made a push to buy the company. In the process of attempting to buy the company, Bischoff said he spent some time deciding on the changes he would have made like the roster, the look of the company and the announce team.
On the latest episode of the 83 Weeks Podcast, the 2021 WWE Hall of Famer said he would have kept current AEW commentator Tony Schiavone and had interest in ECW lead commentator Joey Styles. Bischoff said his company would have also had multiple announce teams that switched throughout the show to keep a fresh look, and believes wrestling companies should do the same today.
“I would’ve wanted and needed to keep Tony on the team behind the scenes and in front of the camera, but I was also interested in Joey Styles,” Bischoff said. “We would’ve had four hours of TV to do in prime time, there was plenty of room for great announcers.
“There would’ve been plenty of room for announcers and likely would’ve stuck, because it was a very successful strategy that had never been done before one more thing that Nitro did that nobody else had done before, changing up your announcers in a two hour show is in my opinion still the right thing to do today. Announcers are such a big part of the show, your announcers have a stronger, larger, more consistent presence on the show than any other piece of talent and sometimes that works against you. It’s just too much for the audience to listen to.”
Leading up to WrestleMania 17, which was widely regarded as one of the greatest in WrestleMania history, long time WWE announcer Jerry Lawler left the company after his wife was fired. This situation led to ECW’s Paul Heyman joining Jim Ross on commentary for the show.
Bischoff spoke about Lawler leaving WWE in 2001, saying he had made contact with him during that time to see if they could use him in WCW if he purchased the company. In a true “what if”, Bischoff said Lawler was heavily interested and would have signed with the company had he purchased it.
“Jerry called me,” Bischoff said. “I had never even said hello to him, we never crossed paths, never talked to him on the phone, nothing. It was like 5:30 at night, I’m driving and I get a phone call from Jerry Lawler. We chatted for a few minutes, let me know he was free, heard I had something going and wanted to know if I was interested and I said absolutely Jerry, let’s follow this up. Nothing ever came of it, but yeah definitely. I don’t know what I would’ve done with him but we would’ve done something with him for sure.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.