On the latest episode of 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff spoke about Jake “The Snake” Roberts and how he never brought him into WCW during the Monday Night Wars.
WCW brought in a lot of former WWE talent like Ultimate Warrior, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Bret Hart, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and many others, but Roberts was never on that list. Being great friends with Diamond Dallas Page, Bischoff spoke about how even Page was against bringing in Roberts at the time.
“I think the consensus among the people that knew Jake best is indeed he had and has a really good mind for storytelling and characters but he was too far gone at that point,” Bischoff said. “He was not in control. Everybody respected the hell out of him and everybody would’ve loved to have Jake on their team, especially in creative capacity. I think the people closest to him, like DDP, acknowledged that he wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be involved. I see Jake whenever we go down to AEW, once every couple of months and make an appearance.
“Before I leave I’m always like I’ve got to sit down, buy Jake dinner, just go away from the hotel, get away from everybody else and I just want to pick his brain. Get inside that head of his and see just how deep he goes and hear what he thinks in terms of what we’re seeing today and how to hold onto some of the formulas and presentation that has worked since the beginning of time but yet still balance that with what the audience has as far as expectations with athleticism. There’s got to be a balance in there somewhere, right now for me, the emphasis is way too much on freestyle gymnastic floor exercise and not enough on storytelling in the ring and the physicality in the ring. I’d love to hear how Jake would approach it if he were calling the shots. One of these days, I’ll get that opportunity but I haven’t done so yet.”
On a recent episode of the podcast, Bischoff spoke about an idea he had of changing WWE’s creative style during his time with the company. The former WCW president continued his conversation about creative saying talent needs to find a way to do better promos rather than having everything be scripted.
“Professional wrestling isn’t like group therapy,” Bischoff said. “Sure, you can get some help. Sure there will be people that will point things out to you but you’ve got to take it upon yourself to do that and the question you asked is how do you get good if you don’t do it? You practice just like anything else. You stand in front of a mirror and you cut promos, you study other people. God forbid you work with an acting coach or somebody who teaches improv to teach you how to train your mind to react to things as opposed to memorizing what it is you want to say and getting your s--t in.
“People that approach wrestling promos the same way they approach a match, they sit down, they write everything out, they want to get in all that cute see s--t, they get in all the things that are going to get them over and they’re going to get it in no matter what happens around them. Somebody in the front row could set themselves on fire and they’re going to stick to that promo because they memorized it. It’s the same thing, to get good at it, you have to figure out how to get good at it. To figure out how to get good at it, the first thing you have to do is recognize that you don’t have that skill set.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.