Bischoff on Wrestling Episode 46
Hosted by: Eric Bischoff. Co-hosted and produced by Nick Hausman
Duration: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Review by: Craig Elbe @CraigElbe
Top Stories – All relating to Eric’s responses to Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard about Eric’s time in WWE
-Would Vince McMahon have given away Nitro results if the roles were reversed?
-Did Eric really want to put WWF out of business? What did Ted Turner know and care about?
-The Ric Flair incident.
-Eric’s role in the Girls Gone Wild/WWE relationship.
00:42 – Show intro
2:48 – The friendship between Eric and Bruce
6:44 – Eric’s failure to sell the broom effectively
9:41 – When Eric became WCW President
13:21 – Vince willing to let Hogan jump to WCW
15:30 – Would Vince have offered WCW spoilers if it was the other way around?
17:58 – Did Ted Turner care about Vince billing the Monday Night War as Vince vs Ted?
18:44 – Eric’s brief take on the Kathy Griffin controversy and slight wrestling comparison
25:40 – Eric saying he wanted to put WWF out of business
30:44 – WWE’s first overture to Eric
36:23 – Eric’s WWE debut
42:22 – Who did Eric anticipate meeting or reuniting with in WWE?
44:57 – The Ric Flair incident
52:44 – Eric and Bruce bonding and gaining trust
53:02 – Eric’s role in the Girls Gone Wild/WWE relationship
56:58 – Hot Lesbian Action angle
57:58 – Billy and Chuck’s wedding
58:19 – Eric kissing Linda McMahon
63:50 – Quick current event takes on Samoa Joe as no. 1 contender to Brock Lesnar, Road Dogg running Smackdown, and Hogan
Eric introduced the show and repeated what he said last week; this will be the last Bischoff on Wrestling from Cave Creek, Arizona. He and his wife will be heading to Cody, Wyoming, but now with a new addition to their family, an Australian kennel dog named Nickie. Eric claimed he loves doing this show and welcomed Nick Hausman. Still no digital savant streak restart.
Nick touted an increase in listeners to the show, citing Eric’s wrestling business perspective as something people want and enjoy hearing. That is also why they separate overrun features the interview Eric does or the occasional political debate. The show format used to include an interview with current events and listener questions, but Nick is responding to what people want by giving more time for Eric to give his opinions. Kudos to Nick for that.
That overrun, for those not aware yet, is on the IRWNetwork.com Wednesday nights for five days and on the Bischoff on Wrestling podcast feed following Monday Night Raw. Eric digs it!
Nick decided to start with breaking down and responding to the Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard episode of Eric in WWE. That podcast is, of course, hosted by Conrad Thompson for those yet not familiar to that show. Eric listened to it the day it was released. He thought it was entertaining and laughed his ass off! (I find the all those shows enjoyable, informative, and entertaining and give it my endorsement, whatever it’s worth to ya!)
First on the run sheet for Nick was if Eric found it weird having Bruce offer his opinion on him for three hours. The last ten years have seen Eric and Bruce become very close, so Eric didn’t really have any bothersome feelings. The same conversations and note-comparing have already happened between them. There have also been times where events were held with Bruce and Eric talking about the Monday Night War and their respective views. They were in a live debate format in front of a crowd that also featured a Q & A. Some of what Bruce said surprised Eric, but for the most part, he and Bruce have talked about those things over small oceans of beer!
That episode mentioned Eric drinking beer many times. Eric and Bruce both have Big Green Egg cooking systems and cited a love of cooking as common ground for their friendship, even sharing recipes! A love of a cold beverage is another rhetorical common interest.
Nick found nothing wrong with sharing recipes, that it’s American to do so! Then Nick brought up how Texas, where Bruce lives, will flare up occasionally and want to separate from America. They went off on a tangent of how great it would be if California became its own country. Eric got into green energy subsidies from the government, inching Nick toward a desire for another political debate! Eric rested his case on how irresponsible he feels Leonardo DiCaprio and Elon Musk are with their jet flying ways. Must be even worse than Ric Flair. Wooo! Now back to wrestling, as Nick wisely bit his tongue until it bleeds.
Bruce sat in on Eric’s WWF audition after he left AWA in 1991. It was the infamous selling the broom tactic. Whether or not Eric has a better sales pitch now than he did for that audition, Nick just had to know. First of all, Eric didn’t know Bruce was at the audition. He only heard Vince McMahon’s voice, not seeing him at all. He equated it to being Wizard of Oz-like of Vince being behind the curtain. Eric wished he had that moment back and really likes how Bruce laid out the scenario and reasoning. If someone is put on the spot to do something so bizarre, their confidence and improvisational skills are put to the test. The bizarre nature is intended, it tests a person’s adaptability and if they can think on their feet. Eric indicated those skills were important then, even more so today. Looking back, he wishes he could have convinced Vince the broom wasn’t a broom, but a guitar, and use his imagination in more vivid ways to impress Vince.
Nick gave Eric a chance to redeem himself. In a curt manner, Eric declined but without giving Nick grief for doing so on a strictly audio show, but he really should have.
Bruce and Conrad mentioned Eric was hired to be President of WCW for Turner to get away from wrestling people, as the attempt of Bill Watts failed. Nick thought Eric was possibly offended by not being associated as a wrestling person, coming from the AWA. Offended he was not, as it was true. Turner was looking at Eric, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone internally as well as outside the company. Eric had a broader scope of wrestling experience, coming up in syndication sales. Ross also had success in that field whereas Schiavone did not have that experience. By that time and his combined AWA and WCW experience, Eric had promoted live events, was an on-camera talent, worked in production and post-production, learned how to edit; essentially everything in the wrestling business without actually being a wrestler. He knew and understood the wrestling business more than many of the others applying to be WCW President did. Having the differentiation of not being a wrestling person pushed Eric. He embraced it because he thought differently than a wrestling figure. Most wrestling people would replicate Bill Watts, which would be to go back to the 1970s methods and approaches. In Eric’s opinion, that approach wouldn’t work in the early 1990s.
Nick had a good question here. Given Eric’s tastes in wrestling align with the likes of Jim Ross in an old school manner, he asked Eric if, all these years later, if he yet considers himself a wrestling person or an entertainment producer. Eric identifies himself as an entrainment person who understands the psychology of the wrestling industry and has a good understanding of it. It’s changing every day and he keeps an open mind to it. Eric also understands the business of the wrestling business, in the world of entertainment, probably better than anyone not named Vince McMahon and some of those that work closely with him. Eric simply doesn’t categorize himself. He understands the attributes and opportunities that exist in sports entertainment.
Another subject Nick gave to Eric was when Bruce mentioned that Vince McMahon was not unhappy with Hulk Hogan’s jump to WCW in 1994. For some asinine reason, Nick asked if Eric knew how Vince felt at the time. Not being a firsthand witness, Eric didn’t know how Vince felt at the time because he wasn’t there at the time! Eric took Bruce at his word because he was a WWF employee and worked closely with Vince.
Nick followed up with how Hulk was feeling at the time and if he mentioned anything to Eric. Eric surmised early on Hulk still had a deep affection for Vince, even with a lot going on at the time. There was mutual tension with Vince and Hogan at the time plus the steroid trial, just to name a couple reasons for Hogan and Vince to separate. He sensed disappointment in Hulk about how things turned out but never any animosity or resentment, or negativity. Eric did address Hulk about it, as there were clear issues and differing stories to each side. Again, Eric had a feeling Hulk maintained a deep affection and respect for Vince.
Bruce mentioned he thought Vince would have stooged off results of a taped show on a live show if the tables were turned like Eric did in the early days of the Monday Night War. Eric agreed, that, of course, Vince would have! A worked-up Eric gave mention to this bulls**t narrative that still exists of Billionaire Ted beating on poor little Vince McMahon through Eric. Eric claimed it was all him when he had Lex Luger at the debut of Nitro when Vince thought he was under WWF contract and gave away the taped Raw results on the live Nitros.
Eric astutely pointed out Vince did the same thing. He raided territories and offered guys boatloads of money to leave where they had committed themselves to, he bought out markets and blackballed people. Vince did the same stuff Eric did, but more. When Vince needed to be the underdog, he perpetrated the Billionaire Ted sob story to protect his business, of which he was three generations old. Eric wasn’t diminishing Vince’s reasons, he respected and understood them. But, it was a false narrative. Vince did everything Eric did, and then some. And, Vince would have done everything Eric did if he would have been able to think it before Eric did. “That’s about as definitive as it gets!” Nick replied. Eric was in a definitive state of mind.
Speaking of Ted Turner, Nick loosely quoted Bruce and Conrad that Vince billed the Monday Night War as Ted vs. Vince to elicit underdog sympathy, fearing the opposite would occur if Vince portrayed getting beat by Eric. Nick wondered if Ted preferred to have the perception of Ted vs. Vince or Eric vs. Vince. Eric simply said Ted didn’t give a s**t and probably wasn’t even aware.
Eric went into the current Kathy Griffin/President Trump drama. I’ll leave the political controversy to Eric but he did draw the comparison of Griffin acting like a heel, then trying to appear as a babyface and how Eric didn’t think too highly of Griffin. Nick tried to defend artists slipping up without realizing it till it’s too late. He also told a story of how he took a bold risk during an improv show that didn’t end up too favorable for him. Listen to this portion if you’d like to hear more. Eric did make a decent point of how some controversial comedians defend offending people as just artists being artists as just plain bullsh*t, and underlined it as all artists, including wrestlers, aren’t exempt from being judicious.
Bruce had mentioned that around 1997 Eric was beating the drum of putting Vince out of business. The truth, as Nick requested, was Eric said it, but not regularly. He referenced Chris Jericho reciting it in great accurate detail to him and Bruce on his podcast (which was also one of the live shows Eric mentioned earlier that had done with Bruce.) After hearing Jericho say it, Eric didn’t vividly remember saying it, but it sounded so much like something he would say that he probably did.
Just as much then as now, when Eric is passionate about something he’s prone to being over-the-top. At the time, he was so passionate being number 1, about proving the WCW and Bischoff-doubters wrong; especially those trying not to show their hand to ensure a job with the surviving company. His passion for his vision was so strong that he did say once or twice, but not regularly. His goal was to be number 1 and convince everybody it was possible. He was so desperate to get people to believe it that he probably said some stupid sh*t, and that was one of them. But deep in his heart, he wasn’t out to put WWF out of business. Nick had temporary memory loss and asked if Ted wanted to put WWF out of business. Eric said “bro!” about a dozen times in response, and that was enough to shut Nick up. He doesn’t want to get anymore Russo tweets apparently. Eric was sick of that sh*t as well.
Back on track, Eric said he and Ted had one actual business meeting, lasting all of maybe 20 minutes, give or take five minutes. Beyond that meeting, which was to launch Monday Nitro, he probably had less than four dozen syllables total of conversation with Ted.
Nick mentioned how Bruce and Conrad made it seem like Eric and Ted were in cahoots to put WWF out of business. Eric remembered that part of the show, but can’t speak for Ted. Ted never tipped his hand in any way about how he felt. Eric didn’t even know the history Ted and Vince had till the late ’90s. It never came up until then when the dirtsheets were writing about it. If Ted felt a certain way, he didn’t let Eric know. Nick wants to book Ted for the show. Eric said he would be the man if he could pull that off, but Nick revealed his bold confidence was in part getting Eric to do the show!
Before 2002, there had been some previous attempts to bring Eric to WWE. Bruce told the story of how it was a reluctant Jim Ross who extended those first invitations. Nick wanted to know if it would have made a difference if Vince made contact instead of Ross. At the time, Eric wasn’t ready but got the feeling that Ross didn’t even want to be the one asking him to come to WWE. (This was likely from Ross’s lingering negative feelings toward Eric at the time still from their WCW dealings in when Ross left WCW for WWF in 1993. Eric was promoted above Ross as the executive producer of WCW. Eric replaced Bill Watts, who Ross had a long-standing working relationship and friendship with and Eric wasn’t a fan of. Ross requested and was granted his release after Eric was put in that power position.)
Eric elaborated with this story. Jim Ross contacted Eric on Thursday, July 4th, 2001. Eric, who resided in Cody, WY in the summertime, was hosting a party at his house friends and family who came from various parts of the country for the holiday. Ross, not in too much of a selling mode, wanted Eric to be at Monday’s Raw without giving anything more than creative information and that it was short term. Eric explained that Cody has two flights per day on small planes. Those flights are booked well in advance by world traveling tourists, Eric claimed a whole year. He amicably declined the offer to Ross, citing bad timing and having well-traveled friends and family there for the holiday.
In Eric’s (least) favorite, Nick asked Eric’s retrospective answer to, perhaps, being brought in as the leader of WCW in the Invasion angle. Nick knew that was a best-case scenario for all parties, Eric agreed as he may have driven to wherever the next Raw was for that role! Eric felt Ross was selling him something he hoped Eric didn’t end up buying, making it an easy pass for him. Back to Nick’s earlier question, Eric wouldn’t have cared who called him and doesn’t have that kind of an ego. If it was Vince or a production assistant calling him, to this day, a good idea is a good idea. Eric revealed he and Ross are on good terms now. However, back then he felt Ross was asking him in a way he knew Eric would not accept but could say he tried, without forgetting how bitter Ross still was with him.
When Eric was brought in to be the Raw General Manager in 2002, Bruce made it clear Eric was to just be a character. No creative control or input. Nick wondered if Eric felt the character only role made him feel as if WWE was mistreating him, like his ideas weren’t worth their consideration. Eric didn’t get that feeling from WWE nor did he take it that way. When Vince called him about the possibility of working for WWE in that role, he asked Eric if there was anything he would not do. Eric told Vince there was only one thing he wouldn’t do, and that was move to Connecticut. He didn’t want to be in management or part of the process. If he could just be a talent, he was all in. Not having an all-consuming creative/management type job was a Godsend for Eric. He went on to underline in bold, hoping to never have to say it again, that all of WWE, from Vince, Linda, Shane, and Stephanie all the way down couldn’t have been more elegant, professional, or more gracious when he walked in there. They made him feel at home when he shouldn’t have felt at home. There wasn’t any underlying animosity from them; he got to be a talent on one of the biggest stages on earth and it was great.
Nick thought WWE may have also wanted Eric in a business capacity if he indicated a willingness and desire. Eric held firm at no, notably because, in his opinion, it would acknowledge he kicked their ass if they employed him for such roles. Nick still didn’t get it, thinking WWE would love to have a guy working for them like Eric who was successful in the roles he had in the genre. Eric made it clearer; it’s not possible when you call out Vince McMahon on live television and threaten to beat his ass, not when you give results of their taped show on your live show and not when a majority of the key people in company, naming Kevin Dunn as one, probably still harbored some resentment toward Eric for putting their jobs at risk. Vince McMahon, Eric continued, is a master at taking assets and trying to figure out how to get the most out of them. Eric was a creative asset and talent he believed he could use and extract value from and, from the beginning, had no desire to do more with Eric, was cool with that.
Nick brought up Bruce remembering how Vince enjoyed talking to Eric about certain aspects of how he ran WCW, among other wrestling business topics. Nick thought Eric was being used in that manner, but Eric went full on “bro! bro!! bro!!!” once again. Nick told Eric stop getting them in trouble with the “internet” (euphemism for Vince Russo), that the guy tweeted at him to stay out of his business. Eric didn’t care, saying Russo is a sad clown driving around all by himself in his broke down little clown car; without saying Russo’s name! (I’m never happy typing the name but Eric made a hilarious point.) He continued, saying he wrote to Conrad that he and Vince didn’t pick his brain, but if he did it was some kind of Vulcan mind meld mind reading stuff. They never had a conversation about anything of what he was thinking and why he did what he did in his time running WCW. He only made small talk the few times he did talk with Vince. (Nick didn’t say it, but I’ll point out that Bruce mentioned he was the one who worked with Eric the most, giving light to how little interaction Eric and Vince had.)
Bruce didn’t quite know how to answer Conrad’s question in their show of who Eric was excited to see for the first time or reunite with in WWE on his first night. Nick gave Eric the same question. He didn’t anticipate anything more than just being introduced by Vince and doing their part, cutting his promo, and going back to his hotel. After Eric and Vince did their TV parts, Bruce and Stephanie took Eric backstage and introduced him to everybody in a professional and elegant fashion. He remembered walking up to the Undertaker, momentarily forgetting all the history and Taker’s loyalty to Vince. Eric introduced himself to Taker, taking note of the awareness Taker had of himself; his grace, professionalism, and elegance (he was aware of his overuse of the word but couldn’t think of a better way to describe him.) A takeaway for Eric is that Taker could have been a di*k to him for being the person who nearly put WWF out of business and not being shy about it at the time. It didn’t take him long to realize Taker chose to put that in the past and start anew and treated him respectfully and professionally. Eric was impressed by Taker’s class and professionalism, wishing he had him on his side. (I don’t think I’m going out on a limb if I were to guess Eric meant he wished he had that kind of loyalty and class when he was running WCW. Some guilty parties probably will take that as a silent shot from Eric.) Nick remembered ‘Mean’ Mark Callous in WCW, but Eric corrected Nick on the timeline of that being before Eric’s time in WCW.
Next, Nick brought up the controversial Ric Flair incident in St. Louis! Eric didn’t have one peep of it in his book (published in 2006), but Flair had every detail of his version in his book (published in 2004.) There are conflicting reports out there, and Bruce gave his remembrance of Flair attacking Eric backstage, alongside Conrad reading that excerpt from Flair’s book.
Asked if all this happened, Eric said it did not. It was a very creative recollection of what really happened. Asked to divulge what really happened, Eric said sure, but I got the sense Eric didn’t need prodding. Starting out, Eric said he loves Flair and they’re friends now. But if Flair hears this (or reads this) he may contend with what Eric says, but there was one witness in the room that will attest to what Eric has to say. He won’t say who it is unless he has to, but it’s someone well-known. Nick gave it his best attempt, but Eric didn’t budge and didn’t want to put this unnamed person, who is a male, on the spot unless, again, unless he has to.
Eric recounted what he remembers. He and Flair had contractual issues in WCW around 1997 or 1998, but they had sorted it out while in WCW, and it worked productively together and became friends afterward. They ran an angle that resulted in a pay-per-view match. After the match, that Eric said was great, Flair called him in his hotel and told Eric he loved him and he also thought the match was great. Flair also told Eric they were right back where they were before those issues. Then, Eric left WCW. It was all water under the bridge by the time he got to WWE, Eric couldn’t imagine it being an issue anymore. Or so he thought.
Years later, in WWE, Eric, Flair, and Arn Anderson would hang out and drinking beers together. Bruce also pointed that out on his show. There was no heat, they all hung out together. One afternoon, in St. Louis, Eric was in a green room, which wasn’t anyone’s office. It was basically a set/TV room and where Eric usually was so he could be easily found whenever anybody needed him. He didn’t socialize or hang out in catering or walk around the area. He just stayed in one place, either working on his computer or reading a book.
On that day in St. Louis, he wasn’t on the phone with the producer for Girls Gone Wild, as Bruce and/or Flair contended. Eric was on the phone with his wife and a real estate attorney figuring out a transaction on a piece of investment property he had. While sitting on a chair, not a couch, having that conversation, Flair and Arn came in the room. Eric called bullsh*t on Arn watching the door, he was there to watch Flair’s back as well as the third and unnamed man who accompanied them. Flair started calling Eric out during his wife and attorney phone conversation. He put his fists up, telling Eric to get out of that chair, calling him a son of a bitch, that he’s going to kick his ass and went off on a tangent. Eric was trying to figure out if it was a rib because the previous Monday night there were all out drinking beer together, laughing and joking. Nothing happened in that span of a week, so Eric was confused.
Eric was still trying to maintain the conversation with his attorney and wife to close on the piece of property they were discussing, and Flair was getting more agitated. He was so pissed off he bit his own lip and was bleeding from the mouth. When he saw the blood, Eric realized it wasn’t a rib and something weird was going on. Eric then tried to get off the phone and Flair started firing punches at him while Eric was still sitting on the chair. Eric has been hit hard many times but said Flair was giving him working punches and not connecting, but was clearly over the top pissed off. Eric was even more confused by the visible anger that didn’t come with any hard hitting punches. He got off the phone, stood up and realized Flair really wanted to fight him. Anybody that knows Eric, knows he’s not afraid to fight. He doesn’t like to fight, but it doesn’t mean he’s incapable. He didn’t want to fight Flair, he considered him a friend and was still confused. Flair backed him up against a wall, and did call him a MF-er, as was in Flair’s book, and that he would dig his eye out. Flair got really violent and loud, then Sergeant Slaughter came in the room and broke it up.
Since then, Eric and Flair haven’t talked about it, agreeing to just let it go by as part of the mending process. Eric is fine with that, he knows he did some things that upset Flair emotionally and put him through challenging times. Flair also had a lot going on in his life. He’s an emotional guy who has endured a lot of turmoil. At that moment, he decided to take it out on Eric. Maybe he deserved it, but it was just confusing to Eric. Nick wanted to know the that unnamed person was a wrestler or creative person. Eric thickened the plot and replied that person was neither! Nick chose to leave it at that, and for us to draw our own conclusions. Eric added this person knows who he is and listens to this show, and has been on the show! (My guesses are Joey Styles, Johnathon Coachman, or Teddy Long.)
Bruce told a story on his show where he and Eric were working on a Tyson Tomko vignette. Eric helped Bruce complete the creative idea or process they were trying to achieve, and Bruce gave full credit to Eric for it. That was the beginning of Eric having trust in Bruce, as they had timid beginnings and were feeling each other out. However, Eric didn’t recall that story but didn’t refute Bruce’s claims. Nick failed to follow up with anything else that could have helped understand any beginning trust issues that were built up over time, resulting in their current close friendship.
Nick quickly asked how Eric met Joe Francis from Girls Gone Wild. Eric first met Francis through his business partner, Jason Hervey. Hervey used to work with one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood, who still is to this day. This man is Peter Guber. He owned, and still owns, Mandalay Entertainment, which does multiple things in the world of entertainment. Guber brought Francis in under Mandalay’s company banner because he was making a fortune making the Girls Gone Wild DVDs. Hervey, before he and Eric became business partners, also worked for Mandalay Entertainment, under the Mandalay Sports Entertainment Division. That was the connection.
What Bruce didn’t talk about was that Eric was responsible for bringing Francis into WWE. Francis knew Harvey and Bischoff knew each other, and Eric was working for WWE at the time. Eric knew Vince McMahon was interested in acquiring Playboy. Eric also knew that Francis, with his Girls Gone Wild cash cow at the time, wanted to acquire Playboy as well. Playboy had been up for sale for quite some time. Eric connected the dots and brokered the relationship between Francis and WWE as they had mutual interest in acquiring Playboy. Eric brought Vince and Francis together because the WWE exposure would enhance the pay-per-view opportunity for Girls Gone Wild. WWE was at the tail end of the Attitude Era and knew Vince would likely be interested in the partnership with Girls Gone Wild in an attempt to skew to the younger demographics. Eric had his hands in the brokerage all the way up to scheduling a meeting with Francis and Linda McMahon in Los Angeles to discuss the acquisition of Playboy between Joe Francis, Girls Gone Wild, and WWE (This was all circa 2003). Nick stated the obvious that a current Girls Gone Wild/WWE partnership would cause a conniption fit.
Nick ventured further, asking Eric how his wife felt about the WWE/Girls Gone Wild partnership. To no surprise, she wasn’t very comfortable with it but chalked it up to just business. Nick is aware of Eric’s high morals and wasn’t trying to stir anything by asking, but felt it was worth a follow-up. (Nick failed again to give proper context to why he was bringing up Joe Francis and the WWE connection with Girls Gone Wild. Bruce had a funny story that Nick could have at least summarized with a couple sentences as a pretense to asking about Eric’s Joe Francis connection. Bruce’s story is too much for me to summarize here, but read it on this site for a laugh!)
Nick pivoted to the Hot Lesbian Action angle Eric was a part of. Eric’s didn’t dig the unimaginative, hot shot angle. It wasn’t any different than a heel coming out and insulting the hometown sports teams to get a reaction. Eric contended it was uncreative, simple and predictable. But, he walked into the gig not to judge and do the best he could with what he was given. It was awkward and unappealing to him but didn’t let it bother him.
Eric had previously talked about his pride in his role in Billy and Chuck’s wedding. Nick mentioned the tongue and cheek ending it got and asked Eric if he feels it should have ended differently with better follow through. Eric thinks it was fine the way it was done. (Eric was disguised as an old preacher that was slightly hunched over that talked slow and nasally. Right before vows were exchanged, Billy claimed it was just a publicity stunt and they aren’t actually gay but weren’t homophobic. Billy added he wouldn’t marry Chuck if he was gay! Rico Constantine, their manager, lost his cool and yelled at them for embarrassing him. The disguised preacher Eric then went on that commitment is sacred, and Billy and Chuck’s commitment was no different. It won’t matter if it lasts 50 years, 16 months or three minutes. Eric spoke in his true voice, saying three minutes again, tore off his old man mask. Rosey and Jamaal ran to the ring and tore stuff up! I’ll leave some meat on the bone for those that haven’t watched it yet or those want to watch it again for the rest of the angle.)
Nick’s favorite part of the Something to Wrestle With episode was Bruce detailing Eric being very uncomfortable kissing Linda McMahon in Vince’s house, with Vince producing him! Eric didn’t remember Bruce being there but knows he communicated with Bruce how he felt about it. Eric was most uncomfortable the night before. After he flew in and got to his hotel room, he was watching TV while thinking, “Jeez, I’m going to Vince’s house tomorrow to make out with his wife on camera for this angle!” It was and still is odd for Eric, but the flip side was surreal. Vince was cooking lunch, in his own environment instead of Mr. McMahon in an arena, and had his big dogs running around. Vince and everybody were so relaxed and friendly, that it went from surreal the night before, to a different type of surreal at Vince’s house being treated so well he felt like he was born there. Then, he was in Linda’s office and making out with her! It was such a bizarre combination that Eric had a hard time putting it into words.
Nick got all domestic on us and asked Eric if he could recall what the inside of Vince’s house was decorated like. A true food man through and through, Eric only remembered the kitchen. It was big and Vince also had two really cool big dogs named Brutus and Baxter or some big dog sounding names. Eric wishes he has a better memory and way to hold onto memories but has a recalls such a level of relaxation and comfort. Vince was Vince, but a normal guy in a normal scene, aside from Eric making out with Linda of course. Eric felt like he was hanging out at his buddy’s house over some beers and burgers. (Nick again failed here. He should have also brought up when Eric kissed Stephanie. I think that one has the funnier anecdotes of embarrassment for both Eric and Stephine, especially how Bruce claimed she was repulsed by Eric!)
Conrad mentioned Eric is too politically correct to give straight answers and isn’t sure how a podcast or conversation with Eric would go. Eric agreed to a point. When Eric started the show with Nick, he was adamant about not living in the past or burying people and picking scabs off old wounds. Just about everybody that does podcasts like this, and Eric is bored with it. He’s worked hard to put all that negative crap out of his mind and doesn’t live in it. Conrad is probably right, but it’s not necessarily from being too politically correct. He just doesn’t live in a negative state of mind. If a specific question is asked, like of Vince battling Ted Turner or him, Eric will shoot straight. But he won’t go on for hours picking on and burying people for the sake of downloads. Eric loves talking about the business of the wrestling business but doesn’t like burying people in the business, with few exceptions. He and Nick had another “bro! bro!” session to indicate their favorite burial subject (Russo for those not up to speed.)
Nick decided to table the questions for next week and solicited more questions for next week’s show by going to Twitter and using #Bischoffonwretling.
For their remaining time, Nick had Eric give some quick thoughts on some recent news topics.
-Eric loves that Samoa Joe is getting a title shot against Brock Lesnar. He thinks Joe is one of the coolest people in the business he knows. Eric caught up with Joe at WrestleMania and couldn’t be happier for him, it warms his heart in a good way. Joe is a really good and talented guy who has stuck it out and tolerated so much crap of guys saying “bro” you’re too fat, “bro” you’ll get over “bro.” Joe has taken all the criticism, and emerged and is an amazing talent and Eric wishes him nothing but the best.
Nick was still scared of Russo tweets, slightly begging Eric to stop these “bro” mentions. Nick equated it to putting a dollar bill on a string and pulling down the sidewalk! Eric was insistent about Russo needing the attention because it’s lonely in the clown car!!
-Sean Waltman, on a recent episode of Nick’s Wrestle Zone Daily, revealed “Road Dogg” Brian James is the main creative force on Smackdown, without hardly any Vince McMahon handcuffs. Eric hasn’t worked with James in a creative manner but was excited to hear the news. When someone has creative reign, there will be mistakes and successes but will charter new territory. If it’s true, Eric is excited and it’s a really good sign.
-Dave Meltzer wrote in his latest Wrestling Observer newsletter that Hulk Hogan’s WWE return may be happening soon. Dave reported WWE sees the public outcry against Hogan has diminished since his sex tape comments and controversy that resulted in his termination two years ago. Hogan would be brought in for a WWE ambassador role. Eric, a close friend of Hogan’s, said he and Hogan talked about a week ago and WWE didn’t come up in their conversation. Eric finds it hard to believe. Out of respect for his friendship with Hogan, he carefully said he doesn’t think Hogan cares. Hogan has moved on with his life and there’s been a lot of water under the bridge. To Eric, knowing Hogan as well as he does, he doesn’t think Hogan needs to be in the limelight and have all the attention. Eric thinks Hogan is quite happy with who he is, what he has, who he’s become, and what his life is about. The idea of being on display on a dog and pony show for WWE’s benefit, Eric would be surprised if that was interesting to Hogan anymore. He would understand it if Hogan did it because he’s still connected to the audience, but at this stage in his life he honestly can’t imagine it.
Nick thanked Bruce Prichard and Conrad Thompson for the inspiration for this episode and to check out their episode for a nice companion piece to this one.
Nick also plugged his and Eric’s IRWNetwork.com and this week’s overrun of Eric’s interview with “The Brooklyn Brawler” Steve Lombardi. Eric called Lombardi the sneaky little camera in the corner of everything WWE has done the last 32 years. He has stories, perspective, insight, and dirt that very few living people have.
Instead of dumping it all here, I indicated in the review where Nick failed in some spots. I didn’t include every single time, just the big ones. He just has a low host ceiling and won’t get the show to the next level unless he has more knowledge ahead of time by doing more research and/or talking about certain aspects with Eric ahead of recording. He just comes across as someone not worthy of hosting a podcast that has the ilk of an Eric Bischoff as its star attraction. Hell, maybe Eric doesn’t want to be outshined or argued with. With Nick as co-host, that surely won’t happen. I did mention the good Nick did in this episode, not just for the sake of accuracy. I hate that my analysis is always anti-Nick, but I must be accurate for the people that read my reviews. Some may see me as too harsh, but high standards must be kept.
Eric maintained his usual high level of informed and unbiased humility, though he always leaves wiggle room for interpretation. He may simply forget some things, making his answers hollow at times. He did indicate he has tried to forget a lot his negative past, perhaps trying to dupe us in giving him leniency for not being accurate at times when he wants to hide something or save face just a tad. But he can rag on Vince Russo anytime and I will wave that flag with him. Eric is always good for at least a couple dry and witty one-liners, and he did not disappoint here!
Score: 7 out of 10.
About the Author:
Craig was bit by the wrestling bug me when he was about three-years-old. It fell off a couple times but always found its way back. Now that he’s 34, that bug is here to stay. He can be seen air drumming at any stoplight in Green Bay, or heard yelling at the TV about his Packers, or WWE of course! He’s always enjoyed writing, so he hopes you readers enjoy what he provides! Check out his Talking Smack reviews on PWTorch.com, follow him @CraigElbe on Twitter and have a chat!
For more, check out last week’s recap of Bischoff on Wrestling.