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WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: Bischoff on Wrestling – Eric tears into John Gaburick and GFW in epic fashion, reveals who the biggest financial bust he ever signed was, gives full details on being fired from WCW in 1999 (Ep. 60)

Bischoff on Wrestling – Episode 60

Release Date: September 13, 2017

Recap By: Andrew Soucek, PWPodcasts.com Editor

Runtime: 1 hour 4 minutes

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

Show Highlights:

-Eric tears into GFW and John Gaburick.

-The biggest disappointment he’d signed in terms of dollars was Warrior.

-Eric explains why John Cena’s drug test failure line aimed at Roman Reigns was a bad idea.

-Eric will kiss Dave Meltzer’s ass in Las Vegas if he can be proven wrong about an old story. 

Show Rundown

Eric starts up the show once again with a commercial for an upcoming boxing fight.

Nick and Eric are ready to go. They are now officially on Twitter @Bischoffshow. On September 10, 1999, Eric was fired. They’re going to talk about it later on in the episode. Eric gives Nick some grief for blowing by it so fast. He needed to add more depth to it!

Talk of Eric’s book comes up and he says no one has written a book about the business of the wrestling business like he has.

8:27 – John Cena bringing up Roman Reigns’ failed drug test, what does Eric think about it? He’s not sure. Part of him likes it because it breaks the mold. He loves things that don’t feel scripted. But, he feels this went right up to a line that you don’t want to cross. Part of him thinks they could have done something better without getting in the mud.

Nick asks what they were trying to accomplish with this angle. Eric thinks it’s not the right kind of heat. There’s better ways to go about it. John Cena should be making fun of the teapot commercial with his daughter. Cena is doing Hollywood movies and Roman is doing PSAs.

Eric brings up Hillary Clinton and says she’s blaming everyone for losing, “basically, she was a piece of s**t candidate.” Nick defends her a bit. Eric calls her an abject failure and said they should move on.

The drug test failure talk continues. Eric said that bringing it up is bad for advertisers.

16:20 – What’s going on in GFW? What does Eric think about Jeff Jarrett’s hiatus? Eric “kind of likes Jeff” and thinks Karen is “a hoot.” However, Jeff was a mid-level talent in the WWF and WCW as a performer. As a businessman, he’s been good at separating people who have money with their money. He’s never been successful in the wrestling business. He has no track record of creative success.

If Eric was going to start a wrestling company and needed someone who could tell wrestlers how to tell a story in the ring, Jeff would be at the top of his list. But when it comes to producing TV he’s “batting 0 for 0.” (I’m assuming he meant 0 for 2, maybe?)

18:52: John Gaburick’s name comes up and Eric immediately laughs and calls him a “fat bastard.” “Replace John with ‘Fat Bastard.’” He calls him a fraud. Nick asks how he stays in the position then. Eric said he’s a con man. He relayed a rumor about Dixie Carter thinking Gaburick was Vince McMahon’s “left hand man.” Eric says that’s not true. He was good as an administrator but not in creative and that McMahon couldn’t stand him.  

“John has all the creative instincts of a gnat. A big fat gnat.”

Eric then said Jeff Jarrett borrowed $300,000 from Scott D’Amore and that’s why he’s in GFW. Has Eric had experience with Sonjay Dutt? None that he can recall. He runs through the creative team again and Nordholm and said it’s like “the blind leading the blind.”

24:05 – The recent Sports Illustrated story of GFW wanting to sell comes up. Jeff Jarrett apparently owns the “GFW” initials. Eric said the company is like a bunch of rodeo clowns having a demolition derby.

25:30 – Alberto El Patron is coming back to the company. Would Eric bring him back in? “Nope.”

26:20 – A.J. Styles appeared at an indy show. Is this a good idea? Eric thinks it’s awesome. A.J. knows where he came from and hasn’t gotten a big head. It creates goodwill for WWE. Eric’s phone ends up ringing.

28:20 – Gabe Sapolsky is helping run a training session where wrestlers pay $150 and one person from the group will be booked as an extra in NXT. Eric “f***king hates” it. It cheapens the business.

29:45 – This Week in Bischoff History. Eric getting fired in 1999.

Eric said he wasn’t quite fired. When he woke up on September 10, 1999 did he feel something ominous in the air? Yes. The night before Eric had reached his wit’s end. It had been building for months. He had confided in Turner executive Bill Busch that he was ready to quit. Bill told him to go home and to rethink things. However, when he got up the next day Harvey Schiller (his boss) told him to come to his office in Atlanta.

At this point, Eric had two-and-a-half years left on his contract and was making about $600,000 – $700,000 a year before bonuses. Harvey told him that he had to go home and take a break for a month or two. He wasn’t quite being fired, “I was being sent home to take a nap, basically.”

Dave Meltzer reported at the time that part of removal was due to bad business deals like the KISS one. “No. Meltzer is full of s**t on that one.” Did people think Eric getting let go was a work because of things he had done with Brian Pillman before? Eric says he doesn’t know what others thought, but it was real.

Did Hulk Hogan have a lot of heat backstage because he wasn’t letting young talent get over? Eric thinks that’s generally the case. That’s even more so the case in WWE because there’s only one company to really go to. However, people on the bottom have always been jealous of the people on top.

Did Eric and Kevin Nash and Hogan work together to get people to think that Hogan and Nash had heat so people would think Hogan was leaving when Nash took control of creative? “That’s so f***ing stupid I don’t even want to respond to it.” Eric then drops the word “retards” for people who believe stuff like that. Yikes.

Craig Leathers came up. He was a director in WCW. Eric believes directors should be the voice of reason in wrestling. He advises Ed Nordholm to hire Keith Mitchell (another director in WCW) to run creative in GFW. He takes another jab at John Gaburick, calling him a “tub of s**t.” He put over Mitchell some more and again said Nordholm should hire him if he wants to “save his a**.”

What was Eric’s reaction to Bill Busch taking over as VP of WCW? Eric called him the next day and told him he’s a guppy in a sea full of sharks. He doesn’t blame Busch, though, as he wanted to advance his own career. Eric does believe he was really incapable and shocked he put himself in that position.

What were Dusty Rhodes’, Kevin Sullivan’s and Nash’s involvement in the company at this point? Kevin was there. Dusty was on the sidelines. Sullivan was never a major player. He thinks Sullivan could convince people who didn’t know better than he was viable and important. But he was a mid-level player.

Is it true that Eric was written into the film Ready To Rumble? Yes and no. Eric created that opportunity. He negotiated with Warner Brothers to put the movie together. He doesn’t think it’s a bad thing that he missed out on it.

Meltzer reported at the time that Bischoff was under fire for not firing his secretary who had allegedly made a racial joke. Eric said he would like to have seen what the joke was and who the employee was. He wants facts in the equation and has no recollection of it. If he’s wrong, he will kiss Meltzer’s ass in the middle of Las Vegas.

Is it true Eric was banned from events and the office and that his name was not allowed on TV? No. He’s never heard this. Eric went home and he went fishing for three months. He had no plans of going to a wrestling event. He was happy that he had money coming in and was fishing.

51:12 – Mailbag

Of all the outdoor events Eric ran, what was the easiest and most difficult?

Sturgis was the most difficult. It was hard to get to and the weather was bad. A Disney event in 1996 was easy because they were set up for it. Daytona Beach wasn’t difficult either.

Was there a match or performer that made Eric a wrestling fan as a kid?

Probably anything involving Nick Bockwinkel or Ray Stevens. To him, Bockwinkel was classy and believable. He thought he was the best of the best. Stevens was a tough guy and believable as a heel.

Who would have been a bigger deal had they jumped from WWE to Nitro: Shawn Michaels or Undertaker?

Probably Michaels because of his relationship with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash.

What kind of a wrestling town is Sioux Falls?

It’s a part of the Midwest. It was an extension of the AWA. It’s the heart and soul of professional wrestling. He did a show at “Midwest Pro Wrestling” (it’s actually Midwest All Pro…I’ve done some commentary for them, but I digress!) a few months ago and is looking forward to coming back.

Does he have any funny stories about Roddy Piper?

Eric says he doesn’t have funny stories because he didn’t party with guys for the most part. He has a memory of Piper talking to his son and making him feel important. He remembers Piper for the way he treated people.

How difficult was it when Kevin Sullivan found out Chris Benoit was sleeping with Woman?

You’d have to ask Kevin Sullivan. He then said it was a pretty “f**ed up thing.”

Did Eric ever consider bringing back Tully Blanchard in the early WCW days?

No, he’d been off the radar at that point. Nothing against him.

Who was the biggest signing that turned out to be the biggest disappointment?

Warrior. Ted DiBiase. (Would have loved to have heard more about these picks and why!)

Has wrestling taken a turn for the worst after the Monday Night War?

No. Wrestling has changed. But so have movies and art.

What did Eric think of the Matt Hardy/Edge/Lita storyline in 2005?

Eric wasn’t close enough to understand the real dynamics of it. He thinks triangles like that court emotional disaster. At the time he wasn’t sure if it was real or not. But again, he wasn’t close enough to them. It’s not something he would have booked. The negatives outweigh the positives.

And that’s a wrap.

Review: 8/10

A newsworthy episode with Eric’s brutal assessment on GFW and John Gaburick landing as the highlights. This was a much better effort than the past two weeks. For starters, Eric ACTUALLY REMEMBERED details from “This Week in Bischoff History!”

The questions were also much better this go-around. No real duds and there some interesting ones I hadn’t heard him answer before.

However, I do find it mean-spirited that Eric kept going after Gaburick’s weight. Claiming he’s a con man is fair game (I wish he would have backed it up with more examples though), but time and time again calling him fat is childish. And hey, I met Eric at that MAP show (he was really nice to me and quite gracious with the fans from what I saw) and…well, the dude himself has put on a few pounds since he was last on TV! I’m not trying to be mean about that, even at 62 he’s probably in better shape than I am!

Otherwise, this is what fans come to expect from this podcast. Eric gets amped up about a variety of topics, really rants on a few of them for a bit and the controversy and chaos can be quite entertaining to listen to, even if you don’t agree with everything he has to say.

Timestamps:

8:27: Roman and John Cena
16:20: GFW and John Gaburick
29:45: This Week in Bischoff History
51:12: Mailbag

For more, check out our archives of Bischoff on Wrestling

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