Eric Bischoff Speaks on TNA Going Live, Competing with WWE and More

– Thanks to Marty Hots for this recap of Eric Bischoff’s appearance on Monday Night Mayhem. The show can be listened to at the link below.



Eric Bischoff was on Monday Night Mayhem – Interview

At 5:52pm PST, Eric Bischoff made his appearance live on this interview.

Bischoff was introduced as negotiating a deal with Hogan to TNA. Host promotes Genesis this Sunday night. Bischoff stayed silent since Monday after the record drawing TNA iMPACT! rating. was promoted as well.

Bischoff says he feels inadequate with that buildup they did for him. He’s sitting with his business partner Jason Hervey at Santa Monica, California.

Host asks how it was like last week on Monday Live at Impact and his expectations leading into the show as well as the same locker room with Ric Flair and Vince Russo.

Bischoff said last week was easy. He says he was working with the folks at TNA since October, working with the creative team, and having a great time in the process. He said it was the result of 2 months of hard and fun work. Backstage, it was a lot of fun. He said as well as the potential conflict and drama, he said it was very amicable, positive, and that everyone was excited to be there. Nothing but a great time and a rewarding experience.

Hosts bring up Hogan and the initial thinking of Hogan being WWE for life. Host brings up the press conference and if Bischoff thought things would go like that so soon. Bischoff said if you said it’s July, he’d say no as there was so much distance between the visions of everyone involved. But after a couple of meetings (Nashville at Dixie’s home), they knew that the chemistry was right and that it was just a matter of making sure that from their perspective (Bischoff/Hervey Entertainment) that it made sense. The enthusiasm was there, but he wanted to make sure that the business made sense and the same went with TNA.

He said everyone was committed and serious. He said it started in May/June but the negotiations didn’t finish in September. After that, they discussed when should they have the press conference – Bischoff said let’s do it in Vince McMahon’s backyard – Madison Square Garden. MSG thought they were getting a press conference on Hogan’s book tour, but they literally surprised everyone by announcing the TNA deal. Bischoff says everyone knows how he works, he likes surprises and pulling the rug underneath from everyone.

They then talked about when do they launch on TV. Jason then said wait a minute, if you’re going into a fight, you have to pick it – go to the biggest bully in the bar, smack them, and fight. If they get the chance to just slap the bully and get their attention, then that’s great.

A host says they got tons of an questions. He asks who besides AJ Styles does he think stands out on the roster. Eric Bischoff says it’s a fair question and a fair one to answer but he’s not going to answer it because there’s a lot of great talent there and the real truth is until both Hulk and he (more Hulk because he has a great feel for talent and Eric has more of a feel for stories) has a greater grasp of the talent. Eric says they need to spend more time knowing some of the talent there – he says it could be timing because some talent may not have shown much but it doesn’t mean they do not have something more to offer. They need to talk to the talent, see how they react, see how committed they are before they get off in terms of saying who they see is the future. He says they’d like to get to know the talent a lot more professionally and personally.

Host talks about paranoia about certain people’s jobs being compromised as a result of the talent being brought in. What is Eric’s reaction as a result of meeting the TNA talent for the first time and if the paranoia rumors are overstated. Host asks about the Bischoff character saying talent is fighting for their jobs.

Bischoff said Dixie said it weeks ago and they re-iterated it, you can only have so many people on your team and you have to have the best of the best. You can’t have 250 people on a football team and the same applies to a wrestling company. This would naturally breed insecurity and paranoia but this is what it is – it is the entertainment business. Everyone is concerned about their spot – at the end of the day those that can do will – and those that can’t – don’t. One of the things he has learned, he says do not judge people too quickly – get a chance to know them before making a rash decision. He believes not everyone is out there no matter how long they have been there should have seniority/tenure – this is a highly competitive and you’re only as good as your last crowd reaction type of a business. He hopes that the talent feels the pressure because that’s the business they are in. He says at the same time, they are going to have the opportunity and it’s up to them to prove themselves.

Host asks about Jeff Hardy. Bischoff said he had little to do with that other than supporting it. He said he can’t comment much of it and even if he could, he wouldn’t tell because that would ruin the surprise of it.

Host plugs Genesis and Impact on Thursday/Spike. Host says Spike Execs have publicly said that there is a possibility that TNA can go on Monday Live. Host says Hogan has said it too and that fans want it. Host asks what the likelihood of TNA going head to head with Raw prior or after WrestleMania. Bischoff said if he was a betting man, he wouldn’t make that bet because there’s too much he does not know. He only bets when there is something he sort of knows of. He knows that Spike is excited, “extremely extremely happy” with the ratings and positive reaction with everybody. Bischoff says when Dixie asked him when Hogan/Eric should have their first show, he didn’t even take a breath or swallow it. He said “go head to head with Raw on Monday Night”.

Bischoff said wrestling fans love battle/conflict, they love a good guy/bad guy, underdogs. He said TNA is a fraction in terms of infrastructure, staffing of what WCW was in 1991 when he came there as a seasquad talent. Because they are only 7 years old, have a fraction of staff/infrastructure, he said going head to head with Raw is a classic David vs. Goliath and that fans would support as long as they gave a good show. Bischoff said when they proposed it, people at the meeting said “What if we do a terrible rating?”. Bischoff said “it doesn’t friggin matter”. He said as long as you put up a decent fight, went up against the biggest monster, you’ll get the respect. That’s all it is.

He said TNA doesn’t have the machinery/staffing/infrastructure as WWE, they won. He said it wasn’t a perfect show, were there good and bad? Were there some parts that made him want to bang his head on the wall repeatedly? Yes. But he said nobody can tell him that their show didn’t exceed WWE’s show – He said action/excitement they won, but they were not slicker. The fact that they were able to do that made them really proud of them.

If it was up to Eric and he’d have influence, he said he’d go live sooner to take advantage of the momentum. But there are those at Spike that may have different agendas/plans. He said, Hogan/Eric/Dixie’s dream may not fit into theirs and only time will tell.

Host asks about Jim Cornette and quotes some of the old guys that talk about stuff that happened 15 years ago, Dixie’s limited wrestling knowledge and Cornette saying “dropping a turd” to everything on the table. Host talks about the negative feedback/wheelchair quarterbacking – how will Eric reply?

Eric says he doesn’t really know Jim but he met him in 1991. He talked to Terry about him and that Jim has been around for a long time about the psychology of the business. Eric says he doesn’t know him so he can respond to what he says on the Internet; that he hasn’t said anything positive about anything; that he’s famous for “ripping sh*t”; that he’s very articulate/cuts a great promo and great at ripping everyone. Eric said Jim hasn’t produced anything worth talking about. He takes Jim’s opinion with a grain of salt. He said there’s going to be haters and you can tear things apart. Some people love the fact that the band is brought back, some people don’t. Some people like DX, some think it sucks. You can’t please 100% of everyone and the haters get most of the attention. Eric said he doesn’t listen because people thought the same thing when he announced Nitro going head to head with Raw. He said he used to listen to it until Nitro blistered WWE’s ass. He doesn’t live his life based on opinions because a) he’s not going to change what he does because of it and b) it really doesn’t matter.

Host brings up WCW/WWE’s David and Goliath story and compares it to TNA/WWE’s situation. Eric says that’s a great question and the biggest part they can overcome is the lack of infrastructure/experience. Their biggest advantage in the lack of experience/infrastructure gives them more heart. Eric says he’s more creative more than anyone in WWE – he doesn’t care. He says more than Vince McMahon and he can take Stephanie McMahon with one arm behind his back. He says he, Jason, and TNA’s creative team is better. But they have a long way to go: corporate sponsors, infrastructure, etc – but they have the heart and fight.

Host says there’s a lot of guessing about Hulk and Eric’s roles with TNA. Eric says he can clear that up but he is not going to. He says right now it’s the most fair and honest thing to say that it’s a team effort and it’s a team effort that both Eric and Hogan are very comfortable with. Any more detail would only provide fodder for people to really create a story where one doesn’t exist. He said it’s a team effort and one they’re really proud of right now.

Host says there are thousands of people going to be listening to this interview or reading the recap. Based on the buzz TNA is receiving (Genesis/Hogan’s return to PPV), what would be Eric’s message to the talent at TNA that will be on board?

Eric said anyone that believes WWE didn’t hotshot the Bret Hart return, he can provide the fans a spot in the swamp. As far as messages go, he says the TNA talent should commit, commit 110%, embrace the fact that you’re in a business where you have to push the envelope. You need to believe who you are, your character, and lay in bed at night and think of ways to become a better performer/character/professional because that’s what it takes to really succeed in the business. Anyone that thinks that they’ve been there for 7 years and deserves more, grab a backboard and smack yourself in the head.

Eric says to Linda McMahon – good luck in her candidacy and that he hopes she wins, that he thinks Linda would be a great politician. He says he looks forward to writing a book saying he not only hugged with Vince McMahon, he made out with Linda and Stephanie McMahon. All kidding aside, he says he has respect for Linda/Vince/Stephanie – his comments to them that he knows that they know that they love competition because it’s great for the business.

Host says if it’s too early to say that we’ll see “Monday Night War” once again. Eric says he hopes so. He’s not selling them, he doesn’t know, but he really hopes. Eric believes TNA can produce a better show and that a live show head to head will create an energy. Not that he thinks but TNA has proved it. Both WWE/TNA and Spike/USA will be better off for it, the talent will benefit for it. His biggest hope would be weekly Monday head to head battle. He says it’s not his hands but he can push for it and hope that’s the case.

Hosts give Eric/Hogan/TNA staff the best of luck in 2010! Eric says he makes sure Hulk will be on the radio show.

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