In the latest podcast “83 Weeks,” Eric Bischoff spoke about the announcement of Vince McMahon’s retirement:
“When I was battling Vince McMahon, this is the truth. I wouldn’t have had the chance to do all that shit that the Monday Night Wars created and that chance for me to step in that moment in time when all things were working and everything was lined up and if I could have taken on Vince McMahon it would never have happened without the vision and footprint that Vince McMahon had created AEW, WCW, none of that would have existed Vince McMahon has not proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, in a way the Crocketts couldn’t, Verne Gagne couldn’t, none of the other regional promoters who had these wild butt dreams knew how to do it, or really had the vision to take wrestling from what it once was was (to what it turned out to be). Everyone tried and said, ‘What if I did this? What if I did that?’ but Vince did.”
“Had Vince McMahon not done it, Ted Turner Broadcasting wouldn’t have been interested in competing with him and making the number one TV show (WCW), not a wrestling show, television show, every week. AEW would never have been given a chance. So all roads lead, no matter how much you’ve loved or hated, or whatever, how much you’ve seen, and how much this industry has changed over the past 30 years, all those roads lead to Vince McMahon. To deny that or not give it proper respect, I think, is a reflection on a weakness of character.”
Eric Bischoff talks about the creative process of putting together a TV show for WWE under Vince McMahon:
“I think you’re going to see some incredibly talented people starting to do what they’re capable of without an almost excruciating process of doing it. What do I mean by that? It’s hard to say these things without sounding disrespectful and I don’t mean to, because Vince’s process worked. WWE is now a $5 billion publicly traded company. So let’s keep that in mind, because I’m critical of the process.”
“Spent all week writing a show, presenting that show at midnight or 2 a.m. when your meeting was scheduled for 5 p.m. (afternoon), and you’ve waited about eight hours. You can’t move forward with anything until you get approval with what you’ve done so far. The creative process is a series of meetings until you get a rough draft of a show for Vince. You put it on Friday night, depending on what show you’re doing, of course. RAW would get you done and take you to Vince Friday night, maybe Saturday morning.’
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“Everyone in that writing team is ready on Saturday morning. Been there, done. I’ve experienced it. Saturday morning, you get up and you’re not going anywhere, because when Vince gets that rough draft, he’s going to look at it, but you don’t know if he’s going to look at it Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, or Saturday night. You don’t know if he wants to go on the phone with two or three of you, or maybe the whole team and go through it.”
“Let’s assume that, as is often the case, you get the green light for the time being to finalize it. You get to the jet Monday morning, six in the morning, seven in the morning, whatever. You have a support intern who spent all weekend making copies and copies and copies and copies and copies of all sorts of things. So when you get to the jet on your way to TV, there’s a pile of paperwork that Vince has to go through, and that’s where the show is. He will watch the show on the plane and maybe make some changes or suggestions, and then you go to the building.
“When it comes time for the production meeting, you don’t know what’s going to happen. Sometimes you start all over again. Sometimes you do major reconstructive surgery. Sometimes you come out of that production meeting, you get a pretty good idea of what you’re going to do, there may be one or two things in the show that aren’t quite tied up yet, but you work on that and you feel pretty confident. Then you go about your business. Then the talent shows up. Well, certain talent has certain access, and suddenly, at five o’clock, you think your show is done. But there are conversations going on that you knew nothing about, and the show is changing. A lot. Not a little, a lot, and you scramble up to two minutes before the start to get something approved.”
Bischoff said Stephanie McMahon will make a great CEO:
“Here’s my experience with Stephanie McMahon. There couldn’t be a better CEO or Co-CEO of that company than Stephanie. She is amazing. I didn’t work directly with her every day, but I did work with her. I went to meetings with her. I was involved in conversations with her and our team. She’s a star. She also, I think, is very much like her father in that, “Look, I don’t care what you did to me yesterday or what you said about me yesterday. What can you do for me in my company today?’ She doesn’t care what you said about her 15 years ago on the internet. What can you do for my company and are you honest? If you have something to offer, and you have integrity, and she trusts you, you’ll be fine.”
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