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Eric Bischoff Looks Back At Louie Spicolli’s 1998 Passing`, WCW’s Drug Testing At The Time

February 25, 2023 | Posted by Bob Colling
Eric Bischoff Image Credit: WWE/Peacock

On a recent episode of 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff discussed WCW Superbrawl VIII. Bischoff talked about the death of Louie Spicolli, and drug testing in WCW at that time. Highlights are below.

On knowing of Spicolli’s drug issues prior to signing him: “ I mean, I’d heard it sure, but like a lot of things that you hear, didn’t necessarily register real high on my richer scale. Couple things in Dave’s stellar reporting. Soma isn’t a painkiller; it’s a muscle relaxer. It’s not an opiate. It is a muscle relaxer, and what I did hear and found out to be true was that a lot of those somas weren’t coming from wrestling mark doctors; they were coming over from Mexico, particularly in Spicolli’s case. Because you could get them over the counter in Mexico. You didn’t even need a prescription like a lot of things that you need prescriptions here for in the U.S., you can literally walk across the border and buy it in a drugstore and bring it back to the United States. That’s where the somas in Spicolli’s case were coming from, and Louie would make trips down to Mexico and bring back buckets of somas, and then share them with the people he shared them with.

“But the indications of Somas, you know, I’ve seen I don’t want to mention names especially for people that aren’t around because it doesn’t matter. The names don’t matter, but I was sitting across I was eating dinner after a show with a major talent sat down in this particular town at that point in time was really, really watching the alcohol consumption very careful about it and had like one beer ordered a meal food came sat down we’re in the middle of a conversation and he just face planted in his food. I was having a perfectly normal conversation there was no indication that he had been drinking or was on any pills. I mean, he was speaking no different than you and I are right now completely lucid and then he just started his head would just move around a little bit and boom face plant right into his food and I found out later on that it was somas and where they came from and that’s what happened a lot of times with somas.”

On WCW drug testing after Spicolli’s Death: “It got very serious. And Harvey Schiller, to his credit — and I may get some of this wrong, but Harvey Schiller was a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee. And as such, was very knowledgeable and took part in some of the testing that screened athletes for performance enhancing drugs. Harvey had a relationship with one of the doctors that the Olympics used to test athletes. This particular doctor at that time when we’re talking about the late 90s had the testing technology and the ability to detect drugs that a lot of other doctors and testing facilities just didn’t have.

“The Olympics had a much more sophisticated and rigorous testing policy. So, Harvey, and I wasn’t involved in this, and Harvey wanted it that way. He didn’t want me involved. Harvey as president of Turner Sports and I reported to Harvey even though I was President of WCW I reported to Harvey Schiller. Harvey took charge of that one along with Diana Myers and Nick Lambrose and instituted a much stricter policy and used this particular doctor that Harvey and the doctor had a service it wasn’t just one doctor he had a staff that traveled around and we did institute a much more rigid and credible testing regimen and protocol at that point in time.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.