wrestling / News

Eric Bischoff On Using Dennis Rodman & Other Celebrities In WCW, Logan Paul & Bad Bunny’s WWE Runs

December 2, 2022 | Posted by Bob Colling
Randy Savage Dennis Rodman Road Wild 1999 Image Credit: WCW

On a recent edition of Strictly Business, Eric Bischoff discussed the usage of “outside stars” in professional wrestling and the evolution of their involvement along with the value that wrestling can bring to the celebrity. Some highlights are below.

On when he realized he could use celebrities to enhance wrestling: “Pop culture was always a thing as far back as I can remember… I go back to being a fan in Minneapolis being a fan of AWA and Verne Gagne would constantly bring in professional football players from the NFL. Verne had a lot of deep connections with the Minnesota Vikings and the University of Minnesota. Fast forward into the 80s and what Vince McMahon did with the WWE… It all existed previously. In the 70s and 80s it was getting attention. Getting the media who wouldn’t normally talk about wrestling because talking about wrestling was akin to talking about porn. Not quite as bad just a notch or two up. Playboy magazine was always eye level. Pro wrestling was always on the bottom getting hit with mops at night. Advertisers and sponsors would look at your product differently if they saw big name celebrities that they were use to seeing in general entertainment associating with non-media event. Suddenly, it becomes a media event and becomes more valuable.”

On the celebrities he used In WCW: “Dennis [Rodman] looked great compared to what celebrities would typically would look like when they performed. Dennis was kind of a freak in that regard. Kevin Greene was right there behind him. Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael wrestled pretty much full time. He was a great performer and was committed to it. The only hiccups were when Steve would try too much and do things he wasn’t comfortable with.”

On the evolution of celebrities in wrestling: “I think with Bad Bunny and Logan Paul, you’re going to have the next generation of hot celebrities, and can you think of two hotter celebrities in terms of their social media impact and cultural positioning than Bad Bunny and Logan Paul? Now that they set an phenomenal example and had so much success, I think you’re going to have celebrities saying ‘hey, I want to do that.’”

On the value that pro wrestling potentially brings to a celebrity: “I think one of the things wrestling has always been able to offer is a very unique, loyal and passionate audience. Now, that audience is typically male, now this is all changing… I’m generalizing, but I think I’m pretty accurate… You’re probably looking at 60/40 male.”

On David Arquette in WCW: “David Arquette was 100% committed. He was a movie star… David was a legitimate working actor at that point, still is. He didn’t care. He was ready to go in there and jump off cages and do all sorts of silly (stuff).. He didn’t care! He was committed, but we didn’t train him. We didn’t give him the time. We didn’t build a story. That was how you don’t use a celebrity, by the way for the record.”

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