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Eric Bischoff On How Japan Inspired the nWo, Solidifying the Idea While Talking With DDP

February 3, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Eric Bischoff Image Credit: WWE/Peacock

– On the live Talk is Jericho filmed on Chris Jericho’s cruise, Eric Bischoff discussed how Japan inspired the original idea of the nWo. It’s pretty common knowledge that Bischoff got the idea for the stable from Japan, where NJPW was running an invasion storyline with UWFi, but Bischoff hasn’t ever fully explained how the how he came to look at Japan for ideas for WCW.

Bischoff talked about how he was studying Japan and how it was doing something different than the US companies in WWE and WCW, and how the whole thing came into focus during conversations with DDP once Scott Hall and Kevin Nash became available. You can see highlights and the full podcast below:

On how New Japan inspired the original idea: “I’ve tried to answer this question a number of times before on my podcast … and I never seem to do a very adequate job of explaining kind of the beginning of it all. But about 1993 or so, I started spending a lot of time in Japan with New Japan Pro Wrestling. Really trying to — that was back when Masa Saito was very instrumental in bringing a lot of the Americans [to Japan]. That was the connection. It was really Brad Rheingans was my connection. Brad and I knew each other in high school and when I got the spot in WCW, Brad and I were trying to really resurrect the relationship between New Japan and WCW because Bill Watts had pretty much burned that to the ground.

“And in that process, I was spending a lot of time over there … I was studying what was working in Japan. Because the business at New Japan in ’93, ’94, they were hot as hell. They were putting 60, 80,000 people, 100,000 people in the Tokyo Dome for the big shows. And here in the United States, WWF at the time — WWE now, obviously — and WCW were really having a hard time in the live event side of things. So sum it up, I was over there kind of studying what worked over there and the differences between the way the product was presented in Japan and here in the States. And one of the things I noticed is, it was so much more real there. The storylines, the characters, the action in the ring was more reality-based. And here in the United States, it was more character, kind of comedy cartoonish. And in studying it, I was kind of watching the inter-company wars and that kind of thing. And that’s where the idea started.”

On when the idea solidified for him: “Fast-forward, DDP calls me one Saturday afternoon which he did every Saturday afternoon. We lived down the street from each other, so he’d shown up around 11:00 in the morning. And we drive around drinking beer in — what was it, a 1974 Mercedes 450 SL, talking about wrestling. And Scott became available, Kevin Nash became available. And what was a loose idea that I had from studying Japan all of a sudden became kind of a reality.”

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

article topics :

Eric Bischoff, NJPW, nWo, WCW, Jeremy Thomas