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Eric Bischoff on Vince Russo Being an Obstacle to Hulk Hogan Joining TNA, Not Wanting to Be Associated With the Company

October 3, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Eric Bischoff Vince Russo

– On the latest 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff recalled coming in with Hulk Hogan to TNA and how Vince Russo was a big obstacle to that happening. Hogan and Bischoff came into TNA in October of 2009, when Russo was the head of creative for the company. Bischoff and Russo had a history of butting heads during their work together in WCW, and Hogan had had memorable bad experiences with Russo in WCW as well. Bischoff recalled how his being brought into the company in a creative capacity was a direct result of Hogan not wanting to work with Russo.

Highlights from the discussion, and the full podcast, are below:

On coming in with Russo still there: “That was a real big issue. Keep in mind, Hulk’s and my last go-around with Vince Russo did not end well. Neither one of us trusted Vince Russo as a businessperson. We felt like he was a dishonest human being at his core, and creatively neither one of us thought that he had anything under the hood. And that was a big issue. And it was subsequently, because it was a big issue for Hulk, he wasn’t going to come to TNA as long as Vince Russo was the head of Creative. That’s really how I ended up getting shoehorned into this deal. And I often joke about that, you know? I say I got Jimmy Hart-ed into the deal, because I think anybody that’s been watching Hulk over the last 20 or 30 years knows that wherever Hulk goes, so does Jimmy Hart. And there’s a reason for that, by the way, and a legitimate one. But in this case, Hulk didn’t shoehorn me or Jimmy Hart me into that deal at TNA because he just wanted me to travel with him and hang out with him, and help him through airports and things like that, which is kind of Jimmy’s role. He knew that if he was going to go to TNA, he had to have somebody watching his back creatively. And that’s when those discussions about me coming in as it related to Vince Russo started to happen.”

On keeping Russo away from Hogan: “We made it clear to Dixie Carter that this deal wasn’t going to get made for any amount of money as long as Vince Russo had creative control over anything that Hulk Hogan touched. And it was subsequently negotiated, that’s where my deal came in. It was subsequently negotiated that I would come in as a part of Hulk Hogan’s deal — not as a part of his deal, I had my own deal. But I would come in with Hulk Hogan.”

On not wanting to be involved with TNA visibly: “And my role wasn’t — I didn’t want to be on camera. Really I would have preferred in a way that my name not even be associated with TNA, and I know that sounds horrible. And I’m not being snarky … I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a dick, but I had kind of been to the mountain top in WCW with what we accomplished with Nitro and the Monday Night Wars. I subsequently had the opportunity to kind of close my sports entertainment chapter with WWE in a very high-profile, in my opinion successful, role. And I was really, really content with that … But my goal — please, believe me. If you’ve never believed anything else I’ve ever said, believe me. My goal was not to end up on camera or even getting involved in TNA creative. When this deal started becoming real, and I realized it could actually happen, that was when I started checking out TNA on television. And it was like, [groans] ‘I don’t want to be a part of that, at least not visibly. I don’t mind being behind the scenes and helping make sure that Hulk’s creative isn’t the victim of [a] Vince Russo whack attack.’ But it’s not something I aspired to be involved with, I can assure you. I didn’t really — I did it for the money, they paid me a lot of money. It’s not that that was not a consideration. But the largest consideration was to help out Hulk.”

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