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Eric Bischoff Wishes He Had A Do-Over With Goldberg In WCW, Why Timing For Bret Vs. Hogan Was Never Right

May 17, 2023 | Posted by Bob Colling
Goldberg WCW Wrestling Image Credit: WWE

On a recent episode of 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff discussed WCW Slamboree 1998. Bischoff talked about his preference for a heel champion, wishing he had a do-over on Goldberg’s career and why the timing for a Bret vs. Hogan match was never right. Some highlights are below.

On if he prefers a heel champion and face chasing: “Yes. I think our entire culture roots consciously very consciously and sometimes subconsciously for the underdog. Everybody wants to see the little guy win. Everybody enjoys watching the underdog win. It’s part of who we are. So, yeah I like that and absolutely there’s a time and a place to have your babyface champion certainly Hulk Hogan proved that as did John Cena. It makes sense. Steve Austin makes sense for the right person for the right character in the right situation when you’ve got a locker room deep with credible well-established Q rating mongers that you can feed to that babyface, but absent a deep roster of viable, certifiably successful heels doesn’t last too long historically.”

On Goldberg not needing to win the WCW United States Championship: “Goldberg didn’t need it. If I had a do-over on this one, I would have established Goldberg much the way we did, but I would have made him more of an attraction and used less of him. Because I think the anticipation that came with Bill Goldberg, the mystique that came with Bill Goldberg, the intensity that came with Bill Goldberg was something that you could tape into at the right time in the right way, use it, and let it go away for a while. Let it heat up again. Let the audience want to see Bill Goldberg as opposed to what I did, which was feeling like, ‘Oh no, he’s successful we got to get him out there.’ Love a do-over on that. I would have stretched the whole second half of Billy Goldberg’s career in WCW. I would have played that over 18 or 24 month period as opposed to the kind of condensed trajectory that it had.

On if he believes that Bret vs. Hogan would have happened if Savage didn’t drop the title after Spring Stampede: “Sure, but the Bret/Hulk opportunity was something — there were two things going on or probably more than two, but two main things that were going on there is number one I really wanted to hold off on that. I wanted it to be a great build, and we weren’t ready for that yet at this point. Number one, we didn’t have the plan. We didn’t there was no looming great idea out there that was beyond us ‘oh we can shoot an angle, and we’re going to have a match.’ I mean, that’s easy it doesn’t take much talent, but we weren’t there yet. We knew that Bret/Hogan would be monster if it was done well. So, for better or worse, there was no urgency on Bret/Hogan number one because we didn’t want to waste it or not maximize it. Number two, there was a chemistry issue. There had to be trust there and Bret, with all do respect, and I do respect Bret for what he accomplished and what he was able to do in the ring in terms of performance and all that. But Bret was a unique personality, and so clearly is Hogan, and they had history. Chemistry wasn’t right yet. I didn’t feel it. A lot of this is feel. There’s no playbook. People think there’s a playbook because it looks like it makes sense on paper, but when you factor in all the variables, including personality and chemistry, sometimes what’s obvious isn’t quite possible at that time, and that’s where we were. Kind of in casual conversation, we’re going to love the idea. So did Bret they were both looking forward to it. But, when it came down to doing it not sure the timing was right yet. I was hoping it was going to be.”

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