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Kayfabe! – Timeline: The History of WCW – 1994 as told by Eric Bischoff

July 22, 2015 | Posted by Mike Campbell
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Kayfabe! – Timeline: The History of WCW – 1994 as told by Eric Bischoff  


Timeline: The History of WCW – 1994 As Told By Eric Bischoff

This is a much different interview than the other entries in the ‘Timeline’ series (WWE, WCW, or ECW). The questions and events covered are usually geared more toward the in-ring angles and matches, usually those specifically related to the person being interviewed. But, in this case, the questions and topics are more geared toward the company itself. It makes sense to do this, since Bischoff was in charge of WCW, and it also gives the series a fresher look. But, the downside is that a lot of the in-ring stuff is completely skipped over (although the major matches from that year are covered). They naturally start with how he got the job as the boss. Everyone seems to think that he went from a third string announcer to the boss of WCW but, Eric explains that he was first made an executive producer, and then gradually worked his way up to being Executive VP of the whole company.

The great thing about this being conducted by KC, is that Sean isn’t one to throw softball questions. There are quite a few things that Uncle Eric has been criticized for over the years, and Sean isn’t afraid to bring up them up. To his credit, Eric doesn’t try to sidestep or tap dance around them. Sean brings up how Eric fired Ricky Steamboat via FedEx, and Eric explains that Turner’s policy at the time dictated that everyone be fired that way. He agrees it’s a shitty thing to do, and that someone like Ricky deserved better. Sean also brings up the Disney tapings, which exposed the business to unheard of levels. Eric explains that his main priority at the time was making the company profitable. They were making $23 Million a year, but losing $10 Million. So, he left Center Stage, which had very few people showing up, and the ones who did were drunk and/or passed out, and moving to the MGM Studios, he got to make WCW seem more mainstream, and cut down a good chunk of costs by taping so many shows at once (Note from Mike – I have to say, I can’t argue with his logic). He talks a bit about Ole Anderson, and how he sent him to the Power Plant because Ole wasn’t the type of person he could have at the CNN Tower, but, he was the type of guy that Eric liked on a personal level. Sadly, Eric doesn’t confirm or deny that he was fired for doing promos for SMW TV (Cornette was booking Ole’s son at the time) on WCW property, although, Sean didn’t ask the question either. Sean does bring up Vader working WCW and UWFI and asked if Vader was a pain in the ass about protecting his character in Japan. Eric says that he couldn’t care less about his character in Japan, because with how much he was paying Vader, he’d better do what he was told. If he was willing to be paid like a part-time worker, then he’d have taken that into account, another good point by Eric.

The only thing about this that I really found as a drawback was that Eric was prefacing almost every answer with some form or another of “I don’t exactly remember. . . .” Now we’re talking about details from a job he held twenty-one years ago, so it makes sense, but, after awhile it just gets tiresome. Although, when Eric talks about firing the Honky Tonk Man over his refusal to do the planned finish unless he got a contract, he seems to remember that one crystal clear. The one thing that Eric keeps harping on is that, in 1994, his goal wasn’t to overtake Vince, it was simply to make WCW a profitable company, and how, as the year progressed, the things he put into place started having a more profound effect. The big one that he did was signing Randy Savage, because WCW didn’t have to pay Randy a dime. Slim Jim was covering Randy’s pay (sounds sort of like how Spike TV was picking up the tab when TNA would sign huge names), and by being able to show that they had a big star like Randy Savage and co-brand WCW with Slim Jim, it was further giving WCW the mainstream credibility they needed.

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
I'd rate this as the second-best WCW Timeline, only behind 1989 with Cornette. Bischoff is a very good interview, and, the talk being primarily about the company itself rather than just the wrestling makes it one of the more unique and interesting entries in the series.

article topics :

Eric Bischoff, Mike Campbell