Eric Bischoff took over the wrestling world in the 1990s, and he's taken over the podcast and live show world as we head to the 2020s.
On Monday, Bischoff and Tony Schiavone will host their What Happened When 83 Weeks live show in New York just ahead of WWE Raw -- a show in which both men competed against in the 1990s. When Fightful asked Bischoff about modern day WWE production, and how he'd look to stack up against it if he were in the same space.
"Those kinds of thoughts don't occur to me when I watch the programming. It's phenomenal, and it's always been phenomenal. Vince McMahon has always put production high on his lists of things to do. That's what differentiated Vince McMahon and the WWF when they decided to break away from the regional syndication model and launched a show on cable. He increased the production values so dramatically. Back in the 80s when the business was really exploding as a result of cable, they became the Super Bowl of wrestling pay-per-views," Bischoff told us.
Bischoff looked back at tactics that he employed to take WCW away from the standards and shortcomings they faced on-screen, and what they required to catch up.
"Fast forward to when I became executive producer, I just wanted to even catch up to the production values of WWF. We were so far behind them in resources, experience, infrastructure that our ability to reach that was almost impossible until Nitro. We had more resources. Success creates more resources, and we started getting the resources we needed to be competitive on a production level. Take a Nitro show in 1996 -- any week you want -- and put it side by side with WWF. I would say in some respects, WWF had more sophisticated production in some aspects because they had more experience. They were glossier than WCW. Going live, going to the backstage areas and allowing our stories to go where people hadn't gone before -- Kevin Nash lawn darted Rey Mysterio into a trailer on live television -- WWE was forced to eventually follow our lead. To this day, no one can come close to WWE production values on glossy, and glitz, but as far as moving the needle, we far surpassed it and made them follow our lead," said Bischoff.
The Bischoff-led WCW would go on and beat WWF in the ratings for 83 Weeks, hence the name of his hit podcast. In later years, Bischoff would appear as an on-screen character for WWE, where he witnessed their production first-hand.
You can see Bischoff along with Tony Schiavone for What Happened When 83 Weeks' live show Monday, April 8 in Brooklyn, New York for a matinee show before WWE Raw. You can get additional information on ticketing at this link.