Eric Bischoff Discusses How Hulk Hogan’s (And His) Signings With TNA & Their Partnership With Dixie Carter Came To Fruition, The Atmosphere Last Monday Night At The iMPACT Zone, His Message To Vince McMahon & The TNA Roster (Including Those Are “Paranoid” About Their Spots Within The Company), If He Belives iMPACT Will Transition To Monday Nights Soon, & His Response To TNA’s Vocal Critics (And Responds To Jim Cornette’s Shoot Comments)
Former WCW President, former WWE RAW General Manager, New York Times best-selling author, TNA on-air personality, & the man responsible for negotiating the deal to bring Hulk Hogan to TNA Wrestling, Eric Bischoff, was the special guest on this week’s live edition (01/01/10) of Monday Night Mayhem (presented by ReelWrestling.com), hosted by The Big Mosh, Blade, & “The Chairman Of The Board” Todd Vincent. You can feel The Mayhem live & in streaming audio every Monday night (at 8PM ET/7PM CT), exclusively on The Monday Night Mayhem Radio Network (www.MondayNightMayhem.com, www.ITunes.com, www.AudioWrestling.com, www.Facebook.com/MondayNightMayhem, & www.MySpace.com/MondayNightMayhem). ;
Listen in to Eric’s return MNM appearance, which is now available for free in Windows Streaming Media, or via The Mayhem’s official Podcast on ITunes:
Eric Bischoff/Monday Night Mayhem Interview (MNM Streaming Audio): http://www.mondaynightmayhemarchives.com/waxfiles/011110.wax
Eric Bischoff/Monday Night Mayhem Interview (MNM Podcast On ITunes): www.mondaynightmayhemarchives.com/jan10/011110.mp3
Here are some of the highlights of Eric’s exclusive interview, provided by The Mayhem’s official correspondent, Paterson From New Jersey:
Eric Bischoff joined The Monday Night Mayhem Radio Network for his first public comments since last night’s historic three-hour edition of TNA iMPACT, the company’s first head-to-head battle against WWE Monday Night RAW in the company’s history. Just one week ago on iMPACT, Bischoff joined Hulk Hogan in the six-sided ring & became one of the focal points of the show, having a huge role during the entire program. Mosh asked Eric for his expectations & thoughts about the night that will truly live in infamy in TNA history (January 4, 2010) & what it was like for him being in the same locker room as “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair & Vince Russo? “Last Monday was easy. I’ve kept a low profile for obvious reason, but I have been working with he folks over at TNA since October getting ready for this & working with their creative team. For me, it didn’t have quite the same newness as it did to the viewers. It was the result of two months of hard & fun work, but the feeling backstage was fun, high-energy, and in terms of the personalities backstage, potential conflicts, & egos, it was very amicable. It was positive, and everyone was happy to be there. It was nothing but an great time, and it was a rewarding experience.”
Bischoff was the brains behind the deal to bring Hulk Hogan to TNA & get the official contract signed, so The Mayhem Crew asked Eric about how the partnership came about & if he saw this happening so smoothly when first discussing the deal. “If you’d asked me early in negotiations which started in late May to early June, I’d probably would have said ‘no,’ because we had so much ground to cover, and there was so much distance between the visions of everyone involved but that dissipated quickly. From Hulk’s & my perspective, we had to make sure that the business side made sense for us. Our hearts were in it, but we had to make sure the business was right. And on the TNA side, they had to be sure it was right for them. This was a big, big, big challenge from a business standpoint, but it became apparent right on that everyone was committed, that everyone was serious. It took a while but once we finished it up, the first question was, ‘Great, where do we have our press conference?’ And it was actually Hulk’s idea, he said what better place to make the announcement then in Vince’s backyard, let’s do it in Madison Square Garden. The Garden thought they were doing the start of Hulk’s book tour, and we surprised everybody when we used that press conference for the book & to announce the TNA deal.”
With this new leadership coming in, many rumors have the long tenured TNA superstars somewhat paranoid about their spots with the company. On last week’s iMPACT, names such as Jeff Hardy, Ric Flair, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, Shannon Moore, & many others debuted, which may have kicked up some more paranoia. Eric was asked about the rumor, how true was his & Hulk’s statements about “everyone fighting for their jobs,” & how it was meeting the TNA wrestlers for the first time. “Dixie Carter said it weeks ago, and we reiterated it…and it’s true. It’s no different in professional wrestling, professional baseball. You could only so many people on your team and you need to have the best of the best. You can’t 250 people on the baseball team; you can’t have 250 people on your payroll as a wrestling company. The cream will rise to the top, and that does breed paranoia & insecurity but it is what it is. It’s the entertainment business, and everyone is concerned about their spot, no matter what it is. At the end of the day, those who can will do, and those who can’t won’t, and a lot of that is up to the talent.”
Officials at Spike TV were very pleased about the number that iMPACT received last Monday night (a 1.5), and they have been vocal since in saying that a move to Monday nights for TNA may happen sooner than later. Fans across the world would love to see it , and Eric was asked about the odds of seeing TNA on Mondays permanently before WrestleMania XXVI or after ‘Mania. “If I was a betting man, I wouldn’t make that bet, because there’s too much about it I don’t know. I only bet on things I am completely sure of, or things I think I’m pretty sure of, and with regards to that question, I don’t have an inside track on the thought processes at Spike, but I know they’re excited & extremely happy with the show & with the ratings. My whole approach to this thing when Dixie first asked me when our first show should be…I didn’t even take a breath: I said Monday nights, and it’s not news to you guys. We did it once before, and it worked. Wrestling fans love conflict; they love a battle. They love a good guy, they love a bad guy. They love a monster, they love an underdog. TNA is a underdog. This company is a fraction in terms of infrastructure & resources of what WCW was in 1991 when I got there as a talent. And for them to go up against the monster of WWE, it’s classic ‘David vs. Goliath.’ And I knew the fans would respond to that, provided that we gave them a good show. We don’t have a tenth of what the WWE, but in my opinion, we beat them.”
Jim Cornette has been very vocal about TNA & their direction over the last few months, and January 4th was no exception. He believes that both TNA & the WWE did not put on their best displays & that the wrestling industry may have taken a shot on 01:04:10, Eric was asked his opinion about the Cornette & all the other critics that may harbor negative thoughts about TNA & the current direction of the company. “I don’t really know Jim. I talked to Terry (Hulk) about Jim, and he thinks that Jim has been around a long time & has grasp for the psychology for the business & so forth. My opinion of Jim (since I really don’t know & never worked with him); all I could respond to is what he says on the Internet, and I don’t think I’ve heard anything positive a bout anything. He’s famous for ripping sh!t, that’s what he’s good at. I don’t know if Jim Cornette has been involved financial, national successful television venture in his career, other than his times has a talent in WCW & the WWE. He’s very articulate, cuts a great promo, he’s particularly good at ripping everyone else’s stuff, but I haven’t seen him produce anything anybody has talked about lately. So I take his comments respectfully, kinda, with a grain of salt.” He went on to add that there will always be haters that look for something, and they will always find something because it’s not perfect…it’s subjective. “I really don’t pay attention to them.”
Some of the “heavy-hitters” in the wrestling industry will indeed be listening to Eric’s comments heard exclusively on The Mayhem throughout the course of the next few days, including the superstars within both TNA & the WWE, along with the promotion’s creative teams, & all the way up to the McMahon family & Dixie Carter respectively. Mosh, Blade, & “The Chairman Of The Board” asked Eric what was his message to those in the industry, especially those in World Wrestling Entertainment that might come across his interview with The Mayhem. Eric said that anyone who believes that the WWE did not hotshot the return of Bret “The Hitman” Hart to counteract TNA’s Monday night debut, to those fans/critics alike, he can provide some nice real estate in swampy areas. “As far messages go, my message to those in TNA including myself is commit. Commit 110%. Take chances, take risks, embrace the fact that you’re in a business that you need to push the envelope, and you need to embrace things that you may never have otherwise embraced. You need to believe in who you are, believe in you character, you need to lay in bed at night thinking of ways to become a better character, a better performer, and a better professional, because that what it takes to be successful in thi s business.” Eric also wanted to use The Mayhem’s airwaves to wish the best of luck to Linda McMahon in her candidacy for the Senate, and that he hopes she wins, as he believes Linda would be a great politician. Bischoff also said that he truly looks forward to writing a book saying he is the only person alive to not only hug Vince McMahon, but make out with Linda & Stephanie McMahon. All kidding aside though, his message to Vince McMahon was crystal clear: “I know that you know you love competition. We all know it’s better for the business.”
As a parting shot, Mosh asked Eric if he feels we will see the “Monday Night Wars” once again come across millions of television screens in 2010? “Let’s hope so. There’s no hyperbole here, and I’m not selling. I don’t know, but I really hope that’s the case, because I believe that we can produce a better show. I believe the energy of a live show every Monday night head-to-head will create a much bigger audience. Not only do I believe it, we proved it, and we know it. History has proven it’s correct. The WWE would be better off for it, TNA would be better off for it, Spike would be better off for it, USA Network would be better off for it, the talent would benefit from it. So it really is my biggest hope that in 2010, we will have a weekly head-to-head battle.”
More is contained in this exclusive interview with Eric Bischoff on The Monday Night Mayhem Radio Network, including what he sees his role within the company being going forward, who are the talents that have impressed both himself & Hulk in TNA to this point, the TNA contractual status of Jeff Hardy, along with the biggest challenges & advantages that TNA has going right now at the start of their new regime. Eric promised The Mayhem Nation an interview to remember & one that will not be forgotten for years to come, so heed the words of an MNM Hall Of Famer…Don’t miss this Mayhem excl usive that has everyone talking! Be sure to follow Eric on Twitter (located at http://www.Twitter.com/EBischoff), also check out TNA iMPACT this Thursday night (@ 9PM ET/8PM CT), as the road to Genesis hits its final exit! Call your local cable or satellite provider for TNA Genesis, airing this Sunday evening on Pay-Per-View. Witness the PPV return of “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan, “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles defending the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Kurt Angle, & so much more!
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