The following are highlights from Eric Bischoff’s recent interview on the Monday Night Mayhem radio show:
His reaction to those wrestling fans that ask the question “Where is the controversy in TNA?” and if we will be seeing that on TNA programming in the coming weeks/months: “I think that you will. One of the challenges in the business today, and the same is true in the WWE, what can we do that hasn’t been done to death in the last 10 to 12 years? When I launched Nitro, and we did all the ridiculous stuff & controversial stuff that I did that put WCW on the map, nobody had ever done it before, and that’s what made it controversial. That’s why I was the ‘anti-Christ’ for wrestling fans, because I was doing things no one had done before. Giving away finishes live on the air five minutes before the competition’s show went on. All these things people said was stupid & ridiculous, how do you do that again? How does Vince McMahon do all things that are ground-breaking, controversial, & water cooler buzz? How does he recreate those elements in the guidelines of a televised wrestling show? How do you recreate that in today’s environment? Is there going to be controversy in TNA? Of course there is. Are we seeing right now? Without giving anything away, I think we’re setting it up. In the months to come, people are going to see some things that are controversial, but I don’t think anyone should raise the bar of expectations so high that we are magically going to get back to that virgin territory that we enjoyed 10 or 12 years ago.”
How much input he usually has into an edition of TNA iMPACT, his response to those that strongly believe that Hulk Hogan & himself are “running TNA,” and the current chemistry between himself & Vince Russo: “It varies a lot depending on the week. I’ve read some of the comments of some of your other guests on Monday Night Mayhem talking about me, and I think Kevin Kelly was one of the ones I read last, and I know people out there think and are under the assumption that Eric Bischoff & Hulk Hogan are ‘running TNA.’ Nothing is farther from the truth. We have nothing to do with the strategy of the company. We have nothing to do with the marketing of the company. Nobody talks to us or asks us about talent acquisitions or people getting fired. We have little to do with the day-to-day operations of TNA. The same is kinda true with regards to creative. I work closely with Vince Russo, I see the formats, I give my suggestions. Vince & I have a great working relationship, and in regards to chemistry, I would say besides my partner Jason Hervey and Hulk, there’s no one better that I have a working relationship with.”
The Internet’s constant stream of hating against TNA & why it’s easier for fans to point out the flaws of TNA than those of the WWE: “Let me put it to you this way: Misery loves company. It’s easier for people who are negative, who want to criticize without really having anything intelligent to say and without it being constructive criticism. It’s one of the reasons why I constantly am trying to raise the bar, eliminating one stupid fan at a time. When I see the kind of comments like ‘TNA Sucks’ or ‘Your storylines blow,’ or ‘Fire Russo, or ‘Fire Bischoff,’ or ‘Hogan sucks,’ I laugh at that stuff because there are a lot of people out there and because misery loves company. Let’s face it, WWE is a giant bandwagon. It’s been around a long time. It’s easier & safer when you’re the type of person who is looking for a group of miserable people to jump on the bandwagon that’s successful, because the WWE is a cable television juggernaut. It is what it is. So it’s easy to jump on that bandwagon and look down at TNA for its warts, blemishes, bumps, bruises, & dents because there’s plenty of them. TNA is not WWE. It’s not a billion dollar company with the kind of infrastructure & production staff taking their show live on the road every week. There’s so many things that we don’t have that it’s easy to point out our flaws. I think if you look at what TNA does, and does well, and tries to do. We are ‘the little engine that’s trying.’ There’s some great talent in the ring, I think we have the greatest balance of new, young & exciting talent, established talent that rates well despite what everyone else wants to believe on the Internet. If you’re objective and you’re a real wrestling fan, you’re gonna have comments, and while you may not like certain things that are happening in TNA, you’ll find plenty of things to like.”
Bret Hart’s comments about Vince McMahon “stomping out” TNA from Monday nights, the impact “The Hitman” may have had in making that a reality, & what the final outcome would have been for TNA on Monday nights had Bret Hart never come back to the WWE: “I like Bret so much so it’s hard for me to comment about things like this. Bret Hart is a little pre-occupied with the legacy of Bret Hart. Not going to deny it, the move to Monday night was a mistake. It is what it is. It was ill-conceived, it was bad timing, it was a risk, and it was a risk that didn’t pan out. I’ve taken plenty of risks that didn’t work out, and I’ve taken some risks that have. Vince McMahon has taken some risks that worked and taken plenty of risks that hasn’t. The move to Monday night was a miss, and I’ll take as much responsibility for that as anybody else. I don’t think any of it had anything to do with Bret Hart. I think if Bret Hart would have never come back to WWE, the outcome of our Monday night effort would have been exactly the same.”
His thoughts on this Sunday’s No Surrender Pay-Per-View & why his primary focus will be on the semi-finals of the TNA World Title Tournament: “I think there are some great matches on the card. The primary thing that I’m focused on is our ‘A-story,’ which is who is going to become TNA World Heavyweight Champion. You got four powerful names there, four very exciting talents four guys who could deliver anywhere in the world in either company. You got four guys who are great storytellers and can deliver in the ring. If there’s a reason to watch the Pay-Per-View, that’s the one thing I would encourage people to follow & watch, because it’s another chapter in a pretty interesting story that we laid out back in March, and I’m excited about it.”
Check out the complete Bischoff interview at MondayNightMayhem.com.