Legendary wrestling manager and current ROH talent Jim Cornette recently reacted to comments from TNA’s Eric Bischoff regarding talent in pro wrestling not being able to draw for the past decade, among other related topics.
The following statement comes from the official website of Cornette, which you can check out online at JimCornette.com:
Traditionally, a guy who “draws money” means a guy who, when you have put him in main events or important programs, sells more tickets (or PPV buys these days) than other people who have been in a same/similar spot, and has done this not just once or twice but on a consistent basis. There used to be dozens and dozens of top guys who “drew money” in the territory days. Now, there are a few, and they ARE all in WWE. The problem is, as Bischoff either doesn’t want to admit or is too clueless to know, is that the way people like him have changed the business is the reason, not lack of talent on the young guy’s parts.
In the territory days, the promoters didn’t care WHO drew as long as someone did, they would push anyone they thought could draw, all their businesses were reasonably healthy, and they hadn’t exposed everything/given people such bad booking and silly shit so that when angles were shot, they actually increased business. Now, these young guys are seldom put in the spot to draw to begin with because the “stars” have guaranteed contracts, and if you’re paying someone main event money you keep them in the main event, so few get the CHANCE to prove they can draw money (It happens some in WWE, and rarely in TNA)–it doesn’t apply in TNA to begin with as some of the biggest draws of the past 20 years work/have worked there and still haven’t sold tickets/PPV’s/increased ratings, because the booking and company structure itself is incompetant.
Does that mean those guys “can’t draw” because the company they work for has lost tens of millions and still doesn’t make a profit of any real size? Also, since it’s been 10 years since anyone in pro wrestling drew BIG money, not because of the talent but because of the shitty booking and poorly run companies, as well as the fact that WWE and TNA have made angles/big matches mostly meaningless by doing them too often, badly, and telling people they’re all phony to begin with, someone has to be blamed–are these companies going to blame themselves, or their children or families, or “writers”? No–they blame the talent. Companies like ROH struggle because WWE and TNA have made LESS people, not MORE, interested in wrestling.
He also shows his ignorance of his current residence in a glass house–if ROH is a “backyard vanity project for marks”, what is TNA, since TNA has lost tens of millions MORE than ROH has lost in the exact same time in business, doesn’t that mean that ROH is behind WWE but ahead of TNA? Do we grade by gross revenue or total profit? WWE has created an environment where WWE draws as a show, like the Harlem Globetrotters or Holiday on Ice, and the stars on a particular card mean less than they ever have.
To truly have guys in the business who “draw money” again, we would have to pitch out the dreck like Bischoff and others who don’t respect or understand wrestling, who think they are Emmy award winning “real” TV producers, ditch the comedy writers like Russo and Stephanie McMahon’s comic reading college kids, and push wrestlers who win, lose and chase championships. People will watch what wrestling is now on TV for free, and a few hundred thousand might buy the pPV’s, but ticket sales for wrestling will NEVER approach what they once were without taking those steps.
That is why all the guys today who are actually draws, who sell live event tickets and PPV’s in big numbers, almost all work for Dana White, the most successful pro wrestling promoter in the world. He just calls it UFC. Bischoff sees no similarity bewtween MMA/UFC and pro wrestling, which is why he is doomed to be a guy that was successful for 2 years out of a 20 year career. BTW, what other executive in any company actively dislikes, disagrees with, ignores and insults the 10% of people who are most dedicated to/spend the most money on their product or service?
All of his “crossover to mainstream culture” bullshit is because people like him, Hogan, McMahon, Russo, etc are all embarrassed to admit they are in the wrestling business (and the business hates to admit it has them) and they all want to be “real” stars–only the Rock has done that, but I wish all I named would leave our business to try!
This is just my offhand impression of this nitwit’s comments, but I think you’re wasting time trying to quiz Eric Bischoff on anything other than a good hair dye, a nice tanbed, a well-fitting set of dentures and the current price of a 3 way at the Gold Club. Feel free to repost any/all of this if you want.