AlternativeNation.net’s Sports section has up Part 2 of their in-depth interview with Eric Bischoff, during which Bischoff discusses David Arquette’s WCW title win, how Vince Russo analyzes ratings, how a John Cena heel turn would compare to Hulk Hogan’s, how Stephanie McMahon is similar to Vince McMahon, Triple H’s leadership abilities, Randy Savage’s fall out with WWE, Global Force Wrestling, and more.
On Vince Russo & Glenn Gilbertti saying monitoring minute by minute ratings are important, and that talking segments outdraw wrestling matches:
“There’s a saying you may have heard many times before, it would be good to revisit it as we venture into this topic: numbers lie, and liars use numbers. I can look at ratings, whether they be minute by minute or quarter hour, and I can twist and turn them if I am talking to people who really don’t know what they’re doing, and who really can’t understand exactly what they’re hearing, or don’t really have access to the information, or don’t have the experience to counter argue it. I can take minute-by-minute numbers, and I can make them tell you any story I want you want to be told. It’s bulls***.
Now, you can look at quarter hour over an extended period of time, whether it’s a month, 3 months, or 6 months, and you can identify a trend. You can find some consistency, if everything else is consistent around it, and you can start to determine what might really be working, and what’s not working. You may be able to do that on a show to show basis, but anybody who takes the position that minute by minutes define a character, or define a format, or a define a story, either don’t know what the hell they’re talking about, or they have just enough knowledge to be dangerous, which is generally the case, or they’re full of s***, and they know it. It’s insane. The other part of your question was, did it ever influence me? No. It was one single piece of information, that’s all it was, one single piece of information that may or not have relevance in the context of an analysis of what you’re doing. But anybody who would sit down and say, ‘Oh the minute by minutes say that Joe Blow is doing great, and the talking segments are better’ is full of crap.”
On similarities between Vince & Stephanie McMahon:
“Vince was very, and probably still is, demanding of Stephanie. I think there’s one thing that I saw in Stephanie that made me think that she probably at some point could be Mini Me (laughs), so to speak, and I don’t mean that derisively, but she has a lot of Vince’s same personality traits and characteristics.
She’s super intense, she has an incredible work ethic, she is very strong willed, and she knows what she wants, and what she likes. I saw that when I watched her produce segments, I saw that when I watched her produce my segments. I watched that when I had her rehearse me over and over and over again, until she heard an inflection exactly the way she wanted to hear that inflection. That part of her personality is very similar to Vince’s, it was very very particular, so I saw indications of that early on, but I didn’t have an occasion to see that same thing out of Triple H, because he was probably 75% talent, and 25% in the circle so to speak.”
On comparisons between a possible John Cena heel turn and Hulk Hogan’s heel turn:
“You’ve got to put everything in the proper context, there were no nWo shirts for sale before I turned Hulk Hogan heel. One disadvantage I had when I launched Nitro, compared to WWE, is that they had very sophisticated licensing and merchandise, WCW didn’t have any. This is one of the reasons I had to guarantee contracts, because if I didn’t guarantee how much money somebody was going to make, there was no chance in hell they were going to make enough to live off of if it was in part based on licensing and merchandising that didn’t exist. It is it is, and was what it was, based on what I inherited, when I inherited it. But it was also an advantage, because I didn’t have to risk the same type of financial impact that for example WWE might be analyzing, ‘Okay, what happens if John Cena merchandise goes away?’ I didn’t have that challenge, because I wasn’t making any anyways. I had nowhere to go but up.”