If you happened to be a WCW kid growing up, then one can always dream what could have been if it stayed afloat over 20 years ago. Back in 2001, Eric Bischoff had some heavy discussions at having WCW Monday Nitro “go dark” for awhile to return with revitalized brand, starting with a new PPV called The Big Bang in Las Vegas, NV, but it obviously never came to fruition.
In a recent episode of 83 Weeks, Eric talked with host Conrad Thompson about who he would have had on his creative staff if the Big Bang did go off. The first name brought up? Vince Russo.
“Absolutely not,” Eric said. “You’ve never accused me of being too succinct, meaning short, but that’s a fuckin’ ‘no,’ big fella.” He then stated he didn’t want to name names because he could be wrong in who he considered. Conrad then offered Kevin Sullivan to the roster and Easy E said he would have had a discussion with The Taskmaster. This prompted Bischoff to mention another wise, yet polarizing name.
“I would have looked hard at Terry Taylor. I’ve had issues with Terry since the day I’ve known him and I’m sure Terry’s changed like we all have, including myself. I’m sure he’s not the same guy today that he was 20 years ago or 30 years ago, but Terry was one of the most randomly brilliant people that I’ve worked with.”
By brilliant Eric means that he was able to morph an idea and develop it.
“He was fun energy to have in the room most of the time, but I also knew he was a liability because he couldn’t keep his freakin’ mouth shut and I knew that he was a leak,” he added before elaborating on Terry’s penchant to gab. “I had confirmations of my suspicions from other people who were closer to it than I was, but I couldn’t prove it and as a result, I kept Terry in the room even though I suspected him because I valued his perspective (however occasional as it may have been), I valued that input more than I felt concern about the fact that he may have been a source of information that he shouldn’t have been a source for, if that makes sense.
“As long as the value on the input side outweighed the value of the output side, he survived and that really was my relationship with Terry and how I looked at him and I probably would have had a conversation with him because that kind of perspective was valuable.”
The late promoter Zane Bresloff?
“Zane would have definitely been there,” Eric said, but he wouldn’t have used him in the creative room because he knew Zane would have hated it. “I would have used Zane as a sounding board but I would have not have put him in a [creative] room.”
Conrad then pitches the late Bob Ryder and long-time TNA stalwart, Jeremy Borash. Eric would have considered Ryder for sure, but he wouldn’t have used Jeremy at the time due to the two’s lack of relationship at the time.
“It would have been a bad call on my part, clearly, cause Jeremy has proven himself to be a great asset and still is to the WWE. This is not a knock on Jeremy, it’s just a knock on the fact that I didn’t have a relationship with him and didn’t know [what] he was potentially capable of.”
Conrad then mentioned John Laurinaitis being a notable liaison to Eric.
“I brought Johnny in cause I couldn’t get Pat Patterson,” Eric stated. “I said, ‘Look, we need somebody that really understands finishes. Our finishes suck. I don’t have that talent, nobody that I’m working with currently in this room (when I brought Johnny in) has that talent, at least not to the degree that we need it and since we get Pat Patterson who can we get?’ And the feedback I was getting from everybody I talked to who I had respect for and really knew, Johnny’s name kept coming up so I brought Johnny in and Johnny would have definitely been a big part of, not only creative, he would have been, I don’t want to say right hand man, but he would have been a partner in running the operation for sure.”
The final name Conrad pitched was Dusty Rhodes. Would “The American Dream” been on the creative bus?
“At the front of the bus, right next to me in creative. Dusty had some pretty far out ideas. Dusty lived in another world creatively. He was a visionary and sometimes with visionaries the ideas don’t get fleshed out as well as they should. Sometimes you’re so ahead of yourself but it’s hard for other people to catch up.
“Let me sum it up,” Eric continued. “You could slow a fast horse down, but you can’t speed a slow horse up. That’s Dusty. Dusty was a fuckin’ creative thoroughbred, but sometimes you had to slow him down. Sometimes he was so far ahead he was running tqo races ahead from where we are right now and you had to kind of bring him back to center.
“You need those big whacky ideas,” he said. “You need those. Doesn’t mean you’re going do them all, or any of them, but those big ideas, you can often slow that horse down and bring them into the track that you’re on and win races with them so Dusty would have been right there with me.”
Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone
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