Wrestlezone Hosts an Exclusive Interview With Eric Bischoff

Nick Paglino

“Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling” premieres this Saturday night, October 18, at 8pm EST on The CMT Network.

The Voice of Wrestling hosts Chris Cash and myself, Nick “The Man of 1,000 Names,” conducted an interview with Eric Bischoff this week where we discussed a number of topics including Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling, Bischoff’s future in the wrestling business and other various topics. You can read highlights from the interview below.

Alternatively, you can download and listen to the interview by right clicking THIS LINK and then selecting “Save As.”

You can stream the interview live by entering http://www.wrestlezone.com/audio/interviews/bischoff2.mp3 into iTunes, Real Player, WinAmp, or your favorite audio player.

On the goal of Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling: “It would achieve two things, one, as you know, there’s a big audience for good reality television, but the reality that works has a very distinct and unique kind of formula and format. So our goal is two fold, is to produce a wrestling show that would really appeal to those fans that are reality fans but at the same time satisfy the wrestling audience by showing them not necessarily anything new but maybe giving them a look inside the world of pro wrestling…we want to take them inside the art form of pro wrestling.”

On the rumors that he and Hogan might be starting a new promotion together: “I’m happy to answer in one sense but reluctant to in another because every time I do an interview like this inevitably some internet writer somewhere is going to take a bit or a piece of what I’m going to say and then misconstrue it and turn it into something completely different. I recently read on-line all kinds of different stories that were born out of interviews that I’ve done. Here’s where we’re at really. I’ve said this before, I have no real interest in starting a wrestling company or a promotion, if you will, unless we can figure out a way quite honestly to come up with an interesting business model. Meaning, to do it differently not only from a creative point of view but from a business model point of view, to do it differently than one would expect you would launch a traditional wrestling promotion.”

When asked if there was any truth to the idea that Jerry Jarrett may have been responsible for the NWO idea: “Jerry lives in a creative matchbox. He knows Memphis wrestling and that’s all he’s ever known and for him or for anybody to suggest that Jerry Jarrett came up with the idea for the NWO quite honestly is pretty damn laughable. Listen, I’ve heard so many people try to take credit for the NWO and all of the positives, and here’s the interesting thing about looking back and having the perspective I do, because I know exactly how it came to be. I know exactly who I talked to about it because I didn’t talk to too many people about it…like Kevin Nash and Scott Hall didn’t really have any idea what I was doing as I was doing it, they didn’t know up until the day before that Hulk Hogan was going to be the third man, they didn’t find out really until the morning of. But I’ve listened to, I’ve heard Terry Taylor try to take credit for it, I’ve heard Kevin Sullivan try to take credit for it, I can’t even remember the number of people I’ve heard try to take credit for the good things that happened during that time.”

On Hulk Hogan vs Steve Austin: “Do I think it would be a great match? I think on paper anybody who’s a wrestling fan would love to see that. On paper. But in reality, in today’s environment unless the match was part of an ongoing, slow build that played itself out on television, you know in kind of a longer way built up over a period of a couple months, on Raw, I’m just not sure it would make any sense creatively. I don’t think in today’s environment you can take two guys as big as Steve Austin is and as big as Hogan is and as big as those names are, I just don’t think you can throw two big names in a big match and expect it to have the kind of impact that one would think that kind of match would have. I think it would take, as big as those names are, it would take a lot of great storytelling and a lot of build up and a lot of exposure to get people really excited about seeing it and really buying into that story. That’s number one. Number two, do I think it will ever happen? No, I really don’t. And I don’t think it will happen for a couple of reasons, one is neither one of these guys need it, they don’t need it financially, and they don’t need it, and when I say ego wise, I don’t mean ego to sound negative, but both of these guy have been to the mountain top, a couple of times, in Hogan’s case, quite a few times. And at this stage in their lives, in order to make the kind of commitment and in order to pull off something of this magnitude, they would both have to be really excited to do it and really feel the need to do it, just from a performers point of view, and I don’t think either one of them are there. ”

On Hogan’s desire to get back into the ring: “We have talked about it and we continue to talk about it and I think if the right situation presented itself, and I don’t know what that situation is by the way, I’m not trying to hide anything. I think anybody, whether you’re a rock star or a wrestler or a boxer, anybody that’s been a performer, been in the limelight, nobody ever wants to look at themselves and go “you know what, that portion of my life is completely over.” So there’s always a part of people who are competitive people who have been there, people who have that drive to get them there in the first place, there’s always a desire to do it one more time. But there’s also the realization that if you’re gonna do it one more time it has to be for the right reasons and it has to be the right situation. And we continue to talk about what that right situation is, so I wouldn’t rule it out for Hulk. He’s the type of guy that if he makes up his mind that he’s gonna get back in the ring he will get himself in shape. He has been working out pretty hard lately he will do the things that he needs to do to be able to get in the ring and put on a show. Do I think it’ll ever happen again? I think there’s a possibility, but again there has to be an exact right situation.”

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