Eric Bischoff On The ‘Comfort Food’ Feel Of His AEW Dynamite Appearance, Realizing How Much He Missed TV

Eric Bischoff says it’s like that ‘macaroni and cheese and meatloaf’ moment that everyone should be familiar with.

Bischoff spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard after his AEW Dynamite appearance as the special guest moderator in the Super Wednesday Debate between Orange Cassidy and Chris Jericho. Bischoff explained that his appearance was pitched to him shortly after he did a Fight For The Fallen video show with Tony Khan and noted how much fun he had with that, and the Dynamite appearance just made a lot of sense as well.

“I think it was Tony himself—Tony Khan—or perhaps it was Cody, I’m not sure. I wasn’t in on the call, but they’d been talking to Conrad and asked if I’d be interested in doing something online on 83 Weeks or on to help them promote the events, and of course I said yes. There’s no way I wouldn’t have done that, and so we did that and everyone got along, the feeling was good, as they say, the craic was good. It just felt good, everything was fine and a couple of days later I got a text from someone—I’m not going to divulge [who it was]—asking if I’d be interested in doing a scene. Of course I said yes,” Bischoff explained, “our family came in for the 4th of July and our friends and they’ve gone home, I’m getting back to my daily grind so I thought that it might be fun, go and do something different.”

Bischoff said he never really thought about how long he’d been gone from television until he arrived on set and said plenty had changed, but one thing he really enjoyed was seeing how many familiar faces he ran into. Bischoff praised the efforts of the AEW crew, including several he worked with in WCW, and said that it provided a good, familiar feeling not unlike having “comfort food” on the menu.

“It was a ton of fun. I didn’t really think about how long it’s been since I’d been on TNT until I actually got on location and we were talking about what we were going to do that day and it dawned on me then. I don’t know if somebody else said it to me or if it just occurred to me, I don’t remember. It was just a passing thought for a moment and I went ‘wow, that’s 20 years, that’s a long time! A lot of things have changed in 20 years.’ It was really cool and what made it really interesting was that so many people that were a part of my life—a big part of my life in WCW—Keith Mitchell, for example. He’s the head of production at AEW and he pretty much runs the entire production crew, so he was there, and Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross and Arn Anderson, so many people that I had worked with,” Bischoff said, “no fewer than a dozen people that were in the trenches with me in WCW and Nitro in the very beginning and to be able to work with them again 20 years later, it was freakin’ awesome.”

“It’s kinda like that ‘macaroni and cheese and meatloaf’ moment. When you’re sitting down at a restaurant and there’s all kinds of interesting looking and exotic things on the menu, and you look to the side and there’s this selection for just comfort food. It’s just meatloaf and it’s just macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes,” Bischoff said, “but damn, you’re familiar with it so you enjoy it, but you might not want to eat it every day.”

Bischoff’s last role in a wrestling company was behind the scenes in WWE but the AEW appearance marked the first time he’d been an on-air character since his run in TNA, which ended after losing a Lethal Lockdown match and being “fired” in 2012. Looking back, Bischoff says he didn’t really enjoy his TNA run because it was more or less the same character he’d been playing for over a decade. He says that it wasn’t a challenge and felt like the time away served him well because it gave him a chance to actually miss performing. Bischoff says he first realized he missed being an on-air performer when he started doing 83 Weeks live shows with co-host Conrad Thompson and added that he really enjoyed getting a chance to do things one more time with TNT and AEW.

“It was really fun. When I was in WWE, I wasn’t an on-air performer. I hadn’t really done anything in front of the camera in probably more than five years, six years. A lot of the work that I had been doing for that in TNA, some of it I really enjoyed and some of it was a necessary evil. The character wasn’t really that interesting of a character, it was the same old, same old character that people had seen in WWE and WCW to a large degree. The extension of that character into TNA worked well for a couple of situations and a period of time,” Bischoff said, “but you just can’t play the same character over and over and over again and expect the audience to stay interested in it unless you round out that character and it changes and evolves, and it didn’t. I think I was getting a little tired of doing television while I was doing TNA because it just wasn’t challenging or fun or new.

“And to stop doing television for a few years, a few things happened—I realized how much I missed it. I enjoy doing it. It’s just like certain physical things I enjoy and if I don’t do them enough I start missing them. I love running, if I don’t run often enough I miss it and the way it makes me feel, and that’s kinda true with doing television. There’s a vibe I get playing somebody other than myself—to a large degree or a small degree, depending on the scene—but it was just fun and it felt natural. I was excited to do it again and I miss it. I started realizing how much I miss it when Conrad and I would start doing live shows, and in doing those live shows we’d get 1,500-2,000 people or on a good show, 3,000 people, whatever the number was,” Bischoff said, “sometimes less if it was a small comedy club but we’d go up there and perform in front of an audience and make people laugh, make people angry and react the way you want them to, basically just entertain them. That’s when I realized, ‘Man, I guess I miss this TV stuff more than I thought I did.’ So, getting a chance to do that again on TNT and AEW in particular, it was a blast. It felt good.”

As we reported last week, Bischoff told WrestleZone that his Dynamite appearance was a one-time deal, comparing it to a “cameo” role. Check out the full interview below:

Related: Eric Bischoff Calls AEW Dynamite Appearance ‘A Cameo’, No Plans To Return

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