Many WCW fans will credit Lucha libre as one of the ways Monday Nitro stood out against WWE during a very historic time in wrestling, and Eric Bischoff says that wasn’t just by coincidence.
Bischoff recently spoke with Lucha Libre Online’s Michael Morales Torres to talk about the Latin American influence on the current state of pro wrestling and was asked how to book current talent in today landscape.
“Look, that’s hard for me to say because unless you are working in creative behind the scenes on a full-time basis, it’s really hard to understand. What are the goals of the company? What are the goals of the television network? What are the goals of the audience? What are the goals of the advertiser? Those are all really important things that one needs to know before one can judge how talent is being used or what’s the right way or the wrong way.”
Despite the difficulties he noted, Bischoff did mention how he had that sort of thought when it came to making Nitro stand out on Monday nights.
“I can tell you that I think one of the things that Nitro was known for—WCW and myself—was the fact that we put a lot of emphasis on luchadores and talent from Mexico. We brought them in and allowed them to wrestle their styles and not ask them to wrestle in the American Style. We let them bring a lot of the culture from Lucha Libre into the American product and put it on national television on prime time. Nobody had ever seen that before. Not on an American network to that extent. I think because we were the first ones to do it that we enjoyed a certain privilege of being able to experiment and do a lot of different things because it was new and the audience really enjoyed it. They hadn’t seen it before.”
“Now the audience has seen over the last 20 years more Lucha Libre in the United States and more wrestlers from Mexico wrestling in WWE and other organizations. It’s not as new anymore. It doesn’t feel as exciting anymore as when we first did it. It’s like being the first man on the moon. You can only be the first man on the moon. The second man on the moon… Meh! That’s pretty cool. But it is really not that big a deal because he wasn’t the first. So we were the first man on the moon speaking in terms of really presenting Lucha Libre to the American audience on a national platform.”
Bischoff went on to say that he’d like to see more Spanish culture presented along with the wrestlers themselves because of how important it is to their upbringing.
“I think in any television show, and it doesn’t matter which show, the audience has to feel like they know the star or know about the star. I think just presenting the Hispanic wrestlers or Mexican wrestlers and just letting them go out there. I want to know more about them. So I think when any wrestling company uses someone from Mexico or someone from Puerto Rico be sure to bring with them a lot of background packages and a lot of storytelling devices that allow the audience to get to know that talent. I think that would go a long way to making people appreciate the Mexican culture and the Puerto Rican culture, as well as make the talent more interesting to the audience.”
You can check out the entire interview between Bischoff and Torres below:
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