Eric Bischoff Talks WCW Age Dynamic, Getting Sent Home In 1999
Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for SiriusXM
During the latest episode of Eric Bischoff’s podcast 83 Weeks, Bischoff discussed a handful of topics, including the age dynamic that played a huge role in the prime days of WCW, and when he was sent home from the company in 1999. Check out some of the highlights below (transcriptions via PWInsider):
On the age dynamic in WCW:
There was this anti-branding them from WWF criticizing WCW for being old, criticizing Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Roddy Piper, Ric Flair and anybody over 40 years old, or 35 years old at the time was considered an old man. We over reacted to that. We allowed that internet chatter to affect the creative on this show and that’s how we ended up with New Blood vs. Old Blood. That battle between older talent and younger talent was not only real inside of the roster and the locker room backstage, but it was certainly a real and robust conversation within the internet and dirt sheet community. We allowed that to affect us, in my opinion now, twenty some years later, we allowed that to affect us too much.
On getting sent home in 1999:
I was still under contract and I had 2 1/2 years left on that contract. Turner Broadcasting had, and it’s a legal term, paid or played me. They executed the pay or played provision in the existing contract. Once a company pulls that trigger, once they advise you, put you on notice that you’ve been paid or played…You’re going to get your 2 1/2 years of compensation, you are going to get your stock options, you are just not going to come back to work. I am now paid or played. They can’t hire me back. They can’t make me come back. They have to honor the contract as it was when I signed it with no changes whatsoever. What happened here…they wanted me back. I went to my agent, and he asked me what do you want out of this? Just think about yourself. Don’t think about the company. What is your wish list? I said I want 100% of the money they owe me under my current agreement which is close to a million dollars. I don’t want to be involved in management in any way shape or form. Brad Seigel wanted me to come back to oversee all of the creative. I made it clear that I don’t want to have anything to do with Turner Corporate. I’ll oversee the creative. I’ll be responsible for that but I don’t want the responsibility for anything else. I don’t want any meetings. I don’t want any conversations. I don’t want to be included in any e-mails. I don’t want any of that. Oh, by the way, I want a two movie deal out of this. I ended up getting Turner Broadcasting, TNT in particular to make a commitment as a part of my new contract to guarantee me a minimum of two movies for the TNT network which I can then take and leverage those into other production opportunities over and above my compensation from WCW under my new agreement.