Eric Bischoff Responds To Bret Hart‘s Comments About Vince McMahon “Stomping Out” TNA From Monday Nights (And The Impact “The Hitman” May Have Had In Making That Happen), Why His Primary Focus At This Sunday’s No Surrender Is The Semi-Finals Of The TNA World Title Tournament, How Much Input He Has Into TNA iMPACT, His Reactions Thus Far To TNA ReAction, The Internet’s Constant Stream Of Hating Against TNA (And Why It’s Easier For Fans To Point Out The Flaws Of TNA vs. The WWE), The Controversy (Or Lack Thereof) In TNA, If “Playful Competition” Can Be Done Effectively And In Good Taste Between The WWE & TNA (Coming Off Of The Heels Of The Recent Remarks Between The Beautiful People & Laycool), Plus His Final Response To Those That Believe Him & Hulk Hogan Are “Running TNA”
TNA’s Eric Bischoff was one of the special guests on this week’s live edition (08/30/09) of the award-winning Monday Night Mayhem (presented by Good Health Natural Foods). You can feel The Mayhem live every Monday night (at 7PM ET/6PM CT), exclusively on The Monday Night Mayhem Radio Network (www.MondayNightMayhem.com).
Eric joined The Big Mosh & “The Chairman of the Board” Todd Vincent for his return to “Your Home of Wrestling Radio” & for another installment of his exclusive monthly interactive segment on Monday Night Mayhem, “The Hot Seat With Eric Bischoff” (flavored by Sizzlin Sauces), which is now available in Windows Streaming Media or via Monday Night Mayhem’s official Podcast on iTunes:
Questions were taken via Eric’s official Facebook page (located at www.Facebook.com/TheEricBischoff), along with The Mayhem Line (877.666.2110). Interview highlights courtesy of The Mayhem’s official correspondent, Paterson from New Jersey:
His reaction to those wrestling fans that ask the question “Where is the controversy in TNA?” and if we will be seeing that on TNA programming in the coming weeks/months: “I think that you will. One of the challenges in the business today, and the same is true in the WWE, what can we do that hasn’t been done to death in the last 10 to 12 years? When I launched Nitro, and we did all the ridiculous stuff & controversial stuff that I did that put WCW on the map, nobody had ever done it before, and that’s what made it controversial. That’s why I was the ‘anti-Christ’ for wrestling fans, because I was doing things no one had done before. Giving away finishes live on the air five minutes before the competition’s show went on. All these things people said was stupid & ridiculous, how do you do that again? How does Vince McMahon do all things that are ground-breaking, controversial, & water cooler buzz? How does he recreate those elements in the guidelines of a televised wrestling show? How do you recreate that in today’s environment? Is there going to be controversy in TNA? Of course there is. Are we seeing right now? Without giving anything away, I think we’re setting it up. In the months to come, people are going to see some things that are controversial, but I don’t think anyone should raise the bar of expectations so high that we are magically going to get back to that virgin territory that we enjoyed 10 or 12 years ago.”
How much input he usually has into an edition of TNA iMPACT, his response to those that strongly believe that Hulk Hogan & himself are “running TNA,” and the current chemistry between himself & Vince Russo: “It varies a lot depending on the week. I’ve read some of the comments of some of your other guests on Monday Night Mayhem talking about me, and I think Kevin Kelly was one of the ones I read last, and I know people out there think and are under the assumption that Eric Bischoff & Hulk Hogan are ‘running TNA.’ Nothing is farther from the truth. We have nothing to do with the strategy of the company. We have nothing to do with the marketing of the company. Nobody talks to us or asks us about talent acquisitions or people getting fired. We have little to do with the day-to-day operations of TNA. The same is kinda true with regards to creative. I work closely with Vince Russo, I see the formats, I give my suggestions. Vince & I have a great working relationship, and in regards to chemistry, I would say besides my partner Jason Hervey and Hulk, there’s no one better that I have a working relationship with.”
The Internet’s constant stream of hating against TNA & why it’s easier for fans to point out the flaws of TNA than those of the WWE: “Let me put it to you this way: Misery loves company. It’s easier for people who are negative, who want to criticize without really having anything intelligent to say and without it being constructive criticism. It’s one of the reasons why I constantly am trying to raise the bar, eliminating one stupid fan at a time. When I see the kind of comments like ‘TNA Sucks’ or ‘Your storylines blow,’ or ‘Fire Russo, or ‘Fire Bischoff,’ or ‘Hogan sucks,’ I laugh at that stuff because there are a lot of people out there and because misery loves company. Let’s face it, WWE is a giant bandwagon. It’s been around a long time. It’s easier & safer when you’re the type of person who is looking for a group of miserable people to jump on the bandwagon that’s successful, because the WWE is a cable television juggernaut. It is what it is. So it’s easy to jump on that bandwagon and look down at TNA for its warts, blemishes, bumps, bruises, & dents because there’s plenty of them. TNA is not WWE. It’s not a billion dollar company with the kind of infrastructure & production staff taking their show live on the road every week. There’s so many things that we don’t have that it’s easy to point out our flaws. I think if you look at what TNA does, and does well, and tries to do. We are ‘the little engine that’s trying.’ There’s some great talent in the ring, I think we have the greatest balance of new, young & exciting talent, established talent that rates well despite what everyone else wants to believe on the Internet. If you’re objective and you’re a real wrestling fan, you’re gonna have comments, and while you may not like certain things that are happening in TNA, you’ll find plenty of things to like.”
Bret Hart’s comments about Vince McMahon “stomping out” TNA from Monday nights, the impact “The Hitman” may have had in making that a reality, & what the final outcome would have been for TNA on Monday nights had Bret Hart never come back to the WWE: “I like Bret so much so it’s hard for me to comment about things like this. Bret Hart is a little pre-occupied with the legacy of Bret Hart. Not going to deny it, the move to Monday night was a mistake. It is what it is. It was ill-conceived, it was bad timing, it was a risk, and it was a risk that didn’t pan out. I’ve taken plenty of risks that didn’t work out, and I’ve taken some risks that have. Vince McMahon has taken some risks that worked and taken plenty of risks that hasn’t. The move to Monday night was a miss, and I’ll take as much responsibility for that as anybody else. I don’t think any of it had anything to do with Bret Hart. I think if Bret Hart would have never come back to WWE, the outcome of our Monday night effort would have been exactly the same.”
His thoughts on this Sunday’s No Surrender Pay-Per-View & why his primary focus will be on the semi-finals of the TNA World Title Tournament: “I think there are some great matches on the card. The primary thing that I’m focused on is our ‘A-story,’ which is who is going to become TNA World Heavyweight Champion. You got four powerful names there, four very exciting talents four guys who could deliver anywhere in the world in either company. You got four guys who are great storytellers and can deliver in the ring. If there’s a reason to watch the Pay-Per-View, that’s the one thing I would encourage people to follow & watch, because it’s another chapter in a pretty interesting story that we laid out back in March, and I’m excited about it.”
More is contained in another installment of “The Hot Seat With Eric Bischoff” (flavored by Sizzlin Sauces), including Eric’s candid thoughts/comments on the debut of TNA ReAction and the evolution of the program leading into the fall, the branding of TNA, whether or not the “playful competition” between the WWE & TNA can still be done effectively and in good taste (coming off of the heels of the recent remarks made by TNA Knockouts Champion Angelina Love & Velvet Sky on TNA ReAction against the co-WWE Women’s Champions Laycool/Layla‘s subsequent response this past week via her official Twitter page), plus more of your calls & Facebook questions! Call your local cable or satellite provider and demand No Surrender (airing this Sunday night on Pay-Per-View). “The Hot Seat With Eric Bischoff” (flavored by Sizzlin Sauces) returns Monday night, October 4th leading into TNA’s Bound For Glory PPV…exclusively on “Your Home of Wrestling Radio.” Check out Eric’s official website (located at www.EricBischoff.com), along with newly-launched website for Eric & his business partner, Jason Hervey (located at www.BHE.tv). Get the latest on the exciting new projects coming your way from Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment! Don’t forget to follow Eric on his official Twitter page (located at www.Twitter.com/EBischoff), and join the more than 18,000+ fans on EB’s official Facebook page (located at www.Facebook.com/TheEricBischoff).