Eric Bischoff famously challenged Vince McMahon’s WWF during the “Monday Night War.” The upstart WCW decimated Raw in the television ratings for nearly two years before the now WWE got a victory. Of course, WWE went on to conquer and buy out WCW in the end, but for a time, Bischoff was the main man in professional wrestling.
On the latest 83 Weeks Podcast, Bischoff talked about the thing he’s most proud of in wrestling. He gave a very interesting answer. He said that his innovations forced Vince McMahon to do things he wouldn’t have otherwise done. Eric believes the entire wrestling industry changed for the better because of it.
“Revisionist history, bullsh*t dirt sheet narrative, biased coverage, all kinds of reasons but it really doesn’t matter. It used to bug me a little bit but I’m over it. It’s just another example of the things that WCW did first and did better that eventually, the WWE had to follow our pattern. Somebody asked me very recently what am I most proud of in regard to my career? That’s a hard question, but at the core of it, I would say it’s because I forced WWE and Vince McMahon to change the way that they did business.
Anybody that knows Vince McMahon or worked for Vince McMahon knows that’s not an easy thing to accomplish. Not only did I get Vince McMahon to sell and to react when everybody told me for so long ‘Vince will never sell anything, Vince will never acknowledge the competition, it’s not the way Vince McMahon does business.’ Well, it wasn’t the way Vince McMahon did business until I forced him to change and I’m proud of that because it made WWE a better place, a stronger company, a more successful product and the audience benefited as a result. That’s why you saw Vince McMahon become the evil boss that I had done a year sooner, that’s why you saw DX in the Attitude Era that was nothing more than a derivative of the nWo. Forced him to go live every week, all of those things were things that I did and I was almost solely, in many respects, responsible for.
It’s not because on a personal level I was proud that I forced Vince McMahon to react to me, I’m proud because I forced him to react to me and it improved the industry. That’s what I’m proud of, it made it a better product, it made wrestling during the Monday Night War era, probably still today the most talked about thing in the wrestling industry on an ongoing basis. All of that was because Nitro changed the industry and forced the WWE to change their approach. The industry is a better place as a result of it and I’m very proud of that.”
Competition certainly makes the world better for wrestling fans. At wrestling’s peak popularity in the late 1990’s, Bischoff was constantly looming over McMahon’s shoulder. Wrestling had a sense of urgency that it is just now finally starting to revisit.
Do you agree with Eric Bischoff? Let us know in the comments!