WCW put WWE through some stiff competition during the Monday Night Wars. The NWO had a lot to do with that, but as the years have progressed, Eric Bischoff has received some criticism for stealing his company’s most famous angle.
There has been speculation and discussion within the wrestling community about the origins of the NWO idea, with some suggesting that Eric Bischoff, then in a prominent position at WCW, might have drawn inspiration from New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
The NWO was a groundbreaking storyline and faction in professional wrestling, and they played a pivotal role in WCW’s success during the Monday Night Wars. While the concept of an invading force was not entirely new, some fans and observers have pointed to similarities with angles seen in Japanese wrestling promotions, sparking debate about the creative influences behind the NWO narrative.
During his 83 Weeks podcast, Eric Bischoff discussed the idea that he stole the NWO idea from invasion angles like UWF vs NJPW. He was only looking to replicate the serious feel of pro wrestling, and not copy the whole gimmick.
“I guess Dave Meltzer and the rest of the fan base like to say, ‘Oh he stole NWO idea.’ I never studied their creative. I don’t know anything about their takeovers of invasions. I studied the overall presentation of why do people in Japan think pro wrestling is real and why do people in the United States think it’s a joke?’ That’s what I was looking for, and that experience of going to Japan with the respect of ‘what can I learn here?’ You can’t export everything from Japan and it works. The culture is different, there are so many variables in the States that we don’t have control of, so you can’t export everything you see and bring it back, but there are some things.”
Eric Bischoff went on to say that he took the idea of making pro wrestling serious, and he meshed it with what he saw in Japan. He wanted to replicate the overall atmosphere, where pro wrestling was serious and “the men even wore suits and ties” when they went to the shows.
We will have to see what the future holds for the pro wrestling world. There are a lot of ideas out there, and very few things are really original ideas. Perhaps, Eric Bischoff didn’t mean to copy everything about the NWO, but he certainly made pro wrestling history.
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Transcription by Ringside News