83 WEEKS WITH ERIC BISCHOFF
TNA IMPACT GOES TO MONDAY 3-8-10
Bischoff talking about the Hulk Hogan/Eric Bischoff contract with TNA: “It was $1.5 million. That was completely absorbed by Spike TV. That did not come out of TNA’s budget. Many people did not know that until many years after the fact. In fact, we didn’t really understand it completely until after the fact. We found out later, much later, the same thing was true with Sting and a couple other big talents that came in that Viacom offset the costs for.”
Bischoff clearing up whether TNA thought they would be competitive going up against WWE: “Nobody said that. Nobody believed that, myself included because I knew the nature of the product. There was no way you were going to have a TNA show in the Impact Zone, with a soundstage with 250 people, 30 or 40 or 50 of them you recognize because you see them every week. That show didn’t have the energy and the scope and magnitude to compete with RAW. But we did believe that by going head to head and poking the bear, so to speak, a couple things would happen. The first thing is it would create a buzz…with advertisers. By making this move, we would plant a flag. We may not be WWE but we are here. We have a guy by the name of Hulk Hogan, who is a proven commodity from a media perspective…At the very least, we would get some people to sample the product. We knew, going in, we discussed it going in that we would give this a run. Let’s see what we can do with it. Let’s see if we can go from whatever the audience was and see if we can grow it and take it with us, if and when we would have to move back to Thursday nights.”
Bischoff talking about his heat with Scott Steiner: “We were trying to get James (Storm) over. We wanted him to beat Scott Steiner…We told them early enough in the day and said go figure it out, come back to me, let me know what you got so we can smarten up the director so we can make sure we capture it all. James kept coming up to me throughout the day saying Scott doesn’t want to do anything. He doesn’t want to put me over. I said go talk to him. This is the story and go have the conversation. Tell your agent, it’s not my job. He came back to me two or three times and I figured it out. He didn’t want to confront Scott. I don’t blame him for that. Scott can be really difficult when he was in a certain frame of mind…I finally got involved and told Scott this is what we need. He said I don’t want to do it. I said, ok, we will find somebody else to do it, meaning it’s not that big a deal that Scott gets beat, it would be nice, that would be our first choice. That would have elevated James but the show is not going to stop. We aren’t going to have to replace the match because of it. We will find another opponent. Of course, two days later, all of this gets back to TNA management and Scott Steiner got fired. Scott Steiner figured I’m the one who fired hm. Then he blamed Hulk.”
The episode is available in full at this link.