Eric Bischoff Talks About Joining TNA, Discontinuing 6-Sided Ring, Running Joke on James Storm


Recap by: Christopher Jay, rajah.com
Please send all feedback to: jspodcast2020@gmail.com or @wrestlingfancs

83 WEEKS WITH ERIC BISCHOFF 4/13/20: TNA LOCKDOWN 2010

Bischoff talking about coming to TNA 4 months before TNA Lockdown 2010: "I wasn't excited about going to TNA. I didn't aspire to end up there. I felt it was a step, not to sound like an arrogant prick, it was a step down from my last run in WWE as a performer. Certainly, a step down from running WCW...it was not something I was generally excited about in all fairness. I did it. I made the choice to go to TNA partly because I was missing the business a bit. Jason Hervey in I, at this point, 2009, 2010, we were absolutely crushing it in the television business. We had our own production company in Los Angeles. We were just killing it as far as creating, producing and selling shows to various networks. So it wasn't, again, a career move for me necessarily but it was trying to scratch that itch a little bit. Mostly the decision was driven by the fact that TNA didn't want me. They didn't aspire to have me on their team any more than I aspired to be on the team. We had mutual disinterest in each other. I think that's fair to say. But the common denominator was Hulk Hogan. Dixie Carter really wanted Hulk Hogan to join TNA. Hulk wouldn't consider joining TNA unless I was positioned, at the very least, to watch over his creative. I wasn't interested in running creative, or even being part of the creative team on TNA with the exception of those storylines and or characters that directly interfaced with Hulk Hogan's character in his storyline within TNA. That is why I went there. I negotiated Hulk's deal at the time. At the same time all this went down, Hulk was probably in as much pain as I had seen him up to that point. He had a hard time getting out of bed. His back was so bad...At one point he said look Eric, I can't even talk on the phone, it's that bad, and if I can get on the phone, often times I'm not listening to what people are saying because the pain is so bad. So, he said, do me a favor and negotiate my deal for me. Just know that you speak for me. Whatever you agree to, I'll agree to. Whatever you don't agree to, I won't agree to, because I can't deal with it any longer."

Bischoff talking about why he discontinued the 6-sided ring: "It was stupid. Here is the logic I heard. When people flip through the channels, people are going to stop and say hey, what's that. That was the entire psychology and strategy behind the 6-sided ring. First of all, people don't click through channels, even in 2010...I was very vocal about it. I pissed off 75 or 80% of the people in the TNA office because, of course, they thought they were the greatest thing in the world since sliced bread because they had no point of reference. None of them ever been in the wrestling business before. None of them really knew anything about the wrestling business. They were not really interested in the wrestling business. They were just interested in being popular in Nashville in certain pockets of the business community...I asked them how does the 6-sided ring change the performance in the ring? What does the 6-sided ring mean? What is the statement it makes? How does it make the product more interesting to watch? The answer was...crickets, they didn't have one."

Bischoff talking about James Storm: "I don't mean this to be a criticism but I'm sure he is going to take it that way. James, let me apologize right off the bat, because I'm about to bury you. James is a great performer. James is a great character. There is a lot of things to like about James Storm as a performer. One of the flaws in his game, and this became a running joke for a while. If you want to know who is going to win or lose the match, all you have to do is watch James Storm's entrance. Seriously, you can know nothing about wrestling and you could look at James Storm and you could tell by the way he made his way to the ring whether he was going to do the job or not. Whenever James Storm would make an entrance and he was going to lose, he would look like somebody just set his puppy on fire. When he was going to go over, he was all fired up. That was the first thing I noticed because of that running joke about James Storm."