83 WEEKS WITH ERIC BISCHOFF: GREAT AMERICAN BASH 1995: 06/15/20
Eric Bischoff talking about Gordon Solie winding down his career: "His health was an issue. It made it easier, not easy, but it made it easier to move Gordon along. I like Gordon Solie. In the CNN Center, there was an English Pub on the second floor. Oftentimes, Gordon would be doing voice overs in post production at the same time I was when I was a third string announcer behind Tony Schiavone and Jim Ross...I would meet Gordon at this English Pub. He could put them away. I would listen to him tell wrestling stories. His voice was almost hypnotic or mesmerizing. When Gordon would get a shot or two in him and loosened up a little bit, and he wiped out a half a pack of cigarettes or more, he had this quality in his voice that can suck you in. You could easily visualize it. I think this is one of the reasons he was so good at what he did."
Bischoff disputed that Hulk Hogan was guaranteed $300,00 vs 25% of the PPV revenue, whichever is greater: "Not even close. Not even in the same ballpark as some of the stuff I heard in the past. I'll tell you what it was. When Hulk Hogan left WWF, he thought he was done with wrestling. He was pursuing acting opportunities. He had a show called Thunder In Paradise that was doing very well internationally. It wasn't a bit hit in the United States because syndication was already starting to take a hit. When Hulk decided to put his toe back in the water with WCW, he didn't want to be a full time performer. He didn't want to be on the road. His kids were very young. He was living a good life. He had plenty of money in the bank. He wanted to give back to wrestling, but not in a way that it would overwhelm his life. We came up with a plan. Say there were 6 PPV shows a year. Hulk was committed to 4 of those. It was not because he was expensive or we couldn't afford him. It was because if you only have 6 PPVs you want to keep that character special. You don't want to see him every single PPV. You don't want every television story evolving around anyone. You have to be careful about overexposing him or you will dilute the value. Our June PPVs were typically some of the lowest rated PPVs of the year, so why would we bring back one of our key characters, who we want to bring back for Bash at the Beach, because that is one of our more successful PPVs and the one we wanted to build as a tent pole. That's why we didn't have Hulk Hogan on this particular PPV, not because we couldn't afford him. I believe his deal was $400,00 per PPV for four PPVs. But, it was not against a percentage of the PPV. Did he have language in his contract that would have allowed him to get bonuses on PPV? Yes, if those PPVs exceeded a certain threshold."
Bischoff talked about Ric Flair convincing Hulk Hogan to WCW: "I was there. I was in the room. Nobody worked harder to convince Hulk Hogan to come to WCW than Ric Flair. Had it not been for Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan would not have come to WCW, end of story. There is no variation on that theme. There are no alternative facts that anybody can throw out there. It just is what it is. Hulk Hogan would not have come to WCW without Ric Flair's support and encouragement."
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