Eric Bischoff “83 Weeks” Podcast Debut Preview: Formation of NWO in WCW and Guaranteed Contracts

Eric Bischoff is launching a new podcast this Monday with Conrad Thompson called “83 Weeks.” Bischoff is the former President of World Championship Wrestling and was the on-screen GM on WWE Monday Night Raw from 2002 to 2005. The name of the show signifies the number of weeks that WCW Monday Nitro defeated Raw in what everybody liked to call the “Monday Night Wars” in the mid-1990s. Thompson hosts very successful podcasts with Bruce Prichard (“Something to Wrestle”) and Tony Schiavone (“What Happened When”) that are available on MLW Radio Network, iTunes, Stitcher and everywhere else you may listen to a podcast.

For more info on the show, please follow them on Twitter @83Weeks and also their Facebook page for 83 Weeks.

We were sent a preview of their first episode that covers the most significant angle in WCW history, the formation of the New World Order stable in the summer of 1996.

Here’s a teaser of what to expect from the first episode with Bischoff answering two important questions.

Did the NWO angle come from the UWFI/New Japan invasion angle?

“The answer to that is a definitive ‘no.’ What I was studying when I was over in Japan, and what I was influenced by was just the general presentation of the product in Japan versus the general presentation of the product here in the United States. I was spending a lot more time over in Japan. I was there a couple times a year for extended periods of time. I was doing a lot of business with the business side of New Japan, and studying the way they operated. One of the things I noticed was that the product was treated with much more respect by media, by wrestling fans in general. That was due in large part because the way it was presented. It was more of a reality-based product, from the action you saw in the ring to the characters themselves, the performers themselves, and the way they carried themselves. At every level, it was a much more respected business. I kind of boiled the meat off the bone, and what became apparent to me is, it was treated with that kind of respect because the product was more real. It was more believable. That was the genesis. That’s where I was influenced. Not by an invasion angle, and quite frankly I wasn’t aware of an invasion angle, or if there was one going on over there. I know that’s the urban narrative, and that’s what people want to believe, and people want to take shots at me, or the NWO or WCW, whatever. I know that’s where they derive a lot of that perspective from. But the truth is, I studied the New Japan way of doing business. I took away it was more reality based, and that’s what I was most influenced by. Basically, that led to me, trying to create in my own mind, that transition. How do I take this very cartoony, animated product, which WWF was at the time and frankly so was WCW; how do I take this product, here in the United States and replicate the formula that was working so well in New Japan?”

Were Scott Hall and Kevin Nash the first two performers to have guaranteed contracts?

“Fuck no. It’s amazing to me, and I get this all the time. And no matter how many times I talk about it, and not matter how many ways it’s so obvious it’s not true, yet people still want to believe it. Here are the facts; when Eric Bischoff came to work at WCW as a clean-up batter on the announce team, working for Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone I came with a guaranteed freaking contract! The first day I showed up on the job, the very first day, I rode to the town with Dusty Rhodes, Doug Dillinger and Janie Engle, and we drove to Anderson, South Carolina. When I got to the building, one of the first people to come up to say ‘hi’ to me was Larry Zybzko, because Larry and I worked together in AWA and were pretty good friends back then. One of the first things Larry does is pull me off to the side and say, “Kid, keep your chin down, don’t stir up any shit, and you’ll get paid for life.” Because they all had guaranteed contracts before I freaking got there. So how this becomes, ‘Eric Bischoff started giving out guaranteed contracts,’ I’ll never fricking know. I’ll really won’t. But it’s out there.”

Here’s a tweet from Bischoff yesterday about the new podcast.

Best wishes to Eric and Conrad on the new show. Once again, for more info, please follow them on Twitter @83Weeks and also their Facebook page for 83 Weeks.