The trio of Eric Bischoff, Michael Hayes and Jim Cornette were seated at a table together for the first time ever for WWE Network’s Table for 3 show. This episode is called “Creative Committee.” Here’s a recap of their discussion with my thoughts at the bottom of the recap.
Hayes welcomed them both to the show and noted that this is the first time Cornette and Bischoff have ever talked.
Cornette said he was always on different sides with Bischoff. Cornette told a story about how on WCW Nitro one time in Knoxville he had fans hold up a sign saying “We Want it Raw” because he was working for WWE at the time. Cornette admitted it was mean.
Cornette wondered if Bischoff remembered the one time they had spoken. Bischoff said he did not. Cornette said it was SuperBrawl 3 in 1993 Asheville, North Carolina. Cornette said he made a deal with Bill Watts to do a Smoky Mountain Wrestling match on the show. Cornette said he did some promo that was agreed upon to rip into previous management, but when it aired on TV the comments were taken out. Cornette claims that people told him that Bischoff was responsible for the editing. Bischoff noted he wasn’t even in charge at that time.
Cornette said two years later, he went to the WCW Powerplant with Ole Anderson’s son to cut some promos and Eric Bischoff was there. Bischoff talked to Ole, looked at Cornette, said nothing and fired Ole the next day. Cornette noted that Bischoff drove a Corvette and Bischoff said it was a great car.
Bischoff responded to Cornette saying so much of his perception is kind of BS (bullshit). Bischoff noted he wasn’t in control at that time. Bischoff told Corny that he had a misinformed perspective and he was relying on stooges that told him things that Corny probably wanted to hear. Cornette wondered why Bischoff didn’t deny it to him and Bischoff said he didn’t feel like he needed to. Cornette said they could have been buddies all these years.
Cornette noted that he and Bischoff bonded over something before the taping because they both hate Vince Russo. Cornette did a toast saying this is historic.
Hayes talked to Bischoff about the WCW Powerplant. Bischoff said the purpose of the Powerplant was to develop stars and filled the roster. Bischoff talked about how they knew they didn’t have a territory system anymore, so they had to create stars in other ways.
Cornette talked about how at Smoking Mountain Wrestling they were able to find guys like Chris Candido, Kane, Al Snow and others that didn’t have to be trained from scratch because they knew how to work. Cornette spoke about how it was more like a college program rather than the ground up. Cornette said that SMW was a place where guys could work to help develop characters and get back in shape after injuries. Cornette noted that’s what they did with WWE in the late 1990s. That also led to developing the developmental program in Ohio Valley Wrestling for WWE in 1999.
— WWE (@WWE) May 30, 2017
They spoke about how it was relating to talents differently over the years. Bischoff said in the past in the territory days they could work in front of live crowds. Hayes noted that these kids today are by far the better athletes. Cornette said that the concept has changed from something that people can buy as a fight and now the guys think they are going to do the moves, which will get them over. Cornette said it’s hard for anybody to build up any dislike for the heel or hero worship for the face. Cornette bragged about how he can piss people off naturally. Bischoff said he’s beginning to love Cornette. Cornette ripped on Russo again saying he started seeing Bischoff in a new light. Hayes said that nobody loves to be hated anymore. (I don’t agree with that.)
Hayes talked about how they have all had some successful moments and asked the guys their greatest creation. Bischoff said that the greatest thing was creating live WCW Monday Nitro. Bischoff talked about how he made a list of things he felt they needed to do to beat WWE. Bischoff added that they wanted to be more reality based in their programming as clips aired of the New World Order. Bischoff talked about surprises like Lex Luger on WCW Nitro, giving away finishes of Raw matches and how he wanted to make a statement. Bischoff said that fans like the idea that anything can happen at any given moment.
Cornette said that a problem with WCW is that it became so over the top in the wrong direction and their heels became cool. Cornette added that in WWE the heels became cool like Degeneration X. Cornette noted that the heels running over the faces changed the dynamic and when the fans cheer the heels instead of the faces it messes things up. Hayes said that at the same time, the world was changing. Hayes said WCW capitalized on things with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash there while adding that WWE people thought that Vince McMahon sent Hall & Nash there. Bischoff joked that people thought maybe Vince McMahon sent Vince Russo to WCW to bury them. It was a joke that they all laughed about.
Cornette talked about his favorite run with the Midnight Express in the late 1980s. He spoke about how much fun he had doing promos about them and the guys were so good in the ring that they made it work. Cornette talked about how in the 1990s he enjoyed doing commentary a lot in WWE as well. He said hopefully his legacy is finding guys and giving them the platform to allow them to prosper.
Hayes talked about how he lives vicariously through creating matches for big stars. He said he loved the Freebirds and tried to recreate it with the Hardys, so then finally Vince asked him to be an agent. Hayes said it worked. Hayes spoke about how the funnest time he had was the first Undertaker/Shawn Michaels matchup at WrestleMania 25. Hayes suggested heaven vs. hell and Vince didn’t like it at first, but then they did it. Hayes said as good as the build was, the match was so good. He’s right. I think it’s the best match in WWE history. Clips aired of that match.
Bischoff asked Hayes if the high of helping people create matches is equal to or greater than performing in the ring. Hayes said it’s a different kind of high. He noted the one difference between the highs is he enjoys the journey as much as the destination. He’s learned to enjoy the journey and that’s important.
All three guys pitched big matches at WrestleMania next year with current WWE stars:
– Cornette joked about Cornette vs. Russo vs. Bischoff. Cornette suggested a submission match between Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe. Cornette said they’re two of the baddest guys in the locker room, so let’s see who would tap out.
– Bischoff suggested that by next year, Roman Reigns will find his inner heel. He said when Reigns finally embraces his inner heel, he’s going to be a rockstar. Bischoff suggested Reigns vs. Styles. They had two PPV matches last year, but not at a WrestleMania.
– Hayes talked about how Roman Reigns is similar to John Cena in that some people like them and some people don’t like them. Hayes said that when Reigns wins his matches, almost everybody pops for him. Hayes talked about how when Cena first came to Raw (in 2005) he wasn’t getting the positive response he got on Smackdown. Hayes said they thought they would turn Cena, but they didn’t. Hayes pointed out Cena’s incredible longevity of being on top in WWE for longer than anybody. Hayes wanted to see Reigns vs. Cena.
— WWE (@WWE) May 30, 2017
They wrapped it up with Cornette taking another shot at Russo. Cornette told Bischoff he’s not as bad as he thought. Bischoff said he’s enjoyed this and said that Cornette is an intelligent guy. Cornette and Bischoff shook hands while Hayes celebrated that. The others shook Hayes’ hand and that was it after 20 minutes.
It was a fun show as expected. Cornette is quite a character that tends to overreact and over-exaggerate things, but that’s part of his appeal. Once he gets serious you can tell how smart he is about the wrestling business and you can always learn from the things he says. Bischoff seemed to let the conversation come to home rather than trying to start much of it. Hayes spoke the least amount among the three. I’m glad he was there because he has a connection to both guys and he’s a big name backstage in WWE, so he’s the most familiar with the current product.
I love Cornette, but he basically held a grudge with Bischoff for over 20 years because of something he thought Bischoff did with promo editing that Bischoff likely had no role in. That’s why Cornette is so hard headed about some things. If he thinks one way about something he’s going to stick with it.
I liked the part where they talked about the matches they would pick for WrestleMania next year. Two of them picked Roman Reigns, which is pretty telling.
Last month when Cornette was asked about taping this show, he noted that they talked for 90 minutes, yet this show was only 20 minutes. It would be nice if WWE released the rest of it because I thought it was really entertaining. I doubt that happens, but it would be cool.
If you are familiar with these performers and are interested in some behind the scenes stories as well, you’ll enjoy this show as much as I did. I’m a big fan of Table for 3. They do a great job of covering a lot while also leaving me wanting more.
Check out our Table for 3 archives for recaps of other editions of this WWE Network show.