Eric Bischoff Reveals Key Details of Failed Fusient WCW Relaunch

Eric-Bischoff has a new article looking at WCW’s promotion for a “Big Bang” PPV in 2001, which would have served as a relaunch for the promotion. Here are highlights from an interview with Eric Bischoff:

On knowing the end was coming for WCW: “Toward the end of 1998, around August, it started to become very apparent to me that the Time Warner conglomerate [which owned Turner Broadcasting Systems] really didn’t want WCW to survive. It was obvious to me because of the things they were doing to us — reallocating budgets that had already been allocated and cutting budgets that had already been approved six months or a year in advance. [WCW] wasn’t going to survive it. I said as much to [then-president of Turner Entertainment] Brad Siegel. I simply told him, ‘You don’t really want to fix it, so why don’t you sell it while there is still something left to sell?’”

On the relaunch: “We were going to shut it down for a period of time, then relaunch. We needed a clean piece of paper to draw on. We couldn’t reach into the trash, pick out the crumbled and trampled creative — that had been WCW for the last year-and-a-half — and try to make people feel good about that again. In order for the relaunch to feel like one, it had to go away. The thinking was, let’s get people talking about the new WCW and what it was going to look like and feel like.”

On planning it ahead of time: “We had to plan six months in advance — minimum — with a lot of the creative. The branding and the location of the event — the big ticket items, if you will— had to be planned six months out. Big Bang pay-per-view ads were probably pretty generic because I doubt we had it figured out at the time.”

The article also reveals that once ECW folded, Joey Styles was going to be the announcer of the new WCW. Styles said: “Eric sent me to meet with Brian Bedol in Manhattan to talk about what I would do for WCW. I would be the lead announcer and I would work in digital media. I did not agree to do this with Eric until it was obvious that ECW was finished. I suggested Don Callis, who was my color commentator for ECW pay-per-views, to Eric. He and I were a very good team. I heard rumors that my other announcer was going to be Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, who at the time was not with WWE.