The Journal Of: Eric Bischoff
To preface this dynasty, I'm doing things a bit different. I have been running a 1998 mod as WCW. It is now Week 2, May 2000. The game began very rocky and I eventually gained the #1 company. The WWF came back and took over that spot but within the last month I was able to reclaim the top spot.
Business had never been better. I was making a multi-million dollar surplus each month, ratings were high, talent morale was at a peak, and plans were laid out. Things seemed at an all-time high for WCW. But then events occurred to drastically change things. My user character (Eric Bischoff) developed a hatred relationship with WCW's owner, Ted Turner. What happened? Well, that's all about to be laid out for you.
To give a run-down of what's transpired over the last nearly two years;
- Bill Goldberg is the current 3 time World Champion
- Lance Storm is the US Champion
- AJ Styles is the TV champion
- Rick Rude came out of retirement and held the World title for a period of time
- Scott Steiner held the World title from December 1998 - February 1999
- Chris Jericho is the highest paid worker in WCW.
You all are about to get a close look into the thoughts of Eric Bischoff and the events that have led up to this dynasty beginning nearly two years after the start of the game.
After everything I've done for this company....
Ted Turner wanted me to be the one to turn it around. I brought WCW out of the dingy, smoke filled bingo halls to selling out arenas world wide. I made everything work. I've re-established WCW to be the main wrestling organization again. I had my work cut out for me two years ago. I brought the sinking ship afloat again.
He wanted me to push Stevie Ray.
He wanted me to push La Parka.
He wanted record profits.
Most people said that I had it made, that my job was easy. All I had to do was book three shows a week. Two of the shows didn't even matter. All that mattered was that Nitro was a success. WCW was the company of the year for 1999. Turner wanted to make it sound like he wanted to win at all costs.....Then he pulled a move like this....
He's done nothing but stacked the deck on me. I made Bill Goldberg the world heavyweight champion for the third time. He was on a roll. For months Ted and I talked about making Goldberg the new figurehead of the company.
We had to face facts, Hulk Hogan was aging. His skills were diminishing and the fans were beginning to see his star power decline. A change had to be made. Chris Jericho had been pegged as the replacement, but he wasn't increasing the way we hoped. Then we thought about Booker T, but he wasn't so young anymore either. Not only that, but it seemed like his popularity had capped. Scott Steiner and Sting were also too old to make our new company face. We had some great prospects in our developmental system but they were nowhere ready yet.
The only logical choice was Goldberg. This man has an ungodly following.
PWI came out with their end of the year awards and named Goldberg the second most popular wrestler in the world. The world. Steve Austin was the only guy ahead of him.
So Goldberg comes up for contract negotiations and I know without a doubt Vince McMahon is going to be calling him and setting up a meeting. Goldberg came to me last week and told me just that - Vince McMahon reached out to him. I asked Bill what he was going to do? After all, Bill and I had become close over the last year and a half. After an unfortunate incident regarding him, he told me that he felt a level of gratitude that couldn't be repaid.
I knew that Vince was going to throw a bunch of money at him. I knew that I would be able to at least match him, not to mention I felt that Goldberg's loyalty would play a role.
I thought Goldberg would look at some of the other guys. Over the last almost two years, I was working hard at redeeming the reputation of several workers. Bam Bam Bigelow and Vader are two examples. I made Vader relevant again after a dismal run with the WWF. How was I repaid? Vader left me and went back to the WWF just so they could do nothing with him. Meng was another worker that I busted my ass on to make something of. When the time came, he also jumped ship and now look at him.....He's not even on most shows.
I figured Goldberg would look at the guys who went to the WWF and he would realize he would have much greener pastures in WCW. Hell, he even told he himself. All I had to do was present the contract to him.
So what happened? I had the WCW legal office type up my proposed contract renewal for Bill. As always, once I looked it over to make sure everything was correct, I faxed it over to Ted Turner. He sent it back to me not even 10 minutes later with "REFUSE" written on it. I immediately called him.
"What's this all about", I asked him.
"It's too much money! I'm not going to go more than $75,200", Ted said.
I said, "Are you insane??? If the fact he's considered the second most popular wrestler in the world isn't enough, he's our world champion. It's imperative that we keep him on! He's making nearly $68,000 as it is, that's hardly an increase!"
"You'll find a way to make it work, Eric." Was his response....
That wasn't even getting into the other finer details of the contract. What was I left to do??? I could offer Goldberg more years. I could offer him more percentage of shows and Pay Per Views. Ted even capped me at a signing bonus that was much less than what the WWF was offering. So I put the contract together and did what I could. I sent it to legal who did nothing but edit what I had already done, so I got it back quickly. I had to send this to Bill, but I didn't want to. He had already left me a message asking if I was sending the contract. He already got one from the WWF and was waiting on mine. I had to send it....
I put it in the fax machine and pressed "Send." I felt a wave of embarrassment flush over me. This was completely ridiculous. Ted felt the importance of pushing Stevie Ray and La Parka. He wanted me to push Psychosis. The only half way decent one was that he wanted me to push Kanyon, but he's been off in rehab most of the time. I managed to get La Parka pushed to his liking but not Stevie Ray. Despite a run with the TV title, there was only so much I could do for him. Turner was furious about that one. Maybe that's why he limited me so much with Bill, he wanted me to fail.
I just stood, looking at the fax machine as it completed its send. My phone rang 15 minutes later. Yep, it was Bill. I let it ring several times before answering. I just held my head in my hands as I put it on speaker phone.
Eric, I got the contract, but I think it's mis-typed.
I wish it were. "No, Bill, that's the right one. Trust me, I wish it were typed wrong also. Ted has limited me on what I can offer you. I know the WWF's offering you more, but I'm offering you more years and more cut of the shows. That's a larger cut than anyone's making, even Hogan."
We both knew I was grasping at straws.
"Man....I'm surprised, Eric. I mean, I'm the champion. Ted really wants to risk me leaving?? This contract is a joke, to put it bluntly."
I didn't disagree with him, but I couldn't outright tell him that. I had to do my best to sell the contract.
Look, Bill, I know you've got a good offer from Vince, but hear me out. Look at what they're doing with the guys that've left WCW. Look at what I managed to do with them. Half the time, they aren't even on the shows. They're put in matches that make no sense. Austin's their top worker and he's barely involved. You won't get used over there."
He thought for a moment. Yeah, well to be honest Eric, I could use a lesser schedule. They're offering me a ton of money then if I were to just sit at home half the time."
This was not going the direction I wanted it to be going in.
Bill, I get where you're coming from, but how willing would Vince be to forgive? I stood by your side awhile back, remember? I'm not trying to throw that in your face, but I proved to you that I'll do the right thing."
There was a long pause....
I know you did Eric, and I've never questioned you after that. I told you that I was more appreciative than I could ever demonstrate. I'll keep that in mind, Eric. I know everything you've done for me. I'll think about this and let you know what I decide, but I'll be honest, I'm really considering both options. I just want to be up front with you."
"Alright Bill, I can't ask for more than that."
I barely slept that night. I still had Thunder and Saturday Night to book. I just threw something together for Thunder, enough to get by. By the time Saturday Night came around, I just had no patience for it. I told Arn (Anderson) to put the card together and I'd look over it. It was good enough. Tuesday was the last I spoke to Bill, then he finally called me Sunday.
Eric, I just wanted you to be the first to hear.....
I'm taking the WWF deal."
Shit. Shit. Shit. I couldn't think anything else. I couldn't say anything else.
No hard feelings Eric, I know you tried, but it just makes more sense for me to take their deal, especially with some odd decisions you're basically being forced to make lately. Thanks for everything, and I'll still be available to be used for the next couple of weeks. We can figure out a way to get the title off of me. I'll be willing to work with you on it."
Truth is, I didn't blame Bill. I wasn't mad at him. I was furious. Not with Bill, but with Turner. How could he blatantly do that? Was he trying to sabotage his own company? That's the only thing I could think of. He's letting the second biggest name in the world leave, just like that. No fight. I couldn't even counter offer. I immediately called Ted.
Eric!!! Well tell me the good news, Bill signed his deal??"
"Are you delusional??", I asked him (rhetorically).
"He took the WWF deal, Ted. Who could blame him? Our deal was a joke and you should have known he was never going to accept it. I've done nothing but make this company successful again. We finally have a great roster of guys who are busting their ass, and what for? Just so when contracts come around, you'll let them leave and go to the WWF? I can't be successful with a revolving door, Ted. I'm done. If you want to run your company like this, fine, but I'm not going to be a part of it anymore."
I hung up the phone before he even had a chance to respond. Five minutes later, I faxed this;
Effective immediately, I hearby resign my position of Head of Talen Relations, Executive Vice President of WCW.
I just hope to God I'm making the right decision.....