Eric Bischoff’s career in wrestling has seen him have his fair share of both success stories and mistakes. WCW is how fans will always remember Bischoff given his role in leading the company to the top of the Monday Night Wars ratings battle for 83 weeks. Bischoff’s unique vision helped push the business forward with WWE’s success. Unfortunately, his bad decisions also played a huge role in the company going downhill.
The next run in TNA would see more issues come up for Bischoff as his goal of competing with WWE again failed. Bischoff now has returned to WWE after a few years away from the business. The role as one of the important people running Smackdown will see him try to help WWE’s ratings improve as they head over to FOX. We will look at both sides of his career with five times Eric Bischoff got it right and five times he didn’t.
10 Got it right: Goldberg's undefeated streak
Goldberg was the first major new star WCW built that did not have an established history elsewhere. Eric Bischoff saw something special in Goldberg and decided to push him right away in the biggest way possible. Goldberg debuted with an undefeated streak destroying his opponents with ease.
The idea made Goldberg a star within a few months. Fans were clamoring for him to get to the top of the card. Goldberg defeated Hollywood Hogan to win the WCW Championship within a year of debuting. Bischoff certainly made the right call banking on Goldberg given the success that followed him.
9 Didn’t: Reuniting the nWo Wolfpac and Hollywood
The New World Order grew to absurd sizes with too many members. It led to the group splitting into two factions with Hulk Hogan leading the heel nWo Hollywood side and Kevin Nash leading the beloved nWo Wolfpac. Fans loved the Wolfpac which helped Nash become one of the top faces in the company.
Eric Bischoff made a bad call to reunite the two factions of the nWo with Hogan once again leading them and winning the WCW Championship via the finger poke of doom. WCW started to see the gap behind WWE grow during this time as fans lost interest in the product.
8 Got it right: Bringing back Lex Luger
Lex Luger wasn’t the best in-ring worker in WCW by any means, but he was pushed as a top star which made fans treat him as such. WWE didn’t find the same level of success with Luger. It led to Luger making a deal with Eric Bischoff to return to WCW on the first-ever episode off Nitro.
WWE was not aware of this and would be blindsided by the moment of Luger showing up on the new show. WCW sent a message that this was going to be a war as it did indeed start the Monday Night Wars. Bischoff wasn’t fond of Luger, but he made the right call bringing the WCW legend back.
7 Didn’t: Turning Diamond Dallas Page heel before first title win
Diamond Dallas Page was one of the best organic stories of a beloved face wrestler getting over with the fans. The big moment of turning down the New World Order made Page a star at the top of the card. WCW would see him do well in feuds with top names like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and Goldberg.
DDP won his first WCW Championship in a fatal four way against Hogan, Sting and Ric Flair with Savage as the guest referee. This was a few weeks after Page turned heel for the first time in years. Fans were confused on how to react. Eric Bischoff turning DDP heel took away from a great feel-good moment.
6 Got it right: Having Sting adopt new gimmick to face Hogan and nWo
Sting’s character change to enter the Crow era of his gimmick was a huge game changer for WCW. The New World Order manipulated the WCW wrestlers and fans into losing Sting’s trust when they had a fake Sting help them out on multiple occasions.
Eric Bischoff let the story play out for over a year until Sting finally had his first match back defeating Hulk Hogan for the WCW Championship. This match was booked poorly, but the storyline itself was the greatest one in WCW history.
5 Didn’t: Having Madusa throw WWE Women's Championship in trash
Eric Bischoff loved pulling stunts that insulted or humiliated WWE. The mindset of Bischoff started the war between both companies with nothing off limits. Bischoff signed back Madusa aka WWE’s Alundra Blayze during her reign as the WWE Women’s Championship.
The idea of Bischoff would have Madusa return by throwing the WWE title into a trash can on live television. It ended the WWE women’s division for a few years and made them look bad. WCW also looked terrible along the way with such a petty shot. Bischoff didn’t even push Madusa during her time in the company, so the segment was for nothing.
4 Got it right: Bringing in cruiserweights
WCW did a great job presenting their product as completely different to WWE. One of the cooler differences was the international flair in the cruiserweight division. Eric Bischoff signed top talents from all over the world and gave them the platform of the division with smaller wrestlers.
Rey Mysterio, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho and others tore it up with show-stealing matches every week. Most of the wrestlers grew tired of not being elevated into more important storylines, but the cruiserweight division itself helped WCW in a huge way.
3 Didn’t: Making TNA compete against Raw
The TNA run of Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan running the show led to huge disappointment from management and the fan base. Dixie Carter brought in Hogan and Bischoff hoping they’d recapture the magic from WCW to truly compete with WWE for the first time.
Bischoff’s first major move was convincing the company to move their television show from Thursdays to Mondays. The hope was that it would instantly create a new version of the Monday Night Wars. TNA however received weak ratings that were a fraction of WWE’s numbers. Bischoff would make many more decisions to hurt TNA in the long run.
2 Got it right: Turning Hulk Hogan heel to join New World Order
The boldest move of Eric Bischoff’s career was pulling the trigger on turning Hulk Hogan heel to form the New World Order. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall promised a hostile takeover with a third mystery man leading them. Fans speculated every relevant name on the roster and from other companies.
No one could really believe it was Hogan until he hit the leg drop on Randy Savage to show the nWo to the world. This character change made the group legitimate and started WCW’s rise to the top of the industry. Hogan and the nWo would dominate the ratings for over a year.
1 Didn’t: Burying Ric Flair for personal reasons
One of the lowest moments of Eric Bischoff’s career featured his petty rivalry with Ric Flair. The two struggled to get along for almost their entire time working together. Bischoff tried to punish Flair for skipping an episode of Nitro to attend his son’s wrestling competition.
This caused things to get uglier with threats, lawsuits and a war of words all ensuing between the two. Flair even tried to attack Bischoff when the latter showed up at WWE. The two eventually made peace, but Bischoff going out of his way to bury and punish Flair was a huge negative from his time running WCW.