Eric Bischoff has worn many hats in the pro wrestling business, and that impressive collection continues to grow.
You can now add host to that ensemble.
Bischoff, 63, co-host of the new weekly podcast "83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff" on Westwood One, also hosted the Legends of the Ring, featuring Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan, on Saturday at the Hard Rock Event Center at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in South Florida.
The intimate night with two of the greatest of all time attracted about 1,100 fans. After participating together in a meet-and-greet, Flair and Hogan were greeted with standing ovations as they shared the stage to talk shop for about two hours. Bischoff, who opened by asking about their favorites when they were young fans, guided the ship throughout. Mostly they fielded questions from appreciative fans during a Q&A. Plenty of stories, eliciting memories, cheers and laughs ... and Wooos, of course.
It marked the second time Flair and Hogan joined forces for this type of one-of-a-kind experience, the first in February at the Hard Rock in Hogan's hometown Tampa. With Flair and Hogan on the Mount Rushmore of pro wrestlers, impacting pop culture and the success of the South Florida event, the plan is to do this at Hard Rocks around the world.
Since this event occurred in Florida, the legends discussed Championship Wrestling from Florida and the late, great American Dream Dusty Rhodes.
Jimmy Hart, who greeted fans and posed for photos with them at the door, was the emcee.
Pro wrestling aficionado Chris Van Vliet of WSVN's Deco Drive interviewed the legends together before the show. Afterward, Van Vliet traveled to Deerfield Beach, serving as ring announcer for a BluePrint Pro Wrestling indie show.
When discussing "Wooo," Hogan told CVV, "Charlotte does it better."
Flair responded: "Yea, she does, and she can wrestle better, too"
Hogan added: "Than both of us put together."
Flair continued: "Yea, the queen. She's rocking it. She does everything better than me."
Hogan interjected: "No. No. No. No. She doesn't do a better strut than her dad."
Hogan updates the status of a possible WWE return and more.
Here is the complete interview.
In an interview the day before the show — inside the Hard Rock Event Center — I interviewed Bischoff about various subjects. One segment tackles his new podcast, WCW alum Dennis Rodman going to Singapore with President Trump for a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a cool story about The Greatest Muhammad Ali.
"Dennis is friends with Donald Trump, and Dennis is friends with Kim Jong Un," Bischoff said. "Who better to bring? Who would you bring?"
Rodman, an NBA Hall of Famer and nWo alum, is a good choice. Muhammad Ali, too, if he was alive.
Bischoff said: "I brought Muhammad Ali to North Korea in 1995. I tired that once. It didn't work out quite that well for me as it did for Dennis Rodman, but I brought Muhammad Ali to Pyongyang, North Korea, as part of a big wrestling event called the World Peace Festival. It was a two-day event that drew over 350,000 people."
Bischoff admires and respects Ali and shares more of that story and other topics (mentioned above) in the video interview below.
His podcast is a topic covered..
Westwood One presents "83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff," a new weekly podcast, hosted by Bischoff and podcast maven Conrad Thompson (Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard, What Happened When with Tony Schiavone, Something Else to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard).
"I met Conrad a couple of years ago," Bischoff said. "Bruce [Prichard] had introduced me to Conrad. He said, 'Hey, there's this guy by the name of Conrad Thompson. He's a very successful mortgage banker in Huntsville, Alabama. He's a huge wrestling fan, and he would like to fly you to his home in Huntsville and just spend a few hours with him and about five or six of his buddies -- very small group -- and talk about wrestling.
"I went, 'Well, that's kind of weird, but sure. I'll do that.' That's how I met Conrad, and it was fun. Once he slipped about six or seven beers into me, things got a little heated. The questions got a little more intense, but fortunately everybody signed a non-disclosure agreement; so whatever happened at the Conrad Hilton stayed at the Conrad Hilton."
The process took some time.
"Fast forward a couple of years later, Conrad was doing a podcast with Ric Flair at the time," Bischoff said. "Conrad contacted Bruce and said, 'Let's do one together,' and their podcast took off. It's the No.1 wrestling related podcast in the universe. It's huge. Hugely successful.
"I saw the growth. I listened to the show. Having spent a little bit of time with Conrad, I knew his style. I knew he would compliment me and vice-versa. It would be a good contrast in personalities.
"So when Conrad suggested, 'Hey, maybe we do one together,' or perhaps I suggested it. I can't remember now. We said, 'Let's do it.' We waited for a few months to actually launch, but I'm really glad we did, because we're nipping at Bruce Prichard's heels. We're not No.1, but damn we're close. "
About 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff
Westwood One, the largest audio network in the U.S., announces its "83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff" podcast rocketed to the top of the Apple Podcasts charts every week since it launched in late April.
The show had a stellar debut at No.1 in the Sports & Recreation category and No.2 on Apple Podcasts' Top Podcasts chart.
The show features wrestling legend Eric Bischoff and popular wrestling podcaster Conrad Thompson taking a deep dive into the highs and lows of Eric's unparalleled success in the wrestling business. Eric’s story is extraordinary: In the mid-80s, he entered the wrestling community as a C-Team Announcer, and a few short years later, he was President of Turner Broadcasting’s World Championship Wrestling.
Eric signed Hulk Hogan and started Turner Network Television’s "Monday Night Nitro", created the nWo, and beat Vince McMahon's "Monday Night Raw" head-to-head in the Monday Night Wars 83 consecutive times. Now he’s revealing what happened behind the scenes every Monday on "83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff" — available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, WestwoodOnePodcasts.com and the Westwood One Podcasts App.
On each episode, Eric and Conrad tackle topics chosen by listeners on social media. They believe fan interactivity is one of the reasons why the show is performing so well.
My Pro Wrestling on the Web and Social Media
YouTube: jim varsallone (jimmyv3 channel)