On the latest episode of his 83 weeks podcast Eric Bischoff spoke about the popular WCW cruiserweights division and how they influenced the pro-wrestling stars in WWE and AEW today. Highlights are below.
How the cruiserweights from WCW influenced the likes of the Young Bucks and other talents in AEW and WWE:
The Cruiserweight division and the talent represented there probably had as much to do with the success of [WCW Monday Nitro] as the nWo. I don’t think people recognize it. The talent in that division not only helped Nitro consistently defeat WWE, it forced WWE as much as the nWo to change the way they presented their product. That talent is the reason why guys like The Young Bucks are on television today. They set the standard, they changed the paradigm of what the audience thought of when they thought of a professional wrestler. They changed the level of expectations in terms of what should happen physically in the ring. The cruiserweight division and everyone involved in it set a standard that people in so many companies today, including WWE and AEW, those opportunities wouldn’t exist today had it not been for the talent, and the execution, and industry-changing impact those talents had at that time. We’re still seeing it today.
How he now recognizes that he didn’t give the cruiserweights the respect they deserved during that time in WCW:
I know where I f***ed up, I didn’t recognize it. I didn’t recognize it ’til long afterwards. As I reflect now and analyze things now, I analyze things much differently today. My perspective on things has changed dramatically. You don’t recognize history for what it is while it’s happening, you recognize history for what it is after it’s happened, oftentimes well after it’s happened. I recognized I didn’t give the cruiserweights the same level of respect or recognition at the time as I do today.
How his goal with WCW was to go after the 18-49 demographic that WWE wasn’t attacking:
My choice was: can I beat them at what they are already good at? Where I saw the void was in the 18-49 year old demo because I knew that’s where the money was from an advertising point of view. If I can’t compete with them at what they’re already good at, why not compete with them in a segment of the audience they’re not engaging?