During a recent episode of 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff discussed The Ultimate Warrior famously going over his time by nearly twenty minutes during his WCW debut promo. Here’s what he had to say:
Under 10. Probably 7 or 8, tops. Because keep in mind, we had to hit a commercial break. Fortunately, we were owned by the same company that owned the network we were on, so it was more of an internal problem or challenge or hiccup, whatever you want to call it, then anything else. Seven minutes tops. A five to seven minute promo, unless you’re really good at them, you can lose a lot of audience unless there is something really compelling going on, or the person who is cutting that promo is a great storyteller and has a big audience. You can have a great five to seven minute promo with certain people, under certain circumstances, but generally, you don’t want to go beyond that, even for something big. This one, and I’ll look it up, I remember looking at it a year or two ago, I think this one could have gone as long as 27 minutes. I don’t know anybody who can be out there for 27 minutes and hold an audience. I don’t think The Rock could do it. If anybody could, he could.
If it would have been anybody else, under any other circumstances, I could have improvised and made it work, but what was I going to do? Was I going to, you know me, as the President of the company, was I going to grab his mic and cut him off? That would have killed whatever chance he had of getting over if I had cut him off. Hogan was as shocked as I was. Brutus was too fucking stupid to think of anything to do.
It was, ‘Wrap it.’ That’s it. Just, ‘Wrap it.’
I wouldn’t have done that under any circumstances. It never occurred to me to try to improvise and pull something out of it that wasn’t planned because I wasn’t confident that anybody would have been prepared to do it. I wasn’t confident that Warrior would have been prepared. I wasn’t confident on how Warrior could or would react to it, because I had never worked with him before. I didn’t know if he was the kind of guy that could improvise. Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Randy Savage, oh hell yeah, I would have improvised. Mick Foley? Oh common, I would have relished the opportunity to improv that scene had it gone wrong with any of the aforementioned talent, but I didn’t have the confidence in Warrior. So there was nothing else to do but suffer through it.
I think we simultaneously looked at each other like a scene in a movie. We slowly looked at each other when we got away from everybody and it was like, what the fuck? We were shocked. We were just shocked. I’ve never experienced anything like it before, since, and I hope to never experience it again.
Yeah, to him it was like, he got caught up in the moment, and I understand that, because Warrior was, when I say he lived that character, I’m not exaggerating.
I think he knew he screwed up but I don’t think he felt the same way about it that I did, or Hulk did, he felt like he got out there and was able to speak to his Warriors and did what he wanted to do and realized he went over, but I don’t think he understood how far over he went because he was in the moment, he got lost in it, I don’t think he realized he was out there for over 20 minutes.
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Credit: 83 Weeks. H/T 411Mania.