During a recent episode of 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff spoke about how he used to think taking signs away from fans was the right move, but has since changed his opinion on the matter. Here’s what he had to say:
It was my decision. Turner didn’t have any influence; they could have, but that didn’t happen. WCW was about as autonomous an operation as it could possibly be. At least, it was for 1993, ’94, ’95, ’96. It started to change, but for that 3 or 4 [year] period of time, we were very autonomous. We had very little influence, control, concern, or communication from anybody from Turner Broadcasting unless we did something really f***ing stupid.
Looking back, I think it was the wrong decision. WWE has probably followed in my footsteps of wrong decisions in some cases. I think the fact that there’s such a strict ban on signs in WWE is one of the reasons it’s lost some of its energy. When you let fans express themselves, when you let them come in and tell you how they feel, cheer on their favorites, take shots at people that are not their favorites, that’s part of the fun. When you take the fun away from the crowd, it definitely affects it.
You’ll notice that when Nitro came along, I reversed my decision and started encouraging signs. So much so that I would grab signs that I found entertaining and walk to the ring with them, showing them to the camera because I knew they would get a lot of attention. I wasn’t necessarily doing that because I loved the sign so much, but it was my way of communicating to the audience that when you come to Nitro, it’s a party and you can bring your sh** and have fun.
I know sometimes the signs are a pain in the ass and people do things and write things that are inappropriate, or go against the creative grain, but that’s the fun of it. That’s what makes wrestling fun. Just like tailgating made football fun.
You can listen HERE.
Credit: 83 Weeks. H/T WrestlingInc.