On the latest edition of his 83 Weeks podcast longtime promoter and wrestling personality Eric Bischoff spoke about his old nemesis Vince Russo, claiming that Russo never understood what the wrestling audience wanted. He also discusses the importance of TV ratings, as that caters to advertisers. Highlights are below.
Says Vince Russo never understood what a wrestling audience actually wanted:
You could have given Vince Russo six years and it wouldn’t have mattered. You’ve got to understand the wrestling audience. You can’t go out and live your prepubescent fantasies inside a wrestling ring and think the masses, the audience is going to enjoy it. I mean, this is so bad in the things that the supporters of Vince—I don’t know who the fuck the supporters of Vince Russo were, clearly they knew less about television than Russo did. I could talk all I want, some people are going to agree with me, some people will disagree with me, I don’t really care. Wrestling is, and always has been great characters and great story, that’s it.
The importance of ratings to advertisers:
Yes, television is about ratings. You touched on it. If you don’t have ratings, you’re not selling advertising. You could have ratings and still not be able to sell advertising. Advertising and ratings go hand in hand. If you’re not delivering at least a reasonable audience that includes a demographic that advertisers are interested in, they are not going to buy your show. They’re not going to spend money inside of your show or to your point earlier—and this was always a big challenge for wrestling in general across the boards— wrestling has always been that ‘Ehhh, yeah we know people watch it but we don’t really want to be seen in that.’ That was the stigma associated with pro wrestling from the ’60s and the ’70s and even in the ’80s and yes into the ’90s. It wasn’t until really I think about the early 2000s, 2005, 2010, when that really began to change. It started slowly changing and now it’s dramatically changed.