During the 83 weeks that Nitro defeated Monday Night RAW in the ratings, everyone was certain that Bischoff's driving force was to put WWE out of business.
It turns out that was the thought that nearly everyone had except for one important person: Eric Bischoff himself.
During a recent edition of his podcast, 83 Weeks, Bischoff spoke about his competitive drive to defeat WWE in the ratings but claimed that his goal was never to defeat his competition to the point that they would cease to exist.
"The narrative over the past 20 or more years has been how I was so single-mindedly focused on simply putting WWF out of business, and I have said this before, but that is not true. I may have said some outrageous s**t, part of that was to try and motivate people. Part of that was to get my character over because I knew some of that would leak, part of it was me being me," Bischoff said. "It wasn't necessarily me wanting to put them out of business; I was focused on being number one. Whether I was number one by a mile and they went out of business, or whether I was number one by a mile and they were a solid number two really didn't matter to me. Nobody is ever going to believe that, but me, but I really don't give a s**t at this point in my life, but it's true."
While Bischoff admitted that WWE going out of business could have been a by-product of his goal of winning the ratings wars, he just wanted to win period and he didn't care whether they stayed in business or not.
Bischoff continued, "While I was happy to have beaten them soundly in the ratings, it wasn't like, 'Oh my God, they're almost dead! We're so close.' It wasn't that; it was just another week of us proving that we were on the right track, we had a great formula. We were getting support from Turner Broadcasting, we were getting interest from sponsors, and the international market place. All of those things that were difficult for WCW to even think about. Nobody could even think about that or have a realistic conversation without people pissing their pants if they were trying to talk about beating WWF in the international market place, or outselling arenas, or having bigger buy rates, whatever. Nobody could have that conversation two, three years up until this point."
Bischoff's comments indicate that he increased morale within WCW during this time. The company had long been an embarrassment for Turner Broadcasting up until the tide changed in the Monday Night Wars, and Bischoff's reveal that WCW started to receive respect within the organization where just a couple of years earlier executives were advocating to cease WCW's operation is interesting.
"Now that we were actually achieving things that nobody else believed we could achieve, there was a level of confidence, not arrogance and I am not talking about myself I am talking about in the office that all of a sudden people were believing in themselves, and suddenly a rating where we were getting a 3.1 and they were getting a 1.5 all that made us do was that it gave us more confidence that we were on the right track," Bischoff said.
[H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.]