Posted January 26th, 2015 by Bill Apter

On the day of the Royal Rumble 2015, I attended an early afternoon special event with my Editor, Bill Apter, at Dave & Buster’s in Philadelphia.  The event was a big debate between former WCW executive producer Eric Bischoff and former WWE  Executive Bruce Prichard (aka Brother Love), who was Vince McMahon’s right hand man during the Monday Night Wars .  These two gentlemen had a debate about that subject and Chris Jericho was the moderator.

Prior to the debate, there were two autograph/photo op sessions.  One was in the Showroom with Bischoff and Prichard on stage.  The other one was in a small ballroom.  Jericho was signing autographs and posing for photos  with the fans.

The debate commenced shortly after 1pm,  in the Showroom.  The room was filled to capacity.   The overflow crowd saw many fans standing against the walls.

Jericho was the first person to appear and the fans were loving him.   He jokingly said that he was #31 in the Royal Rumble. The next person who came on stage was Prichard.  Finally, Bischoff came out to the nWo theme entrance.  I thought it was pretty cool when he added the nWo strut.

The debate at this event was mainly serious in tone,  but there were some humorous moments. Jericho asked about the mindset of having WCW Nitro go head-to-head with RAW on Monday nights.  According to Bischoff, it was Ted Turner’s idea to have WCW Nitro on Monday nights because he wanted it to be on primetime.  Prichard mentioned that they could have picked another night of the week, and it was more of a “declaration of war.”

They talked about occurrences that helped build the momentum of WCW Nitro and set the tone for Monday Night War – like the surprised appearances of Lex Luger, Madusa throwing away the WWE Women’s Title, the arrival of nWo and even giving away results from pre-taped Raw shows.  Bischoff replied that it was not personal.  He wanted to turn the business upside down and do something different.  He believed that people love to be surprised and have a feel of “spontaneous combustion”.  Prichard stated that it was taboo to give away finishes, and they had to combat a little bit by doing live voice overs.  They went into the discussion of Hall and Nash.  Bischoff wanted them to be more reality-based with a hint of character.  He got the idea of nWo over a period of time when he saw a lot of invasion storylines in Japan.

The invasion of DX in Norfolk, Rick Rude appearance at both shows on the same night and Mike Tyson were also brought up in the discussion.  Prichard revealed an interesting fact that the idea of Degeneration-X originally came from Bret Hart.  He also mentioned that when they had Mike Tyson involved in the Attitude Era and the feud between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon, WWF was building momentum.  Bischoff then talked about the fall of WCW.  He mentioned that the cause of the fall was due to a combination of things that had to do with Time Warner and Ted Turner not having power over WCW.

When a fan asked about WWF extending to 2 hours, Prichard replied that the reason why it took them a while to change the show to 2 hours was because they did not own the USA Network.  Jericho wanted to make the last question a good one – which genuinely was.  Another fan asked if there were any ideas or “what ifs” that never been in effect during the Monday Night Wars.  Bischoff brought up the idea of having Kiss give a concert in between matches before Y2K.  Prichard mentioned that they had the idea of Hulk Hogan passing the torch to Stone Cold Steve Austin.

The debate concluded with the participants thanking everyone.  Prichard said that he was overwhelmed and humbled about the event. My experience at this event was incredible.  There were some good serious questions coming from not only Jericho but from the fans as well.  Bischoff and Prichard even brought up interesting facts that many of us did not know.

One of the joking moments was about  the WCW wrestler named Glacier  and how he was not a reality based character. They even spoke about how the WWE almost went out of business and employees were even told “not to flush more than a few times a day” due to the cost of the water bills.

The participants did a great job telling their stories and keeping the audience totally focused on the debate.

I would like to thank Chris Jericho, Bruce Prichard and Eric Bischoff for their time with the fans and this amazing experience.  Also, it was truly a pleasure meeting these guys – and hugging Y2J.  Would I attend a similar event like this again? Absolutely!  Also thanks so much to www.rfvideo.com who produced this fantastic event- Lisa Williams

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