In the high-stakes era of the Monday Night Wars, where WWE and WCW vied for the top spot in wrestling's television ratings, the competition was fierce and often personal. The rivalry wasn't limited to the ring; it included a series of pointed barbs and strategic maneuvers designed to undermine the opponent's on-screen product.
Among the more notorious jabs were WWE's "Billionaire Ted" skits, a direct swipe at WCW's then-owner, media titan Ted Turner. On the latest installment of his podcast "Strictly Business," former WCW President Eric Bischoff revisited the episode where WCW executives showed Turner the parody skits.
A strategy was employed to ensure Turner wouldn't come across the skits inadvertently and potentially react unfavorably. Surprisingly, Turner's response was far from negative. Bischoff recounted, with a touch of humor, how Turner reacted when presented with the skits by WCW officials.
"Ted found them absolutely hilarious," Bischoff recalled. "It was either Bill Shaw or Harvey Schiller who decided to bring them to Ted's attention—regrettably, I wasn't in the room—but from what I heard, Ted couldn't stop laughing.
He genuinely enjoyed them."
Bischoff's Unruffled Stance
The skits failed to ruffle Bischoff himself. He once reached out to Vince McMahon to express his amusement and encouraged WWE to continue producing them. Bischoff and the WCW leadership chose not to address the skits on their programming, aiming to maintain an unruffled demeanor publicly.
However, behind the scenes, Bischoff concedes that WCW relished the psychological sparring with McMahon's WWE. Bischoff's revelation offers a rare glimpse into the lighter side of one of the wrestling industry's most intense periods.
This candid look into Turner's reaction underscores the complex dynamics of the wrestling world and the unexpected sportsmanship between rivals. It also highlights the industry's unique culture, where the line between competition and entertainment often blurs, delighting fans and insiders alike.
As the tale of the Monday Night Wars continues to fascinate wrestling enthusiasts and serve as a testament to the era's cutthroat business tactics, it is stories like these that add a human touch to the legendary rivalry.
Whether it's on search engines or wrestling forums, this insider anecdote is a cherished addition to the trove of wrestling history.