Eric Bischoff is a former WCW President and he spoke about WCW giving away free tickets to fill up empty arenas. Bischoff spoke about it on the latest episode of his podcast. WCW was the only promotion that came close to putting WWE out of business.
WCW was eventually bought out by WWE which ended the Monday Night Wars. According to Bischoff, WCW’s downfall started in the 90s. WCW used to give away free tickets to fill up arenas. According to Bischoff, this was a bad practice as people would just wait for the free tickets instead of actually buying them.
So the company would end up losing money
Bischoff on WCW's downfall and habit of giving away free tickets
"I didn't feel defeated, I was frustrated with the fact that WCW papered so many houses for so long," Bischoff said.
"Every television show - papered. Every pay per view - heavily papered. Clash of Champions - heavily papered. It doesn't take long for the audience to realize that you don't have to buy tickets and just wait 'til the last minute; they're gonna be free.
They'll put them on your windshield while you're at 7-eleven buying a Slurpee. "That was the marketing strategy for WCW in the early '90s. You manifest your own destiny when you do that when you condition your audience to know you're going to give away tickets every time you come to town.
It makes it so difficult to change that perception and reality. All these things and mistakes WCW was making were driving me nuts, because people wouldn't listen, they wouldn't see." Bischoff stated that WCW was not promoting the same way the WWF was back in the 90s.
WCW talent was the problem according to him, it was the management that was the problem. "I didn't look at it as a talent problem as much as I looked at it as a structural WCW problem," Eric Bischoff said. "Marketing, promotion, positioning.
Once you throw in the towel and quit trying to figure out why you're a distant number 2-- why isn't the audience coming? Until you start having those conversations with each other, you're basically throwing in the towel and accepting the fact that you're always going to be a 2nd run.
I was either too naïve or too stubborn to fall into that way of thinking. One of the reasons I was the antichrist of WCW was because my opinion of what WCW needed to do was so alien and 180 degrees from what everybody internally in WCW [wanted to do].
I felt like we were too southern, we were too small. We didn't position ourselves, even with our characters, the way we needed to position ourselves."