Recently on Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast, Conrad Thompson talked to Sam about why Something Else to Wrestle With was delayed this week, working with Eric Bischoff, and more. The following are highlights supplied to PWTorch.com by Sam Roberts…
•Conrad Thompson on why this week’s Something Else to Wrestle was delayed:
“I did say that I wanted to cover some controversial topics, and one of those controversial topics I knew was happening this week, so I thought, wow, that would be good timing. That was on the list, and we did a format, and everybody in the studio said that we couldn’t do it, then we got to the tippy top and they said to absolutely do it, but then some wrinkles happened, and they said, okay, maybe this isn’t the best time, let’s table it for now and give us something else.
“We did, WWECW, and I thought that would be a fun one because I am passionate about ECW, Bruce Prichard is not. We are going to bicker back and forth, and that is also the hilarious story from the podcast where we see Vince McMahon teaching Kelly Kelly how to dance, and I thought, man, we need a video version of that. That would be tremendous. So, we taped an ECW version of the podcast, but along the way – again, I shared my format ahead of time so they know what is coming. They never asked for the format ahead of time, and they know what is coming. They never asked for the format. They didn’t approve a topic or ask for a topic. I did ask for a pretty controversial one, and you can probably guess what that is to what is happening this week and what is happening this weekend.
“I’m thinking, okay, that is what we are going to talk about, and everybody loved it at the top, but some Lawyer somewhere thought, hey, let’s wait a few weeks, we said okay, let’s do the ECW one. Well, apparently, there were some things that we weren’t supposed to talk about in there and you can probably guess what we are talking about. They wanted to cut him out, but there were some things that they want erased from history, but I thought, yeah, but we have to talk about him, so, we did our show like we normally do, and the guys in the studio thought that we handled it the right way. When we got the rough cut we thought that this is something we should talk about. Bruce Prichard agreed, and ultimately the decision was made not to be overwritten.
“We do have creative control in our contract and we do have final say. If you are going to cut out the parts where we say Federation or g–d—, or mother f—-r, okay, but if you are going to change the content of the show I don’t want that. Here is what I had in mind. We went back and forth. I feel like the show that is going to air about WWECW I feel is a show that we are going to be proud of and it’ll be the show that we were looking for. To pretend that something didn’t happen and that we are going to whitewash what ECW was, because forever, Bruce would say that it was a dead brand. ECW sucked, they didn’t have any talent or money, which was why they went out of business; that’s just not true. It was the hottest selling DVD. It did phenomenally on pay-per-view, it did have an audience, it could have been successful, but they screwed it up. That is the story that they should tell.
“If we really are trying to be true to the Something to Wrestle fans and give them what the want, we should tell the real version of the story, not the whitewashed WWE version. I felt that with the editing that was what it was going to look like, so we were going back and forth, and I don’t believe it is going to happen again because I feel like we have an understanding of what we are looking for in the show and they sort of know, and they will probably have a little bit more time to pull some clips out and put some edits together, it’s not the end of the deal. There is no trouble in paradise.”
•Conrad on The WWE Network show concept, and WWE’s control
“We ran a couple of topics up the flagpole, and we did that in the beginning of the season. They said that we can do whatever we want and cover whatever want. Once we understood to not say God D—, or F—. If you do say it, that’s fine, we can edit out, and also try not to say WWF, or Federation because we are recording this after 2002. I said, hey Bruce, let’s map out the schedule and let’s start with a brand new episode to get everybody to watch and then I would like to do a lot of repeats that really could leverage their library.
“My idea was, man, this Something to Wrestle podcast, the original show we were doing, would be tremendous if we can slice in whatever topic we were talking about like the old Legends of Wrestling thing. That was the whole plan with this. Of course, a lot of people wanted to see new content. The new content that I wanted you to see was this archival footage that they own, that they really have no reason to use. Like, when they shot these old vignettes back in the day, they didn’t just start rolling tape and stop rolling tape on the perfect cut and that was all their was. There was lots of other stuff they happened to capture while they were getting ready to get the shot and I wanted you to see some of that, so, the guys in the studio all listen to the podcast and they love it.
“I shared my format with them ahead of time so if we are going to tape it on a Friday I will send it on a Wednesday. If we are going to tape it on a Sunday I will send it on a Thursday or Friday. That would give them a few days to pull clips so that they can slice it together. I’m not sending them a script for approval, I am sending them a format so they have a jumpstart on pulling the tapes because they have hundreds of hours there. I understand that piece. They never asked us to get a list approved.”
•Conrad on Eric Bischoff “lying” about not offering Bret Hart a contract:
“It is one of those famous stories [regarding Bret Hart being offered a contract by Eric Bischoff]. It’s one of those famous stories. This exists in everything; it’s the whole fish-tail stories about catching a big fish, and when you ask other people who were on the boat they have a different account, but that is that way with divorce, business, or sports. My grandfather used to walk to school everyday with a hill both ways. That’s not even possible. It’s one of those sort of those deals.
“I never take it personal when someone is just remembering something wrong. I don’t believe that Eric Bischoff believes he was lying. It is that old George Costanza line of it not being a lie if I believe it. Well, he believed it in that moment. When someone produces evidence to prove otherwise, you don’t consider him a conman, it’s what the Dave Meltzer’s of the world say. To Dave Meltzer, this was his job to cover all of this, analyze it, and to refer back to it. He has covered it in great detail for over 30 years. For Eric Bischoff, it was a deal he tried to put together 20 years ago that didn’t happen. If you go back and try to quiz me about mortgages I put together 18 years ago that didn’t happen. It’d be easier for me to say that I never did that.”
LISTEN TO THIS FULL PODCAST HERE.
Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast is published every Thursday morning on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, notsam.com, and wherever podcasts are available.
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