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83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff

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3 hours ago, RazorbladeKiss87 said:

Are the watch-alongs archived? I work weird hours so I doubt I'd be able to catch them live.

All the Patreon content is archived. 

Ironically, I cancelled my Patreon membership for 83 Weeks today, so I wouldn't be billed for the month of March.  When I first signed up, Eric Bischoff was posting daily updates (his goofy "Ass-Crack of Dawn" show) every day, plus doing 2-3 extra chats, Q&A's or match watch-alongs per week.  Unfortunately, over the last month or so, that has pretty much dried up.  I don't watch his "ACD" show because I am not getting up early in the morning just to watch him read the newspaper live and chat with him about the news.  Plus, he appears to have stopped doing that anyway.  I really liked the chats and Q&A's and especially the matches, but he isn't doing them as much (or at all) so right now the only benefit of being a Patreon supporter is getting the weekly show a day early, and without ads.  That's not worth the money, to me. I am on Disability Pay right now, every dollar counts. To save $10.00 a month, I can wait an extra day and put up with Eric and Conrad talking about "Blue Chew." 

I should note, he apparently has posted some limited bonus content a couple of times over the past month, but it has only been available to the $99.00 a month level supporters, not people on my level. I'm sorry, I am not going to pay that much for anything, I don't care what it is.  That's just insane.  I really like 83 Weeks, it's my favorite podcast for sure, but if the day ever comes where I feel the need to pay a hundred bucks a month to chat with Eric Bischoff, I will tell my family that I need to be put down.  I wouldn't pay that much money if he volunteered to come to my house and watch the shows with me, and then clean my apartment and shovel my driveway afterward.  I can't conceive of anybody paying that much as a Patreon supporter, I don't care what the benefits are.

In fairness, I know Eric has been exceptionally busy lately - he has mentioned it in the update emails they send out.  I know he went to Japan to be part of the Masa Saito memorial, then he was in Los Angeles for the whole Hulk Hogan Biopic movie deal (which he is apparently producing) and on top of that he and Conrad are doing a fairly regular schedule of live shows.  Plus he has a family and a ton of other business interests. I am sure he just doesn't have a time to sit around doing live chats with his Patreon supporters, that's fine. But if you want people to pay money every month, you need to consistently provide the content you said you would. 

I'm still a huge fan, but unless they up the amount of content for the Patreon supporters and do it on a consistent basis, I am not paying for it anymore.  It started off great, but in the end it wasn't worth the money.

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To me, $5 is the benchmark price for Patreon content since that is what shows like Chapo, etc. charge and they lead the way on the platform.  There’s no way I’d pay $10 just to not have ads but there’s a sucker born every second in the wrestling fanbase.  I have no idea why anyone would give a couple carnies $99 a month but much respect for the grift.

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On 3/2/2019 at 10:58 AM, Zoo Enthusiast said:

 I have no idea why anyone would give a couple carnies $99 a month but much respect for the grift.

I saw a fan on Twitter claim Russo and Disco were the only people in wrestling he still followed. Think about that for a minute. It takes all kinds.

NOT that I'm equating @The Thread Killer's Patreon support of Eric Bischoff with that. Not at all. I'm just responding to your comment. 

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The main point here is that there is a hell of a big difference between paying $9.00 a month and $99.00 dollars a month to support the show with Patreon, obviously.

I thought paying $9.00 bucks a month was fair to support the show, when I was getting:

  • 83 Weeks a day early every week, before it was released to the public
  • No ads during the show
  • Bonus content weekly, such as live Q&A's, watch-alongs, and bonus shows - which worked out to at least 2-3 times per week.

That is what I got for a couple of weeks.  When I first signed up as a Patreon supporter I actually couldn't keep up with the bonus content. The first two weeks there were live Q&A video chats with Eric where he would open the phone lines up and you could call and talk to him, a couple of watch-alongs that were chosen by the Patreon members, and bonus shows.  Specifically, they did a full length bonus episode about the launch of AEW which was exclusive to Patreon supporters.  On top of that, there was his live daily morning chat/current events show.

The problem was, it all dried up after a couple of weeks.  Just the weekly show early and without ads, and that's it. Then he did post a couple of bonus shows, but made them exclusive to the $99.00 a month members.  That's when I cancelled my membership.

Like I said earlier, I can see paying ten bucks a month as a Pateron supporter, provided the content is there.  I don't care WHAT they are offering, there is no way in hell I would ever pay a hundred bucks a month to support a podcast, I don't care what the circumstances are.  That's just insane.

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I know, @The Thread Killer. You don't have to defend paying $9 a month. Sorry if it sounded like I was attacking that. I wasn't. 

From what you've described both now and before, it seemed like a really good deal at first. Since then, the content has dried up for whatever reason. But yeah, if it ever goes back to what it was those first couple of weeks, I think $10 seems like a good value for something you obviously really enjoy.

$100 a month is insane no matter what it is.

If Bischoff is getting even a few people to spend $100, I have to imagine Russo and other fringe/niche characters are probably making a bit of money too. (Not that I'm equating Bischoff with Russo - not at all - I'm just saying that there's clearly money to be made.)

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Isn't the $100 tier basically a way to get invited to a party at Conrad's house? Not something I'd pay for, but I get the appeal to the podcast marks.

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8 minutes ago, Migs said:

Isn't the $100 tier basically a way to get invited to a party at Conrad's house? 

Considering what we know of his friends (Casio Kid anyone ?) and sense of humour (Casio Kid anyone ?), this sounds like complete hell.

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7 hours ago, C.S. said:

You don't have to defend paying $9 a month. Sorry if it sounded like I was attacking that. I wasn't.

It's all good brother, I didn't take it as an attack at all. :D

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I don't think it's any coincidence that as the Patreon content dried up over the past few weeks, the overall quality of the actual weekly episodes of 83 Weeks dipped as well.  Specifically, I wasn't crazy about the "Ask Eric Anything" or the "Ric Flair turns 70" shows.  Prior to those two episodes, the entire run of Starrcade, Souled Out and Superbrawl shows had been the highlight of this podcast so far and Eric and Conrad were really firing on all cylinders.  However, I found that Eric sounded kind of tired and a bit out of it during the Ask Eric Anything show.  From the sound of his voice, I also suspect he may have been drinking during that show (as he has during some others) because his focus tended to wane, the longer the show went on. For example, he was asked about the logistics of producing the World War III battle royal, and he started talking about War Games - and Conrad didn't even bother to correct him. By the end of the show, Conrad sounded a bit exasperated with Eric but this time I think it was pretty justified.  Eric has gone on record about how much he loves to drink, but I think they need to hide the Scotch when he's recording a show. Having said that, there was some good in there, but mostly that episode was a miss to me.  And then the Ric Flair show was really a bizarre choice, if you ask me. They had just done an in depth Ric Flair episode in September, it seemed way too soon to be going back to that topic, for me. I got the impression that they only reason they were revisiting Ric Flair again is because neither Conrad or Eric had time the previous week to watch a Pay Per View and make notes, so they went back to a topic they knew would draw some listeners.

Anyhow after those two somewhat lackluster shows, I was really happy to see them return to form with a vengeance this week with their episode focusing on Uncensored 97.  I guess now that they have covered Starrcade, Souled Out and Superbrawl they are going to be reviewing all of the Uncensored shows.  This was a really good episode of 83 Weeks in my opinion - right up there with the Starrcade episodes. This episode illustrated how engaged Eric Bischoff is in this whole podcast process.  What I mean is, Conrad started reviewing the show, and Eric says: "Wait we have to go back - we didn't discuss the opening!"  Then at one point he actually mentions the time code of a particular spot when Sonny Onoo hit a spin kick, which made even Conrad comment on how much detail Eric was putting into the review. (Earning him a patented "I love you for that.") Later, Conrad casually mentions a backstage promo, and then starts talking about the next match, and Eric says: "Wait, let's go back and discuss that backstage promo."  Put it this way, have you ever heard an episode of Something to Wrestle where Conrad is reading the results of a PPV, and Bruce tells Conrad that they need to go back and review a particular spot or promo that they glossed over?  Eric is watching these shows and making tons of notes, and his level of engagement is really making the show much more fun to listen to.

There were some fun points in this episode.  Eric continues to hate on Buff Bagwell and Jeff Jarrett's wardrobe choices, Eric surprises Conrad with his review of The Public Enemy vs. Harlem Heat, and we discover Conrad's deep-seated hatred of Prince Iaukea, of all people, Eric marks out over Dusty's commentary, especially during the aforementioned Public Enemy match. We discover that Eddie Guerrero actually tore his pectoral muscle during his match with Dean Malenko, and that this show actually did a better buyrate than Wrestlemania, a fact which Eric claims to be totally ignorant of.  Finally, Eric is his usual honest and blunt self in his review of the Main Event.

If you get a chance, I'd give this one a listen.  I think you'll enjoy it.  @SomethingSavage and @El-P I'm curious to see what you guys thought of it.  I'd ask @C.S., but I know you usually don't listen to the shows.

Next up is Uncensored 95 next week, and then Uncensored 96.  I know Conrad is looking forward to busting Eric's balls about these two shows and I can't wait to hear about "The Alliance To End Hulkamania."  Eric kind of groaned when he found out these shows were coming, and I can't say I blame him.  But it's good news to know they are doing another series of PPV reviews because these shows have been excellent, in my opinion.

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5 hours ago, Migs said:

Isn't the $100 tier basically a way to get invited to a party at Conrad's house? Not something I'd pay for, but I get the appeal to the podcast marks.

 

5 hours ago, El-P said:

Considering what we know of his friends (Casio Kid anyone ?) and sense of humour (Casio Kid anyone ?), this sounds like complete hell.

I take back what I said.  I would pay $99.00 for a chance to meet The Casio Kid, but only if I was allowed to punch him in the mouth with no legal repercussions afterward.  That would be money well spent, in my opinion.  I'd guess anybody who has heard The Casio Kid on "What Happened When" would agree with me.

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Casio Kid is the dirt worst. If you could filter every annoying Conrad trait and bring that to life, it'd be Casio Kid.

I haven't heard the Uncensored 97 show yet, but I may drop some thoughts whenever I get around to it.

I outright skipped the Flair birthday episode. And I know I listened to the Ask Eric ep, but I honestly couldn't tell you a single thing about it by now.

My wrestling podcast listening has dipped altogether at the moment. I've gone back to music at the gym for the moment & true crime/comics podcasts to fill other downtime. I'm sure I'll get back to listening to everything again, but a break felt overdue.

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I’m in the process of catching up with a lot of the podcasts from last year. One thing I really appreciate is that bischoff has a great deal more credibility when he’s taking meltzers writing to pieces than Pichard.

 

Specifically, I’m listening to the bash at the beach 94 episode now. Bischoff  is completely dismantling Meltzer’s reporting on business matters. I’d love to hear a civilised conversation between the two of them to see who comes off better. 

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I'm catching up too. I'd be sort of curious what a Conrad Podcast with Arn would look like. He obviously wouldn't have a 360 view on any specific show in the same way that someone like Eric or Prichard does, but he basically covers 1980 to 2019 and obviously he has a great mind for the business and laying out matches. Specific topical areas (be it, let's say the Stud Stable vs the Rhodes family or the Dangerous Alliance or the Brainbusters in WWF or his time teaming with Matt Borne or the Arn/Tully vs Road Warriors feud or the feud with Flair leading to the turn on sting and the New Horsemen or his guest shot in SMW, etc. up to laying out a specific Cena feud in-ring) could probably all work as shows.

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53 minutes ago, Matt D said:

I'd be sort of curious what a Conrad Podcast with Arn would look like.

Useless, probably. Arn has never been much of the "shoot" type if you judge by the old RF video he did back in the days. I doubt he'd be much better now.

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17 minutes ago, El-P said:

Useless, probably. Arn has never been much of the "shoot" type if you judge by the old RF video he did back in the days. I doubt he'd be much better now.

The flipside is that Arn live-watching CHIKARA while drunk could be amusing?

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1 hour ago, Matt D said:

The flipside is that Arn live-watching CHIKARA while drunk could be amusing?

I dunno. Watch-alongs are the reason I ceased to listen to the Schiavone podcast, which I loved at first. Conrad the host asking questions and reading reports is ok. Conrad the jokster is godawful.

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On 3/7/2019 at 3:14 PM, El-P said:

Useless, probably. Arn has never been much of the "shoot" type if you judge by the old RF video he did back in the days. I doubt he'd be much better now.

Indeed, given Arn would still maintain kayfabe on WWE documentaries when he was a talking head, I'm not sure you'd get too much behind the scenes or inner working stuff. Although I guess a podcast where he would take you through angles and matches where he was 100% in character and which was more like an audio book piece of fiction would be entertaining in a different way.  

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The least likely but more aspirational choice would be Steve Austin. Not Jim Ross. Not Arn Anderson.

I'll reserve judgement & remain optimistic about the JR deal. I'll give it a fair shot, because I've enjoyed enough of Conrad's other shows.

But imagine getting Stone Cold to invest in a project like that. I mean, nah. He's not going to have a lot of backstage gossip or insight. But the dude's a straight-shooter. It would offer a refreshing viewpoint from what we get with the other office types anyway.

Austin's show used to be the standard, back around 2013 or so. Outside of Colt's Art, nothing else compared. I won't even pretend to know what's happening with Austin's hiatus or whatever right now, but yeah. I'd fucking love to see Conrad convince him to go for it. It isn't happening, but we're fantasy pitching here. So fuck it.

Austin talking shop about pro wrestling and even reviewing shows with Wade Keller was a guilty pleasure, because the guy had an eye and an appreciation for the details. Imagine Conrad getting Stone Cold to watch along or review some old ECW show he'd never seen before like on WHW. Hell, have him review an 80s card from Hogan's heyday. Or he could tackle topic-specific themes like the recurring Rock feud. Or the launch of his baby face run. Or the Alliance from his point of view. Plenty of options, and Austin could excel in all those areas.

Back here in reality though? Yeah. I'll give the JR deal a fair shot.

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I remember way back when, (like in the early days of STW) that Conrad complained that Austin didn't like him, and he claimed he didn't know why.  He said Austin had gone so far as to block him on Twitter.  I suppose money talks, however.  A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then and Conrad has become a much bigger presence in the industry with the success of his three shows, Starrcast and not to mention becoming Ric Flair's son-in-law.  I suppose an Austin/Conrad show could happen.  I have been curious what happened to Austin's show disappearing all of the sudden.  That's what happened with "Bischoff on Wrestling" and the next thing you know...83 Weeks.

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On 3/7/2019 at 1:48 AM, The Thread Killer said:

There were some fun points in this episode.  Eric continues to hate on Buff Bagwell and Jeff Jarrett's wardrobe choices, Eric surprises Conrad with his review of The Public Enemy vs. Harlem Heat, and we discover Conrad's deep-seated hatred of Prince Iaukea, of all people, Eric marks out over Dusty's commentary, especially during the aforementioned Public Enemy match. We discover that Eddie Guerrero actually tore his pectoral muscle during his match with Dean Malenko, and that this show actually did a better buyrate than Wrestlemania, a fact which Eric claims to be totally ignorant of.  Finally, Eric is his usual honest and blunt self in his review of the Main Event.

Agreed, it was another good PPV episode. I enjoy Bischoff's approach of really getting into details without being asked to do so. His honesty about some of the bad stuff is refreshing, and it's cool to see him mark out to Dusty's commentary. I have to go back to the previous episodes which I have skipped because of a lack of time, but really, Uncle Eric has been quite consistent with this format. Hearing him talk about this era also reminds me how fun and fresh WCW was at the time, with all the different things they were trying (always loved the Club La Vella shows for instance).

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There's something about the ambitious nature of WCW from this time. The thematic sets, the stacked roster, and the idea of throwing it all against the wall just created this exciting atmosphere. Of course it's impossible to ignore how wrestling was super popular for a change, but yeah. Good times.

Bischoff verbally abusing Jarrett & Bag well every show has become one of my favorite running themes actually. He's right, too. There's nothing remotely Horsemen about the dick dancer gear, although I think that's also why it suits a heel so well. I mean, it's still a hideous look. But its the antithesis of intimidating.

Buff and Brian Christopher are two guys i tend to lump together in the same category - not necessarily in terms of work, but more so in terms of their personality. They're these frantic, high-strung, over-the-top, outlandishly loud, gaudy, extremely animated characters. They border on being cartoon characters brought to life at times.

But they're effective enough as sidekicks and underlings. In fact, I thought that was THE perfect role for Bagwell as Steiner's lackey.

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I'm not going to bother breaking the episode down, but this past week's show on Uncensored 95 was another home run for sure.  Really entertaining episode with some interesting insights from Eric, and it was also funnier than normal.  As usual, Eric is refreshingly honest - especially about the debut of The Renegade and the quality of the Main Event. My personal favorite quote is when Conrad wonders why Jimmy Hart inserted himself in the Main Event and Eric says that it was because he saw the red light for the camera was on. I'd check this one out if you get the chance, it's quite entertaining.

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I can't hate on the guys for ads, but the robotic woman delivering clearly prerecorded answers to Eric and Conrad's questions was funny/sad to kick off the Bischoff/Russo Nitro reboot ep. 

 

---

BTW... I met Bischoff in Milwaukee this weekend. I made him laugh with the prerequisite "Where's the Blue Chew samples?" at the meet and greet. Then he had an hour long talk/Q and A focused on WCW's video games (It was a gamer's convention). He was a very entertaining guest speaker. 

 

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