The wrestling world was thrown for a loop on Friday as word broke that World Championship Wrestling replaced Eric Bischoff as President.
A press release appearing on WCW’s website confirmed that Dr Harvey Schiller, President of Turner Sports, replaced Bischoff with Bill Busch, a Turner executive and accountant who will now oversee the day to day operations of the company as acting executive vice president.
With Bischoff’s removal from office comes endless speculation that Ric Flair will return to a full time basis with the company and assume the role of head booker. Flair has been at odds with Bischoff over his push as of late and was attempting to get out of his contract.
Flair has had two previous reigns as head booker in WCW, one in 1989 and the other in 1994/95.
Another name being mentioned is Craig Leathers, a long time WCW employee working in TV production. Leathers had previously answered to Bischoff and had helped him in the formatting of WCW’s TV shows and pay-per-view events.
Several key Turner executives are scheduled to be in attendance at the Fall Brawl PPV on Sunday and they reportedly asked Flair, not scheduled on the card, to attend. The executives want to get a first hand look at how the company is run before they start any overhauling, so they can decide what adjustments need to be made with the company.
While many applaud the move as long overdue, critics within the industry question the logic of putting Busch, a Turner employee without a wrestling background or real knowledge of the business, in charge.
In 1992, WCW promoted Kip Frey, a Turner lawyer and executive, to executive vice-president of WCW to oversee the day to day running of the company. Frey lasted all of four months and was quickly replaced by Bill Watts, promoter and owner of the old Universal Wrestling Federation.
The press release stated Bischoff will remain with WCW in some capacity.