During the latest edition of his “Grilling JR” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer and AEW commentator Jim Ross commented on Eric Bischoff making a surprise WWE debut on RAW back in 2002, how the talent reacted backstage, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On whether he was aware of Eric Bischoff joining WWE in 2002 and his initial reaction to Bischoff joining the company: “Of course. Eric was just another talent. Any talent coming onto the roster, I was involved in because that was my territory. Sometimes I didn’t know all the creative plans and machinations that were planned, but somebody has to negotiate a contract and somebody has to get them signed up. Even though you can agree in principle, sometimes agreeing to the mathematics of the deal can be a little bit challenging…..I thought it was a very bold move because for whatever reason, Eric was not liked by a lot of guys because of past WCW business and so forth.
On the backstage reaction to Bischoff joining WWE: “I think the only person I can remember [being upset] after all these years – we’re talking 2002 here – was Flair. Some wounds take longer to heal than others. But it still comes back to the bottom line of your job. This is your job. Look, Bischoff took me off the air in WCW, and I didn’t hate him. The best thing that ever happened to me, at that time, was coming to work for Vince. I made great money and was there for over a quarter of a century. Eric and I are great friends, but we weren’t always. I got over it and my ego got back in check to some degree.”
On criticism of the way WWE debuted Bischoff and the company not having Bischoff feud with Vince McMahon: “I believe it was a one-off opportunity. With all due respect, I didn’t need to see a series of matches between two untrained pro wrestlers. They weren’t even in the pro wrestler category. That’s saying that respecfully. But a one-off built correctly? Yeah, it would’ve added to a significant pay-per-view. But to see it more than once, we’re getting into dangerous waters I think.”
(h/t – 411 Wrestling)