This week on the “83 Weeks” podcast, Eric Bischoff and Conrad Thompson cover the December 5, 2005 episode of WWE Monday Night Raw.
That is the show where Bischoff was fired as the Raw General Manager. The show closed with Bischoff being thrown into the back of a garbage truck.
Here are some highlights from the podcast:
Eric Bischoff talked about Eddie Guerrero: “Eddie and I had this really unique relationship. Eddie was intense, passionate and in some ways a perfectionist. The downside to that is you have moments when perhaps you react to things maybe a little bit too much. In WCW, I had some of those same qualities, whether they are good or bad. When you get two people like that together, and the infamous story was the narrative was I threw coffee on Eddie Guerrero in a heated debate, it was not quite true, but it’s close. But then we can go out after the show and give each other a big hug and it’s on with business. I miss that. I miss Eddie. He was so passionate. When I got to WWE, I remember one of the first nights that I was there after the show, I got to the hotel. The hotel bar was right off the lobby and I could see there was a bunch of WWE talent there. I sat in the bar. Eddie invited me over to the table. There were probably eight or ten people there already. Eddie and I talked openly in front of everybody. He talked about how appreciative he was of the opportunities he got at WCW. There were certain situations where Eddie found himself that went above and beyond what he expected in terms of taking care of him and making sure he didn’t have to worry about his income while he was recovering after his car wreck. He got into a pretty severe car wreck. His contract was just about up and we were discussing a new contract. I think Eddie was of the mind that I was going to stop the renewal conversation and wait until he got healthy before we picked it back up again and I did the exact opposite. I executed the agreement we agreed upon before he got into the wreck. I’m not saying this to make myself sound like a good guy because there were times I wasn’t such a good guy. But in this particular case, Eddie never forgot that and he made sure I never forgot that. He would thank me often. A couple months apart, he would remind me he hadn’t forgotten. I think that was his way of recognizing that although we had a volatile relationship at times, it was a positive one that he was grateful for.”
Bischoff on why he was let go by WWE in 2005: “This wasn’t necessarily me getting fired. I got notified by Stephanie McMahon that they decided they were going to go in a different creative direction. I still had time left on my contract when I got the call from Stephanie. She said, ‘We are going to take a different direction. We are going to pay you through your contact. You didn’t do anything wrong. There is no heat. It’s just we need to go in a different direction.’ I remember getting that call and it was interesting because the two times I was terminated, I guess in this case, not really fired, they just didn’t opt to enter a contract extension, both times I was relieved. I think Stephanie anticipated me being upset or having some kind of response to the phone call. I said, ‘I completely understand. I think it’s time. We have run out of rope as far as this character is concerned.’ It was getting very redundant. Although the stories may have involved different people and different scenarios, the premise was always the same. I was the abusive general manager. I was the snarky, manipulative, power hungry, abusive boss. Eventually, whoever it was would get their hands on me and beat my ass. It worked for 3 or 4 or 5 years, but after a while you get tired of doing that as a performer. You know you are doing the same things over and over.”
Bischoff talked about the skit where he got fired and that John Cena was the one that was supposed to put him in a garbage truck: “I had no idea what the future was going to hold. I didn’t really think about it. But, in my mind, this would be the last time I appear in WWE. The end of a story always hangs on the beginning of a story. They have to be well connected. The beginning of my story in WWE started in WCW. The reason I ended up in WWE was because of that story in WCW and the animosity, some of it real, some of it not. It was the heat of the battle between Vince McMahon and I. I thought if we are going to end this story, let’s have the end hang on the beginning. That beginning is Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon. So, as cool as it was as a moment for John Cena, it wouldn’t have been that valuable for John Cena. While it may have satiated the audience to see the heel get his comeuppance, it wouldn’t have ended the story the way it should have ended. I called Vince and said, ‘I loved it (the angle), but maybe it would be better if it was you, Vince, that threw me in the dump truck and drove me out of the arena, that way the end of my story in WWE made more sense.’ That’s the way it ended. I think it was perfect.”