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Eric Bischoff says WWE tried to get him to appear on Raw in 2001 during the WCW invasion angle

Former WCW President Eric Bischoff was on the latest episode of “Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw” to talk about his career in the wrestling business. Here are some highlights:

Eric Bischoff said he was asked to come into WWE a year before his debut in 2002:

“A lot of people don’t know this because there’s been other people who have taken credit for me even getting the opportunity in WWE, but WWE had contacted me a year previously. J.R. called me and offered me a spot to come in and work a Monday Night RAW. It was in July. I happened to have people at my house over the 4th of July. It’s kind of a big deal. People were flying in from around the country. Some were driving in. It was already happening over the 4th of July.

J.R. called me a couple days before and said, ‘Vince would like to know if you would like to come in and do a Monday Night RAW.’ I tried to get some information out of Jim, but Jim wasn’t very forthcoming, and I understand that. You don’t want to lay out an entire storyline to somebody if you’re not sure they are even on your team. But Jim also kind of had a bad taste in his mouth about me. He wasn’t happy to make that call. I could tell. You know when somebody is anxious to talk to you and you know when someone is just doing it because they have to. Jim was doing it because he had to. Since he couldn’t really tell me what I was going to be doing, there was really no contract discussion, not even a hint of one, I just said, ‘No. I think I’m going to pass.’

Then about a year later, Vince called himself. I knew within 45 seconds of saying hello that I was going to go to work for him. He was super gracious. I won’t repeat what he said to me, but he was very, very gracious, more gracious than he needed to be. He laid it all out to me and I said, ‘Absolutely man.  Let’s do it.’ Our conversation was probably no more than 4 minutes. I made up my mind that I was going to come to WWE because to me, it was an opportunity to write the last chapter of my book. Before coming to WWE, wrestling was kind of a sore spot with me. Things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to at WCW, obviously. I was going in there as talent. I was fairly confident in my abilities as talent. I knew there were a lot of people there in WWE that I had never had a chance to work with. It’s like, wow, what a fantastic opportunity. I knew that however long my term would be at WWE, it was in my ability to make sure it ended up very positive because I was confident in my ability as a performer. I looked at it as a great way to close out the last chapter of my wrestling book. Little did I know there would be other chapters, but at the time, I looked at it like, alright, this is my last shot. Go have some fun. That’s the way I approached everything I did. I didn’t feel awkward at all. I know it sounds strange given the circumstances. You would think I would have felt awkward or tentative about it, but I didn’t.”

Bischoff was asked what he looks for when he watches wrestling:

“Characters. I’m begging them to show me stories. I’m hoping that when I tune in, I’m going to see something that tells me somebody is paying more attention to story than they are to match quality. Not that match quality isn’t important, but I think the emphasis that’s on the physical display of wrestling has by default deemphasized the quality of the story. I think the lack of story quality and consistency, the lack of characters, not that they don’t have characters, they do, but you don’t feel connected to the characters the same way anymore because those promos aren’t there. They’re just there out of necessity but they’re not creating any emotion, and that’s, I think, because such a large part of the emphasis is on the presentation of the in-ring product. The sheer volume of content that’s being produced today, in particular by WWE, makes it an even bigger challenge. It’s incredible that they can get anything on TV to begin with, but what has suffered in my opinion, is the attention to detail and commitment to great storytelling. Now storytelling is taking a backseat to a great in-ring performance that may or may not have a decent backstory to it.”

Click below for the entire interview.

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit “‎Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw” with a h/t to for the transcription.

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