Former WCW President Eric Bischoff has revealed that he doesn’t believe that Jim Ross wanted to him to join WWE in 2001.
After WCW closed it’s doors in early 2001, WWE set about signing many of the company’s top stars. While wrestlers such as Booker T and DDP signed with the company straight away, others sat out ‘The Invasion’ before joining at a later date.
While not an in-ring performer, Eric Bischoff has revealed that he turned down the chance to join WWE and take an active role in the invasion. After speaking with Jim Ross he was left with the impression that the Hall of Fame announcer was less than enamoured with the idea of him coming onboard.
Appearing on Stories With Brisco And Bradshaw, Bischoff said he felt that Ross was only speaking to him because he had to, not because he wanted to.
“I tried to get some information out of Jim. 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’re even on your team. But Jim also had kind of a bad taste in his mouth about me. He wasn’t happy to make that call…I could tell. You know when someone’s anxious to talk to you and you know when someone’s doing it just because they have to, and Jim was doing it because he had to.”
Continuing on, Bischoff explained how things were different when he received a call from WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
Bischoff recalled McMahon being incredibly gracious, leaving him with no doubt that he was going to go and work for WWE.
“Vince called himself and I knew within 45 seconds of saying ‘hello’ that I was going 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 four minutes, tops five, and I made up my mind I was gonna come to WWE.”
Eric Bischoff started his career in the AWA before heading to World Championship Wrestling. There Bischoff worked as an announcer reporting to Vice President of Broadcasting, Jim Ross. In something of a role reversal, Bischoff became Executive Producer in 1993, while JR was taken off television before leaving for WWE.
The former WCW President later joined WWE in 2002 becoming Raw General Manager.