Eric Bischoff Believes DX “Wouldn’t Have Lasted Four Months” Without Sean Waltman

Sean Waltman X-Pac Chyna Triple H D-Generation X DX

Eric Bischoff claims that Sean Waltman’s return to WWE kept DX alive and was a key reason WCW lost in the ratings war after an 83-week winning run.

After DX leader Shawn Michaels lost the WWE Championship to Steve Austin at WrestleMania 14, question marks were asked over what would be next for Triple H and Chyna.

The following night on Monday Night Raw, Triple H claimed Michaels had “dropped the ball” and that he had taken over leadership. Ensuring DX would continue, The Game introduced its newest member, Sean Waltman, returning under the name X-Pac.

Later in the show, WWE Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws would also join the faction which grew to even greater success over the coming months.

Two weeks after Waltman returned, WWE finally took control in the ratings war, as a main event between Steve Austin and Vince McMahon was promoted, but never took place.

Discussing the end of a winning run in the ratings on the 83 Weeks podcast, Bischoff explained his feelings on how impactful Sean Waltman’s return to WWE was.

“Waltman was a huge shot in the arm for them. I’m sure there are plenty of people who will disagree with me, and they may be right. I may be wrong. I’ll never change my opinion when I tell you that I think Sean Waltman was as important to the turnaround for WWE than just about anything else, including Mike Tyson.

Tyson was a bigger shot in the arm. It got mainstream attention and everybody talking about WWE. Tyson was at the top of his game, maybe not as a boxer, he was still better than anybody else, but in terms of a media phenomenon, Tyson was more controversial and hotter than anybody on the planet.

Waltman, because he was part of the NWO and the NWO was such a dominant part of wrestling at that period, that when Waltman left the NWO, I think that was as an important piece of the puzzle for WWE than anything else.

As any other one thing. I’ll go even further, and I know this is going to piss some people off, I don’t think D-X would have lasted four months at that point. Waltman is the reason D-X worked. Not taking anything away from anybody else, great group of talent that would go on to become huge stars in the business, and obviously Triple H is kind of at the top of his game, but at that time, I think Waltman made that D-X invasion work more than anybody else. More than Triple H, more than anybody else, Waltman made that work.

That was a real shot across the bow. If I reacted to anything, I reacted to that,”

Eric Bischoff would go on to compare Waltman’s impact to that of his fellow Kliq members Scott Hall and Kevin Nash arriving in WCW.

“It was the like the NWO defecting. It was as close as you could get to Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Sean Waltman saying, ‘We’re done, we’re going back to the competition.’ That’s what that was. It was an important part of the NWO leaving WCW to go to WWE.

That’s why I feel so strongly about Sean and his value and significance in that move, creatively. Not to take anything from Triple H, Shawn Michaels, anybody. Sean Waltman was as much a part of NWO as anybody else, with the exception of maybe Hulk, Scott, and Kevin. Waltman personified the NWO in so many ways.

For Sean to leave, because I fired him, for him to leave and cut the promo that he did, was as close as you could get to the NWO defecting, and that’s why it worked. Otherwise, it was a goofy skit. A bunch of idiots jumping out of a jeep, dressing up as army guys, knocking on the door, creating this invasion. Cool, fun, I liked it, it was great entertainment, but it wouldn’t have had any impact without Sean Waltman. Nobody can convince me otherwise.”

Triple H introduces DX's newest member: Raw, March 30, 1998

It was the "dawn of a new day" for DX when Paul "Triple H" Levesque recruited X-PAC!

Posted by WWE on Thursday, July 13, 2017

WWE Had Three Words for Sean Waltman And DX: Hall Of Fame

Due to the success of the faction, DX was entered into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2019 and in October 2022 returned to Raw to celebrate the group’s 25th anniversary.

One of the most celebrated groups in wrestling history, DX signaled the start of the Attitude Era in WWE, as the company looked to appeal to wider audiences.

Starting with a heel Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Chyna, and Rick Rude causing Vince McMahon and Sgt Slaughter problems on TV. The group helped Michaels become the first-ever Grand Slam Champion in WWE, winning the European Championship at One Night Only in 1997.

Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Chyna, Sean Waltman (X-Pac), Billy Gunn, and Road Dogg were all inducted by WWE in the Class of 2019.

H/t to Fightful