Eric Bischoff has opened up about bringing the British Bulldog and Jim Neidhart to WCW in 1997 and says it had nothing to do with Bret Hart.
Former WCW President Bischoff was speaking on his 83 Weeks podcast about the two men defecting to WCW in late 1997. Following the infamous Montreal Screwjob at the 1997 Survivor Series Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart left WWE to join World Championship Wrestling. He was soon to be joined by brothers-in-law Neidhart and the British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith.
In the discussion with co-host Conrad Thompson, Bischoff makes clear that the two men were not brought in to appease Hart.
“It wasn’t placating Bret, Bret didn’t need to be placated. I know Bret has a lot of negative things to say about me and I respond to those negative things. But I’ve also said and I continue to say that I have a lot of respect for Bret in a lot of different ways. And I’ll tell you that when it came to the politics of top talent, Bret was not one of those guys.”
“Bret was very straightforward. It’s one of the reasons Bret and I got along really great at the beginning. He was as straightforward as you could get. There were no extra words in the conversation, he was so just perfectly, professionally straightforward. There was no extra conversation when you’re talking about a deal with Bret. It’s very cut and dry, very simple.”
“Bret didn’t require to be placated. It may have looked like that from the outside, it may have ended up sounding like that in a dirt sheet or people may have jumped to that conclusion for obvious reasons, or people thought they were. But it wasn’t the case.”
As far as Bischoff is concerned, there was a clear strategy to bringing Smith back to the company. Smith last wrestled for WCW in 1993:
“With Davey in particular, it was international. Even at this stage of the game, Davey was still a viable, marketable, equitable piece of talent for the UK market. Which was still very important to us.”
Eric Bischoff also discussed another then WWE Superstar contacting him after the Montreal Screwjob. Bischoff says ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude was quick to get in touch about jumping to WCW.
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