Eric Bischoff has revealed what led to the decision to release Jim Ross from WCW.
JR was a part of WCW during the transition from Jim Crockett Promotions to World Championship Wrestling, a change that took place due to the investment from Ted Turner. Ross would stay with the company until Bischoff took over as Executive Producer.
Eric Bischoff Was Promoted To WCW Executive Producer In 1993
Speaking on the 83 Weeks podcast, Eric Bischoff commented on Ross’ friendship with former promoter Bill Watts, stating how both he and JR have the same stance on loyalty:
“Look, for better or worse JR believed in Bill Watts. They had a long standing relationship. JR probably owed a good part of his success and career to Bill Watts. I haven’t talked to him about this, but I’m guessing. JR felt about Bill Watts much like how I felt and still feel about Verne Gagne. Somebody gives you that opportunity that changes your life forever or gives you an opportunity that has a dramatic impact on your life in a positive way, how are you not loyal to that person? Even through their faults. I am. That’s my nature and I would imagine Jim is much the same way.”
The former Raw General Manager would continue to state that the friendship between JR and Watts was ultimately what led to Ross being fired from WCW:
“Jim tied himself very closely to Bill Watts. It worked until it didn’t. Once Bill Watts got fired, in my opinion, I never talked to Bill Shaw about this or anybody else and I didn’t even know for sure that Jim was trying to get the job was executive producer. I didn’t find that out until well afterwards same Tony. I didn’t know Tony was trying to get the job. I think Jim was guilty by association. When the s*** hit the fan with Watts, Jim was standing there to get splattered with it first.”
Following the closure of WCW, Eric Bischoff would go on to work for WWE on multiple occasions in both on and off-screen roles. While working closely with then Chairman Vince McMahon, the WWE Hall of Famer has seen some of McMahon’s more bizarre behaviours first hand.
Jim Ross is not the only person that Bischoff has had disagreements with during their time in WCW. Eric Bischoff has had multiple altercations with former WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair.
H/t to 411 Mania for the use of transcriptions.