Speaking on the latest episode of his podcast 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff has recalled his first meeting with Vince Russo.
On the special ‘Ask Eric Anything’ episode available via Ad Free Shows, Bischoff was asked why Dixie Carter continued to use Vince Russo for creative in TNA. While the former WCW President couldn’t answer that exact question, he did recall his own first time meeting Russo.
After a dispute with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, Vince Russo jumped to WCW in October of 1999. The previous month, with the company struggling financially and with ratings, Eric Bischoff was relieved as his position as President.
However, Bischoff was later brought back to work alongside Russo and described that first meeting. Bischoff said that while he was initially impressed by Russo, it only took a couple of months to see that “there was nothing under the hood.
“I can’t answer that [why Dixie Carter worked with Vince Russo for so long in TNA]. Vince is a charming guy; there’s no question about it. When I first met Vince Russo in a restaurant, Brad Siegel wanted to- there was a point where Brad Siegel was up against a wall, and Brad’s reaction was ‘Ok, I’m going to bring Eric back and have him oversee Vince Russo’ and Brad called me and said ‘would you at least go, meet with this guy and see if he’s somebody you can work with’. And that was my first meeting with Vince. We actually met outside of Atlanta, because I didn’t want people to see it. I had my airplane hangar, just north of Atlanta at Kennesaw, and there was a restaurant just across the street from where I kept my plane, and I had Vince meet me there. My first reaction was ‘F***, this guy’s a great dude. I can work with this guy. He’s a charming son of a b*tch and he’s a good salesman’, it just took me a couple of months to realise, there’s nothing under the hood. But he’s a charming dude, and I think Dixie being the nurturer that she is and was, probably thought that she could find a way to make it work, just like I did I guess.”
The union between Russo and Bischoff failed to arrest WCW’s slide towards obscurity. After a string of controversial incidents Russo left WCW for the final time in October 2000. While Bischoff ceased to be an on-screen character by the time Russo departed, he attempted to purchase the company early the following year. However, the takeover attempt failed and WCW was sold to WWE shortly after.
Eric Bischoff has worked on and off for WWE during the last 20 years, most recently in 2019.
In reply to another question on the episode, Bischoff recalled this short stint, before dismissing the idea of a return, commenting that ain’t f*cking happening.”