During the episode which looked back at the legendary career of Paul Orndorff following his sad passing, Eric Bischoff recalled the incident between the two big men.
The issue arose after Vader was apparently not in much of a rush to complete filming a backstage segment. Orndorff who was backstage at the time, then got involved after Vader tried to intimate a member of the production crew which led to a brawl between the pair.
Reflecting on the incident, Bischoff explained that he was on the scene within minutes and quickly set about finding out the details.
“Here’s what happened… Janie Angle called me. Janie and Paul were very close, they were good friends. Janie was my Executive Assistant… Janie knew the business, probably better than most talent that was in it. But Janie was also very, very close to my family.
I trusted her. I knew that Janie would never, ever, lie to me or withhold information that I needed to know. Not very many people that I have, or had and still have respect for in terms of their honesty and integrity. And Janie called me, I was at a meeting, and Janie called me. And I could tell from the minute that she said hello, she was scared, she was upset. She said I just want to tell you what happened, before you get here so you’re prepared and so you know what you have to deal with. So she laid out the story.
The story that she told me was that there were was one producer, who was trying to get Leon [Vader] to do interviews. We had a schedule, we weren’t going to be there all night… It was just a matter of getting things done in the time that we had allowed to do it.”
Eric Bischoff continued, praising Vader before explaining that while he is one of the greatest big-men ever and could be a very sweet guy he could also be a “temperamental bully.”
“From time to time, and he wouldn’t make a habit of it, Leon would intimidate production staff. People that are just trying to help get his job done. People that are trying to accommodate him to get his interview done in a reasonably timey fashion, and with the highest degree of quality that they can help produce it in. And those are the people from time to time that Leon, not all the time, would abuse, and intimidate and that’s what started it.”
Bischoff explained that when he arrived at the building he asked his assistant and Orndorff what had taken place. He added that although Orndorff was worried he would be fired, he gave him a pay rise instead.
“So by the time that I got to the building, Janie had already given me a kind of precursor, I knew what I was walking into so to speak. I pulled Janie aside and said ‘tell me exactly what happened.’
And I went to Paul separately, ‘Paul, tell me what happened. Minute by minute, how did it go down?’ Paul and Janie told me the same story. And they didn’t have time to get their stories straight [between them] I was there in ten minutes. There was a lot going on, we were still producing a TV show when I got there.
So I listened to them both, and I trusted Paul by the way. Not the same way that I trusted Janie, because I wasn’t as close to Paul as I was to Janie, but I trusted him. I believed him. As far as I was concerned that was it. Janie was afraid I was gonna fire Paul, Paul was afraid I was gonna fire Paul. I gave him a raise. Not because I was happy about it, not because I had any animosity and ill-will towards Leon. It was because you [Orndorff] did what you thought you had to do.”
The former WCW President explained that the culture within wrestling was very different back then, and how the business policed itself. This meant that issues between wrestlers were usually left to work themselves out, however, altercations between wrestlers and other staff were a different issue.
Elsewhere on the episode Bischoff, went on to compare Mr Wonderful to fellow WWE Hall of Famer, Kurt Angle.
Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff sadly passed away on the 12th of July at the age of 71 after suffering from dementia.