Jim Ross has discussed the possibility of Eric Bischoff being brought to WWE as part of the original invasion storyline and why he thinks Bischoff was right to refuse an offer.
In 2001 with WCW having been bought by Vince McMahon, there was only one show in town. WWE began the invasion storyline where WCW stars attacked their WWE counterparts before forming an official alliance with the rebooted ECW as well.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast [first available early and ad-free at AdFreeShows.com], Jim Ross discussed the possibility of former WCW President Eric Bischoff joining the company at that time. According to JR, Bischoff was offered a short-term deal but turned it down, a decision Ross agreed with.
Jim Ross explained:
“Well we didn’t have a good plan and Eric’s a smart guy. He could see that it was a short-term deal. He was going to be used. You’re gonna be brought in, you’re gonna be built up, you’re gonna be beat and then you’re gonna be humiliated as part of that process to some degree. And then you’re going to be sent on your merry way. If I were Eric, I wouldn’t have done it either. It was short-term.”
“So yeah we chatted, but we had I guess you could say [we had] an icy relationship, which I will take responsibility for. If Bruce [Prichard] were here, he would say ‘well you’re still p*ssed off about your refrigerator and your washer and dryer being held hostage.’ But there were some open wounds. To be a man’s man and answer your questions and to be honest about it. But I think he [Eric] made the right decision. Vince was thinking short-term as if Eric really needed the money and had to have a job immediately and get relevant again on television in his world. Eric didn’t have that same train of thought.”
“So I think Eric made the right decision quite frankly Conrad, but it was just to test the waters. It was a good idea. You ain’t got to be a Cowboy Bill Watts booking genius to figure out McMahon and Eric had an angle that had unofficially being nurtured for quite some time. So Eric made the right decision, no doubt. But I do remember the phone call. I think that kind of led to he and I getting back on the same page. My ego got in my way of being taken off the air in WCW when it wasn’t necessary. I took it personally. I kind of outgrew that Conrad in later years. And Eric and I are friends now.”
Eric Bischoff did eventually join WWE, shocking the world when he embraced Vince McMahon after McMahon unveiled his former nemesis as the new General Manager of Raw in 2002.