Vince McMahon was, at one point, interested in purchasing Playboy, Eric Bischoff has claimed.
On his 83 Weeks podcast, the former WCW President has revealed how WWE’s CEO was interested in buying the organisation which produces the long-standing American men’s lifestyle and entertainment magazine which several female WWE talents featured in during the Attitude Era, and which published an interview with Mr McMahon himself in 2001.
Speaking on the podcast, Bischoff would reveal how he set up a meeting between Linda McMahon and Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis in the early 2000s as both Francis and Linda McMahon’s husband Vince had interest in purchasing the company from founder Hugh Hefner.
“I hooked up Joe Francis and WWE to do a show / pay-per-view. I set up a meeting with Joe Francis and Linda McMahon because Vince [McMahon] was interested in buying Playboy and Joe Francis was also interested in buying Playboy for different reasons, so they both had different goals. They were both interested in the same property so I got those two together and Linda had a meeting with Joe in Los Angeles because of me.”
The deal obviously never came to fruition, but several WWE talents did pose for Playboy Magazine – including the likes of Sable, Torrie Wilson, Christy Hemme, Maria Kanellis, Candice Michelle, with some of those appearances even subsequently being mentioned on WWE television.
Interestingly, a story emerged recently whereby Anthony Anzaldo, the former manager of WWE Hall of Famer Chyna, claimed The Ninth Wonder of the World was denied a run as WWE Champion due to her appearance in Playboy.
Meanwhile, Bischoff would further discuss his relationship with Joe Francis.
“Joe was all over the map. You’d be in the middle of a conversation with Joe and you’d think you were talking about his Ferrari and within 6 or 8 seconds he’s talking about something completely different. No, I’m not friends with Joe but I’ve done business with Joe. In some ways, I respect some of the things he innovated.”
“I haven’t talked to Joe in 15 years. I know he’s living in Mexico in a big mansion because you’ll see the Kardashians and a bunch of people will go down there to party with Joe. He still has that network of Hollywood types that he likes to party with because he can’t get into the United States without getting arrested.”
H/T WrestlingInc for the transcription.