Bischoff was famously in charge of most of what was on WCW television around the time of Pillman's departure. It's speculated that Pillman pitched the idea of him leaving WCW (and leaving his current contract) to pop up in other promotions like ECW.
The idea was that Pillman would then return to WCW with a new attitude and style. Unfortunately for Bischoff, Pillman never returned to WCW and opted to sign with WWE instead.
During an "Ask Eric Anything" segment, Eric Bischoff explained his mentality when approving Pillman's plan to leave WCW. He also dove into whether he genuinely thought Brian would return to their home promotion.
"The most honest answer I could give is I believed he would," Bischoff said. "I wasn't sure that he would. I wasn't 100% confident that he would, but I believed that he woul. And here's the flipside. I also did the calculus in my own head that if he did it would be great, but if he didn't that wouldn't be the end of the world either. I was in a position where I had nothing to lose by creating the opportunity and hoping it would work out the way we wanted it to or I believed it would."
Eric Bischoff also respectfully played down the impact of Pillman's departure, stating it was a win-win situation for both parties.
"But it wasn't like a big risky move to be honest, and that's just being honest," Bischoff added. "By no means am I disrespecting how important Brian Pillman was and the impact that he had on the industry, but we were in a position at that time where I would win either way."
Eric Bischoff comments on Brian Pillman's Vice documentary
Eric Bischoff speculated that the question came from the fact that Vice is set to air an episode of Dark Side of the Ring featuring Brian Pillman. It will include his life story unfolding, with the events of his WCW departure being a part of it.
Dark Side of the Ring dives deep into the world of professional wrestling. The series produced by Vice tells stories of different wrestling events, characters, and controversies. The new season will feature Pillman, The Ultimate Warrior, and the Dynamite Kid.