Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff are no strangers to each other. The two men once hated each other during the infamous Monday Night Wars. Bischoff would use any means necessary to gain the upper hand on Mr. McMahon.
As their respective companies competed for the top spot in the TV ratings, the animosity between the two men grew even stronger. While Vince had a lot of competitors in his life, Eric was on a whole other level.
In fact, he was the only promoter capable of defeating WWE in the TV ratings and he did so for 83 straight weeks. However, WWE eventually won the Monday Night Wars and Vince McMahon ended up acquiring WCW for pennies on the dollar.
Following the acquisition, Eric Bischoff went to work for McMahon, which surprised everyone considering how much the two men hated each other. Now, after all these years, Eric Bischoff stated on an episode of Steve Fall's Ten Count that he respects Vince now more than ever.
“Those are some cool things, and I think for me I looked — you know, I said I respected Vince McMahon. And I respect him more now, today, from a business perspective — I want to make that clear, from a business perspective, I respect him more now than I ever have. Because what Vince did was build an infrastructure around him that not only allowed WWE to become a seamless — or the transition between Vince and Stephanie and Triple H, it’s not only seamless; the business continues to grow.”
Bischoff further praised the infrastructure of WWE that McMahon built up over several decades.
“And there’s not a lot of executives that have been at the top, the chairman, in this case, that have been able to walk away while being successful, wildly successful in defying the stock market. Walk away and the stock actually go up. That is a credit to building that infrastructure and putting the right people in place to manage that business.” [H/T 411Mania]
Eric Bischoff first paid attention to the stock price when he heard of Vince McMahon's retirement
During the same episode, Eric Bischoff stated that he first paid attention to the stock price when he heard about Vince McMahon's retirement before looking at other aspects of the business.
“My first thought was, I’m watching the stock. Because for years, every time somebody in the financial markets talked about WWE and the stock, as successful as it was, the one thing that everybody talked about was Vince McMahon and his age. What happens when Vince McMahon retires? What’s going to happen with the stock? That’s the first thing I started paying attention to."
However, the former WCW booker eventually looked deeper into the workings of WWE and was surprised by the growth of the company.
"And then I started looking at the ratings. And then I started looking at some of the creative, i.e. the White Rabbit story. I’m thinking, ‘Okay that’s different. Nobody’s done that, that’s going to grow the business or at least create interest that didn’t otherwise exist. Those are the things that I look for, and what I’ve seen so far on those kind of data points is a tremendous amount of growth in interest.” [H/T 411Mania]
Eric Bischoff returned a couple of times in a backstage role under Vince's regime. Now that Triple H has taken over, it will be interesting to see if we will ever get to see Bischoff in WWE again.
What do you make of Eric Bischoff saying he respects Vince now more than ever? Let us know in the comments section.