WWE History: Jim Ross details backstage fight between 2 WWE Legends in 2003

Old wounds die hard!
Old wounds die hard!

Jim Ross (JR) has been around the wrestling business for a long time. Not only was he a famed WWE announcer, but he was also a well-known figure backstage, even serving as the company's Head of Talent Relations at one point.

With that kind of history, Ross has seen it all - the good, the bad, and the ugly. On his Grilling JR podcast, he recounted how some of the talents in WWE was were unhappy with Eric Bischoff's arrival. He talked to people who came to him and brought them to the understanding that professionalism was the need of the hour. He also said that any violent action from the talent would have only cost them money. He recollected, (H/T 411 Mania)

"“Everybody who came to me to discuss it, I didn’t open up old wounds under the auspices of being proactive. I didn’t re-drill to the nerve, but guys knew how open I was at communicating with them, and so I didn’t have any hard time getting it out of them, so they could express themselves, so I could reassure them we not going to have any negativity in this regard, we’re not going to have any violence, we’re not going to do things that are stupid that costs you money or suspension or whatever, because you get no leg to stand on, just can’t do it. So, I said you gotta get over this s**t. I talked to guys, I talked through it, most of them admitted I was right, but they were reluctant to still accept the terms and conditions of being a professional. It blew over quick though, I thought it blew out quick. After a few weeks, it was as if Eric had been around for a long time.”


Ross then told a story wherein Bischoff and Ric Flair really got into it at a WWE TV Taping backstage in 2003. He said that it almost became a scene from Deadwood and that it was the wrong place and wrong time for both the men. JR said, (H/T 411 Mania)

"It was at TV, one of the stooges, whoever, there’s plenty of them, couldn’t wait to tell me, give me the dirt. You go check it out, and nobody’s hurt. Nobody is bleeding, I don’t think, of any significance. The stories grew by the moment. This guy was there and Jack Lanza was there and Arn Anderson holding people back and somebody tried to help Eric, it became like a goddamned scene from Deadwood, what a production this is. It was a wrong place, both guys, wrong place, wrong time. Ric, all that animosity, lashed out, it wasn’t the right thing to do, obviously, you can’t conduct business this way. But I think it kind of got everybody’s system. After that, I don’t recall any other incidents after that one night. So if they had that much animosity and they got it all out in that little skirmish, I’d say we did pretty good in that deal.”

Bishoff and Flair had prior history between them, stemming from their time at WCW. From the story, it's quite obvious that there was some repressed anger that Flair must have had. It's still unclear as to what exactly caused this flare-up, but this was a long time ago. So, as time went by, cooler heads prevailed and no further incident of this kind was reported between the two.

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Edited by Anurag Sharma
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