Jim Ross Recalls Backstage Reaction To Eric Bischoff Joining WWE In 2002
Bischoff became Raw General Manager in 2002
Jim Ross has opened up on WWE's decision to bring in Eric Bischoff as an on-screen talent in 2002, revealing that the only person who really was upset about the signing was Ric Flair.
Bischoff, as WCW Executive Producer, pushed WWE to the limit in the Monday Night Wars in the 1990s before Vince McMahon finally purchased his competition in 2001. A year later, Bischoff was employed by WWE to act as Raw's General Manager on-screen.
As the Talent Relations head, JR had a lot to do with Bischoff at that time, and admits to feeling that the decision from WWE was 'bold'. However, only one Superstar took real exception to the decision - former WCW World Champion Ric Flair.
Speaking on his Grilling Jr Podcast, Ross said: “I thought it was a very bold move because for whatever reason, Eric was not liked by a lot of guys because of past WCW business and so forth. I think the only person I can remember [being upset] after all these years – we’re talking 2002 here – was Flair. Some wounds take longer to heal than others.
"But it still comes back to the bottom line of your job. This is your job. Look, Bischoff took me off the air in WCW, and I didn’t hate him. The best thing that ever happened to me, at that time, was coming to work for Vince. I made great money and was there for over a quarter of a century.
"Eric and I are great friends, but we weren’t always. I got over it and my ego got back in check to some degree.”