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Wrestling / Eric Bischoff

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The man who was the
face of WCW.

“Controversy creates cash.”
— Bischoff 101.

You little smug shit!

Eric Aaron Bischoff (born May 27, 1955) is an American model (seriously), businessman, booker, and commentator best known for managing WCW from 1993-99. He was a top general in the Monday Night Wars of pro wrestling.

He invented modern wrestling. Bischoff is the reason the cruiserweight division existed in WCW, and were it not for that division, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, etc. would not exist in the same capacity. Bischoff set the template for a three-hour wrestling show (standard for WWE since 2001), with actual competitive matches being shown. He was doing pyro and large indoor sets well before WWE were. The criticism that Bischoff was only successful in using talent who were built up elsewhere is valid, but then WCW used them better than WWE did. "Diesel's" main event run was one of the worst drawing periods for WWE, while Kevin Nash's main event run was WCW's most profitable year ever.

His downfall was his ego, not his intelligence. Also, they were constantly losing money due to the nWo guys forming a mini-union to squeeze out the competition, and massive money contracts with huge guarantees for people who "didn't draw a dime". Giving them creative control in contracts was his biggest mistake of all.

WWE would emerge victorious in the ratings war. In 2002, Bischoff resurfaced as the General Manager of Raw. Though he held no actual power, he portrayed a great heel and was greeted by a chorus of boos whenever he spoke. He also unveiled the Elimination Chamber and Money in the Bank, both of which are still active. In 2009, Bischoff negotiated a deal with TNA. He played the same on-screen/off-screen role as he did on Nitro, before eventually being sent home to sell beer. (Bischoff doesn't pull any Scott Halls but he does own his own brewery.)

In June of 2019, Bischoff was brought back into the WWE fold as the new head of creative at SmackDown Live, most likely to prevent AEW from hiring him — same as Paul Heyman. He got paid to move to Connecticut, eat catering, walk around and "observe" for four months. Then he was let go. Ironically, the next time he would be seen on a wrestling show was on the 5th August 2020 episode of AEW Dynamite, making a well-received guest appearance as the judge of the "AEW Super Wednesday Debate" between Chris Jericho and Orange Cassidy and appearing on TNT again for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Opinions on Bischoff within the community are split down the middle. He's the only creator to go toe-to-toe with Vince McMahonnote , and for that he is still considered a hero by many.

On March 18, 2021, Bischoff and the world both learned that he would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

I'm back, And I'm troper than ever:

  • All Men Are Perverts: A frequently-alluded to weakness. It led to Eric booking himself in a match with Trish Stratus, with the offer that if she could beat him she would get a title shot. She was well on her way to beating him, too, before Victoria and Jazz interfered on his behalf. Afterward, his victory speech was so creepy that Linda McMahon felt the need to come out and stop him from acting on anything he said.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent:
    • A milquetoast color commentator who was later revealed to be the chairman. Hmm, we're stumped.
    • Bischoff cribbed the nWo from his friend Sonny Onoo (of New Japan Pro-Wrestling). Bischoff first came up with the Outsiders idea while watching the UWFI/New Japan "invasion" that same year. Onoo played the liaison for New Japan.
  • Archnemesis Dad: There was a storyline of Garrett Bischoff being a crooked ref-turned-babyface "screw you dad" wrestler. Then he joined the Aces And Eights.
  • Ascended Extra: Bischoff was J.R.'s lackey, both on-screen and off. Eric being picked for Executive Producer is what led to Ross' resignation, since "Good Ol'" J.R. had been groomed for the position. In 1991, he become Executive Producer (and later Vice President) of WCW before it was bought out by Turner Broadcasting. This gave him a direct line to Ted Turner and a blank check to do with as he pleased — which brings us to Nitro. In the late nineties, he joined the New World Order and became their primary spokesman, though by that point, he kinda had to. For the nWo to be running rampant, it would look silly and ineffectual if he wasn't involved.
    Ted Turner asked me, "Ah, Eric...what have we got to do to compete with WWE?" I wasn't prepared for that. "Give me prime time." I thought it was safe that he wouldn't do it. And Ted looks at me, looks at Scott Sasser, and goes, "Scott, give Eric two hours, Monday night, on TNT."
  • Author Appeal:
    • Eric Bischoff is responsible for moving WCW to Monday Nights and going live. From 1993-1995, fans were getting tired of the WWF's scripted form of wrestling. To Bischoff, a fan of NFL football, spontaneity was the most important part: Nitro was meant to have a Monday Night Football feel to it. Like you were watching an actual sporting event. This is also the reason for "Mongo" McMichaels signing with WCW. He had mainstream name recognition as an ex-Super Bowl champion, a smoking hot wife as a valet/manager, and he was halfway decent on the mic.
    • Jericho put it best: WCW had a great undercard in terms of talent, but not-so-great main events. WWE had a so-so undercard, but stellar main events. The cruiserweights were a main reason for this, but towards the latter half of the Monday Night Wars, WWE improved a lot in this area. He wasn't the first promoter ever in the US to give wrestlers that small that big of a platform (Heyman did it first), but Bischoff played a big role. Two weeks before Rey's U.S. debut, Bischoff attended the World Wrestling Peace Festival in '96 and got his first look at Rey, who he had already signed in large part thanks to Konnan. Prior to this, many people were in Bischoff's ear talking down Rey because no one that small had ever been seriously pushed in the US, and some people thought it would make WCW look like a joke. Bischoff saw him wrestle and was so impressed that, when Rey made his debut two weeks later at The Great American Bash, he and Dean Malenko were given nearly 20 minutes. That match was so good that it made the cruiserweights popular with the WCW fanbase and won over everyone in the locker room who was skeptical of Rey's size. Bischoff was the reason the cruiserweight division existed in WCW, and were it not for that division, WWE probably wouldn't have given Eddie, Jericho, Rey, etc. the time of day had they not all made their names in that division and gone over with the crowd.
    • He has a thing for giant Power Stables and motorcycles in general. According to Jim Cornette, the nWo and the Aces And Eights are enough evidence of this (having lots of wrestlers invoked in angles is still considered nWo-esque), them being the kind of men Eric wishes he was. The entirety of Hog Wild/Road Wild was wish-fulfillment on Eric's part: He chose the giant Sturgis motorcycle rally as the site for his new pay-per-view, specifically because that is what Bischoff was legitimately into and what he thought was cool.
  • Bad Boss: Executive Vice-President Eric Bischoff was shown to be collaborating with the nWo, whose mission was to take over WCW. The difference is that Bischoff joined a faction, while Mr. McMahon was very clearly the boss.
  • Big Bad: When he was made WWE's Raw General Manager.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": While nowhere near the level of McMahon, Eric has let out a few of these during his WWE career. Typically to a heel subordinate who has displeased him.
  • Brains and Brawn: He’s a schemer for sure. Eric Bischoff from Halloween Havoc '97 to Havoc '98 rivaled Vince in terms of just oozing heat. He was cowardly and annoying, with good looks and power—but unlike Vince, he was vulnerable and only upright because he was hiding behind Hulk Hogan. (His in-ring skills definitely left a lot to be desired, though.)
  • Bullying a Dragon: Pretty much any time Bischoff tries to pick a fight with any professional wrestler, most notably his trying to attack The Giant when the latter caught Hogan's fist and squeezed him into submission.
  • Butt-Monkey: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin must have enjoyed his tenure as "co"-GM with Bischoff, if only because he got to manhandle Eric every episode for a few months. Also, any time Vince showed up, Eric would definitely have the fear of God in him and would be quickly reduced to pleading for Vince not to remove him from GM duties, but not before getting an earful.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: He admitted on more than one occasion that he may not be a role model or saint. In one promo, Eric said the only thing closer to the Devil than him was his boss, Vince, who was standing right in front of him. Vince’s reaction? A smile.
  • Carnival of Killers: In TNA, he sent Raven, Rhino, Homicide, Tomko, and Desmond Wolfe after Abyss.
  • Catchphrase:
    • See the page quote for his most famous one. It’s even the title of his book.
    • "...Three Minutes...", which he uses to alert Three Minute Warning
  • The Chew Toy: His permanent role in WWF was to be on the receiving end of constant humiliation from both heels and faces alike, though he did manage to get some dignity back after Eugene shaved his head.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Common with Bischoff, to the point that a list of people who he has backstabbed would require its own page.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Bizarro Oprah gives away limousines, chopper bikes, or monster trucks and throws them off buildings.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: When Vince and Eric hugged, it was as if hell had frozen over. Even the roster was stunned.
    Bischoff: ‘When you come out, Eric, I want you to give me a big hug. Let’s embrace.’ Which was kind of odd, because I’d hardly even shaken his hand until this point. 'Sure, Vince.’
  • Demoted to Dragon: His time as Raw GM saw him go from the brains behind the nWo and its main backer to one of Vince's lackeys.
  • Deal with the Devil: Announcers will refer to wrestlers who willingly work with Bischoff to get ahead as an example. Funnily enough, this was used by the announce teams of WWE when Vince and Bischoff were revealed to be working together when Vince hired Eric to be the Raw general manager. But no one specified which one was the devil.
  • Dirty Old Man: Right up there with McMahon, though not nearly as old. But keep in mind Bischoff was around 50 during his time with the WWE.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After being bribed, coerced and bullied by Evolution into giving them shortcuts to championships, stacking matches in their favor and the like, the one time Eric needed them, when he was getting shaved bald by Eugene, and Evolution didn't even bat an eyelash. Cue Eric telling Ric Flair the next night that he can't be depended on anymore, then up and leaving Raw for a month, leaving control of Raw to the winning team of Team HHH vs. Team Orton at Survivor Series 2004. The way he booked it, having control rotate between the team members by the week, the World Heavyweight Championship was virtually guaranteed to be up for grabs at least three out of those four weeks regardless of which team won, and even a Team HHH victory would likely result in Batista choosing to go after the title for himself, which would instantly cause chaos within Evolution.
  • Drunken Song: Stone Cold making Easy-E sing his own theme song. This occurred at the "Redneck Triathlon" (Bad Blood 2003) after the two of them got drunk.
  • Evil Uncle: To Eugene[!] on Raw.
  • Evil Wears Black: Eric has a tendency to wear dark jackets or business suits, and has consistently played a cowardly heel who hides behind his lackeys ever since his Face–Heel Turn in 1996.
  • Finishing Move: Bischoff will play off his past kickboxing abilities when he gets in the ring to do something other than talk. It’s usually a kick to the head. Kicking in general is most of his offense, though, if the few not-very-effective attacks he gets in can even be called offense.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule: Hogan and Bischoff did a whole lot for TNA, commercially at least, that the Jeff Jarrett era could seemingly never do. The reason the wheels fell off is that they moved the show to Mondays, and then they botched the On-The-Road move in 2013, causing a chain reaction which led to them losing a ton of money, having to offload a lot of big stars, and causing Spike to drop them the next year. WrestlingCrap handed their annual Gooker Award to the "New" Monday Night War.
  • Flipping the Bird: He gives his middle finger some air time occasionally.
  • Friendly Enemy: Vince has this warped respect for him because WCW kicked his ass for 84 weeks. Bischoff was treated extremely well at WWE, and is treated more than fairly in the numerous WWE documentaries covering the Monday Night Wars. The interviewees typically blame Hogan, Nash, Russo, et. al for the death of WCW, and rarely talk about Bischoff. Even at the height of their rivalry, Vince drew up a series of comedy sketches (Billionaire Ted's Wrasslin' War Room) making fun of Ted Turner, the "Huckster", and the "Nacho Man"... but no Eric in sight.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: The "Hot Lesbian Action" angle, which was actually a take that to Eric Bischoff. He and his real life spouse had got in some legal trouble over a proposed threesome. So, in typical form, the WWE decided to incorporate Eric's public humiliation into his character, even though it pissed off TNN (through whom Raw was broadcast in the USA). During the brand extension era when he was general manager of Raw and Stephanie McMahon ran Smackdown, his stated goal was to make Stephanie engage in cunnilingus somehow, and even planned to hire a woman to assault her. It turned out to be Rikishi in disguise, and he just stinkfaced Eric.
  • Hate Sink: This was Eric's main role during his time on WWE television, and he was damn good at it.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: One of his quips to Stephanie McMahon was "I've got testicles, and you don't."
  • Heel–Face Turn: TNA actually tried this with Eric. Since Bischoff had been nothing but a heel to the people for years (his entire WWE run was heel from start to finish, with the exception of a short period between turning on Evolution and hating John Cena — for how that went, read on), he handled his new face persona… not well. Things went back to normal before long.
  • Humiliation Conga:
    • One storyline involved Eric losing a match to Eugene, better known for his time as Doink the Clown. The loser of the match had to get their head shaved. Since Eric lost…
    • Getting shoved into a portable toilet, which was then tipped over as the Impact Zone crowd gave him the "Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye" treatment. It's somehow fitting that Eric Bischoff took wrestling to the outhouse, and then left it via an outhouse.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: His co-GM period with Stone Cold can be summarized as this. Austin did everything he could to screw with Eric and break him.
  • "I Am" Song: He's back, and better than ever. You might have heard he has a knack for making things better. It's probably best you face facts because, to be quite frank, your opinion don't matter. We've heard him described as a maniac. And it seems as though he is willing to step on whomever. But now it's time to step in line, because he's about to make some changes.
  • I Lied: Led Douglas Williams (television champ), The Motor City Machine Guns (tag) and Jay Lethal (X) into a trap on the Impact before Genesis 2011 by calling a truce between Immortal and all title holders not in Immortal. Genesis would have been a clean sweep if not for Immortal's own champion Jeff Hardy losing to Mr. Anderson.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Eazy-E", after the diminutive rap artist. Sometimes referred to as "Sleazy-E." given Bischoff's slimy nature.
  • It's Personal: The "war" eventually became an escalating (if publicity-motivated) war of words between Eric and Vince McMahon. The "WWF FEARS NITRO" signs were replaced by "VINCE FEARS ERIC", and Bischoff announced that a sparring match between himself and McMahon would main-event an upcoming PPV. This was followed by a black & white montage of a diminutive Bischoff "training" to beat up Vince. WWE responded through their attorneys, stating that Vince would not appear on the PPV and WCW had no authority to say he will.
    DDT Digest: Seeing Bischoff's chest makes me think of a song. I don't know who sang it, but it's a song from the 70s called "Blinded by the Light".
  • Joker Jury:
    • He was subjected to one shortly before being kicked off Raw.
    • Bischoff loves these. The babyfaces never had a chance at Souled Out with crooked referee Nick Patrick calling every match. (That is, when Bischoff isn't Guest-Refereeing at Slamboree himself!)
    • Years later, Eric doubled down on the corruption, hiring out Impact Zone security to Gunner and Murphy, two heel security guards who basically whistled and filed their nails, all while Immortal pounded Eric's enemies to a bloody pulp. Jerry Springer has better security than Universal Studios does.
  • Kick the Dog: You want to make a face of any degree turn heel? Have him attack Jim Ross. You want to make a heel even more hated? Have him attack Jim Ross. You want to put Bischoff into a heel class all his own? Have Bischoff break a cement block over Jim Ross' head.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: Bischoff is the SOB in just about every case, and it can define an entire show after proper build up. Ask a friend what matches were on the 2003 No Way Out card besides Steve Austin vs. Eric Bischoff.
  • Loser Leaves Town: He's made this the stipulation to a few matches, such as the 2003 Survivor Series match between Team Austin and Team Bischoff, though it only applied to Austin, who upon winning would be able to be as physical as he saw fit instead of having to be physically provoked before "opening a can of whoop-ass."
  • The Napoleon: The only thing more fragile than Eric is a referee. Even that's debatable.
  • Oh, Crap!: Bischoff is ‘’very’’ good at giving facial expressions which convey this thought, especially when he has to perform in the ring against larger wrestlers.
  • Power Stable: The most prominent example is without question the nWo. TNA's faction of Immortal also counts. WWE somewhat toyed with this, as Bischoff was very friendly with Evolution, but Triple H was always calling the shots and would occasionally bully Bischoff even though Eric had the power.
  • Precision F-Strike: "FUCK ECW!"
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Almost always played straight when Bischoff attacks a wrestler; they just stand there with a smile on their face (one excellent example being Austin vs. Bischoff at No Way Out).
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Late 2004, he realized that despite all the times he stuck his neck out and backed Evolution and gave Triple H numerous second chances for the World Title, the one time he really needed them, he ended up getting shaved bald by Eugene. After that, Eric took it upon himself to go on a one-month break and leave Raw in the hands of the "inmates."
  • Sex Sells: A philosophy he fully embraces whether he is in character or out of it.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: Stone Cold during his WWE run. You would hear the "boos" for Bischoff and then the immediate "YEAAAAH!" for Austin. There was an angle with the two of them sharing General Manager duties as well. Everyone else was getting fired, and Eric was on the biggest power trip ever, so when Linda McMahon came out and appointed Steve "co"-GM, the static was in the air for sure. In one episode, Bischoff fires Chief Morley (aka Val Venis) without consulting Austin, who then barges in and yells, "You cannot fire anyone without talking to Stone Cold!" Morley gets all excited and says "Yeah! That's right! That means I'm still hired, right?" [pause] Austin: "Hell no, you're fired."
    • Ironically it's this angle that reconciled them in real life. Bischoff recalled being very apprehensive about working with Austin again considering his acrimonious exit in WCW (and by this point Austin being much, much higher on the foodchain in the WWE than Bischoff was), but as Bischoff noted Austin couldn't have been more gracious and they had a lot of fun in their angle and it gave way to a friendship they share to this day.
  • Smug Snake:
    • Eric is just blessed with one of those faces, the kind you want to speed punch. Even in his announcer days, he looks very untrustworthy. Needless to say, this made him an excellent heel manager in the WWE. Arenas would fill with boos every time his music started even before he came out of the back.
    • For a specific example, there was the time Trish Stratus asked him for a rematch against Jazz for the Women's Championship, which Trish had previously lost. Eric booked Trish a match with him instead, where she would get her title shot if she won but she'd have to sleep with him if he won. While Eric thought he would get some easy nookie, Trish kicked his ass from one end of the ring to the other and would have won easily if Victoria and Jazz hadn't saved his sorry behind.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: He plays the smarmy bastard to perfection and is confident on the mic. Eric does the opposite of the cheap pops that Mick Foley typically does where Mick addresses the crowd by saying the town’s name with a thumbs-up pose. Eric, as a heel, lays out an insult towards certain people, then says the name of the town he is in to imply the audience is full of those who he just insulted. Occasionally he does it so sneakily that it goes over the crowd’s heads.
    “I never did like the hicks around town back in my WCW days. Being here in Birmingham is a grim reminder of those times."
  • Sycophantic Servant:
    • He was always the nerdy guy pretending to be cool: Nash powerbombed Eric off the stage through a table. The fact Eric wanted anything to do with the nWo at all after that came off as weasely, and just trying to side with the big guys. But it worked for the story. The nWo used gang violence to intimidate people into joining.
    • In-storyline, it was established that the World Wrestling Entertainment COO is more important than the General Manager. When Triple H was appointed to the position, he demonstrated the ability to go over Bischoff's head and make decisions. Bischoff as GM remained pretty ineffective, but at least he stopped cowering every time Hunter burst into his office to complain about something.
  • Take That!:
    • While the WWF and WCW were trading cheap shots, DX did a segment where they went to WCW headquarters, singling out Bischoff and Turner personally. In response, Eric cut an nWo promo where he challenged Vince McMahon to a legitimate shoot fight to be broadcast on Nitro. According to him, Hulk Hogan warned him not to, since there was a good chance that Vince would accept and Eric would get his ass handed to him.
    • Bischoff had a habit of spoiling the Raw results on live television...until WWF switched tactics, putting over Mick Foley, and Bischoff leaked that too. As personally hurt as Foley was, he waited until the ratings came in revealing half a million viewers changed the channel at this exact spot. Had he not foreshadowed Mick's win, Nitro would have carried the night. As Foley wrote in his 1999 autobiography Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks:
      Bischoff had once been quoted as saying, 'I used to really look forward to Tuesday mornings to see the ratings, but lately, we've been kicking their ass so bad that it's just not that fun anymore.' I guess Eric must have never heard that old proverb about counting your chickens before they hatch. Also, if kicking the other company's ass so bad isn't any fun, I feel real sorry for Vince, he must be miserable.
  • Tonight in This Very Ring: Very common when announcing matches as Raw’s general manager.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Eric Bischoff's debut as the new Raw General Manager. They showed him backstage with Booker T prior to that moment. The idea was that when Raw went to commercial, you could call your friends on the telephone and tell them to tune in. But had that moment not happened, you couldn't imagine the surprise.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Whenever he is in a position of power, expect this to be his agenda.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Bischoff thought he could get some easy sex by booking himself into a match with Trish Stratus where she'd get a shot at the Women's Championship if she won but would have to sleep with him if she lost. Trish proceeded to utterly humiliate him with a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, and only lost due to Bischoff's interference from Victoria and Jazz.
  • Unknown Rival: While Turner had more recognition as Vince's rival, Eric was clearly the savvier individual when it came to booking Nitro, and the biggest threat to WWE's survival.
  • Villain Team-Up: When Bischoff and McMahon hugged after Vince shocked the world by announcing that he had hired Bischoff to be the new General Manager of Raw. Still a really surreal moment.
    Jim Ross: They're probably picking each others' pockets.
  • Weak Boss, Strong Underlings: Eric is much, much weaker than most of the wrestlers he antagonizes and goes down pretty easily in a fair fight. As such, he has to rely on goons like 3 Minute Warning and certain nWo members to protect him from harm and win matches on his behalf.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • That and just about anything else to emphasize his heel status. He also encouraged it, having 3 Minute Warning squash two women that he had been promising all night would be engaging in "hot lesbian action" just because he knew it would anger the audience, and booking Wild Samoan Umaga against backstage interviewer Maria.
    • That said, when Eric tries doing this himself, it can backfire. As noted above, Trish Stratus was tearing him apart and would have won if not for Victoria and Jazz interfering.
  • Younger Than They Look: He admitted in his book that he'd had grey hair since his early 20s and dyed it black to look his actual age. Viewers first saw him with the grey hair when he lost a match to Ric Flair for control of WCW, and then had his head shaved. The guy probably would've walked out on Raw with his natural hair color if Vince hadn't told him otherwise. (Even Nash was fine with being a grey-haired veteran on TNA.)