Eric Bischoff on working for Vince McMahon and his retirement, Ric Flair’s recent comments, appearing on WWE and AEW programming, CM Punk, AEW World Champion MJF

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Insight With Chris Van Vliet with guest Eric Bischoff
Host: Chris Van Vliet
Podcast available via
Video available at Chris Van Vliet’s YouTube Page

On the comments made about Ric Flair: “That’s a weird one. Six months ago I was out having cocktails with Ric Flair, and Wendy. I ran into him at an autograph signing at a convention in Houston about a year ago, we just had the greatest time. He called me in my room ‘come on down, we’ll have the greatest time, woo!’ I got the text. Then all of a sudden, I get blindsided. And I don’t know, I don’t know what got into Ric. Maybe somebody said something to him that I said, or he heard me say something that rubbed him the wrong way or he had some kind of a flashback. But I honestly don’t know. Even last night, I got into Vegas and I am sitting down and having a beer and looking through my social media. I see stuff that Ric said, I fire back, and as soon I was done, I said that’s it, I’m just not doing this. I have a lot of affection for Ric, I don’t know why, but I love Ric. And I’m sure I’m not the only one that loves Ric and does not know why they love Ric, he’s got that personality. I have a lot of respect for him, and I don’t want to engage anymore in the social media thing. If Ric wants to sit down, have a face-to-face conversation and tell me what I did wrong, how I pissed him off or irritated him or whatever, I am happy to do that and put it behind us and move on. But as far as the social media stuff, I’m probably not going to talk about it on my podcast anymore, because I am hoping that it just goes away.”

On CM Punk: “I don’t know [what is going on]. I mean, it is a train wreck, that’s all I know. I wasn’t a big fan of Punk to begin with. I think he was overhyped. I think there was a great mystique, I don’t want to take that away from him, there was a tremendous mystique. When he dropped that Pipe Bomb, that was like rebelling against the man. Everybody in America at one point in time, deep down wishes that they could do what he did. That is what created that mystique, and that mystique lived, even though, you know, he showed up to the UFC a couple of times and got humiliated. It didn’t matter, he still had the mystique with the wrestling fans. When he got to AEW, I was excited, because I was interested to see how that would work. But if you go back and you listen to his opening promo, what did he do? He ripped Hulk Hogan. If you have to get yourself over with that kind of cheap heat, you’re not over, you don’t know how to get over. He was living off the momentum that was created for him in the WWE, he was living off of the mystique, he had it in his hands. I think that the way he was produced, his creative, I didn’t find it compelling at all. He is out there wrestling nobodies.”

On being able to appear on WWE and AEW programming: “Yeah, that one [the AEW relationship] is not as good anymore, but that was my choice. I knew when I said what I was going to say that it will be the last time I get invited there. I was fine with that. I don’t worry about it, it is what it is. But when I was bouncing back between WWE and AEW, first time I got a call from AEW, I called Bruce Prichard. I said that I just want to let you know out of courtesy and respect for our friendship, I am still tight with Bruce. Please let Vince know, if he has got a question about this or an issue, please give me a shout. If not, I am going to go ahead. I got the word back to go and have a ball, it’s just communication and common courtesy.”

On working for Vince McMahon: “Obviously I wasn’t there on the inside when Vince left. I was there for four months, I worked with Vince almost every day. On those days we did work together, it was often for hours and hours and hours. I don’t want to say that I know Vince McMahon, because I don’t, I don’t think anybody does outside of his immediate family. We all get little glimpses of him, but I don’t think many people really know Vince McMahon. My experience was Vince had a strong vision, clearly, look where WWE is today, clearly he has had a strong vision throughout his life. The challenge for me and the people I worked with on the creative side were to come up with things that would get Vince’s attention in a positive way. You never knew what that was going to be, because there was no consistency there.

“Every day was a brand new day, it’s not like I could get a read on Vince McMahon. I think that stifled creativity a lot. You’ve heard these stories, and I don’t mean to share these experiences as like a tell all or anything negative, because it worked for them and it worked for Vince McMahon, I wish I could have figured those out. But you have heard the stories of showing up to television at 1 o’clock, tearing up the script and starting from scratch. Those aren’t exaggerations. That process, or lack thereof, is not conducive to great creativity. And I think, I’m guessing on this, because I don’t know Paul Levesque well either, I have worked a long time around him. Paul had been a part of that creative process long enough to know what the weak points were, to know what was holding it back, to know what was frustrating the people that were charged with coming up with good creative. I think that Paul made a lot of those changes very quickly, and I would imagine that the quality of the writing and the quality of the creative got much tighter. Writers got more confidence, because it was a more predictable environment, just the quality went up, that’s my take.”

On Vince McMahon retiring: “I don’t know, like I said I don’t really know him. I know he is interested in cars, he’s got nice cars. But I have never heard a story of him like going golfing, yachting or fishing. I don’t think he did anything but work or workout.”

On MJF: “I have jeans older than him! He’s so good. I think the reason, well there are many reasons, but one of the reasons is that he lives it. A lot of guys that play heels on TV don’t play heels in real life and don’t want to be. It’s human nature, no one wants to be hated. I think wrestling in particular, it’s not like being an actor. You can be a villain in a movie, and everyone knows you are just playing a movie. But in wrestling, when you’re a villain in wrestling they think you are a villain in real life. It’s true though, isn’t it.”


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