There has been more light shed on the challenge made by Eric Bischoff for Vince McMahon to turn up at a WCW pay-per-view for a fight, and the WWE Chairman’s reaction.
Bischoff pushed the boundaries a lot whilst he was at the helm of WCW, and even challenged the WWE Chairman to a match at Slamboree 1998. Whilst McMahon didn’t show, Bischoff clearly had everything in place in case he did.
Talking on the Stories With Brisco And Bradshaw podcast, Bischoff discussed how close it came to a confrontation between the two actually happening.
I’ve I’d known Vince then the way I know Vince now I might have approached things differently because he is kind of a crazy b*stard. But at the time to me, he was just a big jacked-up, muscled-up gym guy. Not to sound like a tough guy because that sh*ts way behind me but I bounced in a bar in downtown Chicago, I’ve fought guys bigger and stronger than me a lot in my life. […] I wasn’t afraid of Vince at all, I wasn’t intimidated by him and mostly because my thinking was ‘look if he shows up whether he kicks my ass or it goes the other way, I don’t really care because it’s gonna be huge!’
I had a dressing room for him, nameplate on the door. I instructed Doug Dillinger the head of security and the security team ‘if they show up, escort them to the room like any other celebrity, provide them with every courtesy that we would anybody else that was a celebrity, take care of them.’
As part of the podcast, Gerald Briscoe went on to talk about Vince’s reaction from the other side of the battle.
[Vince] was p*ssed off as hell, I was right there when it happened. Now you got his attention Eric I mean Vince didn’t watch the show of course but he had Howard Finkel [watch WCW Nitro]. On Tuesday mornings we used to get these packets of paper and it had segment by segment, move by move – Howard Finkel would stay up all night long making up these notes so the next day we knew exactly everything that was on that show.
When they brought that script in and it said ‘Eric Bischoff challenged you’ of course it spread across the production meeting like wildfire. ‘What are you gonna do? What are you gonna do?!’ Vince was hot, he was hot about it, it was embarrassing to him but there was no way he was gonna go down there because what good is it gonna do? [Vince] wanted to go and hinted like he wanted to go and was going to go but there was nobody that was going to let him go.
With thanks to Inside The Ropes for the transcription.