Anyone who was alive during the famed ‘Monday Night Wars,’ knows just how real the war actually was to many of the performers in WWE and WCW. Obviously, the battle for ratings supremacy meant the most to the figureheads of both companies- Vince McMahon with WWE and Eric Bischoff with WCW, respectively. It seemed like week after week, both men would play a game of ‘can you top this,’ with each other. On a given week, Bischoff would gleefully read the results of his competitor’s program, and McMahon would actually send his own performers (D-Generation X) to the site of WCW’s show. The latter move would infuriate Bischoff, so much so that, the following week, ‘Eazy E’ would actually issue a challenge to the CEO of WWE.
Now, Jim Ross has shared his thoughts on the challenge from Bischoff, why Eric would issue the challenge in the first place, and who would actually win in a fight between Bischoff and McMahon.
Speaking with Conrad Thompson on his ‘Grilling’ J.R.’ podcast, Ross said that Bischoff’s challenge wasn’t taken all that seriously by anyone in the WWE.
“It was just another eyeroll,” Ross shared. “Like, come on- it ain’t gonna happen. It’s publicity. [Bischoff’s] a performer. He’s like a carnival barker, just like the rest of us are. And he had a story to tell. He was looking for attention, for recognition, for acknowledgement, for something tangible to hold onto. So it was kind of like ‘hot-shotting the territory.’ Only this was ‘hot-shotting’ a promo, and making a challenge that you knew good and well, that never in a million years, was it going to happen.”
Eventually, McMahon would topple his competition and he and Bischoff would make peace with each other. Bischoff would actually join the WWE in 2002 and, despite an on-again/off-again working relationship, he and McMahon seem to be on relatively good terms. Still, back in 1998, had the two seen each other in a dark alley, fists very easily could have been thrown.
When asked who would have actually won in a fight between Bischoff and McMahon in their, um, ‘prime,’ Ross gave the nod to Bischoff, albeit with slight hesitation.
“Well, Vince is bigger and stronger so Bischoff would have to get him early,” Ross laughed. “Vince has a lot of strength there. But by Eric’s training, he should win. He was highly-skilled in martial arts at one point in his life. I would think Eric would have the advantage in that regard; plus youth and all that good stuff. But Vince would be stronger. The only thing about the ‘Old Man’ is- he told me one time that he’d never lost a street fight. And he grew up around a bunch of marines in North Carolina, so I know he ain’t afraid to tussle. But I don’t know. Eric should have been the favorite in that deal, if I had to gamble on that. But it could also be a real quick finish in McMahon’s favor.”
Of course, the two would eventually meet inside the squared circle and the outcome of that “match” shouldn’t be a surprise. Later still, McMahon would actually throw Bischoff into the back of a garbage truck (allegedly at Bischoff’s behest) to end the character “for good.”
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