One of professional wrestling’s most controversial figures will officially take his rightful place in this year’s 2021 WWE Hall of Fame and that person is, Eric Bischoff. Bischoff has enjoyed a storied and illustrious career in the sports-entertainment industry not only for running rival company WCW during the famous Monday night wars and in fact being the only person to have beaten Vince McMahon and WWE for 83 consecutive weeks in a row. This story first broke on Corey Graves After the Bell podcast and Easy E was no doubt surprised by the well deserved announcement about his induction into a legendary class. Bischoff will be joining up with the 2020 WWE Hall of Fame Inductees the NWO.
Bischoff exhibited such extraordinary and an amazing natural ability while performing as an on-screen character for television. The man has been described as a trend-setter, a pioneer even behind-the-scenes in wrestling, not to mention whether he was portraying a conniving boss in WCW and vindictive Raw GM back in 2002.
Bischoff began his career in wrestling when he worked for Verne Gagne’s AWA in 1987, Gagne is also a WWE Hall of Famer. He would soon go from doing sales for the iconic territory to becoming a talent on-air by conducting interviews for some of the biggest stars in pro-wrestling. Bischoff was already becoming quite a presence on camera while hosting AWA’s shows airing on ESPN. However, when the 1990s came the AWA would sadly go out of business, that is when Bischoff made a move down south to Atlanta to join World Championship Wrestling in 1991.
He would continue to host programs and do commentary for the Ted Turner owned company. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s, where Bischoff’s superstardom into fame would really be catapulted to another level, when he became the executive producer of WCW. He was instrumental in helping bring Hulk Hogan to the promotion. Bischoff had a vision to compete with the WWE’s Monday Night Raw show by launching WCW Monday Nitro in 1995. This kind of fierce competition only made wrestling more entertaining and exciting to watch on Monday night’s with elements of must-see-tv every week, leaving fans wanting more and also creating more mainstream buzz with regards to what was happening within popular culture.
By being able to sign both Hall and Nash to WCW and combining that with Hogan turning heel and joining the Outsiders the rest they say is wrestling history. Bischoff went from being an upstanding announcer to joining this new bad boy faction of the New World Order. He himself become a larger than life character and excelled at his portrayal of a person you despised. Bischoff was a natural villain and the man began to be a polarizing personality in front of the cameras which worked out perfectly for television. The NWO would dominate and run WCW.
It was after WWE purchased their competition WCW in 2001, Bischoff had been hired and brought in as the first Raw General Manager dating back to 2002 and competed against Smackdown General Manager Stephanie McMahon and the blue brand during this time period. He still had that ruthless and underhanded management philosophy as fans remembered while he was in WCW.
Let’s just say, I recall watching that episode of Raw and witnessing Eric Bischoff on Raw took all of us by surprise and complete shock, especially to hear Vince McMahon introduce him and then both Bischoff and McMahon embraced actually hugged it’s still one of the not only shocking but greatest things to happen not just in WWE history, I’d also put it up there as far as discussing wrestling history. Bischoff enjoyed some most memorable rivalries as Raw GM, with the likes of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and John Cena. Let’s talk about him with regards to innovating with concepts such as Raw Roulette and the Elimination Chamber, which still is one of the WWE’s yearly pay-per-view events. In 2006, Bischoff also wrote a New York Times bestseller with his book appropriately titled “ Controversy Creates Cash.”
I feel this induction has long been overdue and many fans echo the same sentiment not only for his contributions to the industry, if we’re talking working behind the scenes and performing on TV, Eric Bischoff definitely deserves such an honor.
You don’t want to miss Eric Bischoff being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame during the 2021 Induction Ceremony, Tuesday, April 6, it will stream exclusively on Peacock in the United States and the WWE Network everywhere else. The ceremony will honor both the 2020 and 2021 classes.