On the latest edition of Grilling JR, Jim Ross talked about heat backstage towards Eric Bischoff after he signed with WWE in 2002, culminating with Ric Flair attacking Bischoff backstage at a WWE TV taping on March 17th, 2003. Highlights are below.
On the Bischoff – Ric Flair fight: “It was at TV, one of the stooges, whoever, there’s plenty of them, couldn’t wait to tell me, give me the dirt. You go check it out, and nobody’s hurt. Nobody is bleeding, I don’t think, of any significance. The stories grew by the moment. This guy was there and Jack Lanza was there and Arn Anderson holding people back and somebody tried to help Eric, it became like a goddamned scene from Deadwood, what a production this is. It was a wrong place, both guys, wrong place, wrong time. Ric, all that animosity, lashed out, it wasn’t the right thing to do, obviously, you can’t conduct business this way. But I think it kind of got everybody’s system. After that, I don’t recall any other incidents after that one night. So if they had that much animosity and they got it all out in that little skirmish, I’d say we did pretty good in that deal.”
On how he dealt with talent upset over the hiring of Bischoff: “Everybody who came to me to discuss it, I didn’t open up old wounds under the auspices of being proactive. I didn’t re-drill to the nerve, but guys knew how open I was at communicating with them, and so I didn’t have any hard time getting it out of them, so they could express themselves, so I could reassure them we not going to have any negativity in this regard, we’re not going to have any violence, we’re not going to do things that are stupid that costs you money or suspension or whatever, because you get no leg to stand on, just can’t do it. So, I said you gotta get over this shit. I talked to guys, I talked through it, most of them admitted I was right, but they were reluctant to still accept the terms and conditions of being a professional. It blew over quick though, I thought it blew out quick. After a few weeks, it was as if Eric had been around for a long time.”
If using any of the above quotes, please credit Grilling JR with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.