May 27, 1958 in Detroit, Michigan
Easy "E", Uncle Eric
Vince McMahon may have won the Monday Night Wars, but no one can deny that his adversary, Eric Bischoff, pushed Vince further to the limit than any one else.
A legitimate black belt (something he has boasted about on camera), Bischoff attended the University of Minnesota where he earned a diploma in the Sciences of Television, Radio and Cinema. He would stick around Minnesota, going to work for Verne Gagne's AWA in 1989. Bischoff worked as a commentator as well as behind the scenes in production. As the AWA began to fail, Bischoff took control of the creative end of the organization.
When the AWA folded in 1991, Bischoff sent an audition tape to the WWE but was not hired. Undeterred, Bischoff instead found work with World Championship Wrestling. Initially brought in as an announcer, (his first event was the 1991 Great American Bash), he was soon promoted to Vice-President. With Ted Turner's financial backing, Bischoff was able to finally bring the WWF some competition, as he used Turner's chequebook to sign away many of WWE's top stars, including Randy Savage, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and perhaps the biggest coup of all: Hulk Hogan.
Bischoff wasn't satisfied with simply signing talent. In September 1995, WCW debuted Monday Nitro, which aired on TNT opposite the WWE's Monday Night Raw program.
It would be Hogan, Nash and Hall that would become an intrical part of Bischoff's most daring and successful angle: the birth of the New World Order in. Although he was attacked by the Outsiders upon their arrival, in November, Bischoff himself would step from behind the camera to become the mouthpiece and leader of the NWO as it grew to prominence ... and then overexposure throughout the late 1990s.
Promoted to President of WCW, Bischoff's tactics paid dividends as Nitro defeated Raw in the weekly ratings for 86 straight weeks, until the Vince McMahon/Steve Austin feud began to hit its stride. With Raw and the WWE back in control of the Monday Night Wars, WCW began to go into a steep decline. In September 1999, Bischoff was fired, to be replaced by Bill Busch, Vince Russo and Ed Ferrera.
He returned in April 2000, but by the end of the year, it was apparent that WCW was on its last legs. Bischoff attempted to get enough funds together to buy the company. Instead, World Championship Wrestling became the property of Vince McMahon and the WWE.
On July 15, 2002, the unthinkable happened. Eric Bischoff walked out during an episode of Monday Night Raw and was introduced by Vince McMahon as the new General Manager of the Raw brand. Bischoff immediately turned his attentions to bringing down another McMahon: Stephanie, the GM of the Smackdown brand.
The war between Raw and Smackdown raged for several months, with both sides stealing talent. Bischoff employed the services of Rosey and Jamal, aka Three Minute Warning, to attack Stephanie and Billy and Chuck during Billy and Chuck's "gay wedding."
With the return of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin to the WWE in 2003, Bischoff was forced to share General Manager duties with Austin. Austin would ultimately face Bischoff in a "Red Neck Triathalon" at Bad Blood in June 2003. Bischoff would also step into the ring with Shane McMahon (at SummerSlam 2003) after Bischoff broke into the McMahon house and threatened Linda McMahon.
As 2003 ended, Bischoff, it seemed had finally gotten the best of Stone Cold Steve Austin. Team Bischoff defeated Team Austin at the 2003 Survivor Series, ending Austin's run as co-GM.
Even without Austin, Bischoff had plenty of trouble on his hands in the form of his nephew, Eugene, who showed up on Raw. Bischoff passed Eugene on to William Regal although eventually Eugene got made at his uncle and demanded a match. Bischoff lost, both a match and much of his hair, to Eugune at Taboo Tuesday.
Even heels seem to take Bischoff for granted on Raw, as he was the recipient of an RKO from Randy Orton after Orton challenged the Undertaker to a match at Wrestlemania XXI. Apparently, Bischoff fit the bill of a legend and was dumped on his head for his troubles.
As if he didn't have enough problems, Bischoff took exception to the upcoming ECW "One Night Stand" pay-per-view and let his feelings about ECW be known. Former ECW head Paul Heyman decided to stand up for his organization, and he and Bischoff clashed on several episodes of Raw.
Bischoff led his anti-ECW crusaders (including Kurt Angle, Edge and JBL into the pay-per-view and watched the proceedings from the balcony. During the ensuing melee between ECW veterans and Bischoff's crusaders, Bischoff was doing commentary. At the urging of Steve Austin, Mick Foley dragged Bischoff into the ring where he was attacked by several of the ECW wrestlers.
His bad "One Night Stand" over with, Bischoff presided over Raw's portion of the draft lottery in June which brought such stars as Angle, Carlito and most impressively WWE Champion John Cena from Smackdown to Raw. Of course, not everything is going well for Bischoff, especially when it comes to his relationship with his current champion, Cena.
After several verbal and even a couple of physical confrontations with Cena, Bischoff has seemingly made it his mission to end Cena's reign as champion. Enlisting first Chris Jericho and later Kurt Angle, Bischoff has, to date, been unsuccesful in that endeavour. Things really backfired at WWE Homecoming, as Vince McMahon signed a Cena/Bischoff title match where Cena retained, despite the interference of Kurt Angle.
In the midst of doing his best to help Angle dethrone Cena, Bischoff instigated a war between his Raw brand and the Smackdown brand, going so far as to lead his troops into battle (both in the ring and even in arena parking lots) against the best Teddy Long had to offer.
However, things didn't go so well for Bischoff. Team Smackdown defeated Team Raw both at Taboo Tuesday and at the Survivor Series, during which Cena retained his title against Angle and Teddy Long defeated Bischoff, thanks to interference from the Boogeyman.
This did not sit well with Mr. McMahon who challenged Bischoff to achieve one goal. Bischoff declared he would make John Cena tap out, only to have Cena prevail in a WWE title match against Angle and Chris Masters.
With Bischoff's latest failure, McMahon put the Raw GM on trial and, in the end, fired him. Bischoff was last seen being pitched into a garbage truck by Vince McMahon himself.
--- compiled by John M. Milner
ERIC BISCHOFF STORIES
Aug. 24, 2013: Eric Bischoff talks candidly about controversies
Apr. 1, 2013: Eric Bischoff secure in his legacy
Oct. 18, 2008: Celebrity Championship Wrestling a debacle and then some
Oct. 18, 2008: Reality 'n' wrestling collide in new Hulk Hogan reality show
Review: Bischoff's book actually kinda tame
May 14, 2005: Bischoff an invisible innovator
April 3, 2005: Bischoff feeds on feuds
May 5, 2004: Bischoff high on his Raw role
Mar. 25, 2003: Bischoff, Michaels go OTR
Mar. 22, 2003: Tempers Flair with Bischoff
Jul 21, 2002: Mat moguls on same team now
September 12, 1999: Eric Bischoff ousted!
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