Eric Bischoff Accuses Vince McMahon Of 'Raiding' Talent

On a recent episode of Eric Bischoff's podcast, the guest was Jim Ross and they talked about the WWE hosting recent events like the Cruiserweight Classic, the UK Tournament and taking talent like Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles for NXT and WWE, respectively. While JR believed it was a way to "strengthen the shores" and gain more popularity for the company overseas, Bischoff had a different viewpoint.

He brought up the fact that when Vince took talent from the AWA and Mid-South back in the 80s, he offered them better deals and they took it and came over. When Bischoff did that to the WWE guys back in his days of running WCW, he was accused of stealing and raiding talent. Thus, Eric pondered, what is the difference between what Vince is doing now and what he did back in the 90s?

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  • Vomkrieg

    Big difference between getting people from smaller promotions and then using them, rather than just buying talent from your direct opposition simply to take the talent and not use it.

    Compare WCW’s use of Bret Hart to WWE’s use of AJ Styles.

    Getting talent because you have a use for them is one thing. What WCW did was short-sighted “spend to win” and bankrupted them. Slight difference there Eric.

    • WCW didn’t go bankrupt. Jamie Kellner (of the AOL/Time Warner merger) took WCW off the air. Even at it’s very worst, WCW’s ratings weren’t in the toilet (though they deserved to be). They still had money too. They just lost their TV. Without TV, the company’s worth decreased…but it was never a bankrupt organization. Turner just sold it off because it had no place to air.

      • Vomkrieg

        Uh huh. Because TV companies love flushing away profit. If WCW was legitimately profitable, and not a sinking ship drowning in overbloated salaries. Why shut it down and sell it off for virtually nothing.

        That makes zero business sense.

        • When the merger happened, AOL flat out did NOT want wrestling on their network. It wouldn’t have mattered how profitable it was. That wasn’t the image they wanted to put out there. In their minds, TBS had been “soiled with rasslin'” for far too long and it was time for it to go away. There’s info out there on the internet from various sources. The fact that WCW was experiencing a well-deserved downturn and would have completely failed had it remained on the same course made it an easier choice but WCW wasn’t losing it’s shirt by any means; AOL just wanted it gone. It was sold off because it had no network to air on. Without a network, it wasn’t worth anywhere near as much as it was. Eric Bischoff and other investors were set to buy it as long as they could get a three-year commitment from the powers-that-be to continue to air the program. You can even find promo material from the attempted re-launch. The network wouldn’t make that commitment. If they’d have been able to keep the TV, we might still be watching it even now.

  • Bischoff is totally right. What Vince is doing now is no different from what he did when he wanted the AWA and NWA go away. He goes in and raids. ‘Course, it was easier then but he’s still doing it now. If he could knock ROH out of business, he’d likely do it. Bischoff should know all about this – he did it too for exactly the same reasons. These are businesses. The strong and smart survive.