Eric Bischoff made his WWE debut in 2002, becoming one of the most influential characters in the last 20 years. During the last edition of his 83 Weeks podcast, he recalled the first meeting with Vince McMahon.
“I have said this before, because I often get asked about the first conversation with after everything going down with the Monday Night Wars and the lawsuits and me calling him out and all the crazy stuff that went out, so people are naturally curious on that first conversation like, and again, I just want to be careful that I do a good job with this because I want to be as accurate as I can be.
"I wasn’t overly excited about it but I was really curious and really deep down inside hopeful. I think deep down inside I was ready and I had enough time that had passed between Jim Ross’s call and almost a year later Vince McMahon calling me; enough time had passed, even more opportunity to kind of put the past in my rearview mirror and compartmentalize a couple of open issues that I had, probably in 2001 when JR called me and even before that.
"I was angry about the whole AOL Time Warner thing and the entire deal falling apart. There was a list of other things that went on during that time, some of which I still haven’t spoken about till this day, just the way things were handled internally, but by the time Vince McMahon called me, all those things were so far away from my rearview mirror that I started to forget about it.
"I just put it out of my mind, and deep down inside I was hopeful that something was going to work out because I knew, and I had time to think about it, but I knew that if I went to WWE as a character–by the way, even before Vince McMahon even called me, after Kevin Nash gave me the heads up and had a day and a night to think about it, I was almost positive that they weren’t going to call me to come in for any kind of management role. I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I knew that if they were going to call would be for a talent position" - Bischoff revealed.