Legendary wrestling personality JJ Dillon was a guest on last Wednesday's episode of the Wrestling Inc. Podcast with Raj Giri, Glenn Rubenstein, and Chris Callicutt. During the interview, WrestlingINC.com owner Raj Giri asked Dillon how difficult it was working with Eric Bischoff as an executive with WCW when he had issues with Ric Flair.
"And he and Eric and Flair got cross-ways. He fired Flair, sent him home," said Dillon. "Wanted to fire Arn [Anderson] and I convinced him that Arn was so valuable to us - I had to take one thing at a time and convinced him that it would be a huge business mistake to let Arn go and that he would have a hard time explaining it to people above him why he let Arn go. Arn was that valuable of a commodity. So he backed off from that and little by little I arranged for Flair to come down, and have a meeting and I was kind of the peacemaker, the go between and same thing with Flair. You don't want to lose Flair, he was a commodity back then."
"But it was, yeah, it was a rocky road to say the least 'cause Eric was not, he was not the wrestling person that everybody at WCW and the TBS hierarchy thought he was," Dillon recalled. "He was, he carried coffee for Verne Gagne. That was his foundation in the wrestling business."
JJ Dillon was the manager of the original Four Horsemen, which included Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn and Ole Anderson. He left WCW in 1989 and joined the WWE front office until 1997. He returned to WCW until fall 1998.
Dillon recalled the first meeting he had with Eric Bischoff, who was in charge of WCW at the time, about how hyper-obsessed he was with putting Vince McMahon and WWE out of business.
"And when I first got hired, I needed a job. I had left Vince on my own volition after I'd been there seven not quite eight years," Dillon said. "Walked out, I had young kids, I had to have a job with benefits and I had [Tony] Schiavone call Eric and he said yeah, 'Eric wants to meet with you.' And when I went to see Eric Bischoff for the first time, never met him before, the first thing he talked about was not what I could help him and I'm not talking about proprietary information, specific numbers, guys earnings', that type of thing but the philosophy of how Vince built talent and structured his television show."
"All Eric [Bischoff] wanted to talk about was, 'How much longer can he stay in business? I'm going to put him out of business. What other matches does he got to go with?' And he, I just sat and listened."
"And I didn't want to say to him because I needed a job, 'Eric if you think you're going to put Vince out of business, you're crazy.' Vince is a third generation wrestling 24/7."
"WCW was a division of a broadcast company," Dillon explained. "And which eventually happened when Eric thought he ran it into the ground, was reckless with the guaranteed contracts, reckless with the production costs of the television shows that I mean eventually all the sudden. When the good times were good, everyone at, the suits at TBS were smiling thought 'Oh we got a guy in Eric that was kind of a TV guy, worked for Verne Gagne, and a wrestling guy too, he must be doing great.' And then when it nosedived and all the sudden they're losing $5 million a month and projected to lose $5 million more the next month and the next month, $60 million losses for that year and another $0 next year, everybody stood at attention and said, 'What's going on?' And started asking questions and that was the beginning of the end."
"And you know Eric was his own worst enemy," Dillon concluded.
You can listen to JJ Dillon on the Wrestling Inc. Podcast embedded in the video above. Be sure to check out JJ Dillon's new radio show, The JJ Dillon Show, on the MLW platform at MLWRadio.com. The show is co-hosted by former WWE announcer Rich Bocchini.
The Wrestling Inc. Podcast airs post-WWE pay-per-view Sundays and on Mondays immediately following WWE RAW with Matt Morgan, Glenn Rubenstein and Raj Giri. It airs Wednesdays at Noon ET with Chris Callicutt and Glenn Rubenstein. The archive of episodes is available by clicking here.
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