Two-time WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair recently spoke with former WCW Executive Producer and President Eric Bischoff on WOOOOO! Nation. During the two-part podcast, Flair and Bischoff discussed many topics including Bischoff's rationale for bringing Lex Luger back to WCW in 1995, Scott Hall coming up with Sting's 'Crow' gimmick, and the finish of the Hulk Hogan vs. Sting match at Starrcade 1997.
According to Bischoff, he held resentment towards Luger up until a year or two ago. Bischoff's resentment of Luger was based on Luger's arrogant personality and Luger's part in Elizabeth Hulette's death.
"The vibe that he gave me and probably a lot of other people is that he was so full of himself. Like, that Narcissist gimmick that he went to the WWE with wasn't a stretch for him. There was not a lot of acting involved there, not really." Bischoff added, "I had a lot of resentment towards him because of what happened with Elizabeth. My wife was very friendly with Elizabeth."
Bischoff said he was glad to see Luger's first run with WCW end. In addition to not liking Luger as a person, Bischoff was not a fan of Luger's work.
"To me, he didn't mean much, so when he left, I was like 'good riddance - now he's out of my hands.'"
Luger returning to WCW from WWE for the premiere of WCW Monday Nitro came together because of the timing, rather than any real vision, according to Bischoff. Bischoff explained that he took a meeting with Luger about returning to WCW out of respect for Sting, who was close with Luger.
"It was almost painful for me because I didn't want to shut Sting down, but in my mind, I would rather take an icepick to my thigh than have a conversation with this guy about coming back."
Bischoff claimed that his understanding was that Luger's WWE contract was up and that there was a handshake deal in place between WWE and Luger to keep him with the company. Bischoff's plan was to make a lowball offer to Luger to placate Sting, but Luger ended up taking the deal.
"I said, 'okay, I'm going to make this guy an offer that I hope he turns down.' And I don't remember what Luger was making when he left WCW, I think it was probably around $750,000 or something like that or $500,000 or something. I don't remember. I offered $150,000. I said, 'okay, if you want to come back, here's $150,000.' And I knew that it was so much less than what he was making. I knew it and that was going to be my out. 'Sorry, Sting, I offered what I could afford and he turned it down' instead of flat out saying 'no'. And Luger accepted it."
As for Sting and his 'Crow' gimmick, Bischoff indicated that Scott Hall was the person who gave Sting the idea. Bischoff told Flair during the podcast that Hall telling Sting about 'the Crow' was one of his most vivid memories from his professional wrestling days.
"Scott Hall had brought up the Crow character that Brandon Lee played in the movie where he was shot and killed and it was that dark, kind of brooding, scary looking character." Bischoff continued, "and I remember sitting back listening to Scott describe it to Sting and I was watching Sting's eyes just light up because he got it and it resonated with him. I just sat back and let it build because it was really good."
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Although the build for Sting vs. Hogan at Starrcade 1997 was the longest build for a match in WCW's history up until that point, Bischoff claimed that he had to change the planned finish of the match because Sting showed up out of shape.
"What had happened over the course of a year is he hadn't been working out. He wasn't engaged. He'd show up, he'd do his thing, he would do it very well, it was great, he'd get on a plane the next morning, he'd disappear, and we wouldn't see him for a week." Bischoff continued, "but at the end of our first meeting talking about where things were going, when it was over, Hulk and I both looked at each other and go, 'man, we can't go there. He didn't get ready for this.' It didn't feel to us that this was a priority."
Originally, the plan was for Sting to go over Hogan clean, but Bischoff made the decision to change course.
"Hulk Hogan takes the heat for this, 'you changed the finish - you didn't want to do it', B.S. That was my call. Right or wrong, it was my call."
In addition to talking about Lex Luger and Sting, Flair and Bischoff spoke about Hulk Hogan not working with Rick Rude, whether Brian Pillman tricked Bischoff into releasing him, and many other topics in the interview. Check out the podcast by clicking here.
Source: WOOOOO! Nation