Bischoff on not signing Lesnar in WCW: “I failed to take advantage of that opportunity”

Jul 24, 2019 - by James Walsh

On the latest 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff discussed whether he ever tried to land Kurt Angle for WCW and recalled having a shot at Brock Lesnar before Lesnar joined WWE. Bischoff said that he never spoke with Angle but remembered that Verne Gagne strongly recommended he check out Lesnar, something he never did.

Highlights from the discussion are below, along with the full podcast:

On if he ever had a conversation with Kurt Angle about joining WCW: “No, I never did …but if I would have had that opportunity, in all honesty, I probably would not have taken advantage of it. In ’96 especially I wouldn’t have felt … we weren’t ready. We would not have been the right [company], it would have been horrible for Kurt. It would have been a huge mistake for Kurt. And quite honestly, in 1999 we were so dysfunctional, I would have not even seen the opportunity had it been presented to me. That’s just the honest truth. I was blinded by dysfunction and chaos, and distracted to the point where I wouldn’t have seen a great opportunity if it would have landed in my lap. That’s just the truth.”

On having Brock Lesnar recommended to him: “I’ll give you another little-known fact. Did you know that long before Brock Lesnar landed in WWF, that Verne Gagne called me up on a Saturday afternoon and said, ‘Eric, you’ve gotta see this kid. I think you should sign him.’ And I said, ‘Well, thank you Verne! Next time I get to Minnesota, let’s get together and we’ll go take a look.’ [Verne said] ‘You’re gonna miss the boat on this kid. I tell you Eric, you’re gonna miss the boat.’ ‘Thank you Verne, I appreciate the call! Let’s get back together again soon!’ So Verne Gagne actually tried to introduce me to Brock Lesnar prior to his introduction to WWF. Given the wit and wisdom of [mine] that period of time, I failed to take advantage of that opportunity.”

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