On a recent episode of his 83 Weeks podcast, former WCW Executive Vice President Eric Bischoff spoke at length about “The Loose Cannon” character that Brian Pillman and he came up with during the late wrestling legend’s time in WCW.
Featured below are some of the highlights. H/T to WrestlingInc.com for transcribing the quotes.
On the goal always being for Brian Pillman to return to WCW: “Brian told me that he had a shot to go to WWF and I told him to go. Brian Pillman and I stayed in contact the entire time he was in WWF. He wanted to make sure that he can make his way back to WCW. That was his goal. Was he working me and just calling me while being on the road and maintaining a good relationship while checking in with me? Maybe, but we were able to maintain a good relationship while he was there. The plan was to let the Loose Cannon persona play out in other promotions outside of WCW and raise the value of Pillman’s name. Then he could come back to WCW and Bischoff would have more of a reason to pay Pillman the big money he was asking for.
“The agreement that Brian and I had was that let’s play out this character out here in WCW and when it is time to go it’s time to go. Go out and get yourself over either in ECW or WWF, wherever you end up and then let’s bring you back and then I can justify the money that you wanted. That was it. There was nothing more or nothing less to it than that. It was a cooperative kind of thing. All we were doing at the point was letting it play out. That was all. Brian Pillman did not want to stay. We weren’t going to get him over.”
On knowing he had to let Pillman go to get over somewhere else for the plan to really work: “He wasn’t going to become The Loose Cannon and then qualify for double the salary that he was asking for. There was nothing that we were able to do for him to justify doubling his salary, so the next option, I guess it that sounds stupid to the listeners. The next option would have been to bury him or cut him loose with five months left in his contract.
“I believe that idea would be even dumber, as opposed to saying, look, here’s a guy I like. Here’s a character that could work. Let’s leave on good terms and let the storyline play itself out where he gets so crazy that I have to fire him so that there is at least logic to it, and if there’s a way for him to get over to justify giving him the money that he wants, great! I would have been happy to do it because I like him and I believe in him. That was all there is to it.”
Check out the complete episode of the 83 Weeks podcast featuring Eric Bischoff at MLWRadio.com.