On this date in WWE history: Eric Bischoff shows up on Monday Night Raw to hug Vince McMahon

It was on this date in WWE history that Eric Bischoff showed up on Monday Night Raw ... and gave Vince McMahon a hug, potentially throwing away millions of dollars.

It's not often pro wrestling promotions have a guaranteed money winning angle dropped into their laps. So when it happens, naturally, you would think they would be quick to jump on it, like flies to shit.

Not in this instance.

There's little arguing that the Monday Night Wars in the late 1990s took the pro wrestling industry to new heights. When the World Wrestling Federation, lead by Vince McMahon, was battling it out with World Championship Wrestling, led by Eric Bischoff, the business couldn't have been healthier ... so to speak.

Ratings were through the roof, as both companies pushed each other to be better creatively. And fans reaped the benefits.

The rivalry between the two companies was both real and imagined. Although McMahon is ultra competitive and always had it in his mind that he would ultimately triumph, he was focused more on bettering his own product ... for the most part. He would take shots at the competition every now and again but once he got away from doing that, the WWF took off. Bischoff, meanwhile, had it in his head that he had to bury the WWF at every turn and he wouldn't stop until he had destroyed McMahon and his entire organization.

This led to a lot of underhanded tactics on Bischoff's part. From signing every last bit of talent he could get his hands on, to dropping the WWF women's championship in the trash on live television, to giving away results of taped editions of Monday Night Raw, Bischoff was out for blood and he played for keeps. When WCW was eventually overrun, he was ousted from power but gone from the company before it collapsed underneath its own weight.

Still, his face was the most recognizable as the man who led the charge against WWF in the Monday Night Wars. Which is why his inevitable signing with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) would be such a big deal.

Except it wasn't.

It's hard to imagine what Vince and his creative team were thinking. After McMahon bought out WCW and botched the Invasion storyline so thoroughly and completely, all that was left was to bring in the New World Order (nWo), Bischoff's greatest creation. He did that, too, but it was also a massive flop and was discontinued, ironically enough, on the very same day Bischoff made his debut on Raw on this date in WWE history (July 15, 2002).

The entire deal was dept secret, or at least as secret as something as big as this can be kept. McMahon promised to announce a new General Manager of Raw on this date and for whatever reason, they essentially gave away that it would be Bischoff during a backstage segment with Booker T.

Still, it was quite the shock when Vince McMahon came out to the ramp and announced as much.

"You know you don't realize this but it takes a real son of a bitch to be successful in this business. So from one son of a bitch to another, allow me to introduce you to the new General Manager of Raw. His name is Eric Bischoff."

What happened next has been widely panned as one of the single dumbest decisions in the history of the business. Instead of playing off the real life issues between Bischoff and McMahon and at the very least attempting to reignite that rivalry for what should have promised to be a big money making feud, the two embraced.

They hugged, for entirely too long. Then McMahon shook his hand far too enthusiastically and raised it for all to see. I guess they were going for shock value.

What they did was (potentially) flush millions of dollars down the toilet.

Bischoff would go on to cut a promo talking about how he nearly ran McMahon out of business by doing new and innovative things that forced Vince and the WWF to change the way they operated. All for the better, of course.

Watch it all go down below:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Cageside Seats

You must be a member of Cageside Seats to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cageside Seats. You should read them.

Join Cageside Seats

You must be a member of Cageside Seats to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cageside Seats. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker