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Eric Bischoff Recalls The Steiner Brothers’ WCW Return In 1996, Splitting Them Up In ’98

March 7, 2023 | Posted by Bob Colling
Steiner Bros. Rick Scott Steiner Brothers The Steiners Image Credit: WWE

On a recent episode of 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff talked about Rick Steiner’s WCW career. Bischoff talked about how the Steiner Brothers returned in 1996, negotiating with the Steiner Brothers and splitting the Steiner Brothers up in 1998. Some highlights are below.

On the Steiner Brothers Returning to WCW in 1996 due to issue with the Nasty Boys: “I would say almost always Knobs, Knobs was kind of the de facto spokesperson for the team. Which is really weird, because Jerry was easier for me to talk to. Jerry was kind of level-headed. Jerry Saggs of the Nasty Boys is a unique cat that, you know, in the ring around the wrestling environment. Knobs is every ounce of a nasty boy. But if you get him away from that environment and you talk to him, he could be your financial advisor. He could be a general contractor. He’s a very level-headed, very intelligent not that emotional type of guy. Brian was the opposite. Brian was always the emotional one and he was always kind of half wound up and for whatever reason by default it was always Brian. As for what happened and why? They weren’t part of this event, I’m not sure. I certainly wouldn’t take Meltzer’s word for it. But, I don’t know what happened. It could have been a travel issue or there could have been a more significant issue.”

On negotiating with the Steiners: “I developed — and I don’t even know how or why, but I guess common interests. Maybe because Brad and I were tight and because of that relationship I’ve just kind of developed a different relationship with Rick even before they left. So, when Rick called me it was like not a conversation. It was like where do you want to meet. Let’s talk. Let’s talk this through and get it done. There was no debate. I didn’t even have conversation with myself. I think I do remember. He called me, Rick called me on a Saturday morning and I remember that because I was hanging out with Garrett and probably watching Dukes of Hazzard or some ridiculous stuff on TV. I remember Rick called me and it was like immediate. I think we met at a Waffle House — We talked for about 20 minutes and Monday morning got to work and put a deal together. It was easy.”

On splitting up the Steiner Brothers in ’98: “I pitched them. Scott was excited and now I may be conflating two separate meeting. I want to be careful here try to be accurate. I try not to b******* my way through this stuff like most people do. But, there were two conversations I had with the Steiner’s about this time. One was their contract renewal and then the other was splitting them up and those two things were happening pretty close to the same time. I can’t remember which one happened first, but I remember specifically the discussion about splitting them up and the reaction I got from Scott was pretty positive. He was like a kid in a candy store. You’d have to ask them because there’s no way I can get inside of their heads, but I think the reason they were reluctant to do it before was probably the same reason that Hulk Hogan was reluctant to turn heel the year before he did. Because, there was no plan. I think with the Steiner’s it was similar because I don’t think they had the confidence in any of the people creatively and certainly the company wasn’t going in any direction that would give them confidence previously about splitting. Whereas now, and what is this ’97? By 98 we own the wrestling world in some respects. I think that sense of confidence and growth and opportunity that existed all the way around them probably had a lot to do with ‘Hey, yeah we’ve been doing this for a long time it’s worked let’s try something else because there’s so much working.’ It’s not as risky to take a big chance when you’re jumping on a train that’s leaving the station and going in the right direction as opposed to jumping on a train that nobody can get started and may roll backwards. It’s probably it.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.