WWE announced today that Former Raw General Manager and WCW figurehead Eric Bischoff will be returning to the WWE during WrestleMania weekend to induct his close friend, Diamond Dallas Page, into the WWE Hall of Fame.
"I'm honored," Bischoff told WWE.com in an exclusive interview. "It puts a smile on my face because I know how much it means to him. This is the Holy Grail for him."
Page and Bischoff's relationship dates to the late '80s, but the two were central figures in WCW during the Monday Night Wars, where Bischoff had a hand in DDP's ascent to superstardom in WCW's fight against the nWo.
Bischoff discussed DDP's legendary run with WWE.com.
"So many [wrestlers] are larger than life," Bischoff said. "They look like they walked right off a movie screen and stepped into the arena. Diamond Dallas Page didn't have that larger-than-life persona, but he had a different connection with the audience."
"When [Page] finally hit pay dirt is when he finally shed all the over-the top-stuff," he continued. "The bling and girls and cigars … [He] just became a real person, coming down from the crowd. That said, 'I'm one of you.'"
"His journey [in life] is similar to his journey in the ring," he said. "DDP was the common guy, the everyman, a blue-collar guy from New Jersey. He represented something that the average person could believe in, in a way that was a little unique. [People thought] 'That could be me. If I could just get that break, work a little harder, I could be that guy.' That's a very inspirational quality to have."
Once Vince McMahon's mortal enemy, Bischoff spent several years working alongside Vince as the RAW General Manager. After leaving the company in 2007, Bischoff spent nearly a decade with TNA. Any sense of a strained relationship with WWE went away when WWE released a DVD and Blu-ray about Bischoff in 2016. The documentary portions were aired on WWE Network.