Ch. 2 Bonus: Michael Jannicelli on Eric Bischoff
Ch. 2 Bonus: 'Mid-Life Crisis 1, Me O'
For more on Eric's (in)famous night in Salt Lake City, here's Michael Jannicelli (Co-Founder of Socko International) with his recollection:
I'm truly honored to be asked about my memories of working with Eric (by the way, Eric - your memory is insane, and I'm loving the book, brother!).
If it wasn't for Eric and Jason, I would've never been able to have the mental game necessary to succeed at business. Quite honestly, they gave me a PhD education - and then some - in terms of their understanding of business and life in general. They truly showed me what it takes do business at the highest level.
Due to Eric and Jason's existing relationships, they were able to open doors for me like a pair of key masters. It was almost like, 'Okay, Mike - who would you like to meet, and what brand would you like to sit down with?' I'm not kidding - they always knew a founder of this, a CEO of that, and no matter what country or business we in, it was always that way. I had to be on my game 100% of the time with them.
I don't think I ever got over saying to myself, 'Holy shit - that's Eric Bischoff and Jason Hervey sitting at the bar - waiting for me to talk business.'
For years, I got firsthand training about how to maneuver among the top business people on the planet - how to literally walk into a room, sit down at a table and showcase everything that you have.
I can't believe how good Eric's memory is of the night in question. I have to give him credit - not only for being there to begin with - but because him getting on the radio caused it to be a spontaneously big event. Soon after he got on the radio, there were lines down the street with people wanting to come into the club.
There was a very, very long line of people waiting to just shake Eric's hand, and then there were some brave ones who wanted the chance to say they arm-wrestled him! I looked at Eric and thought, 'God, I’m so happy I’m not him right now!' There were some pretty big dudes rolling up their sleeves in anticipation of taking him on.
In all of my years being with Eric on business trips, from Hollywood, Tokyo, Scottsdale, SLC, Miami, across the USA, Wal-Mart Headquarters, Mexico and so on, I never saw fear him show fear. I never saw him lose control. I never saw him not expect something that was coming. With that being said, do you think he was worried at all by seeing that line of people?
Not at all!
It all actually got him very excited, because what he had planned to do (promoting the event) was working in a big way. He had a smile on the whole time while he was having drinks with the employees. I thought it was crazy!
I wondered if he was going to sit there and literally arm-wrestle every person that was waiting. If so, it would probably have taken a few days!
I was standing there - observing everything that was going on - and I didn’t even look twice at the guy that came up and eventually broke Eric’s arm. It happened so fast that I seriously didn’t even believe it happened. The guy just had a death grip on Eric. In my opinion, the guy wanted to do as much damage is he could so he could brag to everyone later.
Eric should’ve only taken on one or two people, but that's not what he's all about. No-one is going to tell Eric what to do or how to do it, and that’s what I love about him. He has no management team or PR people saying, 'Oh, don’t do that.' Eric is as real and raw as it gets.
After it happened, Eric didn't even flinch. He talked like he had a bruise on his arm! He didn’t even ask us for money for the hospital or for his prescriptions. If you think about any other celebrity or business partner, they would have likely used that moment to sue someone or make a big issue of it. But again, that just shows you the kind of man Eric is.
In closing, I want to say 'Thank You, Eric' for everything that you did for us. You are a rockstar, my man!