Eric Bischoff Admits Where He ‘F***** Up' On WWE Return
Bischoff’s last run with WWE in 2019 lasted only a few months
Eric Bischoff’s return to WWE in 2019 as SmackDown Creative Director was a blink and you’ll miss it affair, with the former WCW President lasting a little over four months in the role.
Now, in an appearance on Renée Paquette’s Oral Sessions, Bischoff has reflected on his time as SmackDown Creative Director, and where he went wrong:
“I didn’t go in with a lot of what people would consider creative ideas,” Bischoff said. “And I told this to Vince before I agreed to come on board, or he agreed to hire me I should say. I hadn’t been watching the product much. I’d drop in every once in a while like I still do. I probably watch it more now because I find myself being asked questions about the current product, and I’d be a knucklehead if I don’t know anything. So I’ll pick out certain things that are topical and I’ll tune in to see how they’re progressing. And I didn’t even do that back then.
“Every once in a while, if there was nothing else on and I was in the right mood, I’d drop in on wrestling for twenty minutes to a half an hour. Then I’d bail out and go do something else. So I didn’t go in with a lot of ‘hey, what if we have a match between this guy and this guy? And what if that match leads to that?’ I didn’t have anything like that. But one of the things that I am disappointed in myself is that I really think that what’s missing, and this goes for WWE and everybody else that’s producing professional wrestling for content, is the de-emphasis of a story in a time where the audience is watching so much great, compelling story, and great story structure, and great characters on so many other platforms.
“Scripted entertainment is probably more successful now than it's ever been. And wrestling, rather than gravitating a more sophisticated storytelling structure, (hasn’t). Not an angle turns into a wrestling match, because that’s what wrestling does. That’s what wrestling has almost always done. Every once in a while, they’ll stumble into a good story that will really resonate, but it’s more by accident than design. And I think that if wrestling today would re-emphasise and introduce a more sophisticated storytelling formula — and I told Vince, here’s where the opportunity lies. The audience is getting smaller and smaller for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the stories suck.
“There are just no stories, there’s no structure to them. The beginning, middle, and end are thrown together haphazardly. That’s not how stories are generally created. They weren’t when I was there last time, and I don’t think they are anywhere else. There’s a way to do it, and that’s what I’m disappointed in myself in. I wasn’t able to play the game more and I wasn’t able to manage myself well enough to be there long enough to really try to effect that change.”
“I’ve had a lot of time to think about this, partially because I get asked that a lot and it’s forced me to think about it, here’s where I f***** up. I went into WWE overly concerned about the way people perceive me. And by that, I don’t mean people I meet out on the street, but in a wrestling environment, there’s been so much narrative about how heavy-handed I can be and difficult at times. Some of that is true, I don’t deny it. But it’s been way blown out of proportion. And it was really important to me, this is my error in judgment, it was more important to me to fit into the system and eventually try to implement my ideas and the things that I wanted to do. I don’t think that’s what Vince wanted. Now looking back on it, I think ‘what if I would’ve gone in there and been the kind of alpha executive we all know Vince likes?’ And I could’ve done that because that’s not alien to my nature, to be very aggressive and focused. And sometimes it rubs people the wrong way.”
H/T: Wrestling Inc.