Eric Bischoff Recalls His Experience Booking WWE's Saudi Shows

Every time WWE hosts an event in Saudi Arabia, more attention is paid to the controversial partnership. WWE Hall of Famer Eric Bischoff had first-hand experience organizing these shows during his brief tenure as Executive Director of "WWE Smackdown," and he provided his insights from a booking perspective on "83 Weeks."


"It was the most painful experience I've ever been through professionally, in terms of trying to accomplish something. There was no rhyme or reason to it," Bischoff recalled. "On one hand, you're trying to satisfy the Saudis, because they have their own ideas about what they want to see — and by the way, they're writing a 50 million dollar check, so they get a vote... So, now you've got the Saudis over here, kind of casting their votes for what they want to see. You know you've got to put some of what the Saudis want to see on television, but sometimes it was in contrast to the stories you were telling for your domestic pay-per-views. So, it was kinda like trying to satisfy three different bosses who wanted three different things."


Bischoff has detailed other issues with Saudi shows, notably in regard to creative. He believes that these events can hinder the company's storylines and cause the product to become less compelling as a result. Stories have circulated about how hands-on the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has been with WWE's booking decisions. From shelling out a large sum to have boxer Tyson Fury wrestle, to having another sumo wrestler replace Yokozuna because he didn't know he was dead, to offering Hulk Hogan $1 million dollars just to hang out, these stories seem to support Bischoff's claims.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "83 Weeks" and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.