John Oliver made headlines last week by blasting the WWE for their treatment of wrestlers. That has prompted many in the industry from The Miz to The Big Show to respond to Oliver’s comments and another is now joining the chorus.
Eric Bischoff is not employed by the WWE like the aforementioned wrestlers and he gave his unbiased opinion on if what Oliver said holds any weight.
“The precedent for the industry that we call sports entertainment or professional wrestling, that business model has been around forever,” Bischoff said on After 83 Weeks. “If WWE, which is the largest producer of this type of content anywhere in the world, in the history of the world, if they were to change their business model to accommodate a traditional employer model, I’m not sure what would happen to that company. It’s a substantial change. I’m not saying they can’t do it. I’m not saying they won’t.”
Bischoff said that wrestlers should know what they are signing up for whenever they enter the pro wrestling industry. It’s not like other industries that lavish employees with all of these benefits, and most wrestlers realize that whenever they sign with WWE or another promotion.
“I knew what I was getting into when I signed that agreement,” stated Bischoff. “I knew there was going to be no health insurance. I knew there was going to be no retirement. Nobody talked to me about a 401(k). I’m intelligent enough to read the agreement I signed….I know what to expect, in return for my services. So it’s hard for me to relate to people that b—h and whine about it after the fact.
“If you don’t like that situation, you don’t like the fact that WWE is not offering you the things that maybe you could get at, I don’t know IBM or Apple or an airline, then go work there. But if you’re like me or I’m sure many people who aspire for an opportunity for greatness, like musicians do, you know what? You gotta roll the dice. And if you choose to roll the dice going into that deal knowing what it is and what it isn’t, then don’t b—h and whine about it afterwards.”
Big Show said that he knew the risks of wrestling the day he first stepped through the ropes and Bischoff echoed those sentiments when asked if Oliver’s claims were valid.
“It is true. So much of it is true. I’m not denying it’s not. But that’s a choice they made. And you go into it knowing that. It’s hard for me to feel too much sympathy for people that make choices and take risks knowing what the odds are, and then whine about it after the fact,” said Bischoff.