Last week, WWE made an announcement that shook the wrestling world when they revealed that Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman would be the Executive Directors of SmackDown and Raw respectively. On the latest episode of 83 Weeks, Bischoff discussed the opportunity.
“I’m overwhelmed with the support and positive response I got on social media,” Bischoff stated. “Following the WWE announcement that I will be joining the team and getting involved with SmackDown. I knew I would get a response. I knew it would be a lot, but I was overwhelmed with the nature of that response.”
It will be Bischoff’s job to jumpstart the stagnant ratings for the brand while navigating them creatively for the move to the Fox network in October.
“I want to let everyone know, the magnitude of this opportunity and the challenge that goes with it is not lost on me,” Bischoff said. “There have been a couple of times the last few days where I have been driving around in my truck or taking my dog on a hike and I said ‘Wow, this is the biggest opportunity I have ever had in this industry.'”
Bischoff has a proven track record. He took WCW from a company that was millions of dollars in debt and made them profitable, and was even close to buying the company in their dying days. However, this opportunity provides new challenges for him.
“When Bill Shaw made me president of WCW that was a very big moment, I was learning on the job, but I had nothing to lose there,” Bischoff exclaimed. “I was taking a company in WCW that had not turned a dollar in profit, such a distant number two to WWF that we were not even really number two, a company that was fraught with a bad history of internal issues. I had nothing to lose.
“This opportunity is an entirely different ballgame, this is a sophisticated company in WWE, they have a great team in place, they are moving the show to Fox network, it is going to have a lot of eyeballs on it, so the magnitude is not lost on me. I’m honored, I’m humbled, I have not felt this way in forever, this is a whole different ballgame.”
Bischoff will be very hands-on with his new position. He confirmed that next week he will be moving to Stamford, Connecticut, where WWE headquarters are located.
“Me, my wife Lori and my dog Nikki are loading the truck and heading to Stamford, with only the clothes on our back and a few boxes and we are starting over from scratch,” Bischoff stated. “I have never been more excited. I just can’t wait.”
Regarding the future of his 83 Weeks podcast, Bischoff addressed the ‘rumor and innuendo’ and said that the show would be continuing.
“Oh, hell no (in regards to the podcast ending),” exclaimed Bischoff. “That was one of the things that I was most concerned about because I love doing this show. I know some people joke about ‘Oh he is the kingmaker,’ or ‘If you want to get into the wrestling business just do a podcast with Conrad Thompson.’ A couple of things have happened with this podcast, one, you have given me the opportunity to look back at these shows, to discuss all the stuff, even in my own mind been able to look at things in an entirely different perspective then I have as a result of doing this show. I feel more energized about the industry as a result of doing this show.”
Even though the podcast will continue, Thompson confirmed that the live shows will be ending.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.