The former SmackDown Executive Director, Eric Bischoff, took to his 83 Weeks podcast this week to provide some details on why he was suddenly let go from WWE last week. Bischoff is leaving the company with a positive outlook, noting that it was simply an opportunity that didn't work out as he had hoped.
"I'm not going to spend too much time clearing the rumors and innuendo because it's out there, and I think people are smart enough to see through the bulls--t that they read in dirt sites and that kind of thing. I honestly just don't want to get negative," Bischoff explained. "I'm going to say a couple of things and I will have more to say at some point in time. You know, feelings right now are #1. I was really grateful for the opportunity to work for WWE and it was an opportunity. It didn't work out the way I wanted it to work out and it clearly didn't work out the way Vince McMahon wanted it to work out but it happens. I'm not taking any of it personally; professionally, I'm taking a hard look at it and thinking it through.
"But more than anything, I am grateful for the opportunity. Part of the reason that I am is because I had a chance to work with a great team of people - the writing staff on SmackDown in particular, as well as some of the writers on RAW. They are a very talented and unbelievably hard-working and dedicated group of people. Just to have the opportunity to work with people like that in of itself was worth the experiment."
Eric admits that he never saw this job being something he does long-term, however, he expected to be a part of the company for at least a few years. He now looks ahead to new opportunities and will carry with him fond memories of the people he worked with in WWE.
"I didn't come here [to Stamford, Connecticut] thinking that I would be working for the WWE for 5 or 10 years. I looked it as a relatively short term opportunity, meaning 2 to 3 years. I didn't think it was going to be quite this short term but sometimes that happens," Bischoff said. "WWE is a great company with a very defined culture and process, and I necessarily didn't fit into it and that is just the way it is. I'm not sad, I'm not disappointed, or angry - I'm not any of those things. I am just looking forward to the next opportunity wherever and whenever that may be, and digging the idea of packing up the truck and heading back into Wyoming, so all in all, I'm very positive. I have nothing but great things to say about the people at WWE and the company as a whole. It is an amazing company. I've said this even before I went back there, from the production team and everybody I came into contact with is not only incredibly talented but hardworking and extremely dedicated to the work that they do, so I was grateful and am grateful to have been part of the opportunity to have been a part of it even for a short time."
When Bruce Prichard was named as Bischoff's replacement following his release, rumors began swirling on the internet about the two being at odds with one another. Eric went into great detail explaining why those are indeed rumors and how the internet is filled with people making up fake stories to draw attention.
"First of all, I've stayed away from social media because I know the kind of digital diarrhea that exists there at a time like this. But this is the first that I am hearing about a narrative like that that is out there, and if it is, I think it is a perfect example that if there is anything out there that suggests that Bruce and I are anything but the best of friends and that I am fully supportive of him, I think that defines bulls--t," Eric stated. "And as I said, digital diarrhea that the dirt sheets and the douche bags that write them to live off of because nothing can be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, and I know that you [Conrad Thompson] know this because when Loree [Bischoff] and I went to Bruce and Stephanie's house last night for dinner as they were moving into their new house, and I think Bruce took a picture and sent it to you [Conrad Thompson] after dinner. But that is such nonsense. Bruce Prichard is probably the reason why I got the opportunity in the first place. I can tell you that Bruce had nothing to do with - this was the decision that Vince McMahon made based on whatever went through his mind. And I am 1,000% sure that anything Bruce Prichard said had nothing to do with that.
"Bruce is one of my closest friends and is going to remain as one of my closest friends," Bischoff continued. "Anybody that suggests otherwise should look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves why they feel they have to do what they have to do as they spread these rumors that I am going to call straight-up, dirt sheet bulls--t. Because if you feel the need to have to do that kind of thing and affect other people's lives when there is absolutely no basis and truth for it, you are kind of a f--ked up individual. I know I said that I didn't want to get negative but that is the kind of thing [others do] and people wonder why I feel so strongly about the dirt sheets. And joking earlier and passively calling it 'rumor and innuendo'? That rumor and innuendo has an impact on people's lives. In this case, the fact that people are saying these things about Bruce doesn't impact my life because it doesn't change the way that I feel about Bruce."
Eric refuses to let this untimely end with WWE slow him down; he's immersing himself back into a big project he started prior to getting hired by the company. He also plans to take his wife, Loree, and their dog down to Clearwater Florida for the holiday season so that they can spend some quality time with their kids.
"I had a couple of projects with one big one before I got involved with WWE, so I'm going to jump right back into that," Eric said. "Loree and I decided, as a matter of fact, just before we started recording this podcast, rather than go right back to Wyoming that we are going to pack up here in Stamford, CT at the end of November and jump into the truck with the dog and head to Clearwater, Florida where our son and daughter in law live and spend a month down in Florida for the holidays with our son, and daughter in law, and our daughter Montana, and just enjoy some Florida weather for a month, and then head back to Wyoming. It's going to be a fun month and a half or so going into the holidays, and hanging out in Florida with our kids is going to be a great time which is what I look forward to the most."
Despite being admittedly disappointed about his WWE gig coming to an end, Bischoff says he has no regrets. He'll take away knowledge from the experience, new friendships with co-workers, and memories of working alongside the CEO himself, Vince McMahon.
"Yep - no regrets, none whatsoever. There is a reason why I hate to talk about this stuff because I don't want to give people the wrong impression, but when I took this job, I knew what the odds were of it being a long-term job for me. And let me just say it this way, I am not surprised. I am disappointed," Bischoff admitted. "I would have liked to have met Vince McMahon's expectations and would have liked for it to be a longer run than it was. I would be completely dishonest if I didn't admit that, but at the same time, I am not completely surprised either. I went into it with my eyes wide open and knew what the challenges would be and like I said, it didn't work out.
"But yes, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I may have a different view of it coming in if it was a complete do-over; not that I would want that opportunity because I think it worked out for the best for a lot of reasons, but like I said, my overwhelming feeling is a positive one which I know is going to sound weird for a lot of people," Eric said. "But between the relationships that I developed, and the people that I met, and the opportunities to work as closely with Vince as I did - as I said a few weeks ago, he is a fascinating guy. He doesn't have all the answers and is not going to be correct 100% of the time. He is intense and is a lot of things, but not the least of which he is fascinating. To have the opportunity with him was worth the trip."
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.