John Cena and “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt competed in the first ever Firefly Funhouse match during night two of WrestleMania 36 last week. The match included several callbacks to characters and segments from yesteryear including the Saturday Night’s Main Event intro as well as John Cena in the NWO. During the segment, both Superstars wore NWO shirts with Bray Wyatt playing the role of Eric Bischoff while Cena played the role of Hulk Hogan.
During his podcast, 83 Weeks, Bischoff gave his thoughts on the FireFly Fun House match and his inclusion in the story.
“When they started introducing the NWO stuff, time stopped for me,” Bischoff said. “It was such a bizarre feeling, it was like I was in this suspended state of animation and I was frozen in time. It was almost an out of body, out of my head experience. I got such a big kick out of it. Not because of my ego, I hate seeing myself from 20 years ago, it reminds me how old, fat and tired I’ve become. It was the way it was all put together and had become such a part of the story and how real aspects of it were. It was an inside shoot but it was done in such a creative and effective way, not just creative for the sake of being creative, we’ve seen that before, I’ve done that before. If you’re just being creative for the sake of being creative, but when you could be creative and drive a story and take a story or character to the next level, in this case probably 4 or 5 levels up, I was just blown away.
“I think the Firefly Funhouse and the Boneyard match are probably the catalyst for the next evolution of storytelling in wrestling. You’re not going to see it every time, you can’t. That was very expensive, time consuming stuff to produce, I can assure you of that. It took a ton of production to present that in the way that it was at such a high level. You’re not going to see that every week. If I can see it once every month or once every couple of months as a way to elevate story and characters, I think this WrestleMania may have had probably as much or more impact on the business perhaps as any WrestleMania in a long long time.”
Bischoff also named who he believes was involved for creating the match, as well as how special Bray Wyatt is as a performer.
“Clearly Bruce [Prichard], clearly Bray and I would bet a lot of John Cena went into that,” Bischoff said. “John has transitioned from one of the top superstars in WWE history to being a legitimate bonafide box office film star. That’s also an indirect nod to Bray, because Bray delivered just as well as John did. Bray is a phenomenal performer. He is beyond just being a great WWE superstar, he is an amazing performer, he’s an actor.
“Whether he’s trying to be, wants to be, trained to be, whatever, he is. He becomes that character, in a way that very few others could pull off if anybody for that matter. The idea was cool, but the execution of the idea was what put it over the top. It did have Bruce’s finger fingerprints all over it, John is John, he would’ve by default had his fingerprints all over that and Bray knows that character and psychology better than anybody on the planet. I’m sure it was a trifecta of a lot of great ideas.”
Bischoff noted that he doesn’t believe that the NWO segment was included because of the group being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year.
“My guess is that the idea from the NWO to be a part of the Firefly Funhouse was probably done without respect to whether the NWO was getting into the hall of fame or not,” Bischoff said. “I think they’re standalone, I think they’re two separate things. Obviously a coincidence, one didn’t happen, one did anyway. I don’t think there was any concerted effort to give a wink and a nod to the NWO as they were going into the hall of fame. I think John, Bruce, Bray and whoever else was involved in that all got together and worked through it without any respect to the NWO going in.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 weeks with Eric Bischoff with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.