After being a WWE contracted talent from 2002 to 2007, Eric Bischoff essentially disappeared from WWE for a dozen years. He worked at TNA and on other projects in between but he made his return in 2019 to be the Executive Director of SmackDown.
“I don’t know. I worked with Vince a little bit when I was a talent there. There were scenes we would do together or occasionally he would produce something that I was involved in. But my interaction with him was extremely limited,” revealed Bischoff. “I never really got to know Vince McMahon when I was a talent. We never went out or had a serious conversation about anything. You would think at some point either one of us would have initiated a conversation to talk about what I was really thinking when I did this. So, going back, it was weird.
“Part of me was really excited about it because I missed the business. There were people in WWE to this day that I consider some of my closest friends that I was anxious to work with again. I was hoping to find that desire and passion that I missed because I had been away for so long. But, truth be told, it didn’t happen for a lot of reasons. My failure to adapt and my failure to find a way to find that passion and cultivate that passion within an environment that is totally alien to who I am…”
Bischoff contends that it wasn’t WWE’s fault as to why he didn’t work in his role as Executive Director. He says the WWE corporate atmosphere was something he wasn’t comfortable with and he wasn’t able to adapt to the WWE way of doing things.
“I’m not, and this is going to sound childish but it’s true. I’m not a suit and tie guy. When I’m at my creative best and when my passion flows, it is because I am in the right room, with the right people who are relaxed. The chemistry has to be right; that was on me. I knew within the first couple weeks. I really tried, I wanted to. I couldn’t really get close to Vince,” said Bischoff. “I couldn’t break that wall. There were a lot of challenges going on at the time that had nothing to do with me. Everything was very disoriented and a little confusing prior to me getting there and certainly after I got there. In reflecting on it a little bit after a couple weeks that I left, it wasn’t up to Vince McMahon or WWE as a whole to adapt to Eric Bischoff. It was up to Eric Bischoff to adapt to their environment and I failed at that. I was unable to do it.”
Chris Siggia contributed to this article.