On October 4th 2019, SmackDown launched its debut episode on FOX. During the show, The Rock promoted the switch to FOX alongside Becky Lynch, Kevin Owens defeated Shane McMahon in a ladder match but the biggest talking point was Kofi Kingston losing the WWE Championship to Brock Lesnar in under 10 seconds.
On the latest episode of the 83 Weeks Podcast, Eric Bischoff covered the SmackDown premier on FOX. Bischoff also talked about Kofi losing to Brock in under 10 seconds and how he thought the finish was the right thing to do. He said there was no other way WWE could have presented that match and made it believable.
“It was startling,” Bischoff said. “7 seconds. Brock is Brock as a character. He eats people, he eats big people, he eats tough people, he’s a f***ing carnivore. Kofi is my size. Kofi is maybe a 210 pound guy. Is there a story that would be remotely believable that would allow Kofi in this match to be in there and mix it up with a guy like Brock in a believable way that would allow him to hold onto that underdog status and give the audience a reason to think he’s an underdog?”
“What could Kofi have done in the body of that match that would’ve been believable and allow Kofi’s fans to hold onto some hope that he might find a way to overcome Brock Lesnar? I challenge people to think of it.”
Bischoff continued on to say Kofi could not have gotten in any offense or else the match wouldn’t have made sense. He said the match was set up for failure the day it was announced and there was no way they could please the fans without doing a screw job finish.
“In terms of it being believable, nah, it was set up for disaster,” Bischoff said. “People were hot that Brock ate Kofi in the manner in which he ate him and spit him out. They were hot and I understand that, but what else could you do that would’ve been believable where Brock wouldn’t have made himself look like s–t trying. I think it was destined for failure from the beginning to end. I don’t know if there was a good outcome that you could’ve come up with.”
Kofi became WWE Champion at WrestleMania 35 by defeating Daniel Bryan and held the belt for 7 months until he lost to Brock. Bischoff believes WWE pushed Kofi too fast and made it feel inorganic.
“I think they pushed too hard,” Bischoff said, talking about Kofi becoming WWE Champion. “I don’t think it was too early, but it didn’t feel organic to me. It felt a little too contrived for my taste. I need something to be believable in order for me to get really excited about it. I need to see a story that I can wrap my head around and allow myself to get sucked into as opposed to a pre manufactured push.”
“It’s a little bit like Roman Reigns a couple years ago. When you try too hard, sometimes you don’t reach a level of success that you’re capable of reaching because it doesn’t happen naturally. You don’t allow the audience to take you there, you’re taking the audience where you want them to be versus allowing the audience to get there on their own. I think it was a little too pre manufactured for my taste.”
Bischoff also talked about The Fiend Bray Wyatt and the FireFly Fun House. He said Wyatts creation wasn’t clicking for him at first. Bischoff said over time he seen the creation and how great it was and how it could launch multiple new storylines.
“I didn’t get it at first, it was creatively shocking to me, but I didn’t understand where it could go,” Bischoff said. “It wasn’t until a month or two after I was there that the picture started becoming clear to me of where that character could go and the appeal of that character and the potential it had. Ultimately, I really really became a fan of the FireFly Fun House. It was so different and it was so unique but it provided a great launching pad for so many stories.”
Bischoff continued on to mention how accustomed everyone has become to the FireFly Fun House segments. He said it being on T.V. every week is a major reason why it feels normal now rather than unique when it originally aired.
“It’s because we’ve seen it too much,” Bischoff said. “It’s been overexposed. But when it was new, it was f***ing awesome.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.