Eric Bischoff recently spoke on his podcast, 83 Weeks, about the announcement of WWE heading to Madison Square Garden and the “World’s Most Famous Arena” not allowing fans in who aren’t vaccinated. As the former president of WCW, Bischoff said he doesn’t agree that someone should be forced to prove they are vaccinated to attend.
“That’s kind of scary to me, I don’t like that,” Bischoff said. “I’m not going to get on a pro or anti vaccine trip here but man, do you have to prove that you don’t have the flu before you go into public? Do you have to prove that you don’t have some other potentially transmissible disease before you go on an airplane? I don’t know, I don’t like this stuff.
“I love the fact that there’s a vaccine out there and it works as well as it does and people have the right to get it and it’s readily available and in most cases it’s still free. But when you start telling people that they have to stick a needle in their arm or else? I think we’ve crossed the threshold.”
On a previous episode of the podcast, Bischoff did an extensive breakdown of his time with the WWE as the Director of SmackDown in 2019. Bischoff continued on to mention the thought that WWE talent are not involved in their creative, saying that it isn’t true and while he was with the company, he actually saw the opposite.
“If there is a perception out there that wrestlers really don’t have a voice in their creative in WWE and it’s really all up to the writers, that’s not accurate,” Bischoff said. “I can only tell you about the very brief time that I was involved in the creative process back in 2019 or whatever it was, but talent would often go to the writers with their ideas and it was up to the writers to help shape that idea. No matter how great you are as a performer and how much experience you’ve had as a performer, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re that great at putting together an extended storyline that fits in the framework of what you need for television. As a talent, you could go to a writer that understood the basic building blocks of a story and say I’ve got this great idea and it was up to that writer to work with that talent and come up with an idea that made sense and then present that idea ultimately to Vince McMahon.
“I saw that a lot and I generally don’t talk about things that Vince and I talked about when it came to business because I generally don’t think I should. But in this case, I’m going to stick up for WWE and at least dispel that rumor because at least I was there. One of the first things Vince said to me was ‘Eric, reach out to the talent. Develop a relationship with the talent, let them give you their ideas, get them involved in the process.’ I am telling you that was some of the early direction that I got from Vince McMahon himself. I think this persistent narrative that oh it’s just a bunch of writers and wrestlers don’t have any choice and they’re forced [to do this]. There probably are situations where talent is asked to do things they really don’t feel as comfortable with or they have ideas that they really want to get out there but for whatever reason they’re not clicking yet. I get that, that happens but I just want everybody to know that WWE, at least when I was there, not only encouraged talent to work with writers but encouraged the people who were in charge of the writers to work with talent to get some of the wrestling perspective into it.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.