News of Vince McMahon stepping down as Chairman and CEO of the WWE has sent shock waves throughout the wrestling industry. The decision to do so by Vince came after the Wall Street Journal reported he was under investigation for having an affair with a former employee in the company who he reportedly paid $3 million to keep quiet.
WWE Hall of Famer Eric Bischoff commented on the situation during the latest episode of his “83 Weeks” podcast.
“I was dumbfounded, shocked, I can’t imagine anybody felt any differently,” Bischoff said. “It’s a day that I never thought, even though it appears to be very temporary, it’s not a permanent situation, at least that’s not the way it’s been presented or the way I’ve read it. Nonetheless, it’s a big damn deal and it did shock me.
“I feel bad for a lot of people, I still have a lot of friends in WWE that I do care about a lot, and regardless of how this ends up, it’s going to adversely affect a lot of people. How do you feel anything other than bad for people that you know and have affection for that are having to go through this? I feel bad for Bruce [Prichard]. I sent Bruce a text [during Friday Night SmackDown] going ‘Brother, what a hell of a ride.’ To be sitting in that seat and to be there, in the eye of that frickin hurricane, I feel for a lot of people.”
McMahon did however appear on “Friday Night SmackDown,” sending a cryptic message to the WWE Universe in attendance and at home, reminding them of the classic WWE line “Then. Now. Forever. Together” before walking off after stating “Welcome to SmackDown.” This promo reportedly left a sour taste in one talent’s mouth, calling the situation “tone-deaf and embarrassing.”
“When I watched it, I watched it a couple of times because I wanted to try and get a feel for Vince,” Bischoff said. “I don’t want to pretend like I know Vince, because I don’t and I’m not sure how many people really do, to be honest. But I was trying to read him and Vince is really hard to read. After I watched it a couple of times, I thought maybe he is taking this one last opportunity just in case because he’s not really sure how this is going to end up. If this was his goodbye, that was a good one.”
Vince’s daughter Stephanie was appointed the interim Chairwoman and CEO of the company, and according to Fightful Select, several WWE talent is excited about the move but believes Vince will ultimately return to his normal duties in short order. The investigation is still ongoing, but for now, Vince will still be running creative for WWE and Stephanie will assume the role of CEO and Chairwoman while her father battles these allegations.
“I’m going to say it, I’m going to be controversial, who gives a sh*t right at this stage in my life,” Bischoff said, providing his take on the situation with Vince’s allegations. “I hope this is a major problem that WWE and Vince McMahon will be able to overcome and move on [from]. However, whatever the outcome will be.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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