The big story this week was the news about Eric Bischoff’s firing from WWE after being hired four months ago to be the Executive Director of SmackDown. The job now belongs to Bruce Prichard.
Dave Meltzer reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that there were people stunned when Bischoff was hired. I know that there were people also stunned about his firing. Jim Ross said on his podcast that he expected it but did not expect it so soon. His feeling on the situation is that the Executive Director position is like sitting on a hot stove because there is so much pressure to keep FOX happy. Some believe Bischoff may have been used as a scapegoat.
Meltzer noted that Bischoff was not familiar with the current talent in WWE or the business changes that have been made. Bischoff was expected to be the next casualty after Ryan Ward burned out as the head SmackDown writer and Ed Koskey was moved over from Raw.
“Eric had absolutely no vision, and once we were headed into FOX, everything was falling through the cracks,” a WWE official told Meltzer. “He messed up multiple times with FOX. Eric also had no stamina for the rigors of the job.”
The Observer story noted how it was not unusual for creative meetings to start hours late and last up until 3 am and sometimes later. Bischoff would work a full day and then go out to dinner with his wife and people would complain that it was impossible to reach him after 7 pm.
Perhaps there is more to the story. But on the surface, it looks like Bischoff was set up to fail and his hiring was done to show the FOX executives and their stockholders that big moves were being made to give the impression that things will start to get better on the creative end, which happens to be their biggest problem contributing to viewers turning off the shows.
The reality is that everything ends with Vince McMahon and unless he decides to step aside and allow some to take control with fresh ideas, no one will be able to succeed under the current system.
On JR’s podcast, Conrad Thompson said Bischoff was shocked at being fired but he no sold it and said that Bischoff is someone who will always land on his feet.
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