It was announced last Thursday that WWE hired Paul Heyman to become the Executive Director of Monday Night Raw and Eric Bischoff as the Executive Director of Smackdown Live, which is moving to Friday nights on Fox this October. The job titles mean that they will be in charge of the creative direction of their brands while still reporting to the WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. It is believed that they will be slowly integrated into those roles this month rather than being forced into it this week. They are also both likely to be on screen performers as well, but I guess we’ll find that out this week and in the weeks ahead.
Bischoff’s return to WWE was unexpected even by him, but he’s obviously got a lot of experience as an announcer in the AWA, an announcer in WCW, the President of WCW during the Monday Night Wars from 1995 to 2001, then he was the on-screen GM of WWE Raw in July 2002 for about three years and he worked for TNA Impact Wrestling as an executive as well. Now at 64 years of age, Bischoff is in an executive role in WWE hoping to find that magic again.
After the announcement was made, Bischoff sent out this tweet on Saturday.
— Eric Bischoff (@EBischoff) June 29, 2019
In the last year, Bischoff started a podcast with Conrad Thompson called 83 Weeks that was named after the number of weeks where WCW beat WWE in the Monday Night Wars with Bischoff running WCW. During a new episode of the podcast covering Bash at the Beach 1998, Bischoff talked about his transition to WWE. Thanks to Wrestlezone for the transcript of the quotes.
Bischoff on how important his new role is to him:
“I want to let everybody know, the magnitude of this opportunity and the challenge and the commitment that goes along with it, is not lost on me. There’s been a couple of times over the last few days when I’ve been driving around in my truck or taking my dog for a hike and going, ‘Wow.’ This maybe – it’s not maybe, this is the biggest opportunity I’ve ever had in this industry. Granted, when Bill Shaw made me president of WCW obviously that was a very big moment, but I was learning on the job there. I had nothing to lose there.”
“In this situation, this is an entirely different ballgame here. This is a very sophisticated company in WWE, there is a great team already in place. They’re moving the SmackDown show to FOX Network which obviously has a lot eyeballs on it, in every way. So the magnitude of the opportunity is not lost on me.”
Bischoff talked about his excitement and also that this new job is causing him to move to WWE’s home state of Connecticut:
“I’m honored, I’m humbled and I cannot express, even here cause this is a different kind of excitement for me. I haven’t felt this way, maybe in forever, but for at least twenty years. This is a whole different ballgame and I honestly, Loree and I, and my dog Nikki, we’re going to load up our truck and we’re heading out to Stamford, probably on the 10th or 11th of July. I mean literally we’re going out there with the clothes on our back and some of it in boxes, and we’re starting over from scratch and I’ve never been more excited. The opportunity at this stage in my life and in my career to be able to make a move like this is so…exciting doesn’t cover it. It’s thrilling and I just can’t wait.”
“Yeah, this is not a remote control kind of an opportunity here. This is a deep dive. This is I’m sure a 23/7 kind of a gig. This is not something I can do on my laptop remotely. This is the real deal.”
He did say 23/7 there, not 24/7. I heard it myself. If you go to 1:31:00 on the podcast you can hear them talk about Bischoff’s move to WWE.
In addition to that, Bischoff added that he will continue doing the 83 Weeks Podcast with Conrad Thompson, which has new episodes that are released on Monday mornings. They had been doing live shows, but they aren’t going to continue them since his WWE job is a full-time commitment. Bischoff said he wants to keep talking about these old WCW shows and he’s not going to talk about anything current. Bischoff also thanked Thompson for helping him renew his passion for pro wrestling.
TJR Thoughts: It’s going to be interesting to see how Eric does in this new job. It surprised a lot of us, but clearly, WWE values his experience in wrestling. He has lived in Wyoming for many years, so now he’s packing up with his wife and moving to Connecticut in order to do be at WWE’s offices full time. Bischoff’s kids are adults with their own lives, so he’s at a point in his life where he can pack up and move up across the country. Best of luck to him.