After just four months on the job, Eric Bischoff is out as executive director of WWE‘s Friday Night SmackDown brand. As reported by the New York Post on Tuesday, Bischoff was replaced by Bruce Prichard, a wrestling veteran of the past four decades who has been a longtime associate of WWE owner and chairman Vince McMahon. Just as Bischoff did, Prichard will report directly to McMahon alongside his Monday Night Raw counterpart, Paul Heyman, and supervise the creative direction of SmackDown “across all platforms,” the report added.
While details regarding Bischoff’s departure were initially scant, the latest rumors allege that he didn’t get along with his subordinates and didn’t have a clearly defined set of responsibilities as executive director. This was revealed by Bryan Alvarez on Tuesday’s edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, as seen in this clip from his own Figure Four Weekly YouTube page.
About one minute and 40 seconds into the above video, Alvarez cited backstage sources, who claimed that Bischoff was barely visible in his role during his time in SmackDown, to the point where he would sometimes be found hanging out in catering. The Wrestling Observer Radio co-host then stressed that based on what he’s heard, he isn’t quite sure what exactly Bischoff’s role entailed, but is sure of one thing – the former World Championship Wrestling (WCW) president wasn’t very popular with the people he worked with.
“I know he was doing enough that nobody liked working under him. I heard of people that wanted to quit that were working under him. I heard that he didn’t know anybody, he didn’t know any of the talent, he didn’t go out of his way to learn about anything, [and] he would leave and no one could get a hold of him. I heard zero, literally zero good things about Eric Bischoff when he was [SmackDown executive director].”
Bruce Prichard has replaced Eric Bischoff as Executive Director of WWE Smackdown. Full story coming to Fightful pic.twitter.com/ixYbKUwXAo— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) October 15, 2019
Given that Bischoff was replaced in his role by Prichard, Alvarez once again cited his sources within SmackDown, alleging that it was the latter industry veteran and not the former who was behind recent episodes of the blue brand’s show. As Prichard had apparently been running things behind the scenes during Bischoff’s time as executive director, Alvarez added that fans shouldn’t expect too many creative changes as Friday Night SmackDown continues its run on Fox.
Meanwhile, SEScoops separately cited wrestling journalist Tom Colohue, who took to Twitter to report that per his Fox contact, there were “significant promises” that Bischoff failed to keep during his time in charge of Friday Night SmackDown.
Although Bischoff had to move with his wife from their Wyoming home to Stamford, Connecticut, when he accepted the job with WWE in June, SEScoops also noted that he doesn’t seem to hold ill will toward the company following his abrupt departure. The outlet quoted a tweet where Bischoff commented on the matter, praising Prichard as a “great producer” and a “good friend” and expressing confidence that he will do well in his new role as Friday Night SmackDown‘s new executive director.