When Eric Bischoff was appointed the executive director of WWE Friday Night SmackDown last year, many wrestling fans expected some big changes to be made to the show. However, the former WCW president was fired from his position by Vince McMahon four months later, and Bischoff has now opened up about the matter.
In an interview with TalkSport, Bischoff revealed that he was let go because he was unable to adapt to his position. He said that by the time he joined WWE, the deal with FOX had already been made, meaning that all of the big decisions in regards to how Friday Night SmackDown would be run under the new era on the network had already been made.
Bischoff didn’t have a lot of input when it came to the show itself. Many fans and pundits assumed that he’d have some creative input over the blue brand, but Bischoff said that wasn’t the case. However, the timing also affected his performance and cost him his job.
“I was overseeing [the creative team], not creating. I was told clearly I wasn’t brought in as a creative person. I was brought in to manage the creative process. They are two entirely different things. What I underestimated was just how difficult that adaptation would be for anybody that is good at adapting. It takes time, and I didn’t manage that well. My lack of performance, if you will, in terms of not fulfilling the role in the way that Vince McMahon saw it, that was on me. It was on me and my failure to adapt.”
During the interview, Bischoff also revealed that he acted as a go-between for FOX executives and WWE’s creative team. He said that he talked to FOX once a week about any issues they had with the show and passed that information on to the creative team afterward.
He went on to say that the show’s low ratings had nothing to do with his firing either. According to Bischoff, if that were the case, Paul Heyman — who was hired in the same role on Monday Night Raw — would also have lost his job.
Despite being given the same job title, Bischoff and Heyman’s roles were different. Heyman is very much involved in the red brand’s creative vision, and he’s reportedly responsible for the company’s decision to push superstars such as Drew McIntyre and Apollo Crews in recent months.
Since leaving WWE, Bischoff has continued to appear on his 83 Weeks podcast where he discusses a variety of matters pertaining to WWE and wrestling as a whole.