WWE announced today that Eric Bischoff will no longer be working with the company. WWE’s Senior Vice President Bruce Prichard will now assume the additional responsibility as the SmackDown Executive Director. Here are the various reports from WWE backstage and reactions from different journalists over the internet. Credits to Wrestling Inc for compiling these.
Dave Meltzer & F4Wonline:
The firing of Bischoff was not a shock to people close to the situation in WWE, according to F4Wonline.com. Prichard and SmackDown head writer Ed Koskey will be the main people in charge of the blue brand going forward. Prichard had been working with Bischoff up until today’s departure. FOX originally wanted Heyman to work as the Executive Director of SmackDown.
Bischoff was informed of the release after a SmackDown creative meeting at WWE HQ in Stamford, CT. Bischoff likely does not have the standard 90-day non-compete clause in his contract because he was an executive, not a talent, and he could appear in another promotion if he wanted.
John Pollock of POST Wrestling:
Even with the recent creative team splits between RAW and SmackDown, Prichard was one of the few that was still attending both shows. Going forward, he will be most likely working only on SmackDown.
Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer Live:
Some people in the company saw Bischoff’s release coming. Morale had been down for a while but it reportedly took a bigger hit on October 1 when the changes were being made. There’s been a belief among some in WWE, including Vince McMahon, that going to FOX and making other changes would bring this new “boom period” for the company but the feeling among some is that reality has set in, and they see that this “boom period” kickoff isn’t happening.
A lot of people didn’t like working under Bischoff, and that some of the people who did work under him wanted to quit. Bischoff was allegedly hard to get in touch with and often hard to find backstage. Alvarez said he had heard that Bischoff barely did anything and was often seen in catering. Some people who talked weren’t even sure what Bischoff was doing at times. Bischoff’s critics also alleged that he didn’t really know anyone and wasn’t familiar with the talents and that he didn’t go out of his way to learn.
Bischoff had noted in media interviews after being hired that he was spending some time to get familiar with the product and the roster, admitting that he wasn’t fully caught up with everything. Alvarez said he always heard “zero good things” about Bischoff, at least from his sources, and that there was always a lot of negative talks. Bischoff would show up for meetings and then “vanish” with people not being able to find him. Prichard had been running the show if Bischoff was nowhere to be found. It’s believed that there will be no drastic creative changes now that Prichard is taking the role because he’s been handling some of those duties.