New SmackDown Executive Director Eric Bischoff started work last week, returned to television at Raw Reunion last night (July 22), and is attending his first production meeting today before the blue brand’s show in Miami tonight.
Throughout, and ever since his hiring was announced on June 27 along with Raw Executive Director Paul Heyman, there’s been reports & speculation about when the former WCW President would start, how much influence he’ll have, and what exactly his role will be.
On the latest episode of his 83 Weeks podcast, released yesterday, Eric addressed the reporting point blank, and refuted all of it:
“Yeah, it’s been interesting, I’ve been reading a lot of the ‘dirt’ from a lot of the ‘dirt sheet’ faux journalists out there that presumably are trying to convince people that they know what’s really going on. And so far, the reporting on all of my, everything that I’ve read has been wrong so far. And you know, I’m not going to address it specifically because #1, I don’t want to give them or the crap that they bring any credibility. But I’ll just, suffice to say, if you’ve read it in a dirt sheet, or online or in a blog, it’s been wrong from day one.
My start date was never supposed to be before July 22nd. I made that very clear, and that was the understanding across the board. But nonetheless, it was reported across the boards early on by dirt sheet scumbags not to be named here, and it was reported wrong. And anything that’s been written and reported so far has been wrong in terms of what my role actually is and what it will be, and when my start date will be.”
The start date has been the subject of a lot of varied rumors, but this would also seem to cover reports he won’t be involved in creative. Given their history, it’s safe to assume Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer is one of the “dirt sheet scumbags” Bischoff is addressing, as it’s been Meltzer who’s been talking about Eric’s job description of late.
We’ll see what other reports come out, and what Bischoff has to say about them on his podcast. In the meantime, he also reiterated on 83 Weeks that we shouldn’t expect to hear that he’s taking over SmackDown and making it his own - or doing whatever his job is - any time soon:
“This is not, and clearly I knew this before I took this job, before I officially took the role - and I’m certainly even more acutely aware of it now - this is such a big job that there’s no way me or anybody else is going to walk in and take control of anything, immediately. It’s going to be a process. And in my case, it’s going to be a very long process because it is a very big job. And learning even the people that are involved, and their respective roles, and the processes that are involved, and — it’s just going to take time. So it’ll be an evolution over time as opposed to, ‘Okay, it’s your show tonight.’ That’s not going to be the case, with me or with Paul, or with anybody else. It’s a process and my process is going to begin — really, it started a little bit [this] week in terms of my integration into the process. But it’ll start becoming even more tangible on Tuesday, which will be the first time I even attend a production meeting. And like I say, over a period of time, it’ll evolve and change beyond that.”