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Eric Bischoff opens up about his time as SmackDown Executive Director: ‘There wasn’t an open mind to new ways of doing things’

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Eric Bischoff hasn’t spoken much about his brief 2019 reign as SmackDown Executive Director. When he has, the former WCW President has been cordial and brief, describing the situation as a bad fit.

He’s more forthcoming in a new interview with Digital Spy. Bischoff remains professional, and places some blame on himself. But he also depicts the same creatively stagnant environment we’ve heard about from numerous sources over the past few years.

Explaining why he took the job in June of last year, Bischoff said:

“I was excited about working with my friend Bruce Prichard and I was looking forward to working with Paul Heyman. Paul Heyman and I have known each other and worked in the same company off and on since 1987. So I’m very familiar with Paul.

“But when the opportunity came for me go to SmackDown, both Paul and I had reached a stage in our lives where the potential of working together, at least in my mind, provided a much bigger opportunity than it might have 10, or 15, or 20 years earlier, because we were two different people. I think Paul has matured and evolved much like I have, it just comes with age.

“I’ve always gravitated towards things that seem impossible and the thought of me being the Executive Director of SmackDown was, in the minds of most people, impossible.”

Easy E says it “wouldn’t be fair to say” WWE misrepresented the job, but then goes on to give an answer that makes it sound like they may have:

“I think, as is sometimes the case when you’re reimagining anything or taking a completely different approach to something, you have certain expectations, certain hopes and certain goals and then when the reality converges on the perception or the goals, sometimes there’s a conflict.

“There was not nearly the autonomy that I was hoping there would be. There wasn’t an open mind to new ways of doing things which, either I allowed myself to believe there would be or I was led to believe there would be, I’m not sure which is true even to this day.

“I would say it was probably me allowing myself to believe something that wasn’t true more than being misled, I’ll take responsibility for that. But I think there was there was a little bit of that.”

While he closes the interview by saying there are no hard feelings, he also indicates the issue is what many guessed it would be. Because it’s always what the issue is when it comes to main roster WWE:

“There really wasn’t a new approach. It was the same approach with different people and it just didn’t fit real well.”

Now continuing with his 83 Weeks podcast, and occasionally making appearances on AEW Dynamite, Bischoff doesn’t seem to have any regrets. And SmackDown is one of WWE’s stronger shows, so perhaps it’s just as well.

But keep this in mind whenever we start to hear about their latest plans to tackle Raw’s continued ratings decline.