Better than ever or not, Eric Bischoff says his ill-fated 2019 run as SmackDown Executive Director was his last full-time job in the wrestling business.
Asked to reflect on his WWE Hall of Fame induction earlier this year, Bischoff told The Angle Podcast’s Joey Karni:
“It’s hard to describe. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, I’ve been thinking about that a lot. It’s just interesting, because I think for the last six months or a year of my life - maybe a little longer - I’ve finally have gone, ‘You know what? That’s in my rearview mirror.’
“And I’m gonna be really honest with you here. I’ve never had this conversation on a podcast with anybody. Even thought I’ve been out of the business as a full-time person... say starting in 2014, you know I dabbled in it a little bit, you know I’d do a little thing here, do a little thing there, still very interested in the business. Doing my podcast which kind of keeps me a little but connected to the industry in a way - very, very indirectly, but still talking about it, thinking about it. But for the last year, year-and-a-half, it’s kind of like... I’m really - if somebody called me today and said ‘Here’s this huge check, we want you to come in and do this,’ I would for the first time in 30-however many years... I wouldn’t do it.
“Because it’s that time. Mentally and emotionally walk away from it. And not in a way like I’m angry, or resentful, or frustrated. It’s just when you know you’ve done everything you’re really going to do, and you did it at the highest levels, there’s a certain comfort in just going, ‘Enough, I’m gonna sit back and watch.’ I’ll put my toe in the water every once in a while, but I’m not gonna take a bath. I’m not gonna overcommit, and I’m just gonna have fun with it. And that’s where I’m at.”
Earlier in the interview, Bischoff says he thinks the kayfabe authority figure role he’s so associated with in fans’ minds is played out. He also goes on to talk about how he enjoys watching younger talent develop during his occasional appearances on AEW Dynamite.
Given all that, and how he’s admitted everyone involved quickly knew he wasn’t a good fit for his last behind-the-scenes role at WWE, this seems like the right call.
When it comes to the wrestling business, Bischoff’s earned the right to take it easy.