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Eric Bischoff Says WWE Has to be Careful in Booking Ronda Rousey

Posted By James Walsh on 02/07/18

Eric Bischoff spoke in a new interview with Wrestling Inc about WWE signing Ronda Rousey, their creative challenges in booking her and more. Highlights are below:

On Rousey damaging her mystique: “She was bitter and she didn’t handle those losses [in the UFC] with the kind of grace that could have endeared her to the audience. She could have been a bigger star and a bigger babyface as a result of those losses than she possibly would have been had she won them. Rather than seizing that opportunity and seeing that opportunity for what it was in that moment and being a gracious loser and acknowledging that she got beat – because she got beat by a better athlete on that particular night – she would have gotten more over because of that in some ways than when she was beating people up.”

On the audience turning against her: “When she crapped all over the media and crapped all over the fans by refusing to do interviews and being bitter, it turned the audience against her, but not in a way that you can build upon. There’s a way of getting heat that works for you, and there’s a way of getting heat that works against you. The heat that she created for herself was not the latter.”

On WWE not picking her up right after her loss to Amanda Nunes: “What is the WWE going to do, bring her in and have her wipe out half of the entire women’s division because she’s the baddest woman on the planet? That won’t work. Are they going to put her over as a babyface? Eh, good luck with that. So there’s some real creative character challenges there.”

on WWE’s ability to book Rousey: “I think given the time and the patience and acknowledging where Ronda has been the last 16 – 18 months of her life and figuring out how to create that character and that storyline in full acknowledgement of that history, I think that there’s a way to do it. But they’re going to have to be careful.”

On Rousey making the transition to wrestling: “How is she going to handle becoming a performer in a scripted environment? How is she going to learn and adapt to the challenges of telling a story using physical drama instead of going in and competing physically, because they’re two different worlds. Professional wrestling… is no different than a Broadway play except that in a Broadway play, actors are using dialogue to tell a story and establish their characters, while in WWE, they’re using a physical dialogue to tell their story and build their characters. That’s a very unique art, it really is. How quickly will Ronda adapt to that art? That remains to be seen. I wish her the best. She’s a beautiful young woman, she’s obviously talented, she’s an athlete. I really wish her the best, but if you go back and look at the last 16 – 18 months of her history and the baggage that she’s bringing with her – along with the notoriety that she got, she’s got great notoriety – but there’s some baggage there too. How that is all thrown into the big stew pot and how it’s all cooked and what other ingredients they add to it so that we can see how she comes out of that, I’m very excited to see how that evolves.”