Eric Bischoff On WWE Draft Creative Being ‘Most Chaotic Thing’ He’s Ever Seen, WWE Product Being Too Formulaic

Posted By James Walsh on 11/24/21


In a recent edition of 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff discussed the chaos with the creative for the WWE draft, the WWE product being too formulaic, and much more. You can read Eric Bischoff’s comments below.

Eric Bischoff on the chaos with the creative for the WWE draft: “What I’m about to say is my gut, based on my short period of time being there over two years ago now and what we all see on television – it’s a mess. It’s a creative, strategic, chaotic mess from what I can see on the outside looking in, referencing the comment you just made. You’ve got people in one or two round draft choices, and poof, they’re gone. No explanation, no understanding. I can also say that I was in WWE and working with Vince and the entire team every single day leading up to the launch of SmackDown on FOX, and a big part of that and a focus of that was the draft. I am so glad I am not there or wasn’t there going into the draft because it is the most chaotic, unorganized mess I’ve ever seen. It’s just a mess.

“It wasn’t organized and it was very much a whim of the moment. Now, there was some strategy involved and some debate in terms of the balance of talent on one show or the next, and also factor in that USA had a voice in that, whether it was technically or contractually, as did FOX which was a new relationship. It was a mess. There were changes being made during the actual draft on live television. It was just the most chaotic thing I’ve ever seen. I’m convinced that long-term planning, long-term strategy – creatively speaking, business is different. From a creative perspective, if there’s a long-term strategy, it’s a mystery to everybody to other than the people who say there is.”

On WWE’s product being too formulaic: “I’m kind of done with the disclaimers here because Vince McMahon knows how I feel about Vince McMahon, and Kevin Dunn and Bruce Prichard and so many of the great talents in WWE. But it is undeniable that the product is formulaic. In fact, so formulaic – I think cookie cutter is another good example. It’s like opening a box of Chips-a-hoy and there may be different chocolate chips in different positions on each one of those cookies, but the cookies look the same, smell the same, taste the same every time you open the bag. Unfortunately, the style and presentation of WWE, whether it’s Raw or SmackDown, is so formulaic and cookie-cutter that yes, there are different names that you’re watching, but everything else is exactly the same. I think that’s one of the things that’s hurting WWE in terms of ratings.

“But let’s be honest, from a ratings’ perspective, WWE is doing just fine compared to other television programs and making money hand over fist in the process. But when you look at audience attrition, yes, they’re satisfying an existing audience, but how long it has been since anybody has actually built and embraced and attracted people who aren’t wrestling fans? It hasn’t happened since Nitro, and nothing is happening today that’s gonna lead me to believe it’s gonna happen in the future. Everybody will make the existing audience happy, but nobody is really growing the audience. In WWE’s case, I think it’s incumbent upon them to change their format and quit being so damn predictable and focus more on the episodic nature of the product and do things that make people remember the show is live and you can’t afford to miss it because anything can happen.”