Eric Bischoff Hopes WWE Brings Hulk Hogan Back, Talks O’Neil’s Suspension, More


Eric Bischoff spoke out for for for a new interview. Check out the audio and highlights below:

On if Hogan will be welcomed back into WWE: “I have no idea. I wish I did but I don’t. The whole thing was just so unfortunate at every level for every reason. Everybody involved was put in a horrible position. I hope at some point things kind of settle back down and the fans can forgive Hulk for what Hulk admitted was a horrible mistake. I hope the WWE can as well. I certainly don’t have any insight in to if they will.”

On if he would have punished Hogan the same way: “I don’t want to answer that simply because there is no right answer. Would I have handled it the exact same way? I don’t know. I wasn’t in their shoes. I don’t know what they knew and what they had at the WWE. I am not aware what they were faced with. I’ve said this in one or two interviews before and I haven’t gone in to any detail in most of these types of interviews but people have to realize. Many people do, I don’t mean to sound condescending, but WWE is a publicly held company. Which means that the officers of that company, including Vince McMahon, have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders. What that means is that the officers of the company have to make decisions and act in a way that is in the best interest of the shareholders of that company. If they don’t there’s some potentially big issues, legal and financial, facing the officers of the company. When you are faced with something like this, like the incident and all of the ensuing publicity. As an officer of any company, whether it’s Verizon or WWE, you have to take actions that are consistent with your fiduciary responsibilities. I am pretty sure that was what motivated WWE as much as anything. They have advertisers, they have sponsors, they have relationships with organizations around the world that are essential to WWE operations. Something like this or when something happens, like what happened with Hulk, you have to make a decision and sometimes it’s the decision you don’t want to make but you’re forced to do it. As close as I am with Hulk Hogan, I am, he’s still my best friend and probably always will be. I have a pretty good understanding of what he was going through at that time when all of this happened. I was there for a good portion of it. I literally lived with him part time to help him through it. I saw first hand the state of mind he was in. I understand it. I don’t approve of it. I am not making any excuses for it. I also understand it. I don’t know. I just think WWE had to do what they had to do. Like I said at the top, I hope once the Gawker thing is over and once everybody has a chance to settle down and re-evaluate. I am hoping that everybody forgives each other and moves on in a positive way. Hulk has a lot of positive things to say. He is one of the most positive people that I know. Not that he always has been, mind you. Over the last five years,his life has changed so dramatically in a positive way. He has a lot to offer and I hope he has an opportunity to do that.”

On Titus O’Neil’s suspension: “I actually had a conversation with another high profile legend that I won’t name. We were chatting about it the other day and he asked me what I thought about it. I only know what I read…I was aware of it. Again, it’s one of those situations, I wasn’t in the room. I didn’t see it. Was there was something underlying that helped cause that type of penalty or reaction? Unless you’re there you don’t know. All you can do is speculate. If there are no underlying issues and this wasn’t something that was getting a little out of control on a little bit of a consistent basis. If that wasn’t the case and this was just a single, isolated incident. Then yeah, it’s pretty stiff. Sometimes you have to be. It sounds like I am making excuses. Believe me, the WWE doesn’t need me or probably want me to make excuses for them. As a business person, it goes back to it being a publicly held company thing. When you have a 250 pound some odd guy, when you’ve got a big powerful strong guy who is in the sports entertainment business physically grabbing the CEO. Whether it was playful or not sometimes it’s just inappropriate. I get it, I’ve kind of been in those situations before and it’s hard because you don’t want to have to be the “corporate, hard line in the sand” kind of guy. When you’re a big company and you’re a publicly held company and the people around you will sue you for thinking a bad thought… you have to be pretty disciplined and your employees have to be fairly disciplined in their behavior. Whether it’s just joking around or the the types of things people say to each other or “ribs” or pranks… all the stuff that used to make the pro wrestling business so much fun in some respect, not all respects, but some respects. Those days are gone. You can’t do that stuff anymore. It’s more like working for the Post Office than it is working for a sports entertainment company in the 60s/70s/80s/early-90s.”

On if he was surprised that WWE didn’t do a Bullet Club invasion angle: “I’m not surprised. I think that would have been kind of an obvious direction and maybe that’s why they didn’t do it. Because it was an obvious direction. Fans also get disappointed when you don’t challenge. When you don’t come up with something new. It doesn’t have to be a brand new idea that nobody’s ever thought of before. If you’re going to present something we have already seen before at least present it in a new and fresh way. That’s all. I think that may have led WWE not to do that story because they wanted to come up with something fresh. For all we know they may have plans on doing something like that six months from now. You just never know. Now that I am really on the outside looking in it’s even more obvious to me how difficult it is for fans to understand the complexities of creative. It seems so easy. Like you’re watching a football game. I could win the Super Bowl five years in a row on Monday. If I had a chance to know everything that I could learn on Sunday and then have 20/20 hindsight and call the plays on Monday, you’d never lose, right?. You’d have 20/20 hindsight. It’s really easy to say, “AW! He should have never thrown that pass!” “Never should have gone for that extra point attempt!” “Never should have done this!” “Never should have done that!” “They never should have brought AJ in without him being a part of The Bullet Club!” It’s so easy to say those things when you don’t know what’s on the other side. When you don’t know what those other challenges or opportunities are. You just sit back, watch it and enjoy it for what it is and not what you think it could have been if you knew something that you really don’t know.”

On what to expect from his WWE DVD: “I just saw a rough cut of it last week, actually. It’s getting to the point now that they might even be finishing it up. It’s kind of hard to watch a documentary about yourself, right? Kind of awkward. It’s hard to be objective, let’s put it that way. Even so, I am looking at it and I was very proud of it, let’s put it that way. The WWE came out to my house in Wyoming last summer and spent 3-4-5 days there? I can’t remember. Shooting a lot of stuff. A lot of my life post-wrestling and even prior to wrestling is centered around my life in Wyoming and the things I like that most wrestling fans have never heard about or saw. They spent a lot of time just getting in to my life. Not really my wrestling life but my life. That’s kinda interesting because that has never been done before. My wife was a part of it. My brother and sister are a part of it. I have some friends in it. I don’t want to promote it. I want WWE to promote it the way they want to promote it but there’s some people in the wrestling business that you might expect and some that you’ll be surprised to see on an Eric Bischoff DVD. It’s all fresh. There may be a couple of clips in there. I’m sure there are. In fact, I know there are because I’ve seen it! I’d say 80% of it is all original content.”

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