On “Grilling JR”, Jim Ross discussed his reaction to Eric Bischoff getting fired from Smackdown. Here are the highlights:
On If He Was Surprised Bischoff Was Let Go:
I was not surprised. The only thing I would consider being surprised by was the timeframe. It was certainly a … I like Eric. Eric and I have had our differences over the years, but that ship sailed a long time ago. This whole scenario is set up for a succession process. Do you think that Bruce [Prichard] is safe? You think Bruce has got a job like a Supreme Court Justice, for life? Are you kidding? He don’t think that. I guarantee, he don’t think that. He knows that his time will come. It’s like football coaches. They get hired to be fired. And the guys in that position like Bruce is in now, running Smackdown, can you imagine a few years ago, because I’ve been in these meetings, man. I’ve been with the old man when he’s talked about Bruce and he’s talked about Bischoff. And sometimes they weren’t in glowing terms. Just like he talked about me. I get it. So I’m not surprised at all, but I am surprised regarding the timeline.
On Bischoff Being Blamed For The Ratings Drop:
For God’s sakes, I didn’t know the Friday Night Smackdown show was going to lose a million viewers from week one to week two, you lose a million? I didn’t expect that. So the calamity there, and of course Vince wants to keep Fox happy. I don’t blame him. They’ve got a lot of money, and they’ve got a lot of skin in the game … He was a foil. He was the guy, he took the hit.
On Bischoff Being Financially Compensated:
He probably got a nice little package walking away. Vince will take good care of you when he’s kicking you out the door. He’ll give you something to go home with, put something in your bag to remember him by in the form of cash or some sort of payout. And he deserves that.
On The Creative Director Position Causing Tension:
The way that this thing was set up. I knew when Eric got his gig and Heyman got his gig, that this is a whole departure from what Vince had had in the past. Now, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. Sometimes you’ve gotta restructure your deck and create a new structure. But the infrastructure there is a little sketchy at best. It’s the last guy you talk to sometimes, there’s a lot of mistrust. A lot of looking over your shoulder-type situations.
On Thinking Fox Wanted Heyman:
I may be wrong on this, Conrad, but my belief is that Fox would have preferred to have Paul Heyman as their guy from the get-go. And I think they were a little surprised that they got Eric instead of Heyman. And I’m surprised that Vince made that call, quite frankly. Because what investment do you want to really protect? I think the new one that put a billion-plus in your pocket. So Heyman could have interacted with those guys really well too, but so would Eric.
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