During the latest episode of 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff spoke about what he believes the WWE creative process will look like without Vince McMahon.
“You ask me what I think is gonna happen going forward, I think the creative process is going to be greatly, greatly enhanced. I think you’re going to see some incredibly talented people begin to do what they’re capable of doing without an almost unbearable process to do it in.”
On his experience working with Vince:
“Again, it’s hard to say these things without sounding disrespectful and I don’t mean to because Vince’s process worked so well for Vince McMahon that WWE is now a five billion dollar public company. Let’s just keep that in mind. But spending a week, all week, running a show, and presenting that show at midnight or two o’clock in the morning when your meeting was scheduled for five [in the afternoon] and you’ve waited around for eight hours – it’s not like you’re keeping yourself busy because you can’t move forward with anything until you get approval with what you’ve done thus far. What are you gonna do? Just rewrite a show out of thin air for no reason? The creative process is a series of meetings. You get a rough draft of a show in front of Vince, maybe Friday night or Saturday morning, and everybody on that writing team is standing by on Saturday morning. You get up, and you’re not going anywhere. You can maybe walk your dog, get some scrambled eggs at the deli, but it’s not like you’re gonna do anything on a Saturday because you’re on standby.
“When Vince gets that rough draft, you don’t know if he’s gonna look at it Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, or Saturday night. You don’t know if he’s gonna want to get on the phone with two or three of you, or maybe the whole team…..when you get to the jet on your way to TV, there’s a stack of paperwork that Vince needs to review, and there’s the show. He’ll review the show on the plane and maybe make some changes or suggestions, then you get to the building. When it’s time for the production meeting, you don’t know what’s gonna happen. Sometimes you’re starting from scratch, sometimes you’re doing major reconstructive surgery. You go about your business, then the talent start showing up. Well, certain talent has certain access, and all of a sudden, at five o’clock, your thinking your show is done, but there’s been conversations happen you didn’t know about and the show changes a lot. Not a little, a lot, and you’re scrambling. I’ve been there two minutes before showtime to get something approved. That’s hard, man. It’s an amazing team of people that have been able to make that process work, including Bruce [Prichard]. To be able to mentally and emotionally function in that environment is an amazing accomplishment all by itself. But what suffers is the creative. It really does.”
On how the process could change:
“Look, Stephanie spent some time as head of creative. How did that work out? Working with Vince is tough, even for Stephanie. Triple H spent some time in that role. How did that work out? Not so much. That’s not because he didn’t have the talent, but it’s because that process, with that guy – he made no concessions for them or anybody else. You had to work his schedule. You had to be available. If that phone rang at two o’clock in the morning, you better know your shit. You better be able to open your eyes and have a coherent conversation about what you may have thought was an obscure detail that didn’t matter too much. But if you didn’t have a full grasp of your show at two o’clock in the morning, 30 seconds after you open your eyes, that plane ride on Monday morning is gonna suck for you.
“My point is, Stephanie has experienced that, Triple H has experienced that. Because they’ve experienced that, is it likely they’re gonna pick up where Vince left off, or is it more likely there’s gonna be a different approach that’s gonna make it a whole lot more functional and easier on the creative team that will, within the relative short-term in 60 or 90 days, I think you’re gonna start seeing a lot better creative. Nothing drastic, or nothing that’s gonna make people go ‘oh wow, I can’t believe they’re doing that.’ Not that, but I think you’re gonna see consistency in story because that’s what’s lacking right now. I anticipate a much better creative process that will yield a much better product in terms of storytelling and character development.”
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