Eric Bischoff Explains Why He Unmasked Rey, How He’d Book Roman Reigns, more…

Eric Bischoff
Eric Bischoff

Arguably one of the most influential figures in the history of pro wrestling, former WCW President Eric Bischoff, recently took part in an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit. The always outspoken Bischoff commented on controversial decisions he made during his tenure with World Championship Wrestling as well as how he would book WWE’s current product today.

Eric Bischoff AMA Highlights

Bischoff’s response to being asked why he unmasked Rey Mysterio Jr. and Juventud Guerrera:

“The goal in unmasking Rey and Juventud was to further establish their real characters with the audience. And while the strength of the mask in Mexico is obviously very important and even moreso today in the United States than it was back in the late ’90s, but Rey and Guerrera were very good-looking athletes.

As anyone who’s worked with Vince McMahon or WWE will tell you, you sell emotions with your face and expressions during a match. To a certain degree, masked wrestlers are at a certain disadvantage at getting the audience to relate to them by seeing their facial emotions during a match. The goal was to attempt to broaden the appeal for those characters by allowing the audience to feel their emotions at a greater level during matches.”

On if he would stick with Roman as the top guy if he were in charge of WWE:

“I might stick with Roman or move onto someone else. It’s impossible to say unless someone is involved with the process on a very close basis. I don’t know enough about Roman’s strengths/weaknesses as a person to know what his potential really is.

I think that is often the case when fans judge talent and wonder why someone is not getting a bigger push, or why someone is getting such a big push, when as fans/viewers you don’t really see everything there is to see when it comes to a specific talent’s skills, abilities, or potential.”

On how he would make modern day wrestling feel less bland:

I would try to bring more spontaneity to the product, I would de-emphasize the scripted performances, and emphasize talent who have the ability to cut great unscripted promos. The scripted nature of both matches and promos creates an atmosphere of sameness. Clearly this works, as we’re reading now with the Smackdown on Fox news, but that sameness makes the product feel stale and predictable.”

On if he regrets not pushing more mid-card talent or cruiserweights in WCW:

“I don’t regret anything because I’ve said in my 83 weeks podcast, context is really king. In terms of context, the Cruiserweight division was a very important part of Nitro’s success. That, combined with the fact that we had a very dense main event roster (Savage, Hogan, Piper, Sting, Luger, Goldberg, DDP, to name a few) that there’s only so much room at the very top. With context of the time, I don’t regret pushing some of that well-established talent off to the side to try to make room for a lesser known, though incredibly talented roster, but any objective person would most likely agree that the only reason why Jericho/Eddie/Benoit were able to get over the way they did was because of the massive amount of prime time exposure that I gave them in WCW.

But I wouldn’t have been able to achieve that same thing during the late ’90s with the Cruiserweight division because I had too many bigger stars in main event positions.”