Vince McMahon's Punching Bag
December 21, 2005 by Brian Bertrand

Eric Bischoff - what can you say about this guy?
He ran one of the most popular wrestling companies in the world, held the top spot for over a year above WWE, brought down ECW (much to everyone's dismay), and became General Manager of WWE's flagship program, RAW. But recently, he seems to be slipping a bit and now he's under the close, watchful eye of Vince and Shane McMahon. It seems that these guys are just attacking him because of the said facts about his career. He came in as a political-heel role and he made that a true hit as it continues to get a huge pop from the fans. This last edition of RAW put a final explanation point on the General Manager position of Eric Bischoff, and none too sooner.

In 2002, after Ric Flair was taken out of his co-owner position, Vince McMahon needed a General Manager to manage the WWE superstars while he took care of the bigger things that he constantly needs to take care of. SmackDown started out with Paul Heyman and RAW had the pleasure of one of the most unexpected images in wrestling history, Vince McMahon shaking hands and HUGGING Eric "Easy E." Bischoff. And ever since, it's been an uphill battle with the writers and the fans, starting storylines of HLA (Hot Lesbian Action), invasions to SmackDown!, and, more recently, a personal vendetta with John Cena.

That's just gently touching the top of the crap pile. What about Eric Bischoff seducing Linda McMahon? That was in very poor taste, in my opinion, and it had the lowest ratings in RAW's 10+ year history. I felt disgusted when it happened and I'm sure many people on OWW and other places would say the same exact thing. Using Three Minute Warning like that did make sense but it was the only thing they could have used them for. They ended up not having much of a storyline afterwards and that's what hurt them the most: no fallout factor - thanks a lot, Mr. Bischoff.

Another screw up by Eric Bischoff must be the Redneck Triathlon with Steve Austin. The only person I feel bad for through that was Austin. A great talent that had to be part of a poor thought out spectacle like that just hurts and hurts a lot. Then the singing contest came up. What the hell was that? The redeeming quality of that match was the pigpen match. That had a nice pop for the crowd but it would have been really cool, since Austin "deputized" the crowd, if Bischoff tried to escape. Then it would have been like when Raven tried to run away from Goldberg when he lost the WCW US Title. But even the crowd popping powers of Stone Cold Steve Austin couldn't help this end in total disappointment.

As long as we're talking about dumb storylines, let's talk about Eugene! I feel bad for how Nick Dinsmore is being treated, having to demean himself to a gimmick that makes fun of mentally handicapped people. I get the whole special person becoming champion deal but then what if he wants to be taken seriously as a true competitor? He can't with this gimmick, especially when you consider that he uses signature moves of older wrestlers. Unfortunately, fans think that he's a joke and until he has a gimmick change, he will never get booked for anything bigger than tag team titles.

This year alone had its own Bischoff moments. During the build-up for ECW: One Night Stand, he decided to create a band of "crusaders" from both RAW and SmackDown only to make sure that ECW knew who bought them out. Sort of putting the proverbial explanation point on the whole event. It wasn't necessary but the pay-per-view still became a success and not because of the crusaders. But that was the advantage that Hardcore Homecoming had over ONS. When they had that segment of Bischoff, Vince McMahon, and Paul Heyman in the ring it was good to showcase ECW but then Bischoff tried to make himself look distinguished but, in actuality, he just looked like a total snob and it turned out to be a slight disaster. The event itself turned out great, especially when

The main thing that really made me a little ticked off was when they started censoring the crowd during Kurt Angle's entrance (which started the first week of Joey Styles on commentary no less) and put Daivari as Angle's referee. Thankfully, Mr. McMahon changed that. It seems that Bischoff is continuing his ways of WCW and focusing his attention on a select few while he leaves it up to everyone else to be written into the mix wherever they can. That hurt WCW and it's now hurting RAW and WWE because WWE is using RAW as the premiere flagship program and to have that kind of bad publicity will show that they're a joke. Granted, Eric did run WCW successfully for seven years as well as grabbing the number one spot for almost two of those years and ran it in the ground as Shane, storyline-wise, ran it for three months and ran THAT to the ground.

This last edition of RAW put the final nail in the coffin for Bischoff in the WWE and not too sooner. I mean, hell, it was the most entertaining piece of Bischoff entertainment since One Night Stand (I still think Sandman should have got involved in that segment). The main question now is: how will Shane McMahon fix the mistakes, on-air and off since the writers are also to blame, that Bischoff seemed to leave? Looks like 2006 is going to be an interesting year for RAW.

by Brian Bertrand..

Ieuan Johns wrote:
Ummm, you do realise that Eric Bischoff was only an on-air charachter don't you. I mean you surely must realise that Eric bischof wa not ACTUALLY running and booking RAW, that it wasn't himt hat came up with the segments with him and Linda, that it wasnt him who censored the fans or thought up the redneck triathlon, that he doesn't really hate John Cena or gave Eugene his gimmick.

Eric Bischoff has very little involvement with writing anything for the WWE and he will probably never have much of a role in that respect. The truth is that while he has been a very good GM on air for Raw, recently he has just been repetitive and boring, they have done everything they can do with him as a heel and it's time for a change. They missed the boat when he turned tweener (during the evolution breakup) because there were so many new options for him as a face or tweener, he could have become edgier and played up the giving the fans what they want thing but the WWE messed that up by having him go against Cena when it would have been beter to play the tweener for a while before making a big heel turn.

Now they are in the situation where something new is needed, Bischoff can not turn face/tweener right now on RAW because of his recent actions with Cena/Angle/Jericho so the only option is a new GM, a new face GM probably. Which isn't all bad for Bischoff, he has been working non-stop for over four years now and could probably do with a break both from the fans and from the job, I expect him to take a month or so off, then come back and work behind the scens for a while and eventually be brought back onto the screens. One pretty cool idea would be to have a face GM take over, then turn about 6 months down the line and have Eric come back as a face to try to reclaim his show.

Anyway i'm rambling now, I just wanted to make sure that you knew about Eric not being involved in really running RAW.
Jamal W. from Detroit wrote:
I like your column, but I have to say that although Eric Bischoff is known for running WCW to the ground, along with Hogan & Friends. I must say that signing with WWE...Bischoff is nothing more than another talent...he has no say backstage what so, since he created the nWo and would think that Vince would let him on the creative process...but that didn't if it's anyone who should receive the blame, it's Stephanie McMahon and them crappy writers she hired. Bischoff's still a jackass though...

Oh and a random note...Johnny Ace should be fired...
Tyrone Hunter wrote:
So are you saying because Eric Bishoff almost at one time put WWE out of business. Thus, you having the McMahon's, particularly Vince, taking advantage of a golden opportunity to hire Eric and make a mockery of him by putting him in stupid storylines. Is that what your saying? Because that my friend can make sense, but why have him run General Manager for three years and......whatever. It doesn't make Bishoff look like a punching, no. Vince, himself, would look dumb. Look at the time it was good for business, and WWE is always looking for a change. I mean it wasn't a bad decision, I was pumped at the time. Who doesn't like change. And Vince is always willing to forgive for the sake of the business. Where am I going with this? Dude, Eric got stale and its time for something different, Dusty Rhodes. Teddy, will get the same thing. Hopefully, Eric will be back, but not anytime soon.
Brad Dykens wrote:
I think people are missing the point of this column. Vince should have hired Bischoff because he has a good mind for the business and would make a lot of money with his on-screen character. Bischoff could have led a LEGITIMATE WCW Invasion, but the McMahons refused to let anything associated with WCW get over. Instead they took every chance to destroy and belittle WCW, making sure to exploit the last 1 or 2 sinking years of WCW's existance, and blatantly ignoring the 3 or 4 years of WCW's history that made Vince McMahon crap his pants.
Erkka J´┐Żrvinen wrote:
I dont think u can blame bischoff for RAWs flaws. He is a person in the scenes, you should focus on who is behind the ideas *cough Steph *cough. On a side note, smackdown owns RAW
CyberJackhammer wrote:
I'm sorry, but I think you're confusing Bischoff's on-air role with his non-existent one off-air. Bischoff has nothing to do with deciding storylines. He's just an on-air talent and although I consider your article a well written one, I think your criticism must be placed on the writers.
Dominic M. (#1 EB Fan!) wrote:
Hi, I just want to start off by saying that I am very upset that Eric Bischoff got fired. That was soo wrong!! I worship the ground that "The Bisch" walks on, and I believe that he will return to RAW very soon! I started watching Eric in 1997, when he was running WCW. He did a great job until Vince Russo, Ted Turner, and Time Warner stabbed him in the back. Eric did something that Vince McMahon did not do; he EARNED his company! It was not handed down to him on a silver platter by his daddy. Eric worked his ass off in WCW, and he really deserves more respect than he is getting. I also feel, that in a way, he made WWE a better program. If Eric never waged war on WWE, it would still be a 1 hour, pre-recorded, lame, lack lustered show!! Eric Bischoff pushed Vince Mcmahon to the limits, and because of that WWE was a better program.

Personally, I don't think there is anyone who can replace Mr.Bischoff as the GM of RAW. Shane McMahon is not qualified; he has no business sense! He just took the silver spoon from daddy!! The Bisch will live to fight another day, so everyone better look out!!!
Chris Pugsley wrote:
There is no way that Bischoff is to blame for anything you didnt like on RAW. He was an on air character and didnt make any executive decisions and he may have pitched an idea or two but he isnt the reason for all of RAW's poor scenes.
David Temrick wrote:
Nevermind that Eric Bishoff was talent for the past couple years. Also forget that Bishoff was in charge of WCW when it overtook WWE in the ratings war.

Here's what we all need to remember. Who was writting for WCW when it overtook WWE? Vince Russo. Who's money and limitless wealth was being used to buy up all the talented and lengendary wrestlers? Billionaire Ted Turner. nWo might be a creation of Eric Bishoff, but who made it happen? Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Hogan. Did WWE really do worse than WCW? Not really. They just got stagnant and repetitive. Like they are now, that's one of the big reasons why TNA is getting so much attention. TNA isn't really doing anything ground breaking.

What's the point? Eric Bishoff is one man. Now granted he was in power when WCW was at it's height, but is he solely responsible for it's success? Nope. He was just in the right place at the right time.
Freddy Sturguess wrote:
First of all, Bischoff is not a writer nor is he a booker (and good thing too, WWE's creative department is sagging already). And second, there is no one here who can say honestly that if they were Vince McMahon, and had nearly had their company run into the ground by a guy who threw Ted Turner's money around, that they would not take the oppurtunity to toy with Eric Bischoff. Oh but wait...this is Vince McMahon, so I guess for anyone else besides him, it would be okay. And third, oh that McMahon is just such a horrible person! Giving Bischoff a job for three years after he nearly destroyed his business. Oh, give Vince another Hall OWW Shame induction for that seedy move! Putting food on Bischoff's table, he should be ashamed!
Brian Bertrand (Original Author) wrote:
Do I realize that Eric Bischoff is an on-screen talent? Yes. In fact, behind the scenes, he has no real power to speak of. His main job is to make the storyline connections with the decisions that is made by the WWE RAW writing team.

Do I blame Eric Bischoff for RAW's problems? On-screen wise, hell yeah I do! Behind the scenes, no. In fact, I blame (once again) the writing team. Let's face it, WWE isn't known to make very good decisions as far as some of their on-screen talent is concerned. (Eugene, Kazarian, etc.)

Vince Russo, as well as being the main writer that ran WCW over like a dear on a freeway, was also the same individual that hurt WWF in 1995-97 during their gimmick wars. I am a total anti-Russo guy. I hated how Russo's shock-and-awe tactics gave his last three jobs a hard time in recovering from. I'm sure he has skills to do some amazing things but once he runs out of ideas he's nothing more than the average run of the mill writer and WCW found that out the hard way.

Whether who wrote the stories or who paid for the product in WCW, Erc Bischoff was put in charge of managing it as a company. As General Manager in WWE, he didn't have that power. I'm sure that he wanted to have some and make his job more meaningful but it didn't play out.

When reading the column, you have to think about what lead up to the moment when he was ousted. Just think about it as a markish point of view and why it was helpful for WWE to get rid of him as far as on-screen talent is concerned.
Mush wrote:
Your article contains a chronological flaw: Paul Heyman was not the first General Manager of SmackDown!; it was Stephanie McMahon. Paul Heyman become General Manager of SmackDown! on October 23, 2003 edition of SmackDown! after Vince McMahon defeated Stephanie McMahon at No Mercy 2003 in a Father-Daughter "I Quit" match.
Chris Jo wrote:
It seems to me that most people have no real memory of the Monday Night Wars. Let me ask, how many of you were die hard WCW fans and watch WWE now just because it's the top promotion? Probally not too many. How many of you grew up watching WWF and (even though you use to change the channels back and forth every monday) always considered yourself a WWF fan? Probally a few more. How many of you use to love it ANYTIME one company would mention the other by name? Probally alot. Now, put yourself in that time period, ok? Now what would you do if you were Vince McMahon and YOU brought down WCW? I know what I would do. I would hire Eric Bischoff JUST to use him as a punching bag. I would put him in the most humiliating segments he would go along with. Matter of fact, I would make him kiss my a**. So whether you think Eric has been treated fairly or not, Vince did what he should of did. Actually, in my opinion, Vince should of done more bad things to Eric.

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